Ed Stevens on INTERPRETING THE SCRIPTURES

Yesterday we watched a teaching by Mr. Ed Stevens of the International Preterist Association (www.preterist.org) on how to interpret the Scriptures (2014 Nebraska Retreat) . Like much of Ed’s stuff, I rather enjoyed this teaching. Also, a woman from our congregation testified that this teaching by Ed helped her better understand the details of Scripture. Glory to God!

In this blog I am going to share some of my notes from that presentation. I pray many reading it would be edified. However, my main reason for posting it to allow review and conversation in our Adult Sunday School on 1/14.

Ed starts out detailing the importance of understanding the 5 W’s (Who, What, Where, Why, and When). Ed said it is easy to understand the Bible once you answer these questions. In utilizing the Gospel according to Matthew, Mr. Stevens detailed how we need to know the author as a tax collector and “what made him tick”. In knowing who is writing (in this case Matthew) and to whom is being written to (exclusively a 1st century Jewish populace), we establish the beginning of “audience relevance”. I thought it was important that Ed highlighted the fact that we must understand some historical/cultural details from that time to understand because the author seems to take it for granted that his audience shares a common understanding of the details (details to us in the 21st century in the Western world are a bit foreign to say the least). This is something that is vital to our understanding much of the Bible and affects our interpretation and paradigms in such profound ways.

Ed’s sharing on the details of dating was rather stimulating (which was no surprise because his book, The Final Decade Before the End, is my go to resource on dating the New Testament). Again, using the Gospel of Matthew, Mr. Steven’s mentioned AD 38 as the date of authorship. He mentioned such an early date for a couple of reasons. First, it seems that Matthew is writing before the conversion of any Gentiles (which takes place in Acts chapter 10, which has been placed historically between AD 35-40). This also seems to be the case, since Jesus Christ tells his followers to not go among the Gentiles and expresses the sentiment that his ministry is not for them (Matthew 10:5 and Matthew 15:24). At least not yet. Mr. Steven’s mentioned the importance of placing the dating of Matthew to before the Roman emperor Caligula attempted to put his statue in the Temple at Jerusalem which was attempted in AD 39. We can look into those details through historical chronicles by men such as Josephus, Tacitus, and Philo. And of course, answering the “where question” seems to be rather simple when reading through Matthew’s Gospel, as Jerusalem is the center focus.

Ed concluded his speaking session by mentioning other “helps” in understanding the Bible. A mention of the Thompson Chain-Reference Bible was made and the value of cross-references. I was overjoyed that a few among our study spoke up and remarked that even a “chain-reference Bible” has bias and that we must be careful in how we utilize such “helps”. Consider that the commentary, the cross-references, and even the translations hold bias in the variety of resources we might use. This should stimulate us to walk worthy of 1 Thessalonians 5:21.

The value of the Reformed concepts brought up by Mr. Stevens at the end of the speech are immense and must be brought up as I conclude this review. “Analogia Scriptura” meaning Scripture interprets Scripture is important and challenges us to become familiar with Scriptures. A good study that was mentioned was the use of the Greek word “stocheia” or elements as translated into English. This study along has challenged the “end of the world” paradigm based on 2 Peter 3:10. Also, “Analogia Fide” meaning the analogy of faith, which demands of us that we become familiar with the entire Biblical story. The analogy of faith is similar to my constant bringing up and obsession with the “Biblical Narrative”, and it highlights that all details within Scripture must be consistent and flow with the “redemptive story”.

I know I am surely appreciate to the ministry of Ed Stevens (despite some of our areas of disagreement). I do trust that if we walk worthy of such “interpretation of the Scriptures” that we will see more advancement in Biblical clarity as well as more and more praise to the glory of God!

  • STUDY POINTS (based on Ed’s presentation)
  • How does the establishing of the 5W’s better inform your view of details in Scripture?
  • Ed mentions that certain details in Scripture require a comprehension of how the “original audience” would have understood them. How has this affected your study of the Bible? Where do you see this as vital?
  • What examples of “cross-referencing” different Scriptures has helped you better understand portions of Scripture?
  • In a summarized fashion, how would you explain the Biblical narrative from Genesis to Revelation? (Try to do so in 3-4 sentences).

