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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Sermon Outline – “Wisdom & Understanding: Christ In Us”

Demonstrating the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 4 through Jesus Christ, the hope of glory.

You can listen to the live audio teaching of this sermon, preached Sunday, December 8th, 2019 at the Hickory Street Church of Christ at the following link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8A8JrDRukn8

 

THE GOAL
In Colossians chapter 1, verses 25 – 29, the Apostle Paul explains his calling and labor, he asserts he is to minister and to be persecuted for the sake of Christ’s gospel. He speaks of “fully carrying out the preaching of the word of God” and explains it as, “the mystery that had been hidden from past ages and generations”, the mystery “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”. He goes on to say, “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ”.
This morning I want to demonstrate how “Christ in us” is the fulfillment of Deuteronomy chapter 4. And ultimately what that means for us as His people.

Let’s read Deuteronomy 4:1-6.

“Listen” and “perform” that you may “live” and “possess”. This is an eternal principle. For Old Covenant, flesh and blood Israel this was the command to obey the Law of Moses and if they had listened and obeyed as they took and possessed the land of Canaan, they would find favor with those nations around them, even those whom they were driving out of the land, so much so that these nations would see God’s wisdom and understanding through His people. Israel failed just as much as we do when we strive by our own efforts and energy to attain righteousness. However, as we grow in the grace and knowledge of God, finding completion in Christ, we are to be and become those about whom the surrounding world declares, “Surely these are a people of wisdom and understanding”.

THE CONFUSION
Israel’s failure to be that witness before the nations wasn’t accidental. The narrative outlined for us in the Scriptures highlights that natural efforts at demonstrating such wisdom and understanding simply will not do – having the right bloodline, even having the right will and striving toward it, will never be sufficient in displaying God’s Kingdom. Rather, such wisdom and understanding is born of God, through Jesus Christ.
“Why the Law then?” The Apostle Paul responds to such confusion in his letter to the Galatians. Let’s read Galatians 3:19-29.
A simple summary, the Law was given “…so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe (v.22) and “to lead us to Christ, so that we might be justified by faith (v.24)”.

Romans 10:4 says, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes”. The Greek word, telos, used in the text and translated as “end”, could and probably better should, be translated as “goal”. Christ is the goal of the Law as we saw in the Galatians text we just read.

In Ephesians 3:1-10, the Apostle Paul again explains his part in preaching the Word, the mystery of the ages, however, he also makes it known that the goal was that “…the manifold wisdom of God might be made known through the church…(v.10)”. 

All of that being said and prayerfully understood, I want to make some points.

If the narrative of Law and the Gospel was designed so that the “wisdom and understanding” of God would and should be seen through God’s people, how is it that the Church, the goal of it all, seems so confused? Just the other night I listened to two preachers I highly respect, go back and forth on what exactly the world is seemingly expecting to see in and through the church – a people who truly love their own (or) a people who care for others, outside of their own. We can probably safely agree with both….Loving those of the household of faith, with a authentic love, an encouraging and sometimes reproving love, is surely a demonstration of wisdom and understanding.

Being a people marked by loving those outside of the Church, those whom it might be hard to love because of their lifestyle, their beliefs, their problems, such a love is the love of God, “He loved us while we were yet sinners”, such love is wisdom and understanding.
Unfortunately, the world around us has defined love on it’s own terms, raising up it’s own standard, rather than the standard of Christ and the Scriptures, and not only has this caused much dismay within the church, but confusion as well. What are we, Christ’s Church, to do?

I am visiting southwest Florida because I was attending a reformation based conference focused on this exact issue. One of the main speakers (Tom Ascol), two evenings ago, challenged a room full of pastors, ministry leaders, Bible students, among others, that when anyone says, “ought”, “ought not”, “should”, “should not”, we should immediately think – by what standard? A valid question indeed. Amen? He went on to say that confusion regarding our standard within the Church has occurred because of a failure to appreciate the Law and the Gospel. Just this morning we studied through various misunderstandings regarding the relationship between to the Law and the Gospel that have crept into the Church. Another main speaker (Jared Longshore) at the event stated, “We must preach the TRUE GOSPEL, because it is the TRUE GOSPEL that saves” and then he went on to say, “We must preach God’s Law to the world”.

