6/10 – Preterist Power Hour & Resources

On Thursday, 6/11 – Michael Miano & Edward Howell talked through details regarding debate, especially as it pertains to the advancement of Preterits. Edward shared thoughts on his favorite debate that he watched and the worst, as Michael Miano outlined debates he has participated in and the value of reviewing points made during said debates. You can listen to the podcast at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWKfpnAO58g

The following resources were mentioned on this week’s podcast: 

1st Miano/Frost debate (we watched a clip from (1:42:32 – 1:52:18) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz4JEGAsumE&t=3265s

2nd Miano/Frost debate – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woYPNcA6SAY&t=6325s

Miano/Ianucchili debate (going through 5 parts of Biblical narrative –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDRZ5LeoUHw&t=4660s

Miano/Bradley (written & video debate) – https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2018/03/29/israel-only-debate-is-it-scripturally-defendable/

Continuing our discussion through, Give Me This Mountain, we talked about Max King’s efforts from 1971 -1975. 

In 1971, Max published a book titled, The Spirit of Prophecy. We intend to talk through the details of that book and the following resources on next week’s session of the Preterist Power Hour. 

In 1973 Max King debated Gus Nichols. The following links give you the opportunity to buy a book version of the debate, read the pdf, or listen to audio: 

      – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N46W2PS/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

      – https://icotb.org/resources/NICHOLS-KINGDEBATE.pdf

     – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxUCCNlXtFtnj-MKHwqYqUnV4-MQ-jUjG

In 1975, Max King debated Jim McGuiggan. Visit the following link and click to download that debate,  https://labornotinvain.com/2021/03/29/mcguiggan-king-debate/

The Power in & Power of PRETERISM 

As director of The Power of Preterism Network (www.powerofpreterism.com) my tagline and hashtag, especially when sharing posts related to Biblical prophecy and necessary reforms to be had in contemporary Christianity, has been #PowerOfPreterism. 

When highlighting the ‘power of preterism’, my intention is to demonstrate how edifying it is to understand what Bible prophecy points to (the consummated Kingdom of God), and how important it is to study through correlating and syllogistic Bible texts, and always aim for consistency and intellectual honesty regarding interpretation of Biblical texts that may run counter traditional thought (especially regarding eschatology – the study of last things). Many of the problems and divisions found in the Body of Christ could be alleviated by proper Bible interpretation (namely discerning audience relevance before applicational relevance) and a desire for contextual teaching rather than proof-texting and isolating passages to fit our our interpretational whims. 

One method I have continued to labor in regarding helping others see the necessary reforms of and power of Preterism in the Church is participating in public debates. Admittedly, the goal is never so much to change the mind of the person I am debating, but rather to allow those watching the debate to see the need to study through certain areas and to foster the desire for consistency in Biblical interpretation and explanation. Another method I utilize is listening to sermons and lectures by preachers and teachers I disagree with in an effort to challenge my own study and to demonstrate how I would go about explaining the points in a manner that I would agree with. I am glad that I am not alone in this attitude and methodology because due to the many efforts that are out there we have continued to see the progress of Preterism in the likes of individual’s understanding, Preterism being preached from pulpits (rather than deferred hope; cf. Proverbs 13:12), and various ministries and websites popping up to further work out the ethics of a Preterist worldview. 

All of that said, recently I had the privilege of listening through some podcasts produced by Gary DeMar, the president of American Vision (www.americanvision.org), (and one wherein he was a guest). I’d like to share some notes I took and make some assertions in an effort to hopefully foster discussion with Gary and others of similar interpretational persuasion, as well as edify those who mighty study through these things. I have had passing Facebook conversations with Gary usually aimed at challenging him to help with the advancement of Biblical eschatology, and he has continued to challenge me that the necessary component of advancing Full Preterism is to “produce books on how a comprehensive worldview flows from FP”, and these should include details on topics such as economics, government, education, etc. I may agree with such an assertion, however as you read through the notes I will share below, I believe it will be apparent to any informed and honest Bible student that just being honest with the details we have from the Scriptures demonstrates the power of Preterism (and to be clear, I speak of Preterism as the understanding of past fulfilled Bible prophecy, the whole ‘partial preterism’ category is simply avoiding (and many times confusing) the consistency of the Biblical details). 

Let’s first consider the podcast titled, “Is Full Preterism Heresy” produced on April 28, 2021. (1) 

Gary started out by detailing that there are “different types of Full Preterism” and that “there have always been Preterists, this isn’t something new” (and then he mentioned that Full Preterism is new). Unfortunately, in detailing Full Preterism, Gary chose to highlight the ‘hyperpreterist’ perspective that, “Every prophetic event and it’s significance is done” (which is viewed as an aberrant view by many Full Preterists), and he mentioned the name of Dr. Don K. Preston (who does believe in the continuation of the Kingdom of God since it’s consummation in AD 70). I’d be interested to hear what Gary thinks the significance of AD 70 was, what did it point to, and what the implications of a yet 2nd coming are (which is my estimation is rather problematic). Our study group noted all the verses that were mentioned in the discussion (Hebrews 9:28; Revelation 20-22; Acts 1; 1 Corinthians 15; and 1 Thessalonians 4). He mentioned two resources – a book by James Orr and a podcast with Doug Giles that he was interviewed on (I will speak on that below). Gary mentioned the problems with a ‘creedal view’ of the resurrection, namely because the creeds have differences (resurrection of the flesh, the body, or the dead) and was awfully comfortable agreeing with the thoughts that “The Bible is a big book” and “We just don’t know”. If that be the case, how could Full Preterism ever be considered heresy?!?!? Lastly, Gary spent considerable time urging Christians to focus on their calling, noting that we are “brothers of the 2nd Adam doing what the 1st Adam should have done”. He spoke a bit about the Christian worldview and God’s law (which he referred to as the particulars) and noted that each of us should be asking ourselves, “What should I be doing, generation to generation”. As Gary concluded the podcast I was left with the nagging thought, so as this supposed future coming of Christ – will my calling to teach and preach the Gospel cease? Doesn’t that impede upon the eternality of the Gospel (cf. Revelation 14:6)? 