Be blessed by His mighty grace,

Pastor Michael Miano
The Blue Point Bible Church (www.bluepointbiblechurch.org)

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“World” Study

Due to the lack of serious study within the Christian Church, many false and misunderstood teachings have crept in. Not only do many popular teachings lack Biblical and historical context, they are also propounded by failing to properly understand the phrases and words that have been translated into English. In this study we will examine some Greek words to get a bit more clarity.

The Greek words that are translated “world” in the English Bible are: oikoumene, kosmos, ge, and aion. For the sake of this study, we will focus on oikumene and aion, namely because they are the 2 words that speak of things that were about to come (the oikoumene to come (Hebrews 2:5) and the aion to come (Hebrews 6:5)”.
The term “oikumene” seems to be best understood as referring to the surrounding environment, or what some would refer to as economy (order of things). This is used in the following places in Scripture: Matthew 24:14; Luke 2:1; Luke 4:5; Luke 21:26; Acts 11:28; Acts 17:6; Acts 19:27; Acts 24:5; Romans 10:18; Hebrews 1:6; Hebrews 2:5; Revelation 3:10; Revelation 12:9; and Revelation 16:14.

Honest and careful study, “rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)”, would lead us to understand the world commonly translated world from the Greek oikumene is not speaking about the whole planet. Therefore, this causes a challenge to what many are expecting to happen throughout the whole planet – BECAUSE THE WORD DOESN’T MEAN THAT!!!

Peter Leithart, a NT scholar, made a good point in remarking, “In many passages of the New Testament, oikumene refers to the Greco-Roman imperial world. More theologically, it refers to the arrangement of Israel and Gentiles that God formed during and after the exile”.

The term “aion” references a denoted period of time. The Jews understood 2 ages – the present evil age and the age to come, both periods of time marked out by the systems being used (Old Covenant- New Covenant). This is used in the following places in Scripture: Matthew 12:32; Matthew 13:22, 39, 40, 49; Matthew 24:3; Matthew 28:20; Mark 4:19; Mark 10:30; Luke 1:70; Luke 16:8; Luke 18:30; Luke 20:34-35; Acts 15:8; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 1:20; 1 Corinthians 2:6-8; 1 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 10:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 1:21; Ephesians 2:2, 7; Ephesians 3:9; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:26; 1 Timothy 6:17; 2 Timothy 4:10; Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 6:5; Hebrews 9:26; Hebrews 11:3.

Reading the “end of the age” in line with what Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24:3 helps clarify what was being referred to as the “end times”. When we read these words consistently and appropriately we are able to let go of false teachings and hopes that misapply what was being detailed throughout the Scriptures. Instead of the 1st century disciples hoping for an end to the planet, we note they were hoping for an end of the oikoumene and the aion, which surely occurred after the destruction of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem during the Roman-Jewish War of AD 70.

Lastly, many continue and propound confusion by asserting that before the end comes, the gospel must be preached to the entire “world”, however they fail to understand how the words for “world” are used. The following link will bring you to a chart that shows the different uses of words that applied to the “Great Commission”, as well as other thoughts to further your understanding:
http://livingthequestion.org/signs/

Blessings in Christ Jesus,
Pastor Michael Miano
The Blue Point Bible Church

Simon Tack’s Notes on Ed Stevens Talk – Dating Revelation to 62 AD Pre 70 Date

Revelation Revealed Conference Blue Point Bible Church
3/24/2017

“I am coming quickly” 4 times in Rev
Daniel was promised more info regarding the end of days – knowledge shall increase?

Four main events in Revelation:
1) Soon coming
2) Death of 1 horn of the beast
3) Downfall of Babylon
4) End of the Great Tribulation

If Rev was written in 95 AD, how were these 4 things fulfilled soon after?
Babylonian destruction in 586 BC had many books written about it.
God always raised up prophets before destroying.
What great city to Christians and Jews fell around 95 AD?
Rev has to be about Jerusalem, therefore written before 70 AD.

Rev 1:7 Every eye will see him, including those who pierced him.
Christ’s soon coming 3:11, 22:7, 22:12, 22:20

Josephus documented the day and hour of Jesus’ appearing, Matt 24. Temple was still standing in Rev 11 Measuring the temple implied its doom.

Jerusalem is the great city: Rev 11:8, 18:24, Like 13:33; Mt 23:29-39. Implies AD 70.

Rev 11:8 dead bodies lying in streets defiled the Holy City.