Well, amen to that. As we read in Deuteronomy chapter 4, obedience to God’s law allows us to be seen as “a people of wisdom and understanding”, a people so designed to “make known the manifold wisdom of God”. However, I would assert that our standard of God’s law, applicable for the church today, has nothing to do with a “spiritually discerned” application of the Law of Moses. Christ fulfilled every jot and tittle, every detail of that Law – so that we can effectively and fruitfully live by faith in and the grace of God, not a return to legalism. As the Apostle questioned in his letter to the church at Galatia, “:…did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? (Gal. 3:2)”.

The Galatian heresy, being argued against by the Apostle Paul in the Book of Galatians, was based upon trying to mix aspects of the Law of Moses with God’s true grace. Some were trying to “nullify the grace of God” by seeking a righteousness through the Law. The Law came through Moses, grace and truth, or as some have noted, true grace, came through Jesus Christ. It was also men seeking to create a mishmash of the Law and grace that gave rise to the need for the Council at Jerusalem detailed for us in Acts chapter 15.
We are to be dead to the Law, and alive to Christ (cf. Romans 7:1-13).

SO WHAT AM I SAYING….?

I propose to you, it’s not the Law, or some modified rendition of it, but rather true Spiritual discernment that is our standard, or way to attain and live in His righteousness. How do we acquire and maintain His righteousness is indeed a valid and very important question.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says to “lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, notice this – “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…”.

Don’t just look at, or look to Jesus, don’t consider Jesus, fix your eyes on Him. Doing that demonstrates our death to self and His life through us – Christ in us.

Apostolic wisdom given to us regarding our being “in Christ” highlights we are to “examine ourselves”; 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV) tells us to “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-unless, of course, you fail the test?”

In your setting your eyes on Jesus, examining yourself continually, your proving all things, holding fast to that which is good and edifying, abstaining from evil – as the Thessalonians were exhorted in 1 Thess. 5:21, you are accomplishing the “renewing of your mind” of Romans 12:2. Notice this though, notice the standard the Apostle shares as that which enables us to discern the will of God:

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, SO THAT YOU MAY PROVE what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect”.

Our standard is not to look to the Law of Moses for morality, or what some refer to as “positive law”. That Law has been completely removed. Transformed minds continually being renewed is the standard for Christian morality.

In what manner are we to examine ourselves, how do we prove what is good, renewal means continued renovation, therefore how do we discern where renovation is necessary in our minds, hearts, and lives?

In his 1st letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul says, “The goal of our faith is this, love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith”.

You ought to do things that demonstrate love from a pure heart and ought not to do things that exemplify selfishness, you ought to maintain a good conscience toward God and your neighbor, you ought not to things that might leave you with a bad conscience or influence others in a way that might leave them with a bad conscience, and you ought to build up a sincere faith in God, and move away from fear, doubt, and things that demonstrate a false trust or lack of faith.

The Apostle Peter, speaking to scattered saints, said that if they diligently possessed and increased in faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love, they would be effective and fruitful in their use of the knowledge of God.

The things you ought to do should very well highlight your possessing and increase in those attributes, and you ought not to do things that are the antithesis to those attributes.
In my personal life and with the church I preach to, I constant hard on using 2 Peter 1 as a “growth chart”, always discerning which of the attributes need to be found in your life.

It is in this way we become the “people of wisdom and understanding, not by imposing the Law that Christ died to remove as a standard. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery (cf. Galatians 5:1)”. Listen and perform that you may live and possess.

Let’s pray.

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No Compromise – Learning from Balaam

This past Sunday, I preached a sermon at The Blue Point Bible Church, against compromise utilizing the details from the Balak and Balaam narrative of Numbers chapters 22-25. You can listen to that sermon at the following link, http://www.buzzsprout.com/11630/2040948-11-10-bpbc-worship-service
In aforementioned sermon I highlighted New Testament texts that give us further information for our Spiritual discernment in marking out and moving away from compromise and disobedience. The texts I marked out, which either highlight areas of disobedience or obedience, are 2 Peter chapter 2, the Book of Jude, and Revelation 2:14.

