Same Hope As These Men – Resurrection

We are currently reading through ‘The Final Decade Before The End’ by Ed Stevens in our Saturday Morning Bible Study at The Blue Point Bible Church. The Final Decade Before The End is a must have study resource regarding the first century political/social/theological climate and how our New Testament was put together. I have previous mentioned to Mr. Stevens how great of a resource this book is – minus, of course the erroneous details he shares regarding the resurrection of the dead. 

As Mr. Stevens outlines the missionary journey’s of the Apostle Paul, he goes on to mark out an important question, “What kind of resurrection was Paul preaching?”. He directly cites the following verses: 

“…when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question (Acts 23:6)”. 

having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked (Acts 24:15)”. 

“…other than for this one statement which I shouted out while standing among them, ‘For the resurrection of the dead I am on trial before you today.’ (Acts 24:21)”. 

“But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you.” (Acts 24:25)”. 

Mr. Stevens goes on to say, “These statements are interesting for a lot of reasons, not only because of their affirmations of imminency, but even more so in regard to the nature of this “about to be” (Gk. mello) resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. If Paul was thinking of a collective body of Jewish believers being raised out of covenantally-dead Judaism, why would he mention “both the righteous and the wicked” being raised?” And he furthermore says, “Those who teach the Collective Body resurrection view have not been able to satisfactorily explain Paul’s language here”. 

This statement is without merit because nothing in the verses, nor in what Mr. Stevens says in the this whole particular section, demonstrates why the Corporate Body View of the resurrection of the dead is in error. Rather, it would seem that Mr. Stevens is failing to understand what is being put forth as the proper perspective by CBV proponents. In a previous blog I had written, An Introduction To And Praise of the Corporate Body View, I explained 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).”. In order for that ‘resurrection reality’ to occur, there needed to be a resurrection of the righteous and the wicked and a judgement, thus offering the promise to one and condemnation to the other. This is what is put forth in Daniel chapter 12. In teaching after teaching, debate after debate, CBV proponents such as Dr. Don K. Preston, Dr. William Bell, Holger Neubauer, among many others, have explained the corporate body view being inclusive of a necessary resurrection of the righteous and the wicked, yet a continued standing and glorification of those in Christ, i.e., the Church. Oddly enough, Ed Stevens goes on to affirm the very essence of the corporate body view, “We simply affirm, like Paul and the Pharisees, that at the Parousia the souls of the Old Testament saints would be raised out of Hades and judged”.

Futurists, and clearly some Preterists alike, have sought to cite Acts 24:15, wherein the Apostle Paul says he has “the same hope as these men”, referring to the Pharisees, as proof that the ‘resurrection of the dead’ is about an individual- ethereal reality, but this is flawed. The Apostle Paul qualifies the source of the resurrection of the dead hope as the Law and the Prophets, not intertestimental-literature, not tradition, nor apologetics regarding Gnosticism and disembodied spirits. The Law and the Prophets! Obviously the Apostle Paul had a different perspective of the hope of Resurrection, since Jesus Christ is the resurrection (cf. ) and only those who have Spiritual-discernment can understand these things (cf. 1 Cor. 2:), but, his source was the same as the Pharisees. 

It is vital that we return back to understanding the Biblical narrative, especially as it outlined in the Law and the Prophets, to best understand the theological realities we enjoy today in Jesus Christ. Recently, Bible teacher, Larry Siegle, of Fulfilled Dynamics, has been writing articles highlight the Biblical narrative and God’s eternal purpose throughout the ages, and more recently he wrote one on resurrection. In his article, RESURRECTION: God’s ‘Purpose of the Ages’, he highlights the areas of controversy regarding the ‘resurrection of the dead’ that were taking place in the early church.  Visit the following link to enjoy that resource, https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2020/11/21/resurrection-gods-purpose-of-the-ages/

Ironically, this morning I woke up to a social media reminder of something I posted 6 years ago – a quote by William Bell. He said, “At the core of the false teaching of ‘individual physical resurrection’ in Greek dualistic anthropology and Western individualism”. 

I conclude with an affirmation I put forth in the aforementioned blog I had written, An Introduction To…, “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.” 

  • Michael Miano

P.S. – If you’d like to watch the public discussion of our differences regarding the ‘resurrection of the dead’ that I had with Mr. Ed Stevens in July 2017 at The Niagara Preterist Confence, you can do so at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7zaUtNfLC0

RESURRECTION: God’s “Purpose of the Ages”

In the previous article, ‘SALVATION’: “God’s Purpose of the Ages” what was covered was the concept that the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation refers to the process of redemptive history. The first 39 books of the Bible (OT) contain the inspired historical narrative of the time of promise and prophecy. The last 27 books of the Bible (NT) contain the historical narrative of the time of fulfillment and the realization of what had been promised and prophesied.The Bible refers to the “resurrection of the dead” as the “hope of Israel” (Acts 28:20). The apostle Paul was arrested and was being persecuted over the issue of the “resurrection of the dead”: “…Men! Brothers! I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee! I am being judged because of the hope and resurrection of the dead” (Acts 23:6).Without an examination of the background comes the danger of reading the text through 21st-century eyes rather than the immediate context of the fulfillment of God’s “purpose of the ages” (Eph. 3:11).