Pre 66 Date
Before John died in Neronic persecution 64-66
AD. 66 AD outbreak of Jewish war cut tribulation (persecution of church) short.

Pre 64 Date
Rev predicts Neronic persecution, implies a pre 64 AD date.
The 7 churches were stable and Judaizer activity was occurring, therefore before Neronic persecution of AD 64

62 Date
Hebrews was written 62 or 63 AD, therefore Revelation before late 62 AD (missed why).
1 Pe 5:13 – She who is in Babylon…
1 Pe written in 63 AD, therefore Rev pre 63 AD.
John wrote Rev while in exile on Patmos
Per Josephus, James and companions arrested by Annus II

John in Patmos by early summer 62 AD
Rev written May to Dec 62 AD

An Introduction to and Praise of the Corporate Body View (CBV)

Establishing Himself as the fulfillment of all that was hoped for, Jesus Christ said:

“I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet he shall live: and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this (John 11:25)”.

The Christian believes Jesus Christ to be the fulfillment of all that Israel longed for. The Apostle Paul explained the “hope of resurrection” best when he testified before governor Felix in Acts chapter 24:14-15:

“But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and the Prophets: having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked”.

When we go back to the beginning of the Biblical story we read that Adam suffered death because of disobedience and this “death” was manifested as his being cut off from the garden of Eden and accessing the Tree of Life (essentially the true life manifested in the presence of God), as well as a return to dust. This “death” effected him while he was alive, as well as after he biologically died. His progeny, Israel, began to have a hope for resurrection after they “like Adam transgressed the covenant (cf. Hosea 6:7)”. The Law of Moses was given to Israel as an “atonement” (a covering that provided life when they walked in obedience – cf. Deuteronomy 30:15). However, instead of walking in obedience, Israel walked in disobedience and reaped death. Like the death of Adam, this death effected Israel while they were alive, as well as after biological death. This death was a covenant reality for all of Israel as they failed to walk in obedience to the Law of Moses, however the Law and the Prophets hoped for the “resurrection of the dead”.

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law (1 Corinthians 15:56)”

When we begin to examine the “hope of Israel” otherwise known as the “resurrection of the dead” through Scripture we arrive at an understanding of the corporate “bodily hope”. Understanding the focal point of this “bodily hope” as a “corporate reality” which establishes eternal life for the dead and the living, is referred to as the Corporate Body View (Salvation in the Body of Christ). This view is in contrast to what is often referred to as the IBV (Individual Body View), which demands that the doctrine of the “resurrection of the dead” involves an individual body that the saints receive – an Individual Body at Death (IBD). CBV advocates demonstrate that the “resurrection passages” found throughout the Bible are speaking about the “change” (alasso in the Greek) of the living saints and the making stand upright (apantesis in the Greek) of the “dead ones” into one immortal “corporate body” (the glorified Body of Christ). CBV advocates also assert that none of the “resurrection passages” found throughout Scripture, nor the “hope of Israel” otherwise known as the doctrine of the “resurrection of the dead”, pertain to any kind of individual body that the saints received or will receive. This is simply a false notion regarding the goal of eschatology that has been passed on throughout Church History, and is built upon faulty presuppositions as well as assumptions (Futurism, the Immortality of the Soul, the Resurrection of the Flesh, to name a few).

“He is the Head of the Body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything (Colossians 1:18)”.

A simple reading through the context of the Apostles Paul’s hope and his writings, say for example reading through the Book of Romans, will show that the “bodily hope” is detailing the death to one body and “newness of life” found in another. This is the Body of which Christ is the Head. It is important to note how Israel under the Law of Moses was understood to be a corporate people, and the Greeks are well known for their great “assemblies” or “bodies” (soma in the Greek) which they boasted in regards to. It was dying to these assemblies/bodies of identification and the being raised into the Body of Christ which would have been readily understood by people inclusively focused as the original audience was. This is what much of the “bodily talk” in the New Testament pertains to. This is a concept that a Hellenized spirituality (a spirituality based upon otherworldly notions that come from the imaginations of men as seen and passed on through Greco-Roman culture), or a 21st century mindset is not necessarily predisposed to.