The remainder of this blog will be an examination of those texts in light of our being desirous to never compromise.

In 2 Peter chapter 2, we see the areas of disobedience and what we want to abstain from:

– Damnable heresies, denying the redeeming work of the Lord (v. 1)
– Causing the way of truth to be spoken evil of (v. 2)
– Covetousness and fakeness revealed through your words (v. 3)
– Vexing the righteous among you (v. 8)
– Walk after the flesh by desiring unclean things and despising government/ authority (v. 10)
– Presumptuous, self-willed, and speaking against others (v. 10)
– Speaking evil of things you don’t understand (v. 12)
– Pleasuring of rioting in the day time (deceiving oneself, eyes full of adultery, cannot cease from sin) (v. 13-14)
– Forsaking the way you know to be right (v. 15)
– Loving wages of unrighteousness (v. 15)
– Speaking swelling words of vanity (v. 18)
– Being allured and entangled yet again by the corruption of the world (v. 20-22).

It is these things that could very well lead to a seared conscience if one continues in them. Therefore, if you examined this list and felt convicted, mark that thing out and move against it. Don’t follow the way of Balaam and suffer devastation because of compromise through disobedience.

In the Book of Jude, we find aspects of obedience and disobedience marked out for us (do’s and don’ts):

– Do content for the faith delivered to the saints (v. 3)
– Don’t turn the grace of God into lasciviousness (v.4)
– Don’t deny Jesus Christ
– Don’t fornicate
– Don’t be carnal by despising those who have authority over you (v. 8)
– Don’t speak evil of things you do not know (v. 10)
– Don’t walk after your own selfish desires (v. 16)
– Do remember words of the Apostles and Jesus Christ
– Don’t mock others (v. 18)
– Don’t separate yourself to sensuality rather than the Spirit (v. 19)
– Do build yourself up in the faith and pray in the Holy Spirit (v. 20)
– Keep yourself in the love of God (v. 21)
– Have compassion and make a difference, thus saving others from the fire (v. 22-23)
– Hate everything even spotted by carnality (v. 23)

Jude provides for ample opportunity of introspection. Prayerfully, we find ourselves compelled to do rather than spending our time worrying about the “don’ts. If we truly set our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, we should find walking in the light almost naturally leads us away from the darkness. Doing right leaves little room for doing wrong.

Our last text to examine is Revelation 2:14, wherein we read, “But I have a few things against you, because you have held to the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication”.

Now notice, “the doctrine of Balaam” is not committing such things, as we have already noted we should move away from, but rather the compromising spirit that leads the people of God into such things. May we endeavor to grow in the grace and knowledge of God as we mark out and move away from compromise.

I trust you will continually use this as an examination against such compromise. I conclude this blog with the following wisdom from Joyce Meyers, “Compromise means to go just a little bit below what you know is right. It’s just a little bit, but it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine”.

In Service to Him,
Pastor Michael Miano

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Beyond Creation Science: Review of Chapters 1-10

Here is the link to the YouTube video to accompany this review outline, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3e0iFNSD-s
1.) What is the Olivet Discourse and what does it connect the coming of Christ to?
“The Olivet Discourse (Matthew chapter 24) makes it absolutely clear that the coming of Christ is connected intimately to what happened to the city of Jerusalem and the temple. Not only does that mean that the coming of Christ is related to 1st century events, it also means that what we now call “the great tribulation” took place in localized, historical events”. Pg. 28

