AM Devotional Time – “Erect Altars”

This morning I woke up and began to do my daily common prayer and was totally blessed by the reading and feel divinely obliged to share.

During this moment of crisis, many are continually wondering what they should be doing. In the very least, I hope you have challenged yourself to use this timely wisely and worthily. So, as I sit in self-isolation and practice healthy social-distancing, I desire that many would be touched by God in this moment. How can we all truly be the priesthood of Believer’s during this time, a time when the “healing of the nations” is very much needed?

So this morning I opened my prayer books to the wrong date?!?! Today is not the 29th, but the 27th!  But consider the wisdom that was shared.

In the Daily Bread reading, Jesus’s words in John chapter 15 were mentioned, “I am the Vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit”. This was coupled with the challenging questions:

What does it mean for you to remain in Jesus?

How has He equipped you to bear fruit for Him?

I do encourage you to consider these questions today.

Now couple that wisdom with what was revealed through my Common Prayer reading:

“Since once again, Lord, I have neither bread, nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the real itself; I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and on it I will offer you all the labors and suffering of the world”. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 20th century Jesuit philosopher

Lord God, we give you thanks that no building can house You fully and no place of worship can contain Your majesty. Teach us by our deeds of peace and justice and joyful celebration to erect altars in the world, so that when some other soul comes across them, they will see that you are indeed present everywhere. – Common Prayer

God’s “healing of the nations”, the “pure majesty of the real itself,  is demonstrated through our individual lives, outside of corporate worship, as we seek peace, justice, and joyful celebration, thus erecting altars, always remaining in Him and Him in us. We must continually discern our methods of remaining in Jesus (“spiritual disciplines”) and how he has equipped us to bear fruit (areas we might serve) to place in “praise” upon His altar (see, Hebrews 13:15-16).

In your prayers and actions today, erect altars demonstrating the presence of God for others to see.

In Service to Him,
Pastor Michael Miano
The Blue Point Bible Church
www.bluepointbiblechurch.org

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3/26 – Beyond Creation Science (Pt. 9)

Here is the link to the accompanying YouTube video for this lesson, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnS4YC8dw-Y&t=5s

Below you will find chapter outlines and links mentioned in the video.

 

 

Beyond Creation Science
Chapter 13 – The Great Creation Debate

The Early Date for the Writing of Genesis

 
The Nature of Biblical Language

 

Agreement of “Literalists” and Evolutionists

 

Church History & the Days of Creation

 

A Biblical Reading of the Days of Genesis 1

 

Evening & Morning

 

The “Literal” Conundrum in Genesis 1

 

The Creation Week and the Sabbath

 

Genesis 1 vs. Genesis 2, Literally

 

Day 6 – The First Long Day?

 

“Generations” & “This Generation”

 

 

Beyond Creation Science
Chapter 14 – Covenant Creation

 

Covenant: Genesis to Revelation
The Scientific Literal Approach to Genesis

 

Scientific Literalism: Beginning to End

 
The Biblical Literal Approach to Genesis

 

Creation & Prophecy
The Apocalyptic Nature of Creation

 

Apocalyptic Past

 

The Apocalyptic Focus

 

Preliminary Objections

 

Does Apocalyptic Exclude Historical Events

 

Must Apocalyptic Define All of Genesis?

 

 
Beyond Creation Science
Questions for Personal Study of Chapter 14

How would you explain “What Genesis does, Revelation undoes”?

 

How would you explain the difference between “the scientific literal approach” and the Biblical literal approach” to Genesis?

 

What type of literature do we find in Genesis and how do we discern that?

 

When it comes to Bible prophecy, “The central issue is ____________________________, not science. (Please fill in the blank (two words)

 

 

Also, here are two links I mentioned in the video (1st one – Ancestral Story of the Image of God & 2nd one – The Ancient Near East Context of Genesis): 

https://www.academia.edu/9695120/A_Must_Read_The_Ancestral_Story_of_the_Image_of_God

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https://www.academia.edu/20019677/The_Ancient_Near_Eastern_Context_of_the_Genesis_Creation_and_Flood_Stories_and_Its_Impact_on_Biblical_Inspiration

 

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3.19 – Beyond Creation Science (Pt. 8)

In this video and outline, we take a look at chapters 11 – 12 of Beyond Creation Science.