That brings me to the next podcast, wherein Gary Demar was a guest on the Warriors and Wildmen podcast (2). Much of the same stuff as detailed above was mentioned, also Gary went to great lengths to show the problems with Dispensationalism. However, the most poignant detail from the podcast was when the host, Doug Giles, remarked that the only passage he asserts regarding eschatology is Luke 19:13, wherein Jesus Christ shares a parable that says, “occupy until I come”. This leads in on the thoughts I mentioned above. Does the occupation of the Kingdom remnant end at some point in history? Is that what we read in Scripture as the finality of Bible prophecy? The failure to correlate this parable in Luke 19:11 – 27 with other parables told by Jesus (and the details in the other synoptic gospels) regarding His coming and bringing judgement seems to allow for a Futuristic reading. A great resource to gain an understanding of Jesus’ Kingdom parables fulfilled in T.J. Smith’s book, Kingdom Come: Messiah’s Methodical Manifesto Hidden In His Parables. In that book, T.J. Smith writes, “Nothing about the parables of the Kingdom are about our future (except our inclusion into the Kingdom)…Sadly, millions of Christians world-wide miss the entire message of God’s Kingdom and the full victory of Christ because they are taught to believe their hope is in a future fulfillment. “Already but not yet” as they say. This teaching and belief of a “future fulfilled but presently an incomplete Kingdom” robs Jesus of His majesty, dominion, power, faithfulness, authority, victory, destiny, and in turn, deprives believers of the very essence of God’s love and absolute sovereignty”. 

In his podcast, The Rise Of The Antichrist (3), Gary expounded upon heresy in the 1st century (leaning in on audience relevance) and said, “They were more focused on the shadows of the Old Covenant promises than the light of the reality which was embodied in the person and work of Jesus Christ”. Amen! Sadly, as Brian Martin noted in his book, Behind The Veil of Moses, the same blindness that kept many in the first century blind to the reality of God, has unfortunately effected many in the Futurist camp today. Instead of seeing the fullness of what God has provided, many want it to be according to their own interpretations, whims, and desires. Furthermore, Gary dispelled the common notions of Futurist thought regarding the coming Antichrist by asserting, “…the Biblical definition of antichrist is someone who denies that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, as well as those who deny the relationship between the Father and the Son”. 

“The Last Days Are Past Days” (4) was the fourth podcast I listened to by Gary DeMar wherein he asserted, “This idea that the majority of the New Testament passages relating to the end times relate to the events leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 was a popular position…I’ve got a library full of books that make that case”. That should cause any honest Bible study to question, well then, what happened? How has Dispensational thought crept into churches and pulpits at some an alarming rate that the majority of Christians have no idea what to believe Biblical about the last days? How and why is the Full Preterist demonized at every turn (it should be noted that so much has been done to keep Full Preterism from advancing in the local church – hereticizing, ostracising, and ignoring those who feel compelled to bring these truths up)? Gary offers up am simply solution regarding the topic of the last days, we must ask “the last days of what?” and contextually “for whom”? 

Last but surely not least, was the podcast “So What’s Left?” (5). 

It’s important to note that much of the discussion Gary and his cohost were having about these things spawned from their reading through, Paradise Restored, by David Chilton. In the book, David Chilton aims at the Full Preterist hermeneutic and refers to it as “post everythingism”, however Gary honestly admitted that prior to his passing away, David Chilton had seen the consistency in the Full Preterist view. There are quite a few resources around the web that one can find to learn of Chilton’s transition into Full Preterist thought and even some lectures that can be found (I have some information and links for those a bit more interested in that regard – simply message or email me). Gary likes to use the phrase, “Well, that’s the traditional thought”, which more often than not seems like he is hiding from the consistency of the Scriptural details. He asserted the following 3 Bible texts as pointing to a yet future coming, Acts 1; 1 Thessalonians 4; and 1 Corinthians 15, but admitted, “There is debate out there about what these passages are saying”. There sure is! And frankly there are so many teachings from Full Preterists (myself included) on those texts I don’t know how or why using them to bolstering Futurism is even possible. Gary did admit his need to continue studying through these things, which I hope is a sure case. Oddly enough, Gary mentioned his lack of knowledge regarding what happens to our bodies (after death and/or in the future), which is odd to me because I have previously been hereticized for sharing the exact same thought. Gary said, “The most important thing is that when you die you are going to be with Jesus. Whatever happens after death, I’m not worried about it…So if your resurrection begins when you die, that you get a brand new body, praise God. If it’s till sometime at the end of time that we are going to be reunited, praise God. It doesn’t change the way I live here in the present”. I’d agree, however that’s also largely due to the fact that Gary is heretized for saying such things, when hosts of Full Preterists have said similar and are cast out. Even more odd was the assertion Gary made, borrowing thoughts from Barna Research Group, regarding “only 6% of Christians having a Biblical worldview”. If that be the case, and Futurism is the popular eschatological view, how can it be demanded that the Full Preterist outline a comprehensive worldview to be viewed as a viable option? Maybe just maybe, Full Preterism does indeed offer the proper Biblical worldview that so many lack (I.e., “the power of Preterism). 

