Tag Archives: AD 70

Book Review – Fulfilled Eschatology by Tim Liwanag

As Pastor of The Blue Point Bible Church, I am always on the lookout for a simple enough yet concise and comprehesive resource to help others understand our views on Fulfilled Eschatology. Sure enough, in his book, Fulfilled Eschatology, Mr. Tim Liwanag delivers exactly that.

Right from the beginning of the book, one can easily notice that Mr. Liwanag has done much research and utilized many resources (books, articles, and learning from others in the Christian community) to formulate his excellent effort of systematizing the story within Scripture. Two teachers that I greatly admire wrote ‘introductions’ to the book, Mr. Joe Daniels & Mr. Larry Siegle, therefore I new it was going to be an enjoyable read, and there introductions to the book were right on target. Mr. Siegle mentioned that the book was full of great lists of Scripture and might offer some new insights to the reader, that surely explains the benefit of this great read. Mr. Daniels rightly noted Mr. Liwanag’s great exposition on the Deity of Christ, and his efforts to exalt Christ that are prevalent throughout the entire book.

It is not uncommon for me to read the works of other Believer’s who have come to agree with Fulfilled Escatology and yet find areas of major disagreement. This is largely due to the fact that the truths of Fulfilled Eschatology have the ability to cross denominational lines and bring light to the context and truth of Scripture. Yet confusion is still there. I am glad to say that Mr. Liwanag was not afraid to utilize Scripture to formulate conclusions even in areas that many Bible expositors are afraid to venture (i.e., the lake of fire a.k.a. “hell”, fulfilled eschatology’s application for today, resurrection, the book of Revelation, etc.), yet I found no areas of disagreement.

This is a testament to Mr.Liwanag’s respect for the context and application of Scripture. To that I must say, “Thank You”. The lists of passages provided to make points was so clear and concise, that I was excited to continue reading.

Mr. Liwanag’s explanation and usage of ‘audience relevance’ is commendable, and it clearly seen through his retelling of the story with a focus on Israel (what some have come to refer to as the “Hebrew Exclusivity” noted in Scripture). The lengths he went to provide lists of Scriptures and passages to support the details is astounding, and surely provided me with some lists I can use in teaching others.

According to John chapter 4, those who worship God must worship Him as He desires, and that is in Truth and in Spirit. The clear-as-day exaltation of Christ that Mr. Liwanag provides throughout the writing is refreshing, and shows us the goal of his writing this book. Also, it is a common trend today for many “Christians” to obsess over fantastic notions of ‘heaven’ that they have made up, rather than paying attention to “Covenant-Fulfillment”, which is expressed through understanding the ‘full narrative’ of Scripture- gladly Mr. Liwanag brings out these details in Fulfilled Eschatology as well.

This book is a must read, and for many of the discussions going on within Preterist circles, and the rapid expansion of Fulfilled Eschatology, this book is right on time! Just as the Preterists like things.

Nearing the end of the book, Mr. Liwanag notes, “So where do we go from here? The answer is not “towards fulfillment” but “from fulfillment in Christ onwards” and then he goes on to say, “At this point, however, what remains is for us to show by the Scripture again the fulfillment message is not finished yet, even though all things written to and for the Israelites were fulfilled”. Amen to that!

I can’t wait for Mr. Tim Liwanag to get his book, Fulfilled Eschatology, in print so I can put it in the hands of others who desire to understand the context of Scripture. Another great ‘Preterist Resource’ to enable others to see the power of living in “Christ’s Glorious Presence Now”.

In His Service,

Pastor Michael Miano

Blue Point Bible Church

www.bluepointbiblechurch.org

P.S.- There always seems to be confusion on what exactly is means to be a “Christian”. In his book, again noting how all encompassing the book really is, Mr. Liwanag gives a great description of the term “Christian” as applying to God’s people:

“At first believers had no distinctive name, but were called among themselves “brethren,” Ac 6:3; “disciples,” Ac 6:1; “those of the way,” Ac 9:2; “saints,” Ro 1:7; by the Jews (who denied that Jesus was the Christ, and so would never originate the name Christian), in contempt, “Nazarenes.” At Antioch, where first idolatrous Gentiles (Cornelius, Ac 10:1, 2, was not an idolater, but a proselyte) were converted, and wide missionary work began, they could be no longer looked on as a Jewish sect, and so the Gentiles designated them by the new name “Christians.” The rise of the new name marked a new epoch in the Church’s life, a new stage of its development, namely, its missions to the Gentiles.”

