SHARED DISCUSSION: 4th Sunday Discussion Group Details at BPBC

At the Blue Point Bible Church (www.bluepointbiblechurch.org), we strive toward ‘Making Known the Manifold Wisdom of God, in Word and in Deed’. In accordance with, I (Pastor Michael Miano) have allowed for what we call a 4th Sunday Discussion Group, a time when people in our congregation can ask some questions.

In this blog, I want to share the details that we discussed this Sunday, and prayerfully provide both clarity, as well as encouragement for you to study further.

In my sermon on Sunday, I detailed the possibility of Jesus ben Ananus being a demonstration of the “two witnesses” found in Revelation chapter 11. In our discussion group, it was brought up that Jesus ben Ananus could very well be a “type of Christ”. I shared that the commentator, Daniel Morais, from whom I borrowed the concept does detail that in his commentary. Surely something we can study out. Here is the link to that commentary:

http://revelationrevolution.org/revelation-11-a-preterist-commentary-who-are-the-two-witnesses/

Also, here is the podcasted sermon of what I preached this Sunday:

http://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/318731-the-apocalyptic-details-of-revelation-chapters-11-12

In our group discussion we also talked about the ‘mystery of God’ as revealed through the prophets, more specifically as mentioned in 1 Peter chapter 1. Pastor Miano detailed that the New Covenant and all that we have in and through Jesus Christ is the mystery itself- something that a proper reading through Ephesians chapter 1-3, as well as Romans chapters 8-15 should reveal.

Our conversation then turned toward ‘evangelism’, ‘the gospel’, as well as how God’s sovereignty plays a part in all of that. If God knows all, and all things happen in accordance with His will- why pray? Why evangelize? I was glad to answer questions to the best of my ability in these regards, as well as exhort the saints to continue to study. Pastor John Piper’s messages and websites, as well as Monergism.com have been great resources in these regards. For example here is a link, http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-sovereignty-of-god-and-prayer

I pray that I was able to make it clear that God is honored through our attempts at ‘prayer’ and ‘evangelism’ even if it doesn’t all make sense to us, however His Word commands it, and therefore we “walk worthy” by offering it. Surely where we can all agree is that God is always pleased when we do those things which He asks.

As we concluded our discussion we excitedly talked about “making known the Gospel”. How can we do that? What is a simple expression of the Gospel that is faithful to the story from Genesis to Revelation?

I look forward to producing a video in the next couple days that will be made available through Youtube on how we can best preach what I refer to as the “Fulfilled Gospel” in less than 6 minutes, and not offer a ‘cut & paste Gospel’, but rather a presentation that is true to the Biblical text and expresses the full gospel story from creation to consummation. A simple way I will explain it here is this:

As with everything, we must rightly define the PROBLEM – the Bible starts with a creation story wherein prior to God “acting” the earth was “formless and void”. Scholars have pointed our this is equivalent to saying ‘useless’ akin to a ‘desert wasteland’. How many peoples lives to do you know who can be described in that manner?

That being noted we move to the SOLUTION. The whole Biblical Narrative is about the failure of Old Covenant Israel to walk in line with the ‘things of God’ (a longer drawn out story very similar to the ‘Garden of Eden’). Simply put, in order for man to live a life that glorifies God which in turn offers blessings, and as Jesus Christ put it Himself “life to the full” (see, John 10:10), man needs a savior. Not a faulty solution- as our culture offers so many “faulty solutions”, we know that Jesus Christ- His life, His death, His sacrifice, His teachings all offer “life to the full” and that is what we offer as we seek to ehort the nations to “know and practice” the teachings of Jesus (see, Matthew chapter 7 verses 7 through 27).

And finally, once we make clear the PROBLEM, as well as the ‘proposed SOLUTION’, we then want to “close the deal”, which in contrast to a “hasty Gospel’ which is preached through the Sinner’s Prayer and a ‘ticket to heaven’, we offer DISCIPLESHIP. As one of my favorite writers notes, “For the disciple of Jesus, discipleship is not the first step toward a promising career. Discipleship is the fulfillment of your life long destiny”. The people around us want “life to the full”, some know it, some don’t. What we offer through “Jesus Christ” is the opportunity to find and live in the reality of a “fulfilling life” which is only found by way of the true knowledge of God (see, 2 Peter chapter 1).

Also, I believe the two writings that I have made available over the last two days may also be helpful to you.

Here is an article on the verses that point to “every knee bowing to Jesus”, which I wrote for TFC Magazine:

http://www.tfcmag.com/article-home.php?id=252&p=&search=#ontitle

And here is a blog on “Discipleship” that I posted yesterday:

https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/rendering-you-neither-useless-nor-unfruitful-in-the-knowledge-of-god-make-disciples/

In His Service,

Pastor Michael Miano

Director, The Power of Preterism Network

BOOK REVIEW: Final Decade Before the End by Mr. Ed Stevens

In the Christian circles that I navigate Mr. Ed Stevens is known as one of the best resources for Jewish and Christian history. This book, Final Decade Before the End, is A MUST READ for anyone serious about understanding ‘Jewish and Christian history just before the Jewish Revolt’. He really delivered on his promise to offer a ‘historical reconstruction’ help “form a comprehensive understanding of what was really happening to Christianity during that final decade just before the end.”

At the Blue Point Bible Church, where I serve as pastor, we have been going through the “Biblical Narrative” from Genesis to Revelation since February 2015. Mr. Stevens book has been the ‘resource above resources’ for my study into the culture and time of the New Testament writings.

Not only does he provide a basic timetable for the writing and courier activity of the New Testament writings, he also provides important chronological details during that time. Also noteworthy for sure is his constant use of not just quotes, but entire passages from early, almost ancient historians such as Josephus, Tacitus, Seneca, Suetonius, among others.

I write this as I have just finished reading his book this afternoon – I took time using it as a reference tool for the past 3 months. However, now that we have embarked upon understanding the ‘Book of Revelation’ in our congregation, I felt it necessary to read through the whole book to get the ‘juicy details’ concerning the history of the Neronian persecution, as well as the Roman-Jewish war. ‘;

Regarding the ‘history of the end’, Mr. Stevens delivers a writing with powerful evidence in first century Bible prophecy fulfillment, surely details you want to have as we continue bringing forth the truth of Full Preterism. I cannot say it enough, this is A MUST HAVE RESOURCE!

All of that said, there are surely areas I found myself disagreeing with Mr. Stevens, specifically his explanation of why the historic church did not document nor provide evidence of the experiences of the ‘time of the end’ – ie., the rapture theory. Also, as I examined the charts Mr. Stevens provides regarding the ‘expectations of the saints’, I found myself disagreeing with his reference to the hope of individual bodies at death and the nature of that fulfillment in regards to the ‘resurrection of the dead’. I look forward to interacting with these details in the near future.

Again, I note the disagreement just to be honest in my review, however take those areas out (to be agreeable with my position) or keep them it, the book is still amazing! I will continue to recommend the resources of Mr. Stevens- especially, as we encourage others to understand the historic events of the Neronian persecution, as well as the Roman-Jewish War.

“We are devoted to chasing after the Biblical and Historical Truth, wherever it leads, and whatever it takes. This book was written for truth chasers like you”. – Ed Stevens

Order your copy at the following link:http://www.preterist.org/products/final-decade-before-the-end-print-edition

In Christ’s Name,

Michael Miano

P.S. – Mr. Stevens book also helped me solidify my position on the Millennium noting the events prior to A.D. 64, and what would follow after with the Neronian persecution. This was a big deal to me and I feel forever indebted to him for that!