To conclude my thoughts I hope this review of these blogs was informative and edifying, in the very least challenging each of us toward Biblical context, clarity, and consistency and will foster discussion in these areas. I regular cite 2 Timothy 2:15 wherein we read that those who study to show themselves approved by rightly dividing the Word of Truth need not be ashamed. The reversal of that is that if we are not studying and rightly dividing these things we should be ashamed (which I believe to be the case illustrated by the 6% figure given above regarding contemporary Christians). There is plenty of study, work, and strategizing that needs to be done regarding the advancement of the power of preterism, which I continue to believe will take place in and through local churches. 

Submitted by: Michael Miano 

Links 

(1) – https://garydemar.libsyn.com/is-full-preterism-heresy

(2) – https://www.stitcher.com/show/warriors-wildmen/episode/e199-last-days-madness-with-gary-demar-83373518

(3) – https://garydemar.libsyn.com/the-rise-of-antichrist

(4) – https://garydemar.libsyn.com/the-last-days-are-past-days

(5) – https://garydemar.libsyn.com/so-whats-left

Book Review: Give Me This Mountain (Tim King)

I recently read ‘Give  Me This Mountain’ written by Tim King. Not only do I hope to develop more resources, interviews, and discussion regarding the details shared in the book, especially as they pertain to the advancement of the Preterist Movement, on the Preterist Power Hour, but herein I share notes I took as I read, as well as thoughts and resource to accompany things that were detailed. 

When outlining the history and advancement of Preterism, especially in our current generation, it would be remiss to leave out Max King. Give Me This Mountain tells the biographical details of Max King and his “unwavering convictions” regarding the truth of the Scriptures and the movement that followed. 

Max King 

Speaking of Max King and the fact that he grew up on a farm and his having “a strong sense of nature are God’s gift to humanity”, “It never resonated with him to hear the local preacher speak of the day when God would destroy it all by fire at the supposed ‘end of time’. It seemed liked a tragic waste”. 

“With an unwavering conviction that Scripture was the Word of God, Max began to ask questions that no one else was interested in asking. What is this story about? To whom was it written? What was it’s relationship to Israel and what was her role in the salvation of humanity? Why would God pronounce His creation “very good” only to destroy it because of humanity’s sin? Why did Jesus make such magnificent promises of what would occur in the lifetime of some of those standing in His audience if they would be delayed millennia? What was going on? What could we possibly be missing?” 

“…Max became determined to understand the Book of Revelation as thoroughly as possible”. 

  • “The more he studied, the more convinced he became that John’s Revelation was indeed fulfilled”. 
  • “The view began to crystalize in his understanding as he studied Matthew’s Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24) in light of Daniel and the Book of Revelation”. 

Asking the questions in bold above and seeking to understand the whole counsel of God through the Biblical narrative is what we refer to ‘A Thinking Faith” at The Blue Point Bible Church. Take notice of the things that led Max to consider the truth of preterism – an appreciation for God’s creation, the Biblical narrative, and the syllogistic beauty of Bible prophecy, along with audience relevancy and time statements, as found in and through the book of Daniel, Matthew 24, and the book of Revelation. 

1971 – The Spirit of Prophecy (1st book) 

Parkman Rd. Church of Christ, Warren, Ohio 

Elders: Harold Sapp, Edgar Dunlap, Cephas Foweler 

“It would have been easier to replace their minister instead of challenging their orthodoxy, but they were bent on knowing and putting forth a better understanding of God’s Word”. 

“Little did it matter that folks didn’t know the issues, the Scriptures, or really even what we were saying. All that mattered was that we were coloring outside the lines and that is not high on the tolerated behaviours within the corridors of Christendom”…”…there are good folks lout there who are willing to listen, weight the evidence, and decide that some things are just not worth dividing over, even if they disagree”…”Here we were, men who have given our lives to the study off Scripture and many of them were hiding behind uninspired creeds of men”. (Recommended read: Sam Frost’s book, Misplaced Hope) 

I have not have the chance to read through The Spirit of Prophecy which is something I will read and review sometime soon. I wanted to mark out the names of men who demonstrated integrity in their approach to study of the Scriptures. God willing, some of them can be contacted and communicated with for further edification and encouragement. One major thing being noted is the similarities between the argumentation, or lack their of, that they received in regards to Preterism and what many of us here down to the common day (and of course I appreciate the notice of those in the mix who are willing to learn and discern these things). This seemingly intentional ignorance and hiding has been occurring for 30 years, whewwww….almost a Biblical generation (which is an edifying study that revealed it to be 40 years). Matter of fact, here is a link that brings you through that short study, http://christeternalchristianchurch.com/learning-activity-83-bible-passages-to-challenge-your-eschatology/learninglist/learning-activity-34a/

1973 – Max King vs. Gus Nichols 

“If Max had any shortcomings in the debate, it was his naïveté that debating the issues was something Gus Nichols was prepared to do”. 

“I abhor debates. I have yet to see one that I thought beneficial. Certainly neither participant leaves having been won over by the other.” 

I can totally understand Tim’s frustration expressed herein. I have participated in quite a few public debates, and following most of those debates (sometimes within hours),  I had the same thoughts – how naïveté I am and how arrogant some can be (which debate seems to magnify). I believe that so much has been laid down regarding the truth of Preterism in the host of debates that have been done (simply go to YouTube and search Preterism vs. Futurism debates) – which necessitates constant return to and examination of such debates. Our future debates, if and when had, should build upon truths already expressed and agreed upon. 