2.) What “two debates” does Beyond Creation Science seek to cover?
“…end times prophecy and Genesis creation” Pg. 29
“The purpose of this book is to help revive knowledge of that past and explore the implications, not just in regard to the conclusion of the Bible, but the implications for the beginning as well”. Pg. 68
3.) What is the “proper frame of reference” for reading New Testament prophecy?
“It is very easy to forget that our New Testament speaks of real people who lived at a particular time and place on planet Earth…These first Christians are the reference frame for prophecy; many of them actually listened to Jesus teach in person”. Pg. 33
4.) What does “coming on the clouds” language mean? Provide an example from Scripture.
“”Coming on the Clouds” meant judgement and destruction upon the enemies of God in the Old Testament. God rides on the clouds; every Jew knew this judgement metaphor from their Scriptures”. Pg. 47 (see also, Isaiah 19:1; Nahum 1:3,6,8)
5.) If Preterism is true, the coming of the Lord occurred in AD 70, what should we expect from Church History?
“Jesus warned His disciples to flee (Matt. 24: 15-16)). If the disciples recognized these events in their day as fulfillment of the Olivet Discourse , then Church history should record early Christians fleeing Jerusalem” Pg. 49 (see early historical works of Eusebius and Josephus)
“The difficulty is that most Christians do not know about the Roman-Jewish War”. Pg. 50
6.) Who is Josephus? Why are his writings significant?
“Josephus, a Jewish general and prisoner of war who witnessed the entire siege…Josephus’ War of the Jews is a long book and provides evidence for the fulfillment of nearly every single prophecy in the Olivet Discourse”. Pg. 50
“Josephus’ conception of the flood is important because he is a first century Jew who lived contemporary to the time of the writing of the New Testament. He gives us a glimpse into the accepted view of the flood in his day”. Pg. 114
7.) Who is Eusebius? Why are his writings important?
“…the early church historian…” Pg. 49
8.) Why did Josephus believe his generation “did not attend to nor give credit to the signs that were so evident”?
“…did so plainly foretell their future desolation, but, like men infatuated, without eyes to see or minds to consider, did not regard the denunciations that God made to them”. Pg. 65
9.) Ed Stevens recently wrote a book detailing the historical happenings fulfilling prophecy in the 1st century. What is the name of that book? ‘
The Final Decade Before The End
10.) In the 1st century, we saw the last days of what?
“The Biblical answer is that the last days have nothing to do with planet Earth or our physical universe. They relate to the last days of an age – a covenant age.” Pg. 70
11.) What is the focus of Bible prophecy?
“Prophecy is generally concerned with the redemption of God’s people”. Pg. 72
12.) In reading 2 Peter 3:10-12, what is one reason you would say this isn’t speaking about the burning up of the literal planet Earth?
“…the Greek word for ‘elements’ is stoichion which is used 7 times in the New Testament. Stoichion elsewhere refers to the regulations of the Mosaic Law”. Pg. 75
13.) According to Matthew 5:17-18, “If heaven and earth refer to our universe, then Jesus’ teachings requires…”. Please complete the thought.
“…the Law of Moses to be observed in every detail until the end of our physical universe!”.
14.) What is Preterism?
“It comes from the Latin word praeter which means “past”. It appears in various forms all throughout Church history”. Pg. 79
“The best way to understand God’s ways today is to understand His acts in redemptive history…Preterism introduces a key principle of covenant context that offers a coherent understanding of Noah’s flood, the Tower of Babel and New Testament prophecy. Preterism may very well revolutionize the Genesis debate”. Pg. 187
15.) What is “theistic evolution”?
“…scientists who accepted the mechanism Darwin suggested were generally committed to the idea that God was involved in the rise of life…It was this view, not Darwin’s naturalistic view, which actually became known as Darwinism in his day”. Pg. 84
16.) What is the significance of the year 1830 and Biblical understandings?
The Coincidence of Theology and Geology. Pg. 88
17.) Finish this quote, “The Rock of ages is more important than…”.
“…the age of rocks”. – William Jennings Bryan
18.) What usually happens when Conservative Christians begin to question Young-Earth creationism?
They are “…commonly accused of evolutionary compromise, liberalism, humanism, unbelief and even apostasy”. Pg. 108
19.) How would you begin to explain that the global flood is a modern view?
The local flood view was demonstrated by Josephus and “…is likely the common understanding among many if not all of the early Jewish Christians. The early Church Fathers relied heavily upon Josephus’ history”. Pg. 114
20.) What does it mean to be “chronocentric”?
When one “…gets stuck in their own time period and cultural mindset”. Pg. 117
21.) Where does the Biblical context of the flood account start and why is that significant?
“Genesis 5 sets the context of the flood…”. Pg. 117
“Genesis 5 narrows the subject in the Genesis account from all the children of Adam to the line of Seth. That sets the immediate context for what takes place in chapters 6 through 9. In other words, Genesis 5 sets a covenant context for all the events to follow in the flood account. If we ignore the chapter break and read this as one continuous story, the flood is related to the covenant line of the progeny of Seth”. Pg. 118
22.) What five (5) “local flood indicators” can you mark out from chapter 5 of Beyond Creation Science?
1.) The existence of Nephilim before and after the flood (cf. Gen. 6:4; Num. 13:33)
2.) Advanced economics and technology in the post-flood world
3.) Water only went up 20-30 feet. (cf. Genesis 7:20)
4.) The Olive branch carried by the dove in Genesis 8:11
5.) Literal interpretation would demand the whole earth dried up (cf. Genesis 8:13-14

