April 2018 – Preterist Conferences

IndianaEschatologySeminar.jpg

Well, glory to God! This past weekend (April 20-22) there were 2 Preterist conferences happening at the same time. The Berean Bible Church led by Pastor David Curtis had their usual annual conference (which dvd/mp3 ordering will begin for soon). Many attend and speak of the edification that comes from BBC. Visit their website to get more information, http://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/conference/

However, I am writing this blog to speak about the Indianapolis Eschatology Seminar. I am just now realizing that there was a debate between well-known Preterist leader Dr. John Noe and Church of Christ preacher Steve Baisden (who is also a Preterist). I know I am looking forward to checking that out. Also, they had a great line up of speakers – Mr. Scott Klaft, Mr. Holger Neubauer, Mr. Roy Runyon, and Mr. Charles Parsley. Admittedly, I have only read a few things by these names, however they seem to be on the frontline of the reformation happening not only in the Churches of Christ, but even within the larger Christian body. As I said at the beginning, glory to God! The following link has details about the speakers and the conference, http://westsidecoc.org/jm/index.php/events/17-indianapolis-eschatology-seminar

I am looking to having an interview with the lead preacher, John Watson, from Westside Church of Christ (where this conference happened) in weeks to come. Matter of fact, tune in to the Hairy Ticks Variety Show on TFC Radio (www.tfcradio.org) on Tuesday, May 1st and you will get to hear that interview.

Also, in the meantime, I’d like to encourage you to view the resources that have been put out from this conference. I know I will be diving in to the details throughout this week. The following link is to the YouTube page where you can view the speakers for yourself, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEmsXxNOI45GFZIGmfA1kog

May we continue to see God glorified as we study and discern His Truth!

In Service to Christ Jesus,

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

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!

Eschatology Debate Proposal (Preterism/ Futurism)

Dear Dr. John Pretlove,
First Baptist Church of Lakes
Las Vegas, Nevada

Dr. Pretlove, I approach you with this proposal in His holy service, and pray that all that is mentioned herein is received with humility and gentleness – as that is the intention I am writing with.

Recently, I have heard quite a bit of interest in the Las Vegas area regarding the truth of Full Preterism and the reforms it is provoking in congregations all over not only the United States, but also all over the world. This comes as a blessing, yet as with any reformation in Christian thought, it comes with iron sharpening iron. Paradigm shifts are never gentle, especially when the leaders are at the forefront labeling things “heresy”.

I listened to your sermon on 1 Corinthians chapter 15 that you podcast-ed as of July 12th, 2015. In said sermon you make some statements regarding those in the midst of your congregation who have expressed interest in these reforms, and then you proceed to misrepresent the Full Preterist position of the “Resurrection of the Dead” as a ‘Gnostic heresy’.

I have debated in defense of Full Preterism before, focusing on God’s glory in our debate, as well as mutually edifying conversation. You can watch some of these debates/ discussions on YouTube.

I say all of that to make a proposal to you. Since you did you diligent duty of what you see as “rebuking heresy” from the pulpit, I am now asking you to follow through and properly” debunk Preterism” in an honest way, not setting up what one might call a “straw man”.
Here is the proposal:

December 2015 at First Baptist Church of Lakes (you pick the dates- 2 nights)
Topic – The Work of Christ: What Has Been Fulfilled & What Has Not?!?!

1st Night we will present 30 minute arguments against each others position and answer audience concerns.

2nd Night we will do a debate and have final statements.

(of course we can deal with all the details once you accept this basic proposal)

I firmly believe that we can do this in a manner that glorifies God, challenges both of us to look honestly at our positions, and answer concerns of those within your congregation. Also, since you have seemingly “attacked” those in your midst preaching against a false version of “Full Preterism”, it seems fair to challenge you regarding the true position of Full Preterism, especially regarding “The Resurrection of the Dead”.

I will be looking forward to your response.

In Christ,
Pastor Michael Miano
Blue Point Bibe Church

Office: (631) 363-6111
Cell: (239) 603-5695

 Email: ChristianityGoneWild@yahoo.com

Local Newspaper Submission: A Pastor’s Response to the Stronghold of Heroin

We live in a society of conflict. What I mean is that we as a community, have such varied views on everything from fashion to moral values that often we can hardly agree on any one thing. This isn’t necessarily anything new.
Ancient cultures often found themselves at conflict with each other as well. Strongholds were the places of seeming refuge when invading forces came into a certain culture, usually built with high walls and set at a high place. These strongholds would provide a walled-in safety from invaders- however reliance upon them was not always reliable- especially if you found yourself fighting against God. Instead of keeping you safe, this stronghold would instead keep you captive and would deliver you right into the hands of the enemy. This reality is depicted through the historical story of how God defeated and destroyed nations that stood in opposition to what He was doing in and through ancient Israel. They relied upon their strongholds to give them security, safety, and life.
In 2 Corinthians chapter 10, Paul, a leading disciple of Jesus Christ in the first century, utilized the ancient understanding of strongholds in a metaphoric way. Inspired by God, the Apostle Paul remarked, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
 Just as when ancients cultures rebelled against the things of God and sought out “strongholds” for safety and life itself, rather than destruction, so we find many in our society doing the same today. Our culture continually seeks to establish different ways to find life resulting in the same idolatry that destroyed ancient cultures who rebelled against the things of God.
When idols were set up, demons pervaded the land. This is nothing short of what we see here in our Western culture – demons running rampant destroying lives, families, and our culture as a whole. Heroin is surely one of these demons, a manifestation of the idolatry prevalent in our culture. This is clearly a stronghold in need of destruction that the Christian community must encounter and demolish.
 The obvious question is “How?”
Some pastors are content with casting out “demons” and rely upon an understanding of waiting for God to do something, however a priest once remarked, “Good things come to those who wait, but great things come to those who get off their butts and go find God at work.”
I have opportunity to be in communication with good men and women who struggled with addiction and now seek to provide wise counsel to those stuck in addiction, hole up in a stronghold, or oppressed by the demon of Heroin. God is surely at work.
Battles are usually hard-work and require perseverance to ensure the defeat of the enemy. I am glad to say that the program- Heroin Anonymous- has God on their side, as they wage war on this deadly stronghold.
You can learn more about this organization, which itself professes, “Our only desire is to be helpful to the suffering heroin addict.”, by visiting http://heroinanonymous.org
 Or visit a local meeting. There are various held across Long Island. At Blue Point Bible Church there is a Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday meeting held at 8pm.
I pray you see the victory in having such programs, that take abstract theology and put the “healing” into practical reality.
In Service to Jesus Christ,
 Pastor Michael Miano
 Blue Point Bible Church