Back in 2015, I participated in a public discourse with a local pastor about 5 segments of Biblical understanding – Genesis creation, The Law of Moses, The Prophets, The Messiah, and Eschatology. I felt it was a beneficial discussion rather than debate. You can watch that on YouTube at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDRZ5LeoUHw&t=2s

1975 – Max King vs. Jim McGuiggan (written debate)

“Having witnessed both type of debates, I prefer the written to the verbal because it seems to allow for the best thoughts on the subject to be arranged and put forth”. 

“Between 1975 – 1987 Max read every American, German, English, and Dutch scholar he could get his hands on…He was stunned at how many writers were content to say that Jesus or Paul were wrong. He labored with an unwavering conviction that this simply could not be the case”

”In the 18th century a man named Hermann Samuel Reimarus would forever change the way the world looked at Jesus…Jesus was a failed revolutionary (the likes of Albert Sweitzer – a failed prophet).”

I surely agree with Tim about the value of written debates. I participated in a written debate regarding the erroneous view of Israel-Only a few years ago and found that to be edifying. You review that debate at the following link, https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2018/03/29/israel-only-debate-is-it-scripturally-defendable/

The burden of the Full Preterist is to defend the faith in regards to Jesus Christ and the Apostles meaning what they said to whom they said it to. Going the route of saying that Christ was a failed revolutionary, or worst yet, a failed prophet, seems blasphemous.  Matter of fact, it was Bertrand Russell, who included in his lecture, Why I am Not A Christian, that Jesus’ failed prophesies was one of his reasons for maintaining atheism. Russel goes on to say, “For one thing, He certainly thought that His second coming would occur in clouds of glory before the death of all the people who were living at that time. There are a great many texts that prove that.”. All of that said, I applaud Max King and the fulfilled Bible prophecy students that notice these texts and seek to be honest with them. 

1987 – The Cross & The Parousia (2nd Book) 

“At this point it was evident that people were either predisposed to understanding these issues or they weren’t. And if they weren’t, it didn’t matter what form of writing was placed in front of them – they weren’t going to deal with it”. 

Understanding syllogisms and correlating texts is vital to putting together the Biblical narrative, especially as it pertains to Bible prophecy. Max King’s book, The Cross and the Parousia demonstrates the richness of what occurred from the cross to Christ’s coming (I.e., parousia). Sadly, Tim’s quote rings true to any Preterist who has labored to share these truths with those who do not have eyes to see and ears to hear. We must recognize the Spiritual component to this (1 Cor. 2:14). 

1989 – 1st Annual Covenant Eschatology Seminar 

Speakers: Terry Hall, Jack Scott, William Bell, Don Preston, Doug and Max King, and others within the COC 

“Fulfilled Eschatology was (and is) for many just something to cram into an existing denominational belief system, and that causes them to be even more of a belligerent theological bully…A different and more open approach needed to be taken”…”If there is a shadow side to the fulfilled prophecy movement it is the combative spirit that continues to exist in some circles even now”. 

Talk about a throwback. The variety of conferences we now have in the ‘Preterist Movement’ is so encouraging. I can only imagine how encouraging that very first conference was (I also look to contact many of the names mentioned not only at the 1st conference, but all throughout Tim’s book, so that we can continue to see the root, fruit, and progress of Preterism. And sadly, yes, the issue of denominationalism continues, even within the ‘Preterist Movement’ and the ‘combative spirit’ (which I usually refer to as the ‘wounded animal syndrome’). Strides continue to be taken to foster Preterist thought into all denominations (and God willing, break down some of the divides in our understandings ). 

1989 – Living Presence Journal (Preterist Magazine)

Now we have Fulfilled! Magazine 

I sought to find a remnant of the Living Presence Journal on the internet to no avail. However, we now have FULFILLED! Magazine as an in-print, quarterly Preterist magazine. You can find more information and review past copies at the following link, https://www.fulfilledcg.com/Magazine/fulfilled-magazine.htm

Resurrection 

  • “Once we see the when of the resurrection, we can talk about the what and how until the day we die”. 
  • “One of the greatest challenges to getting the resurrection frames correctly is the area of semantics. People are hyper-sensitive to Gnostic ideas that assert Jesus was never raised in a physical, flesh-and-blood body, which, we all agree, He was”. 
  • “The whole implication of fulfilled redemption is to grasp how God has reversed in Christ what had been severed in Adam” 

After teaching, preaching, and publicly defending the fulfilled understanding of the resurrection, I must say it all seems like intentional ignorance on the Futurist’s part. When looking at Daniel chapter 12 specifically, and others texts that put the ‘resurrection of the dead’ at the coming of the Lord, and then being honest with the time-statements, it becomes impossible to ignore that the current day understanding of the ‘resurrection of the dead’ that is spouted by many preachers is simply not what the Scriptures have to teach. I offer the following blog that I did as a short explanation and a host of resources in understanding the corporate-body resurrection that was to occur at the coming of the Lord in AD 70, https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/an-introduction-to-and-praise-of-the-corporate-body-view-cbv/

Also, here is a ‘Notebook Review’ I did regarding my personal studies and notes on the resurrection of the dead,  https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/notebook-review-resurrection-of-the-dead/

1998 – 9th Annual Covenant Eschatology Seminar 

Theme: “A Reason To Praise: Capturing the Essence of Our Salvation” 

Jay Gary – united regarding a message that makes a difference 

“It made a difference that there were people starving and that the religious world needed to be renewed and refocused if coordinated efforts were going to be made in working together. It made a difference if most of Christianity looked for an escape through the return of Christ and were forfeiting their voice in making this world better”. 

“What if? What if the Church were to experience Biblical renewal in our generation in reference to the end time as Jesus saw it? What if the Church would begin to invite society to recovery humanity’s hope?” 