Also, a Biblical consistency is revealed when we understand the narrative and the context of the “hope of Israel”. The death being defeated through Jesus Christ and the life being offered as represented through baptism begins to make sense. The resurrection of which Colossians 1:8 says that which is first in surely couldn’t be physical biological resurrection since we see this happen many times throughout the Scriptures. Also, as we study the Law and the Prophets, we see how unnecessary discussion about individual realities becomes and instead we develop the a prophetic imagination and get brought into the corporate reality fulfilled through Jesus Christ.

As we continue to see reformation happen within the Body of Christ, especially pertaining to eschatological details (which the “resurrection of the dead” is involved with), we need to move away from these strange notions of and focuses on individual realities, and instead cling to what we might call “resurrection realities”. Consider two texts that pointed to the hope of resurrection and what the outcome would be:

“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever (Daniel 12:2-3)”.

“And the Lord God will save them in that day as the flock of His people; for they are as the stones of a crown, sparkling in His land. For what comeliness and beauty will be theirs! Grain will make the young men flourish, and new wine the virgins (Zechariah 9:16-17)”.

The “resurrection of the dead” is the ultimate conclusion of fulfilled Bible prophecy. The fulfillment of the every joy and tittle of the Law and the Prophets it all that the prophets longed and hoped for. In and through that fulfillment the Mystery of the Ages would be revealed The living and the dead would and were raised into a new “bodily experience” when the Messiah fulfilled all that was necessary for the restitution of all things. The Apostle Paul detailed the overcoming of the covenantal death, which was lamented through the Prophets in this manner:

“But when this perishable will have put on the the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting”.

Praise God for the Corporate Body Resurrection! The Glorified Immortal Body of Christ where Resurrection and Life is found.

 

 

MORE ARTICLES OF PASTOR MICHAEL MIANO’S ON THE CBV VIEW:

https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/resurrection-of-the-dead-ones/

https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/1-corinthians-15-summaries/

https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/the-effect-of-a-fulfilled-corporate-gospel/

https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/the-hope-of-israel-transition-part-3/

Reviewing the Revelation Revealed Bible Conference (Part 2)

You can read part 1 of this review at the following link, https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/reviewing-the-revelation-revealed-bible-conference-part-1/

Mr. Mert Melfa our video guy, put together all the videos from the Conference and emailed a link to those who he had on an email list. I wanted to provide the link again and in this public blog, so here it is – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1h2WwSa-8dMGmcP7qTKQ3pACwxgpvzBb

I pray that each of you have been blessed and edified by the videos that have been put out. I look forward to uploading the videos to The Power of Preterism Network’s page, where you can access the video footage for each year’s Annual Conference at BPBC. Here is a link to that page, http://www.powerofpreterism.com/preterism-.html

This year we had some returning speakers and we had some new ones.

Mr. Adam Maarschalk, of www.AdamMaarschalk.com, spoke to us about the Beast of Revelation. Adam has got to be one of the most studious and provider of some of the best and well-thought out blogs within the “preterist movement”. Each year he provides an awesome outline for his speaking presenations, which he provided on his website at the following link, https://adammaarschalk.com/2017/04/09/who-was-the-beast-five-clues-long-island-conference-presentation/

Ed Silsbe, a deacon at The Blue Point Bible Church, shared a detailed short story challenging us in regards to compassion. Utilizing a write up called “The Self Improvement of Salvatore Ross”

Deacon Ed Silsbe always highlights a good story and hits home with a message. And if Mr. Silsb’e story wasn’t enough to get us thinking, we had Herman, of Herman & Nudix challenge us with a comedic skit regarding “What Were They Thinking?”.

Dr. Don K. Preston, of the Preterist Research Institute, offered a stirring and evangelistic message through a video presentation. And Pastor Steve Schilling, who also serves at The Blue Point Bible Church, preached the Gospel of the Kingdom at the Sunday “Worship Service”.

Two speakers who were new to our conference were Mr. Daniel Morais of www.RevelationRevolution.org, and Mr. William Vincent. Mr. Daniel Morais gave a 30 minute lecture regarding “the parousia of Christ” and has continually been a go to resource regarding the details found in Scripture, especially in regards to the Book of Revelation. And Mr. William Vincent offered an honest and humble approach to looking at worship and the role of the Body of Christ as seen in and through the Book of Revelation.

Again listen to all of these and more at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1h2WwSa-8dMGmcP7qTKQ3pACwxgpvzBb

I look forward to offering a couple more reviews as we look at the notes taken and shared from some others guests who attended the conference, as well as some critical review of the debate between myself and Pastor Earl Wallace, of Liberty Christian Fellowship.