THE ISSUE OF JEW/GENTILE INCLUSION AND SOLIDARITY

In order to understand the presentation of the apostle in his letter to the church in Corinth and their denial of the “resurrection of the dead” (I Cor. 15) it is vital that consideration be given to the primary issue of Jew/Gentile solidarity (the attainment of becoming “one body” in Christ).Paul is identified as the “apostle of the nations (Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13; I Tim. 2:7; II Tim. 1:11). Ananias was told at the time of Paul’s conversion, “…this one is a chosen vessel to Me, to bear My name before nations and kings and the sons of Israel” (Acts 9:15). In his letter to the Romans, the “gospel of Christ” was taken to both the Jews and Gentiles (Rom. 1:16). He preached “to the Jew first” and also to people of the “nations” (Acts 9:20-22; 13:46; 28:17).When reading through Romans and Ephesians the “purpose of the ages” (Eph. 3:11) becomes evident in the bringing of Jews/Gentiles together into one “community” of faith. This solidarity of Jews/Gentiles as “one body” in Christ (Eph. 4:4) through the “gospel of Christ” (Rom. 1:16) had previously been kept a “mystery” or ‘sacred secret.” Paul writes:“which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, that the nations should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partaker of His promise in Christ through the gospel” (Eph. 3:5, 6).During the “last days” (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21), the progressive nature of preaching of the “gospel of Christ” is outlined in the book of Acts. Speaking to the apostles, Jesus said: “But you shall receive power, the Holy Spirit coming upon you. And you shall be witnesses to Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8 emphasis added).Beginning on the Day of Pentecost 30 CE, the gospel was preached to those in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas of Judea (Acts 2:14-47; 3:12-26; 4:1-33; 5:29-42; 6:8-7:54). The gospel spread into Samaria (Acts 8:4-40). Those of the region of Samaria or “Samaritans” (II Kings 17:29) were identified as: “the Israelite inhabitants of the Northern Kingdom. In subsequent history, it denotes a people of mixed origin, composed of the peoples brought by the conqueror from Babylon and elsewhere to take the places of the expatriated Israelites and those who were left in the land” (ISBE)“The descendants of the Cuthites, Avvites, Sepharvites, and Hamathites, established by Sargon in Samaria after he had put an end to the Israelite kingdom” (Hastings). “Such were the Samaritans of our Lord’s day; a people distinct from the Jews, though lying in the very midst of the Jews; a people preserving their identity, though seven centuries had rolled away since they had been brought from Assyria by Esar-haddon…” (Smith).Among the inhabitants of the region of Samaria were those upon whom Jehovah had foretold (Lev. 26:38; Deut. 28:64) would face Divine Judgment because of their apostasy:“And I scattered them among the nations, and they were scattered through the lands. I judged them according to their way and according to their doings” (Ezek. 36:19).Those of the ten northern tribes (Israel) were carried away from their land as captives by Assyria in 721 BCE. The two southern tribes (Judah) were taken into Babylonian captivity in 586 BCE at the time when the city of Jerusalem and the temple built by Solomon were destroyed. The “gospel of Christ” was spreading from Jerusalem and Judea (to the Jews) into the region of the people of “mixed origin” (Samaritans) who had been from among the people of the “scattered” northern tribes of Israel, but who were considered unclean by the Jews.The Samaritans “…believed Philip preaching the gospel, the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women” (Acts 8:12). Even as the apostle Peter had used the “keys of the Kingdom” (Matt. 16:19) to open the door of salvation to those on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-47), he and the apostle John were also sent to use the “keys of the Kingdom” (Matt. 16:19) to open the door for the preaching of the “gospel of Christ” to the Samaritans and for them to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 814-17).In preparation for his ministry to the “nations” (Gentiles), the conversion account of Saul of Tarsus (the apostle Paul) is recorded in Acts 9. It was with the conversion of “Cornelius…in Caesarea, a centurion of the Italian cohort” (Acts 10:1) that the inclusion of non-covenant, people of the “nations” began as the “gospel of Christ” was now spreading to the “uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8 ASV) as Jesus had foretold.It was from the time of the conversation of Cornelius that the quest for Jew/Gentile solidarity into “one body” (Eph. 4:4) was underway. At the heart of Pauline theology is the controversy that had arisen between those Jewish believers and those who had entered “into Christ” (Gal. 3:26-29) consisting of people from the Gentile “nations” (non-covenant people).The apostle Paul, throughout Romans, addresses the issue and the pride that had arisen among the Gentiles over against the Jewish believers. The vast increase in the numbers of these Gentiles led to some believing that God had “cast aside” (Rom. 11:1, 2) Israel and abandoned the “promises made to the fathers” (Rom. 15:8). The apostle Paul addresses the prideful attitude of the Gentiles and the consequences of it. The inclusion of the people from the “nations” was to provoke Israel to jealousy: “I say then, Did they not stumble that they fall? Let it not be! But by their slipping away came salvation to the nations, to provoke them to jealousy” (Rom. 11:11).Jesus said, “salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22), and since the promise given long before to Abraham was to his “seed” (Israel), the blessing to “all the families of the earth” (Gen. 12:1-3) was related to the eventual solidarity of Jews/Gentiles to whom the “gospel of Christ” (Rom. 1:16) was being taken. It is clear that, through the Cross, Israel had been ‘set aside’ as a nation in covenant with God because of their rejection of Jesus as Messiah.The “last days” between the Cross and 70 CE was, for Israel, a time of where God’s grace through the “gospel of Christ” was extended to them before the time of Divine Judgment and the “end of the age” would take place (Matt. 24:3). God opened the door to people of the “nations” because of the Jewish rejection of the preaching of the gospel:“It was necessary for the Word of God to be spoken to you first. But since indeed you put it far from you and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the nations” (Acts 13:46).As it pertains to those issues related to the “resurrection of the dead” of I Corinthians 15, the apostle Paul discusses in Romans the symbiotic relationship or interconnectedness that was essential between Jews and Gentiles. On the one hand, was the seeming rejection or casting away of Israel for the reconciliation that God was accomplishing through Jesus, but also that through Israel’s reception would also come the hoped for “resurrection”:“For if their casting away is the reconciling of the world, what is the reception except life from the dead? (Rom. 11:15)Regarding this discussion of the apostle Paul in Romans 11, John E. Toews, in the Believers Church Bible Commentary, writes:“Paul’s passion for the Jews is critical because the salvation of the Gentiles and the world ultimately depends upon the salvation of Israel. While the structure of v. 15 is the same as v. 12, the language in v. 15 is more positive and defining. If Israel’s current “rejection” of the gospel already means reconciliation for the world, which it does as demonstrated in the Gentile mission and churches, then the acceptance of the gospel by Israel as a people will mean the eschatological resurrection from the dead. The redemption of the world depends on the salvation of Israel.” [1] There was no separate ‘plan of salvation’ for people of the “nations” apart from the “promises made to the fathers” (Rom. 15:8) that was realized through Jesus as Israel’s Messiah. The connection between the promises and the fulfillment was inseparable. The prideful attitude of the Jews, earlier rebuked by Paul in Romans requires the same sort of rebuke for these Gentiles in believing they have somehow ‘displaced’ Israel altogether. Toews continues in his thoughts: “The Gentile believers are looking down on the Jews in their hardened state and saying that God has turned away from them once and for all. The Gentile Christians have displaced the Jews; the salvation of the Gentiles is now the crowning work of God. The problem created by Gentile boasting is just as serious as Jewish boasting in ethnic righteousness. In both cases, one group within God’s inclusive people is saying we are “the elect,” “the saved,” and “what we have you cannot have.” [2]