Here is a link to the video, (and below is the outline with some provided excerpts), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSdYdXo03mg

 


Chapter 11 – God’s Curse on Adam: The Problem

Key words:
Dispensationalism – It considers biblical history as divided by God into dispensations, defined periods or ages to which God has allotted distinctive administrative principles.

Evolutionism –  is defined as the process of growth and development or the theory that organisms have grown and developed from past organisms. … An example of evolution is the theory started by Charles Darwin that theorizes about how humans came to be in their present form.

Creationism – the belief that the universe and living organisms originate from specific acts of divine creation, as in the biblical account, rather than by natural processes such as evolution.

YEC – Young- Earth Creationism

OEC – Old – Earth Creationism

Gnosticism –  says that humans are divine souls trapped in the ordinary physical (or material) world. They say that the world was made by an imperfect spirit.

 

The Flood & Death Before the Fall

“Young – earth creationism claims that there was no biological death in God’s original good creation. In other words, all biological death among breath-based life is the result of sin, and sin entered the world through Adam’s disobedience…biological view of the curse requires that Adam’s fall resulted in a change to the physical laws governing planet Earth”.

“Old earth creationists “suggest the physical world we witness today in the same world God originally created – God’s “very good” creation”.

 

The Dispensational View of Earth’s History
“Literalism explains why young-earth creationists see change between the pre- and post- fall worlds”. 

Reading Isaiah without understanding metaphors and New Testament terms without understanding their prophetic use (“elements”)

The Evolutionism in Young – Earth Creationism

“…consider polar bears and penguins…where do these specifically adapted animals come from?”

“Young- earth creationists cannot dismiss evolution by means of natural selection because that would torpedo their own theory”.

 

Young- Earth Creationism vs. Intelligent Design

“They believe the curse explains what the world is today, not God”.

 

Old – Earth Creationism: Partial – Preterism

“Old – earth creationism implies that the fall did not affect the physical economy of physical life on earth…The curse is anthropocentric, or man – cantered”.

“In the old- earth view, there is essential difference between the physical world of Genesis 1-2 and “our world”. Yet, there is a radical change from “our world” to the “world of Revelation 21-22”.

They “…have abandoned the anthropocentric view of the curse they maintain in Genesis! If the curse did not affect the natural economy of God’s “good creation” then why would God need to remove our physical universe in order to remove the curse through redemption?”.

 

All Roads Lead to Gnosticism

“The sad reality is that both common views of creationism are ultimately indistinguishable from Gnosticism. Both views deny the goodness of God’s physical creation and teach that God must replace it with a new universe in the future. Both views affirm that ultimate salvation is essentially, escape from our present physical world”.

 

Young- Earth Creationist Gnosticism

“The curse now permeates the very elements of the earth”. – Henry Morris

“Young – earth creationist doctrine also has terrible implications for a Christian worldview. If this physical world is cursed and inherently corrupted, then there can be little incentive to maintain our environment for the long-term”.

 

Old – Earth Creationist Gnosticsm
“The original creation had this kind of “temporariness” or “emptiness” according to David Snoke. Man is “unborn” from the beginning”.

 

 

Chapter 12 – God’s Curse on Adam: The Solution

The Biblical View of Heaven
“…the Bible clearly teaches that heaven is not a bookend to history in any way. Heaven existed before the creation is the physical world, and unlike our world, is eternal”.

“Heaven runs concurrently with history, interacting with our world in various ways and at various times. Heaven is not a far off place separated from “here”. Relationally, it is, in fact, close to “here”.

 

The Biblical View of Earth’s History
“Genesis and Revelation are true bookends to redemptive history. Both Genesis and Revelation relate the same story: Adam’s fall and Christ’s redemption”.

“If our physical world existed for a long time before the fall of Adam and was not radically affected by his sin, then it stands to reason that Christ’s redemption would not entail a radically changed planet. Thus, the history of planet Earth extends out each direction beyond the Biblical story of the fall and redemption”.

 

Finished Salvation & the Coming of Christ
“Jesus finished His redemptive world in the first century. This means the curse is gone for all those who live “in Christ”…To deny this, one has to suggest that the work of Christ remains incomplete today”.