“Through the 90’s, we had witnessed what happened within the world of Preterism with all of it’s labels: Full, Partial, Hyper, IBD, and on and on”…”I suppose the final straw for me was when the president of the International Preterist Association took the view that the 1st century church was literally raptured off the face of the earth – and that this supplied the answer to the oft-asked question as to why the teaching of Fulfilled Eschology went undiscovered for so long”.  

“…After Paul’s martyrdom and post-consummation of the Kingdom in AD 70…the rapid Hellenization of the church. By being overhwelmed with Greek influence, it is not difficult to see how easily they lost sight of the faith of Paul regarding the New Covenant perspective of the salvation that was of “All Israel’s” at AD 70. Just as Israel needed to enter into her “spiritual things”, so too, the Gentiles were made partakers of Israel’s “spiritual things”. Each group blundered in sponsoring various movements seeking to castigate the other from the favor of God”. 

One of the most heard (and most responded to) questions we hear regarding Preterism is, “What now?”. They have been talks, conferences, and roundtables to the overflow in this regard. As the theme of the 9th Annual Covenant Eschatology Seminar pointed out – when we capture the essence of our salvation, we have a mighty reason to praise. Each year at The Blue Point Bible Church we have had conferences (we are aiming to do our 7th annual conference this coming October 2021, wherein we focus on exactly that – living our lives in light of the fulfilled hope. 

I also share Tim’s frustration regarding the many labels in Preterism, especially the division between the corporate-body view (CBV) and the rapture-driven IBD view (Immortal Body at Death). I actually had a public discourse with Ed Stevens, the president of the International Preterist Association a fews years ago regarding these differences. You can review that discussion on YouTube at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7zaUtNfLC0&t=1281s

Discussion does continue regarding how, why, and where the truth of fulfilment was lost in early generations of the Christian church. An outstanding read in that regard is Kurt Simmon’s, The Road Back to Preterism, which you can purchase, or read online at the following link, http://www.preteristcentral.com/The%20Road%20Back%20to%20Preterism.html

January 2000 – New theme for Presence Ministries: “Recovering Humanity’s Hope” 

“…the key to the 21st century would be to recover the full redemptive vision that undergirded the 1st century church”. 

Transmillenialism 

“…to come up with a word, a label that would help identify this study of Fulfilled Eschatology”….””Trans” for “Millennialism”. It was less a matter of a reformation (or a restoration of what was) than it was a call for transformation into what we could become – a realisation of our great potential in God”….”Transmillennialism is a necessary and valuable upgrade to Preterism”. 

I have come to understand the term ‘transmillenialism’ to be highlight that the work of Christ in the 1st century generation was transitional. As I mentioned above, a Biblical generation is 40 years. The use of 1,000 in Biblical prophecy highlights completion. So we might say , what was accomplished in the 40 years from the cross to the coming of Christ was transitioning the Christian Church into completeness (or consumption/ salvation as other texts express). 

I have continued to mark out the variety of names and ministries mentioned, so that as I also mentioned above, we might continue to mine the treasures of the roots, fruits, and progress of Preterism (and I believe it is high time to double back and ask some of these individuals to weigh in on the progress the ‘Preterist Movement’ has seen in the last 21 years. 

Kevin Beck

Terry Hall 

“Men who could have pulled back for the sake of reputation, but who decided to continue to walk with us in integrity” 

Holy Ground Ministries, Quest (publication)

Joanne Gerety, south NJ

Tyrone Cropper

Dr. Jim Hodges, Christ For The Nations 

“One thing stood out to both of us: if Revelation 21-22 were indeed a living reality, if the new heavens and new earth were here, then believers no longer would be living in a world where God was at war. Rather than “spiritual warfare”…be guided by a ”spiritual procession” mentality”. 

Naim Ateek, Sabeel Theological Seminary 

World Future Society 

Eric Value (traveled from Caribbean to attend seminars) 

Dr. Brenda Brasher, The Center For Millennial Studies 

Dr. Harvey Cox 

N.T. Wright 

Scot McKnight 

Robert Costa, Australia 

It would seem that the turn of the millennium, the year 2000, was a frustrating but inspiring time to being involved with fulfilled Bible prophecy. Tim goes on to mention,  “It is alarming how many ‘Preterist’ individuals or ministries exist who take their own form of scapegoating, demonizing or conspiracy theories and weave them together with the Biblical story as if God is calling the world into a similar mindset that got Jerusalem destroyed in the first place”. I couldn’t agree more. I also appreciated the following insights on necessary progress the ‘Preterist Movement’ must see, “If it took 2000 years to begin to grasp the significance of the events of the 1st century, why would we think that as we explore this change, we would reach absolute understanding in only a few decades?” 

  • “Rather than codification, exploration was (and is) needed”. 
  • “A new language  could and should be developed that could effectively communicate our experience of God’s presence”. 
  • “Those who do have a vision for the Kingdom of God need to sit down at the table where tomorrow’s society’s are being framed”. 
  • “…interact with the secular mind and try to find ways to reach a more integrative approach to the Gospel and cultures…problem solving of some of the thornier issues in our world, not the least of which is the troubled Middle East…” 
  • “What should an agenda for this decade look like? What should be on the top of our list in terms of Biblical renewal, based on fulfilled prophecy?
    – Books, Conferences, curriculum. Communications/programs, instutute, area teams, council, associates, think tank, chairs 

2002 – Annual Conference

  • Comprehensive Grace (Tim King)
  • Creative Eschatology (Kevin Beck)
  • Pattern of Biblical Transformation (Jay Gary)

“Archonology (beginning, the study of) is the study of 1st things in light of the New Jerusalem (Eph. 3:21). The use of the word ‘archon’ or ‘origin’ is best found in Revelation 22:13…cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 3:14; and Colossians 1:16-17)”….”Eschatology deals with the end of Israel’s story; archonology deals with the beginning of the human story as redeemed in Christ”. 