CONCLUSION

This short article is introductory material in order to ascertain the issues that were facing the apostle Paul and the church during the first century CE. Out of the controversy that existed over Jew/Gentile inclusion and solidarity into “one body” arose the issue of the “resurrection of the dead”–the very “dead” to which Romans 11 alludes. The seeming abandonment of Israel in favor of Gentile inclusion had generated a question in the minds of those Corinthians related to “the dead” and whether or not their resurrection was now in jeopardy.By calling into question the resurrection of “the dead” the Corinthians were also calling into question the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah of Israel.It will be shown that the identity of those to whom the apostle Paul refers as “the dead” differs from his distinct and separate reference in the context of I Corinthians 15 as “those that fell asleep in Christ” (I Cor. 15:18; I Thess. 4:14).[Please take the time to examine the Scriptures to confirm the points made in this article are true and valid. The next installment will be very soon]

ENDNOTES

  1. John E. Toews, Romans, Believers Church Bible Commentary (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2004), 278.
  2. ibid, 279

Written by: Larry Siegle/ Fulfilled Dynamics

“Feasts of the Lord” – An Ongoing Resource

  • New details for Preterist Power Hour 

Starting tonight, Thursday, Nov., 12th – Edward Howell will join Michael Miano as co-host for Preterist Power Hour at 6:30pm et., and everything Thursday night to follow. Join with us for an hour as we seek to demonstrate the power of Preterism. 

We will not only bring out edifying information and studies, but will also  invite others and special guests to join us for these sessions. 

Our first marked out study we’d like to embark upon is the theological foundation of the feasts of Israel. 

Below you will find the shareable graphic for our Preterist Power Hour sessions, but you will also find a running blog we will maintain with study resources regarding the ‘feasts of the Lord’ (marked out by feast). 

Tune in through The Power of Preterism Network’ Facebook Live (or) watch the recording on YouTube. Simply search for The Power of Preterism Network. 

Feasts in General 

https://bibleprophecy.com/blog/2017/07/25/two-priesthoods-and-the-passing-of-the-law-of-moses-1/

https://donkpreston.com/the-passing-of-the-law-of-moses-israels-feast-days-and-eschatology-2/

Passover 

https://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/transcripts/leviticus/lev-23_04-05_feast-passover.htm

https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2020/04/10/the-spiritually-discerned-passover/

https://www.buzzsprout.com/607474/3220153-chronicles-of-josephus-history-historical-revision-the-life-passover

https://www.buzzsprout.com/607474/3306709-chronicles-of-josephus-biblical-transitional-celebrations-of-passover?fbclid=IwAR0KDdOJ4nCM_11Baceg3C7dW-NFJBgb9bHU1su2kSporbdeE7O2ZtxYOuA

https://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/39992/jewish/Passover-Torah-Readings.htm/fbclid/IwAR0PhhGCCOGhju81XUuQ0jqSCbsW_2KsypKTPdI9Iqlk0rk43E6yvs6ZLcw

http://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/260554-returning-to-our-first-love-exodus-19-7-exodus-35-19-resurrection-sunday

http://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/756863-remember-the-judgements-exodus-chapters-12-13

Feast of Unleavened Bread

https://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/transcripts/leviticus/lev-23_06-08_feast-unleavened.htm

Feast of Firstfruits 

https://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/transcripts/leviticus/lev-23_09-14_feast-first-fruits.htm

Feast of Week/ Pentecost/ Shavout 

https://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/transcripts/leviticus/lev-23_15-22_feast-pentecost.htm

http://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/1259399-6-9-pentecost-sunday-special-music-sermon

Feast of Trumpets 

https://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/transcripts/leviticus/lev-23_23-25_feast-trumpets.htm

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/feast-trumpets/

Day of Atonement/ Yom Kippur 

https://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/transcripts/leviticus/lev-23_26-32_feast-atonement.htm

https://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/transcripts/leviticus/lev-23_26-32_feast-atonement02.htm

http://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/427654-beingchristian-contextual-clues-through-rosh-hoshana

Feast of Tabernacles / Sukkot 

https://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/transcripts/leviticus/lev-23_33-44_feast-tabernacles.htm

http://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/311966-messianic-sukkot-presentation-minister-vincent-dibrico

ACCOMPLISHED SALVATION – God’s Purpose of the Ages (Eph. 3:11)

Everything in everyday life involves a process! According to the Dictionary, the definition of a process involves, “a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.” By “particular end’ means that the purpose, or goal of the steps taken is accomplished.For example, a person wakes up in the morning from a restful night of sleep and begins the process of getting ready for the activities of the day ahead. Another illustration might be the plans, preparation, and construction necessary for a contractor to build a house or the process used on the assembly line of a car manufacturer to put all of the necessary pieces together in order to achieve the “particular end” of the finished product of a new vehicle.The achievement of the “particular end” of the process brings to a close the process involved but what remains is the finished product which remains at the purpose or goal of the process itself. What is the significance of this concept to what is revealed in the Scriptures about God’s “purpose of the ages” (Eph. 3:11)?

