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!

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