“Since 1998, Max has been working on a massive treatment from the Book of Romans, focusing on chapters 9-11.”…”After ‘living’ with the Apostle for years, Max’s conviction was that Paul, witting the Book of Romans circa 63 AD, was expecting that All Israel would be saved, and that this would be broader than some might be comfortable with believing, given their traditional roots. Following God’s judgement in AD 70, Paul felt that Good would unilaterally extend his mercy to Israel (and the nations), much the same way Paul experienced it on the Damascus Road”. 

For years since I embraced Full Preterism (back in 2010) I have heard that it could potentially lead you to embrace Universalism. It had been said again and again, but never confirmed, that Max King, after all his study, had become a universalist. A visit to Presence.tv does demonstrate a different direction of learning, much more a highlighting of contemporary thought and philosophy than focus on Bible prophecy. Also, the book mentioned above was finally published a few years ago. I have not yet read ‘Irrevocable: Paul’s Radical Vision in Romans 9-11, And Why Christianity Cannot Handle It’, however you can purchase your copy at the following link, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZH43CCH/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Well, the book, Give Me This Mountain, sure covered a lot. However, as I hope this blog demonstrates, that and this is just the beginning. I loved Tim’s response to the oft-asked question regarding Preterism, “Why hasn’t Christianity embraced it?” Tim response, “What is keeping you from embracing all that God has for you?”…”You and I are not responsible for what the Church doesn’t do with what it doesn’t know. We are, however, responsible for what we have seen with our own eyes, from the pages of Scripture. Each servant must give an account to his master”. 

As was noted in the preface about Max King, “another mountain man who was not content to live on the plains, but was compelled to take the high ground.” I hope this has stirred you to do the same. Tim mentions the following 4 principles to ‘mountain-dwellers’: 

  • Develop a heart of worship (John 4:23; Heb. 12:22; Eph 5:19; Psalm 100)
  • Cultivate the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:12, 15-16; 1 Cor 1:22; Hebrews 5:13)
  • Sharpen your life purpose (Acts 13:26; 2 Samuel 7:13) 
  • Build a team that lasts 

Conclusion 

I must conclude this study and review by marking out how encouraged and blessed I am by the unwavering conviction of Max King and men/women who have blazed the trails of advancing Covenant Eschatology before me. Truly standing on the shoulders of giants. Reading through, Give Me This Mountain’, continued my passion for learning about and advancing the roots, fruits, and progress of Preterism (something that will continue to be done on our Thursday night program – Preterist Power Hour). Also, it brings value to the history of our movement and our efforts when we continually review past efforts, teachings, debates, etc…so may we see that all the more. Lastly, I totally appreciate the desire to be more inclusive of the Body of Christ than many denominations allow, however being that I am not a Universalist, but rather believe that Bible prophecy was fulfilled to further demonstrate the who and the what of God’s elect, therefore I urge us toward a Biblical exclusive, inclusivity (i.e., the Church). 

This review was written by Michael Miano 

Get your copy of Give Me This Mountain at, https://www.amazon.com/Give-Me-This-Mountain-Ministries/dp/0964138883/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

Also, to learn more about the current day activities of Presence Ministries, visit www.presence.tv 

Israel – Palestine & Efforts of Peace

As we consider the current crisis in Israel – Palestine, I praise God for the knowledge I have gained as a short-term delegate to the West Bank with the Christian Peacemaker Teams (back in 2010) and my understanding of Fulfilled eschatology. I ponder the wisdom shared in ‘Give Me This Mountain’ by Tim King, wherein he said, he spoke about the truth of Fulfilled Eschatology, “It opens the door to the problem solving of some of the thornier issues in our world, not least of which is the troubled Middle East. Sadly, the old eschatology fails to grasp the cultural edge in this present world crisis and still wants to champion a false kind of nationalism in Israel that undercuts the redemptive features of the Gospel. We would do well to return to John 4 and enter into the discussion with Jesus and the Samaritan woman about ‘this mountain’ and ‘Jerusalem’, for there we hear the Lord declare ‘neither here nor there’, but ‘in Spirit’ do we find true worship. That statement is both politically and eschatologically revealing”. 

That being so, I want to offer the following resources that I have been blessed to offer and learn of regarding efforts of peace happening in the Middle East. 

1.) I recorded my journey through notes, journaling, and pictures as I served as a short-term delegate to Israel – Palestine in 2010. You can read all of that at the following link, http://riskybusinessforchrist.weebly.com/

2.) Back in 2015, I did a short interview regarding my visit to “the Bible lands”. You can watch that interview at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXsBcvG_W_U

3.) More recently, in 2019, we had Bob and Kathryn Carlton visit with us at The Blue Point Bible Church and share about their efforts and film, Peacemakers, which “brings a message of hope in the midst of the seemingly intractable conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs. The power of the gospel to transform lives through forgiveness and reconciliation is communicated by powerful personal stories of Jewish and Arab followers of Jesus.”. Learn more about their efforts and the documentary at the following link, https://www.peacemakersfilm.org/

Prayerfully these resources will bless and edify, as well as further efforts of peace in the Middle East. 

By His everlasting power & mercy, 

Michael Miano

Pastor, The Blue Point Bible Church (www.bluepointbiblechurch.org
Director, The Power of Preterism Network (www.powerofpreterism.com

Studying Through The Final Decade Before The End (Book)

We have been studying through Ed Steven’s book, The Final Decade Before The End, for a couple months now at The Blue Point Bible Church (we currently find ourselves around the A.D. 63 mark in history). We have learned about and talked through the development of the Biblical canon, the missionary activity of the Apostles, the historical context of John’s Revelation to the 7 churches of Asia Minor, and so much more. This blog will serve as a sort of update for our Bible study group, but I also imagine it will stimulate interest from others as well. 