THE BIBLE PROCESS OF REDEMPTIVE HISTORY

In order to understand God’s “purpose of the ages” (Eph. 3:11) one must first step back and gain a fresh perspective of what is contained within the inspired Scriptures (II Tim. 3:16, 17). The first 39 books of the Bible (OT) are a historical narrative involving a time of promise and prophecy. Beginning with the creation account in Genesis, the Biblical narrative reveals the progressive nature of the unfolding of God’s purpose.The last 27 books of the Bible (NT) are a historical narrative that documents the realization and fulfillment of what had been foretold throughout the first 39 books. These were “the promises made to the fathers” (Acts 13:22; 26:6; Rom. 15:8). Speaking to the crowds gathered, the apostle Peter said: “But those things which God before had shown by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He fulfilled in this manner…And also all the prophets from Samuel and those following after, as many as spoke, have likewise foretold of these days.” (Acts 3:18, 24).

THE DAYS OF FULFILLMENT

The “these days” to which Peter referred were the very “last days” (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21) of the Old Covenant “age” into which the nation of Israel had entered at the time John the Baptizer began preaching his message of Divine judgment: “But seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said to them, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?…And now also, the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire. whose fan is in His hand, and He will cleanse His floor and gather His wheat into the storehouse, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matt. 3:7, 10, 12).On the Day of Pentecost 30 CE, the apostle Peter warned those gathered to “…Be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:40), the same “generation of vipers” (Matt. 3:7) to whom John the Baptizer had preached the message of judgment and of the approaching arrival of the “kingdom of the heavens” (Matt. 3:2). The “gospel of the Kingdom of God’ (Mark 1:14) was taken up by Jesus and his disciples, warning Israel of approaching judgment, telling them, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God draws near. Repent, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15).The time of fulfillment had been set into motion and God’s “purpose of the ages” (Eph. 3:11) was in the process of realization during those “last days”–between the Cross and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. The apostle Paul also referred to the believers living near the “end of the age” (Matt. 24:3; 28:20) as “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15). The same “generation” referenced earlier by John the Baptizer, Jesus during His earthly ministry (Matt. 23:35, 36), and by Peter and the apostle, Paul would soon face God in Divine judgment.These facts help one to better understand that God’s “purpose of the ages” (Eph. 3:11) that had begun with Adam and Eve in Genesis was carried forward through the process of redemptive history through the end of the book of Revelation. Nothing God’s promised had failed to come to pass! What was foretold in the Old Testament in the “promises made to the fathers” (Rom. 15:8) was being realized in the first century CE.

PROMISES MADE AND PROMISES KEPT

It is important for those living today–beyond the time of “these days” of fulfillment to understand that we now live in the outcome to which the process of redemptive history had pointed forward to. It is a common, but unfortunate mistake to somehow attempt to enter the already completed process of what God had foretold would be accomplished. How so?When God spoke to Noah commanding him to build the ark of protection (Gen. 6:14), the process involved certain dimensions, specific kinds of materials, and the gathering of the animals into the ark before the appointed time. It then rained 40 days and 40 nights, after which the ark came to rest and Noah and his family exited from it (Gen. 8:16-22). Did Noah and his sons, the very next day start all over and begin to once again build another ark? No! There was no need to repeat the process because God’s purpose for the ark had been fulfilled.During the time of Moses, the nation of Israel wandered in the wilderness for a period of 40 years after which Joshua brought Israel into the land that had been promised to them. Did the next generation of children that had been born in the land of promise then need to return back into the wilderness to also experience 40 years of wandering? No! The purpose of God for the time of wilderness wandering had been fulfilled and therefore the children born in the land of promise were meant to experience the benefits of that land.

FULFILLED CONFUSION

It is not necessary for the people of God living today to create a continual repetition of what took place during the “last days” of the Old Covenant age. The OT prophet Isaiah foretold the time of the arrival of a “new heavens and a new earth” (Isa. 65:17; 66:22). The apostle Peter, during “these days” of the first century encouraged his fellow believers, “But according to His promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (II Pet. 3:13). And a short time later, the apostle John referred to the very time of arrival of the promised “new heavens and a new earth” (Rev. 21:1-3).There are most certainly principles that were in the process of beginning revealed as part of the “everlasting covenant’ (Heb. 13:20) and the “everlasting gospel” (Rev. 14:6) that would give believers “everlasting life” (John 3:16; 17:3) that remain in place even today. However, the “And the peace of God which passes all understanding” (Phil 4:7) sustains the Covenant people of God today who enter into the “promises made to the fathers” (Rom. 15:8) by faith in Christ (Gal. 3:26-29).

CONCLUSION

There will be more to follow the substance of this short article but it is the hope of this writer that believers will pause from the stress and strife of the arguments that often arise over fulfillment and see clearly that the God of the Bible has accomplished the goal of redemptive history and that we simply enter into what God has provided:

√. The process of salvation is complete

√. The coming of the Lord has taken place.

√. The resurrection of the dead has been accomplished

√. The Kingdom of God is established.

√. The New Covenant is established.

People today entered into the accomplished reality to which the process of redemptive history had foretold would be realized at the “end of the age.” The reality is now present, why not take the steps of faith to enter into what God has done and accomplished.

Written by: Larry Siegle/ Fulfilled Dynamics

End Time Resurrection Debate Review: Israel vs. Holloway

One of the more focused on topics within Preterist theology is the understanding of the ‘resurrection of the dead’. I, as a Full Preterist who holds to the Corporate Body View (CBV) of the ‘resurrection of the dead’ assert that the ‘resurrection of the dead’ is not a universal yet-future promise, but rather was something that was hoped for by a particularly people and was past-fulfilled in a corporate way. There have been a variety of debates recently focused on whether the ‘resurrection of the dead’ is future/physical or past/spiritual. I have provided a list of the most recent debates below: 

Miano/Debate Debatehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFLmRpxRhN4&t=1s

Graham/Holloway Debatehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7o3VcoGMAc&t=9s

Israel/ Holloway Debatehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGQO7jt0UC0

Regarding the topic of the ‘resurrection of the dead’ alone, you can find a host of resources at MGW Apologetics (www.mianogonewild.wordpress.com) as well as through this blog, www.powerofpreterism.wordpress.com.  