 

The Good Life in Christ

“Life is good for the believer because Jesus says, “I have come that they might have life, and they they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10)”. Notice that Jesus is not talking about physical life, because everyone lived physically before He came. He is talking about the same life that Adam lost in the garden – covenant life in friendship and communion with God”.

“What about the presence of biological death in our world?…the physical operation of our world does not indicate the need for some ultimate physical conclusion where biological death no longer exists if the physical world did not change as a result of the curse on Adam”.

 

What Do You Mean By Good?

(See quotes in portion of chapter)

 

Our God- Bathed World

“…consider that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil also existed before the fall. This implies that not only death, but evil existed before the fall”.

 

The Divine Purpose of Creation
“How can creation be a symbol of God, today, if the curse caused a manifest change in the physical universe? Would not a great change alter the creational symbols and make them false? If the creation changed as a result of the fall, then we are no longer viewing God’s creation!”.

 

A Biblical Defense of Death Before the Fall
“…imagery of the garden of Eden throughout the entire Bible is applied whenever God’s people live in friendship and covenant with God”.

 

“When You Eat Of It You Will Surely Die”
“If biological death is at issue during the temptation and fall of man, then God’s word to Adam proved to be false and the serpent’s lie proved to be true. Adam and Eve did not die, biologically, when they disobeyed God”.

“Adam broke the covenant relationship and was separated from God. That shows us the nature of “the death” they experienced when they ate was spiritual, not biological”.

 

Jesus & the Adamic Curse

“If Jesus had not died on the cross, would He have died a natural death at some point in His future? Remember, Jesus took on human flesh and a body like ours (1 John 4:2). He was “born of a woman (Gal. 4:4). We suggest that Jesus would have experienced biological death at some point in His life because He has human, even though He never sinned”.

“If biological death is the nature of God’s curse on Adam, then every man pays the penalty for his own sin when he dies…Do all men pay the penalty for for their own sin when they die? Furthermore, what about Christians when they die? Did Jesus pay the entire penalty for the sin of His people? If the answer is “yes”, then biological death cannot be any part of the original penalty for sin, for Christians still experience biological death!”.

“Jesus died a true biological death to fulfil the Law of Moses, but Jesus paid the true penalty for Adam’s sin when He was cut off from fellowship and communion with God the Father”.

 

Humanist Young – Earth Creationism

“The idea that man’s sin could cause the enormous creation God made is implicitly humanistic. It posits that man’s physical place is this world is far greater than the Bible warrants”.

 

The Wild Creation & Our Wild God

“It then occurred to me that after God made all all of this, He pronounced it good, for heaven’s sake…The whole creation is unapologetically wild. God loves it that way”. – John Eldridge

 

Adam, the Serpent, & Inevitable Death

“Adam’s failure in the garden began as a failure to protect the woman from the serpent who invaded his domain. Adam’s failure resulted from cowardice”.

“…the fall of man has nothing to do with the biological death we witness in our world. Biologically death is built into created order from the beginning. Death is a part of life and serves a divine purpose…When Adam and Eve sinned they lost covenant life: union and communion with God”.

 

Redemption & Our World

“Many overlook the fact that the new heaven and earth has nothing to do with a re-creation of our physical universe, but everything to do with the removal of sin’s curse”.

“Christ’s first appearing was for the purpose of offering Himself as a sacrifice for sin. Forty years later, Jesus brought salvation to all the faithful covenant people of God at His second priestly appearing when He came in the full cloud – glory of His Father (Heb. 9:25-28). It was the completed work of Jesus Christ, the true high priest, which removed “the death” Adam suffered at the fall for all those in Christ. The “new heaven and new earth” is where “righteousness dwells”. It exists wherever God’s people live. They have had their sins removed once and for all”.

 

The Death of Death in Historic Church Teaching

– Consider the various positions found all through church history.

 

Futurism Bites the Genesis Debate

“Many miss the truth of what the Bible teaches because they view the curse in physical terms as young-earth creationism teaches…But what if the curse has nothing to do with biological death?”

“If dispensationalism is wrong about the end, then it is also wrong in its view of there nature off the fall and the curse on Adam at the beginning”.

 

The Whole Creation Groans…Until Now 

cf. Genesis 3:17-19; Romans 8:20-22

“The Adamic curse and the Adamic death ended in the first century…How we understand the curse will have direct implications for how we understand the redemption in Christ”.