I had written a blog review of The Final Decade Before The End back in 2015. You can read that review at the following link, https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2015/10/07/book-review-final-decade-before-the-end-by-mr-ed-stevens/

As I mentioned above, a few weeks ago we read and studied through the historical context of the Book of Revelation. In that study I had mentioned two resources, one (1) being a sermon I had preached regarding ‘The Apocalyptic Details of Revelation chapters 11-12’, and the other (2) a commentary on Revelation 11 from Daniel Morais at Revelation Revolution. You will find both of those resource links below: 

(1) – https://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/318731

(2) – https://www.revelationrevolution.org/revelation-11-a-preterist-commentary-who-are-the-two-witnesses/


I read through the Spring 2020 edition of Fulfilled! Magazine and was delighted to see a summary from Ed Stevens regarding his book. I took pictures of the chart outline regarding the final decade that he offered. You can view those here. 

Also, I emailed Ed Stevens to request some of the PDF’s he mentioned in the book regarding Ephesians (and he included some regarding Hebrews), which you can find attached to those post below. 

Lastly, we assign homework every week as we leave our Saturday Morning Bible Study. This week’s homework was to read pages 113-116 of The Final Decade Before The End, and also read in their entirety in one sitting, at least two of the following prison epistles – Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, and/or Philippians. I imagine the last part of the homework will be a fruitful exercise for anyone, regardless to whether they are reading through Ed Stevens book or not. 

Ed Steven’s has a podcast that goes through a lot of the historical details mentioned in the aforementioned book, visit the following link to listen to those podcasts, https://www.buzzsprout.com/11633

And of course, get your copy of The Final Decade Before The End at the following link, https://www.preterist.org/products/final-decade-before-the-end-print-edition/

Blessings, 
Pastor Michael Miano
The Blue Point Bible Church
www.bluepointbiblechurch.org 

Preterist Power Hour – Spring Feasts Convo w/Guests

Last Thursday, February 18th, 2021 – Dr. Don K. Preston of the Preterist Research Institute (www.eschatology.org), as well as Elvin Israel and Monster Boss of Resurrection Prophecy Kingdom (www.facebook.com/Resurrection.Prophecy.Kingdom), were guests on the Preterist Power Hour. Michael Miano and Edward Howell, the weekly hosts, have been reviewing the Feasts of the Lord, most specifically, the Spring Feasts, and in that regard had their guests share thoughts and respond to some questions. You can review that session at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Lbe2y80fio&t=728s

Dr. Preston shared that Passover marks the beginning the of the calendar, “new beginnings”, and points to the final feast, Sukkoth, which marks the climate of the festival harvest. He further remarked that when understanding the feasts, “initiation anticipates consummation”. For example, when we properly understand how and to what end Christ fulfilled the Spring feasts, we can properly discern how the fulfillments of the Fall feasts were fulfilled. Elvin Israel went on to bring up the importance of the “firstfruit concept” when understanding the feasts and the their fulfillments, which Dr. Preston continued to expound upon. Edward Howell brought up details regarding the Passover, specifically the ‘afikomen’ (which means ‘that which will come after’), and quite a bit of conversation was shared in that regard, namely how Passover emphasized the importance of what sufferings God has delivered His people from. Also, the article, A Spiritually-Discerned Passover, written by Michael Miano was mentioned. You can read and review that blog at the following link, https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2020/04/10/the-spiritually-discerned-passover/


Both Dr. Preston and Elvin Israel mentioned some great points and topics that could have been the focus on the entire show. We do indeed hope that some of those topics and further shows will come to fruition. For example, Dr. Preston mentioned that “The entire festal calendar is seen in the fulfilment of Daniel’s 70 weeks”. Surely, taking a look at the feasts of the Lord and Daniel chapter 9 is a study on the horizon. Dr. Preston also mentioned seeing the significance of the feasts in the book of Joel, as well as the Gospel of John. Elvin Israel talked a bit about Philo and his discernment regarding the Feast of Unleavened Bread, piquing our curiosity a bit. As was mentioned, Elvin has been going through a teaching series on the feasts of the Lord as well. You can watch some of those teachings at the following links:


Passover – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uPqQZ7pDzU&t=2s

Passover – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JpHLaID8pk

Unleavened Bread – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnP9ujKQUhw

Both Dr. Preston and Elvin Israel mentioned being in the midst of currently writing books. Michael Miano is also in the midst of writing a book. Keep your eye on these men and their ministries thereby allowing yourself the opportunity to be edified. Of course, continue to tune in to the Preterist Power Hour each Thursday night at 6:30pm est.


Lastly, be sure to continually being reviewing our ongoing resource list regarding the Feasts of the Lord at following link on The Power of Preterism Network’s blog, https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2020/11/12/feasts-of-the-lord-an-ongoing-resource/

For His glory & through His power,

Michael MianoDirector, TPPN

Jesus & The Sadducees On Marriage in the Resurrection

There is common confusion regarding how Jesus responded to the Sadducees regarding the resurrection and the age to come (in Matthew 22:23-33; Mark 12:18-28; and Luke 20:27-40), which unfortunately is often picked up by opponents to the Full Preterist View. In my debate with Sam Frost in 2013, he used the argument that since I as Full Preterist believe that the resurrection already occured, that I should not be marrying nor giving in marriage (and he claimed that some Full Preterists have done exactly that). Therefore, not only is the text often misunderstood and misapplied, but it also demonstrates a stronghold within Futurist eschatologies that needs to be destroyed. That being so I was rather excited and appreciative that Ward Fenley talked about it quite a bit (and will continue this coming Tuesday) on NCMI Live. Last night, Edward Howell and I offered a bit of commentary on the topic, namely talking through understanding the Old Covenant and how your perspective informs your interpretation. 