What I’d like to do in this blog is provide a review of the most recent one of those aforementioned debates – Elvin Israel and Michael Holloway. 

First, I’d like to share two quotes I pulled from the Opening Statements of these men. 

‘Elvin Israel Israel explained the position he would be offering and why that would be important by stating, “a different perspective…the problem we are running into in the 21st century…is that we have forgotten the foundation upon which the Scriptures were written, we have stepped away from the historical information and we put it in our time-frame, our own personal narratives”. All throughout the debate, Elvin sought to honor the principle of audience relevance to which Mike Holloway could not argue against. 

I appreciated that Elder Michael Holloway highlighted the sufficiently of Scripture at the beginning of the debate, in his encouragement that, “…each and every one of you to LISTEN VERY INTENTLY TO THE TEXTS because at the end of the day, and I’ll be quoting some history, I’m sure Elvin will be quoting some history, and we will be quoting some background information on a lot of places, but at the end of the day, ONLY THE SCRIPTURES ARE INSPIRED BY GOD, and the Scripture has to be the authority in all that we do”. Amen and amen. 

Elvin opening up by going to Daniel chapters 9-12, and demonstrated that Josephus, being a Jew, had the understanding that these prophesies were being fulfilled in the first century. In the cross-examination, when pressed by Elvin about the correlation of the “books” and judgement in Daniel correlating to the book of Revelation, Holloway not only tries to assert a confused hermeneutic of reading through apocalyptic literature, he admitted to not having a strong understanding of the texts, but that he does see an “Israelite focus”.  Mike Holloway began his opening by setting up a false dichotomy between the 1st century Apostles and Church history and which he referred to as “my opponents view which surfaced to popularly in the 1970’s.” (Elvin Israel’s view).  Later in the debate, Holloway goes on the cite church Fathers and demonstrates not only a failure to discern and apply historical witness to our understanding of Scripture (an example would be the whole discussion regarding Philo), but also doesn’t understand how and why the Preterist asserts that Preterist got lost in the early church (please see, The Road Back to Preterism by Kurt Simmons; available at the following link, http://www.preteristcentral.com/The%20Road%20Back%20to%20Preterism.html

As I watched the debate, I made the following comment on my social media, “Church history and contemporary reality, as well pragmatic reality, continue to show that we cannot trust any particular generation of Christians thought’s over the other. We must study the ancient cultures, backgrounds, and immediate audience relevance (beyond citations of Church Fathers or commentaries) to best understand Biblical thought”. In that same vein, it seems as though many fail to realize the benefit, but also the problem, of highlighting 2nd Temple Literature. The benefit being our ability to learn and discern the variety of Jewish perspectives that arose after the house of Judah came out from Babylonian captivity and well into the 1st century. The problem with using that literature to assert doctrine though is that it was a period of confusion, division, and erroneous influence (be it Babylonian idolatry or Hellenism). Whether the people were united in their confusion or divided doesn’t make a difference – they were confused and as the prophet remarked, “there was a famine regarding the Word of God (cf. Amos 8:11). 

Holloway dismisses and or misunderstands the corporate nature of the New Testament texts (and thus the “hope of Israel), or vice versa. He brings up texts such as 1 John 3:2, 1 Corinthians 15:41, and Philippians 3 without recognising they are written to groups of people and thus to pronouns need to be understood as such. A great read on what is going on in the context of Philippians chapter 3, is David Green’s responses, https://fullpreterism.com/philippians-3-questionchallenge-on-what-deathresurrection-is-in-view/?fbclid=IwAR2787paLbD9rxVzAxxm2OUZbw8uLRRiK1HpMJ7ez1hUbUGABp0VtAIpzBA

As if Mike Holloway confusing the context of many passages wasn’t already on full display, we find him grasping at straws by asserting that we are still waiting for the “end of the world’ by asserting such texts as Revelation chapter 20 and 2 Peter chapter 3. Noting the textual correlation between the coming of the Son of Man and the flood of Noah’s day (cf. 2 Peter 3:1-9; Matthew 23:37-39; Luke 17:26), Michael Holloway went on to assert, “Noah’s destruction was absolutely global”. I am ever so grateful for the book Beyond Creation Science and the Covenant Creation view that helped me gain clarity on the contextual understanding of Genesis chapters 6-9. I have written extensively on that topic on my blog, mianogonewild.wordpress.com 

Running concurrent with the issues Futurist’s raise with the Preterist view of the ‘resurrection of the dead’ seems to be the assertion of Jesus Christ retaining some physical form to later return in, i.e., the end of the world. The obvious question that comes to mind for me is, ‘Why do the Futurist read into the text that Jesus Christ needs to be forever in a body?’. I have heard a variety of opinions offered up – some assert an “eternal incarnation” that Christ had with the Father before His 1st century incarnation (sounds confusing, I know), others simply hold to confusion regarding what happened after the physical resurrection and ascension of Christ, and others utilize Church Fathers and Creeds. Nonetheless, there is a lot of confusion within the Futurist camp in that regard though they assert it with such firmness. Mike Holloway tried to use texts such as Acts 1:9-11 and 1 John 3:2 to make his case to no avail. Not only do those texts made the case that Christ is now in some other form than the Apostles would have known and understood after His resurrection and ascension, but there is also the fact that
Christ not only made it clear when He would come in His kingdom, but also the nature of that coming (cf. Luke 17:20; John 16:16; Mark 9:1; Matthew 16:27-28). 

In the closing portion of the cross-examination, Elvin did a great job of outlining Revelation chapters 19-21. In Revelation chapter 19, we have the coming of the Lord with His saints (cf. 1 Thess. 4). In Revelation chapter 20, we have the resurrection of the dead (cf. Daniel 12; 1 Cor. 15). And lastly, in Revelation chapter 21 we have the change of the living and the ‘restoration of all things’. 