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Romans 1 – Summary

I am currently in the middle of a discussion with a brother-in-Christ regarding the scope and details of Israel’s hope as mentioned through Romans chapters 1-8. Through recent discussion, we recently agreed to begin writing up summaries on each chapter for our own edification and well as to receive challenge and critique from each other. I am also submitting this to my personal blog for discussions with others on social media and those who read this blog.

Here are my summary notes on Romans chapter 1.

The Book of Romans starts out with the Apostle Paul detailing the “gospel”, the good news of the hope of Israel being fulfilled (that which was made known through the Old Testament prophets), to those at Rome (See, Romans 1:2, 7 cf. 1 Peter 1:10-12; Acts 24 & 26).

In Romans 1:16 the Apostle explains that this gospel is to “the Jew first, and then to the Gentile”. The judgement would begin with the Jews first, and the then the Gentiles, as the Apostle will clarify in the next couple verses about the “wrath of God” and the next few chapters in the Book of Romans. In verse 17, in talking about those who would be saved the Apostle mentions a portion of Habakkuk 2:4 which would have brought the Jewish mind to the judgement of God upon the fatten, “rich”, idolatrous Israel, what the Book of Revelation refers to as she who “committed adultery with the nations” (cf. Revelation chapters 17-18). What Habakkuk reveals and the Apostle Paul intends to remind the reader of the letter is that those who live by faith and the righteousness of God will be saved. The text ultimately reveals a saved remnant, highlighting the “second exodus motif” often referenced to by Bible scholar Tom Holland.

“…the Jews in the first century AD would view concepts of salvation through the Exodus of Israel from Egypt to the promised land.” – Tom Holland

In verses 18 – 2:1, we read about the “wrath of God” being revealed against the generation who “suppress the truth in unrighteousness”, who try to cover their own misdeeds through their judgement of others. This is exactly what the religious leaders of Israel did through their traditions thus nullifying their reward of being in covenant with God (cf. Mark 7:13).

The truth regarding His presence in His holy temple would come to be revealed and all the land would keep silence before him (which did occur in the events of AD 70) cf. Habakkuk 2:20). Much of the popular discussions regarding Natural Theology verses Revealed Theology can be clarified by an understanding of the particular covenant given to Israel, their hope as made known through the prophets, gaining and understanding of proper audience relevance of the details in Romans, and the context of the fulfillment of the “appointed day” judgement.

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Discussing the Glorified Body (pt. 1)

Resurrection Chart

 

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT
I have labored intensely, standing upon the shoulder’s of theological giants of course, to edify and challenge other Christians regarding the Biblical hope and manifestation of the “Glorified Body”. The Glorified Body (“pneumatikos soma” – 1 Corinthians 15:44; “autos doxa soma” – Philippians 3:21) , which is the result of “the resurrection of the dead ones” is not an individually possessed reality after one biological dies, but rather a corporate consummated reality established when the “power of the holy people” was shattered (i.e., Herod’s Temple in AD 70; cf. Daniel 12:1, 7; Matthew 24:3,15; Luke 21:20-22).

Recent interests in “audience relevance” by and within popular contemporary Christian circles is surely a great thing. Not only did Zondervan (a major Christian book distributor) publish the Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and the more recent, 1st Century Study Bible, but popular teacher and Bible scholar, N.T. Wright, published The New Testament In It’s World. In an interview about that book, he issued a great insight and challenge to modern students of the Bible, when he said, “How is that being heard in AD 30, and what would Jesus have intended by it when He said it?” – which is totally different, quite often, from what you get if you don’t do that particular bit of historical work”.

Simply listening to popular theology, or Christian conversation, about the Biblical hope and resurrection of the dead reveals many have failed to do “that particular bit of historical work” to best understand it. The deeper one goes in studying through the historical context of the Biblical hope, the Biblical context itself, and the confusion and subtle obfuscation that has occurred, it becomes clear something is desperately wrong with contemporary teachings.
So in answering the subtitle regarding why this is important, let me assert that false hopes, not matter how dearly we hold them, are not hopes we should build up. Rather in our “searching and proving all things” (cf. Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21), we should “demolish strongholds” and all knowledge that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God (cf. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6; 1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Peter 1:8) and declare the “hope fulfilled” which is a tree of life (cf. Proverbs 13:12). Rather than nonsensical obsessions with the afterlife, gaining an understanding of the “one hope” that graces the entire Biblical narrative, helps us to truly sanctify the Lord in our hearts, and to have an answer for the hope that is within us (cf. 1 Peter 3:15).