In Service to Him,

Pastor Michael Miano

Sam, Stop Talking…: A Review of the Smackdown on RR

RR = Reviewing Revelation podcast w/ Travis Finley

I want to start this review of a podcast I recently listened to by offering up some context. I debated Mr. Sam Frost in February 2013. Mr. Frost left the “Full Preterist view” as I came into it back in 2012. Sam Frost among others has been vicious in attitude and blatantly rude toward Full Preterism since he left. I must say, I respect Sam Frost’s work when he was a Full Preterist and his willingness to continue to have these discussions with Full Preterists (being one of the few willing Futurists who are willing to engage in controversial discussion on such crucial issues). The resources and edification he has provided in favor of the Preterist view cannot be denied. He published a hardly making sense book on why he left Full Preterism by the title “Why I Left Full Preterism”. You purchase it at the following link, https://store.americanvision.org/products/why-i-left-full-preterism

It was all of that which precipitated by debating him in 2013. You can watch that debate on Youtube at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz4JEGAsumE

Ever since that debate and all the ad hom attacks that were made following it, I have been persistent in telling leaders and teachers to not give Sam Frost any attention. He has been proven wrong and silly not only in the debate we had, but his reasoning for leaving Full Preterism behind. However, I must say…Mr. Finley did an amazing job exposing the inconsistencies of “Partial Preterism” as well as highlighted the illogical mind of Sam Frost.

Travis Finley highlighted some of what he referred to as “hermeneutical hiccups”, namely detailing how problematic it is to take Matthew chapter 24 and agree about the destruction of Jerusalem being a focal point (obviously if you read Matthew 24:3 as well as Luke 19:41-44) and then switch the point and make it about the end of the world. Sam Frost tried to assert that verse 36 diverges and it becomes about the end of the world. Yikes! All of this just further serves to demonstrate as Mr. Finley rightly noted, “a pre-commitment to futurism”. Talk about hermeneutical gymnastics!

After listening to Travis and Sam talk about the “perpescuity of Scripture”, I was urged to rethink that concept I haven’t heard in quite some time. Here is a link to the Theopedia defintion, http://www.theopedia.com/clarity-of-scripture

Sam Frost went on quite a few rants, however in one specific one he began to detail all the different 2nd Temple eschatologies that had developed within the culture that Jesus Christ came to. I absolutely loved Travis’ “I don’t give a hoot” response. Sam Frost clearly doesn’t care how silly it sounds to say the disciples didn’t understand the details being written to them however we do (which is an argument he usually tries to twist and use against Full Preterists). Here is an example. When Sam accuses Full Preterists of having an understanding that the original audience would not have had this is usually based on his ignorance of the topic and how it was understood in this context (no worries this can be alleviated by a little bit of historical and cultural context of details found in Scripture). However when Sam is cornered on contradictions within his view he asserts that there is a “sophisticated world of eschatology” that even the Apostles did not understand. Whoa!

The discussion that Travis and Sam had about “heaven and earth” was very telling. I must acknowledge Travis’ calm demeanor and clear detailing during the show (in obvious contrast to Mr. Frost’s aggressiveness). Even those listening with me referred to Mr. Finley as the “calm guy” and recognized the need to pray for Mr. Frost. Also, Sam Frost clearly doesn’t understand poetic language. Travis did great in the discussion regarding poetic language and the use of Psalm 102. Sam went on a rant about “poetic bones” which was very revealing in regards to his reading of Biblical literature. Boy oh boy has he intellectually reverted.

The final discussion on the “death of Adam” surely was silly. Ultimately it led to a usual confusion and immediate attack that happens when people are told to take a step back and look at Scripture through the proper historical and cultural context, and then find your place in the narrative. Not surprising of 21st century Bible teachers who want to cling to “traditional teachings seemingly be as indivividualist ego-eccentric as the rest of the culture. Thus Mr. Frost’s rant about people dying, suffering, and those stuck in depravity.

I loved the broadcast and was inspired to write a quick review. Here is the link to the podcast, https://www.spreaker.com/user/rtb4tftx/episode-54-smackdown-rr-style-baby

Thanks Travis! Your a blessing to the Body!

Blessings in Christ Jesus,

Pastor Michael Miano