Overall I must say, as I posted on the original YouTube video of the debate, “I must say this debate was edifying in many ways! Thank you both – Elvin and Mike. The gracious attitude and intelligence in this video is strong! Praise God.”. 

Submitted for the edification of the saints, 
Pastor Michael Miano 

P.S. – William Bell’s 3 part review on All Things Fulfilled YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/c/AllthingsfulfilledEschatology/videos

Review of Caleb Graham’s, Resurrection Debate

Last week I had the privilege of sharing some of my thoughts regarding Caleb Graham’s recent debate with Mike Holloway regarding the ‘resurrection of the dead’. You can listen to that short review at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=723JxB0TbMc

In that review I shared thoughts regarding the “hope of Israel” through Hebraic perspective, especially as made known through the Law and the Prophets (i.e., the Old Testament).  I mentioned the importance of understanding the Old Testament narrative to gain insight regarding what the New Testament writers are pointing back to, especially pertaining to what we might understand the ‘resurrection of the dead’ to be (cf. Hosea 6:2; Hosea 13:14; Isaiah 25:8 – all of which the Apostle Paul quotes from). I mentioned a bit about “dust” and “corruption” as found throughout the Biblical narrative as well. In the debate, Caleb mentioned my resources, which I greatly appreciated. As pertaining to the topic of ‘dust’, I recommend reading and studying through my blog, ‘Man of Dust’, which can be found at then following link, https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/man-of-dust-genesis-ancient-near-eastern-origins/

In that blog, I assert, “‘Dust’ as used through Scripture and historical context also carries the thought of humility and desperation. When Adam and Eve sin and suffer “the death” due to sin, they are ashamed and hide themselves from God- no longer freely roaming in the blessedness of God’s garden as He provided to them. This will later be the story of fleshly Israel as well- they violate the command God gives them and thus suffer shame.”

Adam and Eve are now “dead”, as God told them the day they eat of the tree they shall surely die. God provides them with a covering and removes them from the Garden where they enjoyed God’s presence and possibility of “immortality” through the Tree of Life. From dust they were created, to dust they shall return.” 

Also, the topic of corruption, which Mike Holloway seems to want to relate to the physical human experience, this can be simple clarified by gaining what I refer to as a ‘narrative understanding’ of the topic. Simple go to BlueLetterBible.com and type in the words ‘corrupt’ and ‘corruption’ and survey the Scriptures that pertain to that topic. What became corrupt and why in the Old Testament? How does Jesus and all that was promised regarding the Messiah in the Old and New Testament deliver man from that corruption? 

I mentioned the all too often ‘presumptive thinking’ that is brought to the debate table with Futurists, rather than sincere examination, especially regarding the Church Fathers. Caleb did a great job mentioning issues with the Didache and also Church Fathers, which rather than understanding his point, Mike Holloway took opportunity to highlight a side issue (what he talked about regarding ‘prescriptive’ and ‘descriptive’ details). It was all too clear that Mike Holloway fails to see how and why much of his perspective is not properly studied out, nor in line with the Biblical narrative. For example, Mike Holloway tried to highlight that because Romans 8:21 used to word “creation” (ktisis in the Greek), that this must mean physical creation. Well, not only is that out-of-context regarding a proper understanding of Romans 8, in line with the “creation” that was corrupted due to the Law (of Moses), sin, and death. The Apostle’s understood “creation” to be far more limited than all physical creation in texts such as 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 1:23 1 Peter 2:13.  Also, Mike Holloway continued to borrow points from texts without seeking their Old Testament context. For example, in citing 1 Corinthians 15:4, he asserts this is all about Christ’s physical resurrection, when actually is was a citation, (“according to the Scriptures”), from Hosea 6:2. 

Caleb, from the very start of the debate, demonstrated the importance of taking seriously the imminent expectation of the first century Christians and time-statements, listing verses such as 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (wherein we read that some would be “alive and remain” up until the coming of the Lord), the last days mentioned in James 5:7-10 and Hebrews 10:36-37, and “that generation” of Matthew 24:34 (cf. Numbers 32:13). 

Mike Holloway tried to affirm that 1 Thessalonians 4:16 could not have happened yet because “the Lord Himself” must come physically. Caleb responded by citing Amos 2:9-10, how the Lord Himself led Israel out of Egypt. Nothing about that phrase demands a physical appearance of the Lord. 

Overall, Caleb Graham did a great job demonstrating the power of preterism (a past and Spiritual resurrection) and the flaws of the futurist view when it comes to a future and physical resurrection. 

You too can watch and review the debate between Caleb Graham and Mike Holloway regarding the ‘resurrection of the dead’ at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7o3VcoGMAc&t=8s

Sincerely submitted, 
Michael Miano, pastor 
The Blue Point Bible Church 
www.bluepointbiblechurch.org 

Examining Isaiah With NCMI Live

Bible teacher, Ward Fenley, has a ministry called New Creation Ministries International (http://www.newcreationministries.tv/). Mr. Fenley offers a variety of articles, sermons, and YouTube teachings through his ministry namely focused in on eschatology, proctology, and the sovereignty of God. 

This past Tuesday, September 8th, 2020, Michael Miano (director of TPPN and pastor at The Blue Point Bible Church) joined in on the live Zoom/ YouTube session of NCMI Live. The study and discussion was through Isaiah chapter 54, and next Tuesday will be Isaiah chapter 55. You can watch that video teaching at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nw-ukhddJc

Isaiah 54 (part of the larger context of Isaiah 49-55) is a beautiful description of the New Covenant and how the people of God hoped to put on righteousness. Much of the discussion between Fenley and Miano was highlighting the prophetic hopes and how they were given Apostolic commentary in the New Testament. Texts such as Galatians 4:21-31, Revelation 21:10-27, Hebrews 8, John 6:41-47, and Matthew 6:33 were offered up and discussed as pertaining to the hope of Israel. The closing of the NCMI Live teaching highlighted how the New Covenant and the grace, mercy, and love of God that is demonstrated through it is the “heritage of the servants of the Lord”. 