A MUST WATCH! You can watch the NCMI Live program from this past Tuesday at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_MIFyZ8Yuo

You can watch the Preterist Power Hour podcast from this past Thursday at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIOIQYghjEw

Beyond providing links and resources for further study, I’d also like to utilize this blog to further detail some points that stood out to me in regards to the passages mentioned above, the marrying and giving in marriage conversation. 

  • When we seek to honestly understand what is being asked of Christ and why from the original audience perspective, we must notice that this conversation is not about marriage as we contemporary Western-minded Christians would understand it. Rather, the Sadducees are seeking to understand application of the Law of Moses in the ‘age to come’ (which explains their citation of Deuteronomy 25:5-12). The simply explanation that most Full Preterists have highlighted is that Jesus is responds to the facetious questioning by asserting that not only is their perspective off, but also in the ‘age to come’ they will not be bound to the Law of Moses (cf. Matt. 22:29-30; Mark 12:24-25).
  • In all three of the correlating texts we should notice that there are two ages being compared, however Luke 20:34 – 35 makes it even more clear. A study through the two Biblical ages is surely beneficial to study of the Scriptures (i.e., “the present evil age; “the age to come”, etc). Many have misunderstood this “age-talk”. The following link will take you to a blog I have written regarding ‘The End of The Age”, https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/the-end-of-the-age/?fbclid=IwAR10FTDcl9u_PvyBtmWDh0RflZShL5kW1urYMTFeWVNetKyklqBKT-F-KTk
  • “This age” corresponded to the life and times under the Law of Moses (which is the context of the question the Sadducees are asking), and the “age to come”, which would correspond to being “in the resurrection”, and the resurrection of the dead. In the following article, Dr. Don K. Preston explains the importance of understanding the ‘age language’ being used here, especially by way of showing that (1) in the age to come there is no marrying or giving in marriage, (2) many Christians believe we are living in the ‘age to come’ (i.e., the Christian age, or age of grace, which began at the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. Therefore, (3) there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage in the Christian age. All of which shows that “marrying and giving in marriage” is not what many contemporarily assume it is. Read the aforementioned article here, https://donkpreston.com/no-marrying-or-giving-in-marriage-a-few-thoughts

  • Also, pertaining to the transition of the ages and how that relates to the resurrection of the dead, I rather appreciated Ward Fenley’s thought that, “…if some Preterists consider themselves sons of the new covenant age, how is it from the passage they conclude they have the new covenant age but have not obtained the resurrection?”.
  • Another point that is more-often-than-not confused is what Jesus Christ means when he says that in the resurrection, the children of God, will be like the angels (cf. Matt. 22:30; Mark 12:25; Luke 20:34-36). Most people in contemporary times begin to conjure up images of ethereal beings when they think of angels. In these texts, this need not be the case. In my book, Wicked, wherein I seek to highlight necessary study regarding angels, demons, Satan, etc..I explain, “Rather than see these angels (not all mentions in Scripture) as otherworldly beings though, I understand them to be human beings commissioned by God and endowed with Spiritual (elevated) powers”. Jesus Christ was contrasting the current state of the Jews as being bound to the Law of Moses, but “in the resurrection”, they would be the sons of God who do not die and who were not bound to the Law of Moses (like the angels/messengers). 

On last Tuesday’s session of NCMI Live, Ward Fenley went on to say, ““There is neither male nor female for they are all one in Christ (Galatians 3:28)”. This corresponds perfectly with Christ’s statement that there will be no marriage in the kingdom of heaven. We are all one in Christ and there is neither male nor female. His Kingdom is not of this world. Therefore, the fact there there is still marriage in this physical life does not negate the fact that there is no marriage in the Kingdom anymore than the fact that there are males and females in this physical life and there not males and females in the Kingdom”. 

I trust that these thoughts were edifying and clarifying. May we continue to show forth the fruit of fulfillments, or, as I often like to say, the power of preterism. God willing, YOU might consider joining us for more conversation in this regard next Tuesday night at 8:30pm (Eastern Standard Time)on NCMI Live. 

By His Grace & Knowledge, 
Michael Miano 

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

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/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOpE_OLNFOQ

https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2021/05/27/book-review-festival-days-by-chaim-raphael/


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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xassavqfwU8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XW8A2jeWbI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYos9uDdIQQ

Feast of Unleavened Bread

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaQvLGa4tyg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnP9ujKQUhw&t=634s

Feast of Firstfruits 

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbhy5Qq6ffE

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/firstfruits-and-pentecost/

https://archive.gci.org/articles/harvest-seasons-of-ancient-israel/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkgk1axiecE&t=1s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbhy5Qq6ffE

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5jmdfYhFwU&t=1980s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Psnr9uHPV4k&t=642s

Feast of Trumpets 

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

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtIpLYGCaBs&t=718s

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMPlSlZ0DZI

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

https://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/829633-temples-tabernacles-and-the-weight-of-god-s-glory-concluding-exodus?fbclid=IwAR04bphzAOv0AQdpmMl8vjveZsaH8YzooSkEGh6U7ImQa5IrYeu4XXO5Sms

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucn_GnpPaSg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pWJ59Zzy5Q&t=108s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-C7mwtTUmY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZheanQlyVuw&t=29s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB2tORv-h1g