Monthly Archives: October 2014

Tell Me it’s Wrong, Power in Prophesying

“Any child of God can ask assistance in weighing the message of uninspired authors while beseeching a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of the things of God has said (Ephesians 1:17; James 1:5-7). This not only comforts; it creates a sense of humility and of responsibility (James 3:1).” – Edward Fudge

That being said, I want to share my understand of “prophecy in full”, in contrast to “prophecy in part” that we read in 1 Corinthians 13:9-12. Namely, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away (1 Corinthians 13:9-10)”.

The other night I shared that I believe in the power of prophesying today. This was met with a barrage of comments, many attacking my view and mocking it. I totally understand the hurt and aggravation that comes from false prophecy, and especially the overly emotional sensation driven Pentecostalism that holds many captive, therefore I exhort my brethren with 1 Thessalonians 5:21. “Examine everything carefully…” is exactly what I endeavor to do as I look into this doctrine.

I honestly believe that 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 is speaking directly to this situation. Contrary to the historical conditioning that comes to us from ‘Church history’, Christians should be willing to listen, or eager to listen to prophecies. I am not talking about odd philosophies or new teachings as cautioned against in Scripture, but words that confirm what we already know about the character, nature, and revelation of God.

Allow me to share a personal example, and then I will explain why I believe this is in line with what God has done in times past and what that revealed in a fulfilled view.

The other day I was at a meeting with some other Christians who hold to a Pentecostal persuasion therefore express their worship in charasmatic ways. The pastor who was to share began to explain “what God has put on his heart”. He shared with us about “the Breath of God”. He turned to Malachi chapter 3, and read “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way for Me. And the Lord, who you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and fuller’s soap. He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness.”

He then shared his knowledge of the historical context and how this was fulfilled in John the Baptist and the Messiah. He explained the details of Christ going to the Temple, Christ establishing the New Covenant in His blood, and Christ’s coming. I personally believe Dr. Don Preston does a great job in exegeting the understanding of this prophecy and its fulfillment (I will include a link in the Notes section). I can also see a great point made for the deity of Christ.

The simple reading of the Scripture and the truths it reminded me of, was so encouraging. However the brother went on to explain what he sees as the “heart of God” in our current day. He began to expound on the need for those of us who are the “priests and kings of God” need to contend for pure doctrine. He mentioned that we should “give head to things we have heard, lest we let them slip (Hebrews 2:1). He made a great point that many ‘teachers of the Word’ have given in to so many teachings and have not established the necessary components of the Gospel – Who God is and what He has accomplished.

Amen and Amen! He exhorted us all about the need for contending for pure doctrine (Jude 3) and be earnest in our study of the details that need to be refined.

Also, he spoke boldly to us about the need for Christians, especially leaders to step up our behavior. We have to stop “talking stuff we aren’t living.” Right there, I began to think about the true power of God that has been given to Believers. See Ephesians chapter 1. I began to examine myself. Do I truly live like I know the power of God? Am I aware of the Spiritual things as out-workings of my faith in God? Am I ‘adaptable to the Spirit’?

Finally to sum things up. The brother than exhorted us for the need to begin being ready for a ‘move of God’. Simply put, a revival throughout our society where people are coming into the ‘knowledge of God’.

I was so encouraged. We then went around the table sharing our thoughts. I explained how excited I was. Would my ‘preterist brethren’ be as excited? Do many among us even give thought to what the outworking of a fulfilled eschaton is? Does it mean retirement of the God of Wonders? I dare not say that.

So allow me to explain why I believe there can indeed be a manifestation of the power of prophecy within the current Christian body. In 1 Corinthians 13, we are dealing with the power of love over all things, even up to the last verse of the chapter. Within that text, the Apostle Paul expounds upon the ‘cessation’ of the gifts that speak to the ‘the age to Come’ – when the perfect comes. The ‘gift of prophecy’ will cease, tongues will cease, etc. Tongues was a prophecy spoken of through the prophet Joel about the ‘coming of the Lord’ therefore fulfilled and found ‘cessation’. The ‘gift of prophecy’ was ‘gifting’ given to some as we read Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others to be found throughout the New Testament – done in part concerning the comings of the Lord mentioned throughout their writings, the future Messianic age, the ‘heavens and the earth’ (both old and new), and coming judgment. This was partial, as they could just barely understand the ‘mystery’ concerning the inclusion of the Gentiles as we read in the writings of Isaiah and the book of Ephesians.

There is a lacking power of proper contextual ‘applicational theology’. As Preterism develops, I believe the contextual ‘applicational theology’ we can attain is indeed ‘fulfilled prophecy’, the power of prophesying in our day, otherwise known as ‘the healing of the nations’.

In my estimation, even as a ‘semi-cessationist’, it is against the truth of God as has been revealed to say that there is no power in prophesying God’s Word in the lives of people today.

Blessings in Christ,

Pastor Michael Miano

NOTES:

http://www.biblicalpreteristarchive.com/start/fulfilled/don-preston-001-elijah.html

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Let the Church be the Church, and America- Be America!