 

CURRENT CONVERSATIONS
A while back, two specific conversations regarding two specific portions of Scripture, were brought to my attention. One brother brought up some thoughts regarding the use of the word “body” in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 and how that might connect to the use of “body” in 1 Corinthians chapter 15. In previous discussions, he asserted that “…if they were committing fornication with their physical bodies, would not Paul’s logic about resurrection necessarily imply that the resurrection is also bodily in that passage? The point is that God will raise their physical bodies, so he has a right to tell them what to do with their physical bodes now.”. My response was showing the correlation to resurrecting being “… their (individual members of the body) acting inappropriate with their physical bodies brings shame to the resurrection of the corporate body.” This was said to be a “convenient” approach.
I plan to demonstrate through my study and exposition of 1 Corinthians chapter 6, and how that correlates to the “resurrection of the dead” in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, that this speaks to a corporate hope. Individuals/”members” are part of the corporate “body”, but are not the focal point, nor the goal, of what God would provide for His people.

Another longtime coming study, and somewhat similar in theme, is with a brother that asserted a reading and review of Romans chapters 1-8 will bear out an individual focus of the resurrection of the dead, rather than my often asserted position of the Corporate Body View (CBV). We had agreed to a contextual study through the chapters highlighting texts that point to the promise of resurrection.

I look forward to offering my position with clarity and to edify others. Each week I look to provide blogs and podcasts (Power Preterism Radio – https://www.buzzsprout.com/607474) reviewing these issues. I’d also like to provide my email – mianogonewild@yahoo.com – for feedback, critique, and questions.

 

PREVIOUS RESOURCES
As mentioned at the beginning, I have put together quite a few sermons and blogs regarding our growth in understanding the glorified body and the resurrection of the dead. Below are the resources for focused on this topic:

https://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/371019
On Sunday, April 10th, 2016….Pastor Michael Miano continued preaching through the “One New Man” Sermon Series. Today’s text was 1 Corinthians chapters 12-15. Pastor Miano established the contextual details as to what was happening in Corinth at the time of this letter being written by the Apostle Paul. Also, Pastor Miano brought us through the details of chapter 12-14, and set up our introduction into 1 Corinthians chapter 15 next week.

https://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/372996
On Sunday, April 17th, 2016…Pastor Michael Miano continued preaching through the context of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (which was detailed last week – 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14). In this sermon, Pastor Miano detailed the Biblically contextual view of the “resurrection of the dead” as outline in 1 Corinthians chapter 15.

https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/the-church-as-the-deposit-of-his-life/
Yes, Christ’s resurrection was a “sign” (which He called it Himself in Matthew 12: 38-45) to demonstrate His faithfulness, mercy, and power that would be demonstrated in and through His Church. In Christ, those who are dead find life, and the dead ones are put in right standing (otherwise known as the “resurrection of the dead”), and the focal point of the covenant is no longer a mortal body (“flesh and blood”/ OC Israel), but rather is based upon the Spirit of Christ as found in and through His Glorified body (the Church) – “the fulness of Him who fills all and all”.
https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/notebook-review-resurrection-of-the-dead/
To God be the glory,
Michael Miano
Pastor, The Blue Point Bible Church
Director, The Power of Preterism Network
Apologist, MGW Apologetics

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Baptism That Matters

Recently, I gave a listen to 2 podcasts dealing with “baptism-related issues”. I have studied through and challenged myself regarding baptism quite a bit and am always willing to hear the convictions of others (even if I might be in disagreement). I say that to demonstrate that I am no stranger to the conversation about baptism, especially as it pertains to the doctrine held by many in the Church of Christ wherein water baptism is seen as the moment of salvation, as long as it is understood in said fashion (meaning you believe that the moment you are going under is the moment God is forgiving you of your sins against Him). I have professed my disagreement with that belief a few times now, noting that the baptism of importance is the Lord’s sovereign work in a Believer’s heart and mind, Spiritually changing their direction in life, and through that said reformation enabling a Believer to confess Christ and bear fruit for His glory.
Daniel Rogers, preacher at Hickory Street Church of Christ, recently put together a video challenging the notion, “Is baptism essential for salvation”. He highlighted that not all who are in heaven were water baptized for salvation (alluding to the Old Testament saints), however all that are in heaven are “born from above”. That would mean that water baptism is not necessarily the only way men can be saved and given an inheritance of eternal life. Daniel highlighted the importance of water baptism as identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (citing Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-4), correlating to circumcision in the Old Covenant (cf. Colossians 2:11) yet giving more weight to the conscience of the Believer not the physical act (cf. 1 Peter 3:21).