Also, following the study, the next morning’s devotional reading from Max Lucado highlighted the “clothing” that covers and identifies God’s people under the New Covenant. Consider the following graphic.

No photo description available.

Visit the website. Follow Ward Fenley on Facebook. Tune in on Tuesdays at 9:30pm et.  Be blessed by solid Bible teaching. 

“The whole Bible is about the contrast between self-righteousness and Christ’s righteousness”. – Ward Fenley

Date vs. Miano (Post-Debate Resources)

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On August 11th, 2020, Michael Miano, director of The Power of Preterism Network (www.powerofpreterism.com) debated Chris Date, apologist at ReThinkingHell.com. The subject of the debate was Chris Date affirming that “There Will Be A Future Physical Resurrection of the Dead”, to which Michael Miano offered the negative. This blog will provide not only the link to the debate, but also some of the follow-up resources that were provided.

You can watch that debate on YouTube at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFLmRpxRhN4&t=2s

On the Sunday following the debate, Michael Miano preached a sermon titled, “Jesus Christ is the Resurrection” at The Blue Point Bible Church. You can view that sermon (which begins around the 17 minute mark) at the following link,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLCH8370ri4&t=24s

Also, Pastor Miano has also provided an online review of the debate which you can watch the following link as well,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K56-t9LwYo0&t=59s

Lastly, Chris Date participated in post-debate in interview with the Reformed Rookie podcast, which you can view at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGHW3kKUQcM

May these resources encourage your growth in the grace and knowledge of God, and urge you toward a continued ethic of seeking, searching, studying, and proving all things in accordance with the Scriptures.

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Preparation for upcoming debate w/Chris Date

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As I look forward to and prepare for my upcoming debate with apologist Chris Date from RethinkingHell.com regarding the “resurrection of the dead”, I have found it to be imperative that I put together this blog of the various teachings, articles, debates, videos, and podcasts I have offered on the subject. The goal is to not only review them myself, but to also foster some sort of “peer review” by challenging those who read this blog to go through the teachings and come up with edifying thoughts or questions. And, of course, I’ll be sending this blog to Chris Date so that he can be best informed of my position on the “resurrection of the dead”, and that our debate will be brought forth with intellectual honesty and clarity.

I will be in the negative for the debate, meaning that I will seek to prove that, according to the Scriptures understood in their right context, we who are alive 2,000 years removed from that 1st century generation, are not waiting for an individual, physical body resurrection, to happen in our yet future. Furthermore, I will prove that such notions are not Biblical at all, and were not expected by the 1st century Apostles of Jesus Christ (in their time or at any latter date).

 

My most recent blog regarding details on the resurrection of the dead was written in February and can be accessed at the following link, https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2020/02/12/discussing-the-glorified-body-pt-1/

 

The following links are blogs and audio recordings I have published regarding different factors and details pertaining to a Biblical understanding of the resurrection of the dead (subject to the right of the links),

https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/notebook-review-resurrection-of-the-dead/ – Notebook review of the resurrection of the dead

https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/an-introduction-to-and-praise-of-the-corporate-body-view-cbv/ – intro to CBV

https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2016/04/
– soma/body

https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2017/03/02/the-last-enemy-the-triumph-of-christ-a-book-review/ – the last enemy

https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/resurrection-talk-explained-reviewed/ – Resurrection talk – explained and reviewed

https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/man-of-dust-genesis-ancient-near-eastern-origins/ – Man of Dust

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

https://www.academia.edu/23671162/_Replacing_the_Resurrection_Considering_the_Confusion_and_Finding_Clarity_in_Scripture_ – Replacing the Resurrection

http://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/856765-a-detailed-discussion-on-the-resurrection-of-the-dead-michael-miano-don-johnsen – A Detailed Discussion on the Resurrection w/ Don Johnsen

 

Below you will find various links to YouTube teachings I have published on the topic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMUhZ2_BI5M&t=1608s – Resurrection Talk (2019)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7zaUtNfLC0&t=689s  – Discussion w/ Ed Stevens regarding “change” (2018)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLFEmHzultM&t=11s – Pulling Apart the Strawman – Resurrection (2013)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puyjBlymUHo&t=86s – Understanding ‘Soma Salvation) (2018)

 

There are a variety of Bible teachers/preachers who have taught and debated regarding the proper understanding of the “resurrection of the dead” (that I will be defending), such as, but not limited to, Dr. Don K. Preston, Holger Neubauer, Ward Fenley, Larry Siegle, Dr. William Bell, as well as Sam Dawson, who I look to review their resources and fellowship with prior to the debate. Also, I look to host a variety of public sessions at The Blue Point Bible Church, as well as online, for edifying discussion and study to prepare for the debate. If you so choose to communicate with me, please email me at PastorMikeMiano@Yahoo.com

To God be the glory,

Michael Miano
Pastor, The Blue Point Bible Church
Director, The Power of Preterism Network
Apologist, MGW Apologetics

TPPN “Review & Redeem” Conference Review

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Last week, The Power of Preterism Network hosted a conference with the theme of “Review & Redeem”, namely talking about the fruit of Preterism and time-management. A variety of speakers were brought together to share insights, studies, and more. Consider the following Biblical texts:

Therefore,be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil (Eph. 5:15-16)”.

“So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12)”.

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that (James 4:13-15)”.