In the first-century Messianic age, it is a Christian’s creed, not only to represent Christ’s name, but also to be defamed for it:

“If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or asa thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” (1 Peter 4:14-16; Revelation 3:12)

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2014 – Advent Challenge

The Greek word, Advent, corresponds to the term ‘parousia’ which means “a coming”. Celebrating Advent is bringing us back to the time right before Christ was born- when Israel longed for a prophet, to hear from God, and to be healed.

It’s been said that the ‘Advent season’ has been celebrated in the church as early as the 4th and 5th centuries. There are a host of different thoughts toward what we should focus on as we go through the ‘Advent season’. In the 6th century, the church in Rome, utilized the time instilling a preparation for the soon-to-come Messiah. Gregory the Great, a church father from 6th and 7th century, focused on the celebration of the incarnate Christ, because he understood that this event marked the beginning of salvation. In Gaul, the church has primarily focused on the eschatological “coming of tghe Lord”, fostering the need for penance and readiness.

This past Sunday, I was able to welcome The Blue Point Bible Church into celebrating the ‘Advent season. One of the members of our congregation shared excitment because our church has never done that before.

For the past month I have been preaching sermons about “walking worthy” of all that we believe we posess as Christ’s body. This included but is not limited to exercising the “power of prayer”, walking in an assured, confident, and clear understanding of God, and being expectant and adaptable to what God is doing in our church, is us, and in His world. You can listen to those podcasts as the following link:  http://www.buzzsprout.com/11630

As Preterists, who understand the “eschatological events” of the coming of the Lord, the judgment, and the resurrecton of the dead ones as past events, we must be compelled to live in the salvific reality. As we endeavor to understand the victorious narrative of Scripture, we are called to live in the reality of the “New Jerusalem” and thus call the other nations to drink of the “Water of Life”. You can read through this imagery in Revelation chapters 21-22.

It should surely be looked at as “Divine Providence” that immediately following the “season” in which we are called to be grateful, we turn to a season of expectation- advent. Granted, us Preterists are not waiting and saying “O Come Lord Jesus” as is seen throughout the Catholic Missal for this season. Yet, even more so, as those who allow the Scriptures to be clear and consistent, we should understand that living in the fullness and reality of His promise, is supposed to lead us to the expectation of seeing His glory in the world, daily.

As we go through Advent, we are provided with hosts of Bible verses that show us what reality the Messiah was going to bring to His people. I look forward to all that can be produced in this season, if we, the ‘Children of the Light’ are willing to walk diligently.

Out of the Common Prayer book we recieve this excerpt of information, “Advent is the season when we remember how Jesus put on flesh and moved into the neighborhood. God getting born in a barn reminds us that God shows up in the most forsaken corners of the Earth. Movements throughout church history have gone to the desert, to the slums, to the most difficult places on Earth to follow Jesus. Jesus comes from Nazareth, a town from which folks said nothing good could come.”

Now only was God willing to come in human flesh to be our solution/ salvation. He also ushered in the reality of the New Covenant. Let it be our goal this season to grow in a more solid understanding of what the current reality of the New Jerusalem (the fully consumated Kingdom of God) should look like as displayed by us. As we continue to be amazed by all that God has accomplished for us, and in us, let us display that to the world. In this manner, we are able to allow our gratitude to make others grateful.

We are not expecting a coming kingdom, we are living in the yet under-realized, fully consummated, kingdom of God. Surely, we have the responsibility to make this known both in word and deed.

All of that said, I invite YOU to come along with me for a season of Godly Conspiracy. For example, at The Blue Point Bible Church we are going through a month or two of examining the doctrines of John Calvin (since we refer to ourselves as a ‘Sovereign Grace’ church and hold to the tents of Calvinism). Also, this month I am hosting a “ministry meeting” which is going to be a time where our congregation “conspires together” how we can make those outside our church want to visit, make our visitors feel welcomed, and allow the manifold wisdom of God to be revealed through us in all that we do. Yes, we are truly endeavoring to “walk worthy” in all that we do. 🙂

If you are not local, no worries. I am always involving our “far off” brothers and sisters, whether that be through Facebook, email programs, etc. There is so much more to come in how we can “conspire” to allow God’s Kingdom shine through us, and thus light up the world.

As a resource I would like to provide you with the daily readings throughout the month.