23.) According to Beyond Creation Science, what five (5) things are required of those who stubbornly stick to the global flood view? Pg. 127
1.) Ignore ancient understanding of flood as local event as shown in Josephus
2.) Ignore the pre-modern concept of planet Earth which prevailed in Christendom before Christopher Columbus
3.) Ignore the covenant context Genesis 5 sets for the flood event in the line of Seth
4.) Ignore the local indicators in the account
5.) Solve the supernatural/natural tension in the global flood view

24.) According to Beyond Creation Science, global rendering of the flood account, relies on the misunderstanding of 3 words and phrases. What are they?
1.) “earth” 2.) “every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out” 3.) “all the high mountains under the heavens were covered”
25.) What is the significance of the rainbow?
“The sign of God’s covenant with Noah was a bow. We tend to think of it as a rainbow in the sky, and that is accurate because it says it is placed in the sky and is seen when it rains. But the rainbow is a visual manifestation of a deeper image, The bow in this text symbolizes a weapon, God’s bow, that metaphorical weapon God used to wipe out Noah’s corrupt generation”. Pg. 163
26.) According to the ancient Jewish understanding, what was the significance of the Tower of Babel? How does this relate to the flood story?
“Now the multitude were ready to follow the folly of Nimrod, and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God; and they built a tower…that it might not be liable to admit water”. Pg. 174
“Rather than Noah’s posterity (the people of God) promoting the true worship of God in the culture around them as God commanded them, to fill the earth, we now find them in the story of Babel engaging in the pagan religion common to ancient Mesopotamia…The Tower of Babel resembles a ziggurat which served as a temple in ancient Babylonian and Mesopotamian religion”. Pg. 177
27.) According to Beyond Creation Science, what is the “ultimate contrast to the story of Babel”?
“…the story of the New Jerusalem”. Pg. 177
28.) According to Beyond Creation Science, what is the best way to understand God today?
“The best way to understand God’s ways today is to understand His acts in redemptive history”. Pg. 187

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9/27 – Beyond Creation Science (Pt. 7) – Chapters 9-10

Here is the link to the video review through these details, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tYIOMs4B3Y&lc=z23hgpeazwyxh5ygh04t1aokg2hyhfalt3sxqvm4dmevbk0h00410

 

Beyond Creation Science
Chapter 9 – Water & Fire
The Old Testament Background
The Olivet Comparison to the Flood
The Three-Way Comparison by Jesus
Why Sodom is Central to Prophecy
The Three- Way Comparison by Peter
The (Rain)Bow of God’s Covenant Wrath
All Mankind?
Local Flood – Local Prophecy

 

Solely Biblical Arguments for a Local Flood

 

 

 
Beyond Creation Science
Chapter 10 – The Flood & The Tower of Babel

The Global View of Babel

 

Let’s Bake Bricks!
From Where Did All The People Come

 

Global Flood Interpretation vs. the Septuagint
When “Literalism” Goes Wrong
Prehistoric Babel?
The Biblical Solution & The Fulfillment of Babel

 

Local Implies Insignificance?

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Post- Labor Day Sale

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE – https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=AC2YW5BSN6H9E

 

 

Image may contain: Michael Miano, text

 

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