Furthermore, in defense of his convictions, Daniel went into what I would refer to as emotional arguments regarding those who have not heard the message of the Gospel, or have been given a bad presentation of it, and sought to excuse them from the wrath of God. In the same manner, Daniel charged that it would be unfair of God to punish those who have desired to worship God in Spirit and in Truth, yet have not properly been compelled to be baptized in water for the remission of sins.

You can watch that video at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPiZTB2_ifA&t=1792s

Holger Neubauer, preacher at Lakeshore Church of Christ, responded disagreeably to Daniel’s video, in a fair and friendly manner. You can watch his review at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY1asgLURQg

From the outset Holger highlighted that while he has a friendship with Daniel (among many others) his effort at seeking truth is what holds primacy. He expressed frustration with the lack of essentials being highlighted in the church. He asserted that some have given up on baptism, the Lord’s supper, Scriptural application, and even gathering as the church and this has led to the stalling of the message of fulfillment progressing in and through Christ’s Church. Listening to Holger you would think that the Church of Christ has continued to hold to a firm concrete view on water baptism and the need for those with erroneous views to be re-immersed, which isn’t necessarily the case. Dallas Burdette had put together this rather compelling studying showing “ The early reformers were not immersed with a consciousness of “remission of sins” flashing like neon lights at the time of their baptisms. The pioneers set forth their objections to the practice of rebaptizing individuals who were baptized upon the confession of their faith that Jesus is the Son of God” and should assist many Christians to exercise more toleration toward those who have not arrived at the same conclusions as themselves. Every prayer to God should call upon God to help all believers to understand that the overriding factor in baptism is one’s desire to obey God. The Scriptures teach that anyone baptized into the name of Jesus is a part of God’s kingdom. One’s longing to submit to God is the dominant principle for legitimacy in any baptism.” You can read that study at the following link, http://www.freedominchrist.net/Sermons/Baptism/Rebaptism%20in%20the%20Stone-Campbell%20Movement.htm?fbclid=IwAR0i9USf-7yIjCMozkEzN2yj5m6wt_oHHcRVCjbaXslrEBVy8rFDFjX-QSk

In his video, Holger explained that the “anointing” in 1 John 2:7 corresponds to the “seal” of 1 Corinthians 1:21-22, as the means by which one came into the “covenant faith”. Referring to what he asserts as the “immediacy of baptism”, Holger would highlight water baptism as that anointing and seal (and would show you how immediately after hearing the gospel many were “baptized” (cf. Acts 2, 8, 10, 16, 19, and 22). Therefore, Holger asserts water baptism for the remission of sins, as the identify marker of one’s being in “the faith” (which he explains as God speaks, man hears, and man obeys).
I have continued to view Holger as a great teacher and preacher of God’s truths, especially as it pertains to the “hope of Israel”, despite this area of disagreement. I tend to disagree with his view on baptism, and rather than water being the mode of identification in baptism, I would understand the Believer’s identifying and thus salvific baptism as one’s being immersed and absolved in Christ by confession, possession, and increase in Christ (cf. Romans 10:8-17; 2 Peter 1:3-11). This allows for me to see Holger’s passion and interpretation as a bit misguided, whereas he must see me as unsaved. A strange view for a follower of Him who rebuked those who have outward identifying features as prominent and as a means of being “clean”, rather than the inner identifying features (cf. Matthew 7: 15 – 29; 23:25-26). Take note of how many have professed Christ, gone to altar calls, and have even been water baptized, only to be inwardly, increasingly wicked.