Here we find ourselves in the 21st century, where for many the lines have been dulled between “Church” and “State”. If you take the time to peruse through Church History, this surely isn’t new for the church. However the striving to bring Christianity into America, to dominate America, has proven to be a daunting task since the time of the Puritans in the 17th century.

Is America a “Christian nation”? Should this be the goal of the Church? For example, when we read 2 Chronicles 7:14:

“…And My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land”.

Why do we constantly seem to put America in place of “His people” instead of the Body of Believers called the Church? This is the nagging question I have and want to keep before you as I continue making some points through this article.

For the past couple months we have been going through ‘The Truth Project’ at The Blue Point Bible Church. Professor Del Tackett has challenged us in regards to the battle involving “What is Truth”, what is the anthropology of man, what is a Biblical social environment, what is the role of government, and finally this week we discussed “The American Experiment”.

The whole gist of ‘The Truth Project’ is to combat the ‘Post-modernism’ that has seemingly pervaded American culture. Simply put, Postmodernism is the rejection of absolute truth, holding all truth as relevant, or more likely, you have your reality and I have mine. This “question everything” mentality surely has a lot of good quality in it (in line with 1 Thessalonians 5:21), however with lack of education, hypotheticals, and subjective reasoning, this can be more harmful than edifying.

In Lesson 10, “The American Experment”, Professor Tacket places the beginning of the rise of ‘secular humanism’ with Darwin’s, Origin of the Species in 1859. The rise of men like John Dewey, Charles Eliot, and Christopher Columbus Landell brought challenge to the way education was done, and surely brought challenge to the arena of “scientific education”.

As a Bible believing Christian who has seen the church gone awry clinging to false doctrines, putting a ‘misplaced hope’ in the councils, creeds, and confessions instead of “search the Scriptures”, I see nothing wrong with challenging the traditional teachings, and surely do not see this as a bad thing. Yet this is exactly what many intend to demonize when they speak about the shift in ‘public education’, teaching of ‘evolution’ in school, etc…

Let me be abundantly clear here. As a Christian who has an unyielding faith in the truth of Scripture, I am not afraid of the ‘critical thinking’ this postmodern world has to offer. I don’t believe it is society’s job to “make known the manifold wisdom of God”, but rather the Church. It is the Church’s job to “demolish every argument and stronghold set up against the ‘knowledge of God’ (2 Corinthians chapter 10). The Christians, the Church, should be affecting the nation they live in, yet our country is the “heavenly country” (Hebrews 11:16; i.e., the New Jerusalem) which knows no earthly borders. I flee from the “Christianizing” of any nation which then confuses itself with being “the city on the hill” of Matthew 5:14.

Yes, George Washington indeed did say, “If one claims to be a patriot, yet denies Christ Jesus, this man is worse than an infidel” and yes, Princeton’s founding statement was “Cursed is all learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ.” and it has been since changed.

Why has this happened? Is it as horrible as many think it is? Is it the ‘end of the world’?

Historical study of the founding documents of this nation, think of the Mayflower Compact, Constitution of the New England Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance, and the Aricles of Confederation of 1643- clearly show the Christian foundations of America. There is no doubt there.

Yet just as Galileo Galilee looked into his microscope and saw something that seemingly contradicted what the ‘Christian tradition’ had to say, so we see the same today. I say let’s enjoy the freedom which comes with a responsibility to be the ‘light of the world’.

I believe the “lazy Christian” not only wants to settle for “Church doctrine” that contradicts Scripture, but also wants to make being an “American” synonymous with being a “Christian”. The less of a distiction between the two, the less fruit one must produce to be found a Christian.

Ultimately, it is time for the Church to be the Church. The blurring of the lines between the Church and America has created confusion and hostility. The Church should reserve the right to make decisions and live in light of Scripture and we should encourage others, however the Church sitting at the sidelines yelling at the “State” to follow Christian standards really needs to stop.

The fact is, Obama is not the president of the Nation I am apart of. As Shane Claiborne so eloquently and simplistically puts it, “Jesus for President”. I believe there is much strength to be sought in allowing America to follow the “postmodernism” that leads it, therefore offering the Church a moment of clarity on their role and position in this world.

I know America had Christian foundations, to argue against this is to be historically ignorant. However, I see the good news in the “end of Christian America” as Gabe Lyons put it in his book, The Next Christians.

Let the distinctions be clear- the Church is to be the Church, set apart by the truth of Jesus Christ, and America is to be America- the land of the free.

DON’T YOU DARE REFER TO AMERICA AS THE “CITY ON A HILL”!

Revelation 2:5 reads, “Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lamp stand out of its place- unless you repent”. I’ll say it like this: It is nothing short of blasphemous to equate this verse with a nation with borders, this was primary applied to the Church at Ephesus, and could only be applied to the Church.

Walk worthy saints.

Blessings in Christ,

Pastor Michael Miano

“One thing that’s clear in the Scriptures is that the nations do not lead people to peace; rather, people lead the nations to peace.” – Shane Claiborne, Jesus for President

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