DAY ONE

A discussion between Pastor Michael Miano and Edward Howell, both members of The Blue Point Bible Church, started out the online conference. Time was spent reviewing the 5 points of “What’s Next” that were shared by Bible teacher Ward Fenley at the 2019 BPBC Annual Bible Conference. The 5 points were:

1.) We must assess our Kingdom history

2.) We must assess our Kingdom discussion

3.) We must assess our Kingdom hermeneutic

4.) We must assess our Kingdom faith

5.) We must assess our Kingdom life

Author and Bible teacher, T.J. Smith, shared about time-management and how Preterism shaped him view of time. He challenges us that there should be “No more circling the wagon like the last generation, especially in regards to the message that “Jesus is coming”. He highlighted resources such as 7 Habits off Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, and mentioned Zig Ziglar, ultimately compelling us to see the importance in setting goals. You can find T.J. Smith’s books on Amazon at the following link, https://www.amazon.com/TJ-Smith/e/B0846ZZD5K?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_6&qid=1592953784&sr=8-6

Also, you can find him on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/tjsmith/videos

I had shared excerpts from Richard Baxter’s message titled, Time is Your Opportunity, and David Martin Lloyd-Jones’ message, Buying Up The Opportunities. Pastor Caleb Graham of Restoration Church weighed in on this first evenings session with the following thought, “We ought to live in our purpose so powerfully that others know who we are and whose we are, by simply seeing us live our what God has for us”.

View DAY ONE of the conference at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvBIwVGio2M&t=3245s

 

DAY TWO

Pastor Michael Miano shared a video on his regular practice of Common Prayer in the early morning of DAY TWO. You can view that at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYeQA-lsq0I

Dr. Cindye Coates, of The Porch, joined in on a discussion with Pastor Mike sharing that “Time-management is a skill I had to learn”. Dr. Coates challenges us to think like an investor, trans-generationally. She did highlight, however, that it’s hard to think about investing and building when so many are captivated with the mantra “time is short”. With a passion to see people discipled and teachers sent out, Dr. Coates remarked, “The plans are man’s, but the odds are God’s”. You can visit the following link to learn more about The Porch, www.theporch.us

Also, keep an eye out for a soon coming CD with worship music highlighting the beauty of Present Truth and our identity in Christ, through the Coates family ministry, Rooted Worship. Here is a link to their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/RootedWorshipBand

Listen to the discussion with Dr. Cindye Coates at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsIf_1oDWmk

Rueben Mitchell, of Kingdom Now Ministries in Tulsa, Oklahoma, shared a discussion with Pastor Mike regarding the need for “Good men standing up” and demonstrating unity, love, a necessary voice in the darkness, and to “bring people into the joy we have”. Rueben shared how “Outreach was the natural outworking of fulfilled eschatology (Preterism)”. Speaking about good time-management, Reuben exhorted each of us to shift when necessary, examine decision-making, and continually ask ourselves “What is bearing fruit?” Learn more about and donate to Kingdom Now Ministries by visiting the following link, KingdomNowMinistries.com

Listen to the discussion with Reuben Mitchell at the following link,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lKiudg7o6I

 

DAY THREE

Bible teacher and commentator, Terry Kashan, joined with Pastor Mike for a discussion that highlighted the importance of consistent daily practices, ultimately because as disciples, we are called into “the most disciplined life in the universe”. Terry highlighted “the light and life” that Jesus had and gave us (cf. John 1:4) as the very essence of reality. In speaking about Spiritual disciples, Terry remarked, “Spiritual disciplines have to be your servant, not your master”.  Terry also highlighted the importance of learning the lessons God has provided for every generation, speaking specifically about the “generational model” that was set forth in the 1st century as a foundation for us to build upon, namely building the community of Believers as the family, temple, bride, and army of God. He mentioned reading The Pilgrim Church to learn more about history, and you can do so at the following link (free-of-charge), http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks10/1000351h.html

You can get your hands on The Kingdom Bible and read Terry’s commentaries – Old Testament Introduction, Ezekiel Synopsis, Obadiah Synopsis, 1 Corinthians Commentary, The Truth of Two Ages, and the Synopsis of Jude, at the following link, Bibleprophecyfulfilled.com

Listen to the discussion with Terry Kashian at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIOqmvct3ic

Elder Mark Horton, of Cloudcroft Church of Christ, in New Mexico shared a great lesson on who the Church is and how can walk worthy of our identity (he even included Power Point!). Mark mentioned a few books by Frank Viola, Pagan Christianity and From Eternity to Here: Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God. I rather appreciated Mark’s exhortation that“If we know who we are, perhaps we can do our job a bit better”, especially as he illustrated from texts such as Ephesians 5:22-32, Proverbs 31, and Job 29. He mentioned that the Church has been at a disadvantage being  hung up on the Billy Graham message of individual salvation, whereas the Scriptures focus on a corporate, collective salvation, as well as the Futurist view which leads to “abandonment theology”.

You can follow the ministry of Cloudcroft Church of Christ at the following link, https://cloudcroftchurchofchrist.org/
Also, Mark has shared a few lessons at the following ministry link, WHTT.org

Listen to Mark Horton’s lesson at the following link,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWPZwrgSnp4

Chris Lombardi joined Pastor Mike for an end of the conference chat about time-management. He shared the importance of reflection and self-examination, fellowship with other Believers, starting the day with the Lord, necessary study of Scripture with your family and on your own, cleaving (or being glued to) that which is good, and the need to take each day one by one (cf. Matthew 6:34). Chris also shared importance Greek words such as “akribos” which highlights our need to pay special attention to what we are doing the way an Romans 12, Colossians 4:2-6, Proverbs 17:6, and Proverbs 20:11.

The conference was concluded with our consider the following questions, individually and collectively;

What am I doing for the Lord’s kingdom?

What am I doing to prepare for the future?

How am I contributing to the building up the Body?

Listen to that discussion with Chris Lombardi at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jh-Yeb9kdhU

 

“Abhor a sluggish habit of mind: go cheerfully about what you have to do, and do it diligently with all your might”. – Richard Baxter

“…the greatest characteristic of the Christin life is to be consistency”. – David Martin Llloyd-Jones

“I can do nothing with the days that are past, I can do nothing with days that are future – yet I reach out towards them – but I cannot improve them. The past and the future far beyond the reach of my culture. I can neither plow nor sow the future, nor can I prune and correct the past. For practical purposes, the only time I have is that which is just now passing. Did I say I had it? While I said I had it, it is gone, like the meteor that dashes down the sky, the eagles that flies afar, or the swift ships that disappear beyond the horizon. Time present is the only time I may ever have”. – Charles Spurgeon