All of that said, I have admitted my continued study and seeking of conviction in this area. Holger desires a response for the immediacy of baptism in the book of Acts and a lack of regard today. In a brief “car conversation” I enjoyed with Dr. William Bell after last year’s, Preterist Pilgrim Weekend, he challenged me to give a response regarding why the Ethiopian Eunuch was water baptized in Acts chapter 8. I therefore encourage all to continue to study, seek His face in prayer, and find and defend your convictions on the matter keeping in mind what reformer Martin Luther said, “…to go against conscience is neither right nor safe”.

While believing the Gospel to be the “instrument of God’s judgement” (which I agree with), both Holger and Daniel hold to an “age of accountability” and an absence of accountability for those who had/have not heard it. This rings strange to me. I would much more assert that the Gospel is designed to bring life and life to the full to God’s elect, those whom God has designed for it to edify and bring into covenant with Him, His Church and those who have yet to find and know life. This puts us at interesting odds with each other’s views regarding our urgency for the Gospel, yet, I believe we can and should work together for the glory of God.

So what’s the way forward? Well, I enjoy the challenge to mark out essentials, as have increasingly been provoked by many preachers within the Church of Christ. I appreciate and agree with the high regard for God’s work in and through His church and the necessity of having a concise message and method of explain and promoting salvation in and through Christ Jesus. Scripture asserts that we must have faith believing that God exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him (cf. Hebrews 11:1-6). Therefore as affirming myself and others in the faith I will stand upon the goal of the faith, which is “love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith”, (cf. 1 Timothy 1:5). With that goal in mind, I will challenge each man/woman I do ministry work with, those I lead to and in Christ, even the stranger on the street. Those whose lives demonstrate the reality of that goal, who confess and their lives profess Christ Jesus in a good and honest effort in that, I believe can say are good soil to work with (cf. Luke 8:15-17). That’s focusing on the one baptism that matters.

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2019/2020 – Renew & Review

Each year I aim to provide an review of resources and studies I found edifying throughout the previous year. Review provides a great foundation for renewal. May God provide the increase.

I started out 2019 with the goal to make it “A Fully – effective & God- glorifying year”, namely by establishing boundaries and priorities. I sought to develop spiritual disciplines and seek God’s green light (discernment) in all I do. The first blog of 2019 will follow this paragraph, wherein I explained, “2019 is going to be a year that you can expect to see more purpose, clarity, and accountability within the “Preterist Movement”.

We have marked out the need to see more practical and productive teachings regarding our living out the “fulfilled eschaton” and a continued call to accountability on behalf of Christian leaders to foster honest conversations and teachings in these regards (with the same conviction and passion they had in rebuking it).” https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2019/01/18/could-it-be-a-coincidence/

Being rather transparent in regards to the above statement, it would seem that 2019 was more of a preparation year than one marked by action. At The Blue Point Bible Church (www.bluepointbiblechurch.org) we seem to be getting more and more comfortable with our identity as a theological – study oriented church boasting of living out “A Thinking Faith”. To God be the glory.
For the remainder of this blog I’d like to share links for you to click on and navigate regarding books, studies, and conferences reviews that were produced in 2019.
In the book, Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, the following statement was made, “God’s world is set up with laws and principles. Spiritual realities are as real as gravity and if you don’t know them, you will soon discover their effects”. These are those laws (I look to offer a sermon or a few on these details in the near future).
1.) Law of sowing & reaping (cf. Galatians 6:7-8)
2.) Law of responsibility (cf. Philippians 2:12-13)
3.) Law of power (cf. Romans 7:15, 19, 23; 1 John 1:8)
4.) Law of respect (Matthew 7:1-2)
5.) Law of motivation (“Freedom first, service second”)
6.) Law of evaluation (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:21)
7.) Law of proactivity
8.) Law of envy (cf. Galatians 6:4)
9.) Law of activity (cf. Matthew 25:14-30; Hebrews 10:38-39)
10.) Law of exposure (be honest and be in the light – cf. Ephesians 4:25-26; 5:13-14)
I also read and reviewed the following 2 books:

Book: Christianity & the Social Crisis in the 21st Century
https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/book-review-christianity-the-social-crisis-in-the-21st-century/

