The End Times Conference & Debate: AFTERTHOUGHTS

Wait…… if The “END TIMES” BIBLE CONFERENCE @ BPBC is all over with and fulfilled, does that mean there is nothing or no benefit from the conference for you (those of you who were not there)?
Of course not. Fulfillment does not take away application. 🙂

As we see our brothers and sisters going back home from all over the world, minds still fasncinated with all that was presented and detailed this weekend at Blue Point Bible Church (www.bluepointbiblechurch), and we are beginning to prepare videos for upload to Youtube – I wanted to share some afterthoughts about the conference.

The speakers were all amazing and full of knowledge and passion, what I like to refer to as “zeal empowered by knowledge”. I was able to take pictures with a man I admire, Mr. Ed Stevens, and even recieve encouragement in ministry from him. I was able to converse and of course take pictures with ‘next generation reformers’ like Mr. Adam Maarshalk, Mr. Daniel Colon, Ms. Michelle Waite. Mr. Glenn Hill gave us the “X-Ray of an Old Preacher’s Heart” and members from a fellow church on Long Island, Sound of Heaven, ( Johnny Ova and Jason D’ Ambrosio) brought passion and conviction regarding the truth of fulfillment. Glory to God.

Two videos from the conference are already available:

Herman & Nudix Comedy Skit about the “Holey Bible”                   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_TLo29IOio

Sunday Sermon by Pastor Michael Miano                                                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfV6OR2WTng

I honestly have a lot to say and develop regarding the “movement” of Preterism and all that was shared and discussed at the conference this week. There is truly an amazing amount of POWER in this “Preterist Reformation” and I am excited to get to work and invite others to work with me through the The Power of Preterism Network (TPPN).

My “opponent” in debate regarding the “end times” was Mr. Stephen Whitsett who holds to the view of ‘Middleism’, what he believes is a balanced look at Bible prophecy. I totally disagree with Mr. Whitsett in regards to what the Bible is speaking about in regards to the end, however I have come to appreciate him as a brother and the ‘Spirit’ he carries within him. Meeting face to face surely has a different effect than debating on Facebook. Mr. Whitsett has already produced his own ‘reflections’ on the conference and debate which you can read here:

Reflections: Miano – Whitsett Debate

As I think through the debate and read Mr. Whitsett’s reflections I am reminded that “Futurism, regardless to Mr. Whitsett’s attempt of “Middleism”, is telling the wrong story- he essentially rips the point of what is being discussed in the New Testament and makes it about his own hopes of a change from this life- rather than what Israel hoped for (which I sought to make clear in my opening statement of the debate). In response to that Mr. Whitsett makes claims that this is me (the preterist) forcing the context into “my box” of interpretation. In his “reflections” he remarks:
“In the debate this difference became very apparent. When the meaning of the plain sentence and words contradict the preterist position the spiritual application is always applied: it’s not talking about X Y Z, it’s about the passing of the Old and the introduction of the New (which is a very broad meaning). So every difficult passage he applied his spiritual meaning over instead of what the literal words state.”

That is not the case at all. Instead what I do when reading my Bible is seek to find what the text meant to those it was originally written to and then when I understand all the details, I seek application and understanding for us – the people of God. That’s the plain meaning of the text, in contrast to the “plain meaning” that Mr. Whitsett is offering. This seems to be the responsible way to handle the Scriptures- essentially, understanding the narrative of Scripture and what that pointed to. What Mr. Whitsett wants to do is demand that the “plain meaning” is whatever he (or others of the futurist persuasion) demand it to be. Is that the proper way to understand a story you have been invited into? Not to mention a story that is told by writings spanning from over 10,000 – 2,000 years old?

All too often, we demand the texts found in Scripture are talking about what we want them to be detailing, and then we force that understanding upon the Scriptures. Simply put, the reality of the resurrection of the dead has a context that is weaved through the Old and New Testaments.

“For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity (Ephesians 2:14-15)”.

I believe I represented that well in the debate.

Building upon that I will be working on a sermon series detailing the “One New Man” that was the goal of the ages, and how fufilled Bible prophecy makes Christ’s work very clear.
Not only does Mr. Whitsett, as the Futurist so often does, distort that goal in his attempt to demand the “body” or “bodies” being spoken about in Scripture is an individual reality – he also expressed failure in showing where this yet future physical coming of Jesus Christ is expounded upon in Scripture. You will see when you watch the debate, after asking him 2 times to give me the details, I simply gave up because he could produce not even one Scripture.

That alone ironically makes Mr. Whitsett a smart man. He knows the “time texts”, and thus is why he seeks to make the “coming of the clouds” simply Christ’s ascension, rather than noticing yes it points to His ascension and the reality of His coming in judgement- they both go hand in hand.

So Mr. Whitsett avoids the time-statements, and tries to focus on the “nature” of the coming- which he demands to be physical since the Greek work used for Christ’s appearance in some texts is ‘Epiphaneia’ means to manifest, to be made visible. This seemingly gets silly and seems like a circular argument because the Preterist is simply saying that the “coming of the Lord” is an already defined expression when John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and the Apostles use it (I believe I expressed that clearly as well in my opening statement). It meant judgement. And as a Preterist I surely believe that “judgement” was visible and made clear as the Roman armies brought destruction upon the “earth” (Greek term ‘ge’ which means land not planet) and “clouds” surrounded the city”.

I wasn’t there of course, but the first century Jewish historian Josephus was, and he detailed the Jewish-Roman War in this way:
“… a few days after that feast, on the one- and-twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared; I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities.”

The 4th century ‘Church Historian’ Eusebius even noted this is historical writings – Ecclesiastical History, Book 3, Ch. 8).

No redefining needed on behalf of the Preterist at all. Actually, it is the ‘Futurist View’ that not only redefines the eschatological details, they also come awfully close to distorting the entire “hope of Israel”. As I write this, Mr. Whitsett is confusingly still arguing on my Facebook status for a physical return of Jesus Christ – citing part of Bible verses while ignorning the context.

So….. let the “Preterist Reformation” continue.

Be diligent, The time is coming soon, Wait and watch – not the end, but rather the beginning. 🙂

Get involved with The Power of Preterism Network (TPPN) and Reformation NOW by simply getting on the email list by emailing your name, location (city & state), email, and phone number to ChristianityGoneWild@yahoo.com

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Michael Miano

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