Book: Kingdom Come
https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2019/03/16/tj-smiths-kingdom-come-review-of-wed-night-study/
It is imperative that the Christian/Preterist community gets a handle on what we are pointing to as the goal of the ages. In Ephesians 3:11, the goal of the ages was the establishing of the New Covenant body, the Church. I offered some blogs in that regard this year, and others had articles that shared some good insights as well (shared below):
Church as the Goal – Christ in Us
https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/the-church-as-the-deposit-of-his-life/

https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2019/12/12/sermon-outline-wisdom-understanding-christ-in-us/
The Fulfilled Lord’s Supper
http://www.bluepointbiblechurch.org/peace/?p=1694

“Every promise is for us today and will continue eternally, ie., the promise of the eternal church, which is here to save the sinner…the eternal purpose of the church, and every aspect of it, is for us for all eternity!…Everlasting life is found in the church”. – Steve Baisden
“Seeing the beauty and glorious grandeur of the great heavenly body of Christ: understand there is always hope for every living person and the Lord is not going to come and end evangelism; understanding all the benefits available to us now…” – Steve Baisden

“The fulfillment of all things provides the proper motivation for all things: God’s full presence”. – Holger Neubauer

“The Scriptures do not have as a goal, the end of the planet, but the end of a system that could not open heaven. There is no greater day in our future than what was in Peter’s immediate future and there is no greater day in our future than the day and hour of Jerusalem’s fall. That end brought an end to the Old Covenant system and opened up heaven for all the faithful through all ages (Revelation 11:9; 14:13; 15:5,8)”. – Holger Neubauer

In order to gain a wholesome and Scriptural understanding of “the hope of Israel” as outlined through the Law & the Prophets (which is what the Apostle Paul testified to in Acts 24:14 and 26:6-7), we have been studying through the Prophets chronologically in our Adult Sunday School at BPBC. As one rabbi noted, “Why the Prophetic books? Because they constitute a commentary on the Torah. Commentary is essential”. So far we have studied through Jonah, Hosea, and Amos.

Here is a list of information and resources pertaining to various Preterist conferences I had the opportunity to participate in this past year;
Debate with Sam Frost – May 2019
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=YJ6-AhFbCyE&feature=emb_title
What’s Next Bible Conference – The Blue Point Bible Church – May 2019
https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2019/05/31/whats-next-2019-conference-review/
Christ & The Kingdom Conference – June 2019
https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/christ-the-kingdom-in-psalms-proverbs-2019-ncmi-conference/
Preterist Pilgrim Weekend – July 2019
https://powerofpreterism.wordpress.com/2019/07/19/review-of-ppw-2019-preterist-pilgrim-weekend/

Pastor Miano’s SWFL trip – December 2019
http://www.bluepointbiblechurch.org/peace/?p=1867

Lastly, it is vital that we continue to go about our mission with self-examination and guarding our heart (cf. Proverbs 24:3). We studied through A.W. Pink’s resource in our Saturday Morning Bible study, and I was grateful for the following list of areas we must do the work of guarding our hearts. A. W. Pink wrote, “The Christian who means business will labor to have:
– A willing heart (cf. Exodus 35:5)
– A perfect heart (cf. 1 Chronicles 29:9)
– A tender heart (cf. 2 Chronicles 34:27)
– A broken heart (cf. Psalm 34:18)
– A united heart (cf. Psalm 86:11)
– An enlarged heart (cf. Psalms 119:32)
– A sound heart (cf. Proverbs 14:30)
– A merry heart (cf. Proverbs 15:15)
– A pure heart (cf. Matthew 5:8)
– An honest and good heart (cf. Luke 8:15)
– A single heart (cf. Ephesians 6:5)
– A true heart (cf. Hebrews 10:22)

I look forward to “seeing things clearly” in 2020 – in all facets. In my personal life I look forward to the continued “renewing of my mind” as I seek authentic conviction and a good conscience regarding priorities and hearing His voice. I mentioned the necessity of Christians/Preterists understanding what the goal of the ages was and how we live in the fulfillment. Praise God that He always brings things to completion in and through Jesus Christ (cf. Philippians 1:6). This year, even of annual Bible conference at The Blue Point Bible Church (May 2020) will focus on the completion of the Biblical story and the purpose of what God completed in Christ.
Thanks for taking time to go through this review.
By His grace and mercy,
Pastor Michael Miano
The Blue Point Bible Church – MGW Apologetics – The Power of Preterism Network

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