First week – Isaiah 40:1-5; Isaiah 52:7-10 (Isaiah 2 & 4); Isaiah 40:9-11; Genesis 3:8-15; Genesis 15:1-6; Dueteronomy 18:15-19; Psalms 89:1-4

Second week – Isaiah 11:1-10; Zechariah 6:12-13; Micah 5:2-4; Malachi 3:1-6; John 1:1-8; John 1:9-18; Mark 1:1-3

Third week – Luke 1:5-13; Luke 1:14-17; Luke 1:18-25; Luke 1:39-45; Luke 1:46-56; Luke 1:57-66; Luke 1:67-80

Fourth week – Isaiah 7:10-14; Luke 1:26-35; Isaiah 9:2-7; Mattew 1:18-25; Luke 2:1-20; Matthew 2:1-2; Luke 2:21-35

“Loving God, as we enter this Advent season, we open all the dark places in our lives and memories to the healing light of Christ. Show us the creative power of hope. Prepare our hearts to be transformed by you, that we may walk in the Light of Christ.”

Blessings to you, in and through Jesus Christ,
Pastor Michael Miano

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My Defense and Explanation of Full Preterism

In 2010, I underwent a rather intense paradigm shift. For those who do not know what a “paradigm shift” is, it is a change in the way you approach a given situation or the assumptions you may have had. Basically, a change of thought.

As a Christian, I believed that the ancient Scriptures contained in the Bible are the way to know the “gospel” – the good news that Jesus came to take away sin and death. I believe that Jesus Christ was Lord and Savior. I also took serious the teachings which Jesus taught His disciples about the “end times”. I was taught the Christian view that the end times were soon. Jesus Christ could come any day, I didn’t agree with what was called the “pretribulation rapture”, but instead believed that everyone would be caught up with the Lord at the Second Coming. I believed that we were living in the end times and should take that serious. If people were going to live in a world of “great tribulation”- what were we doing to prepare? Wouldn’t that be the most loving thing? I could not understand why people didn’t seem to take serious what the “end times” would be about. I desired to see sinners repent and put their faith in Christ so they could enjoy eternal life both here and in the afterlife as well as urge people to take the teachings of Jesus Christ very seriously.

It was in the midst of this passionate following of Jesus Christ and seeking to “study to show myself approved ()” that I underwent the “paradigm shift”. I was challenged with a historical approach to properly understanding the “literary genre”, the original audience, and the context of the story contained within the Bible. However, I resisted and argued because as Maimonides once said, “…. those opinions of a man to which he has been accustomed to from his youth, he likes them, defends them, and shuns the opposite view”.

I’ll never forget the day that Pastor Alan Bondar of New Covenant Eyes Church met with me for lunch and told me that he believed that the “coming of the Lord”, what many refer to as the ‘Second Coming’ already happened. It seemed like a joke. Who believes that?!?!?! I wanted to prove this wrong and “defend the faith”, just as I had done with atheists, Jehovah Witnesses, and others who argued against the truth of God. The more I studied, seeking to “prove all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:21), and show why I believed what I believed and that being what Scripture is about I began to realize how true the following statement by J.I. Packer really was:

We do not start our Christian lives by working out our faith for ourselves; it is mediated to us by Christian tradition. In the forms of sermons, books, and established patterns of church life and fellowship. We read our Bibles in light of what we have learned from these sources; we approach Scripture with minds already formed by the mass of accepted opinions and viewpoints with which we have come into contact, in both the Church and the world…It is easy to be unaware that it has molded us. But we are forbidden to become enslaved to human tradition, either secular or Christian, whether it be “catholic” tradition, “critical” tradition, or “ecumenical” tradition. We may never assume the complete rightness of our own established ways of thought and practice and excuse ourselves the duty of testing and reforming them by Scriptures” (quoted from Fundamentalism and the Word of God).

 Pastor Alan Bondar’s belief in “preterism” surely seemed laughable because of what I believed, but even so, I did the Biblically correct, least lazy, and ‘intellectually honest” thing to do- sought to prove it wrong by using Scripture.

It was then through actually reading the writings contained in the Bible in their context and allowing them to say what they said to who they were written (without putting myself as the primary audience) that I realized this view “Full Preterism” had some merit to it. I began looking around to see what others said about this “preterist” stuff. To my surprise, many popular teachers within Christianity believed in some parts of Preterism- what they call “Partial Preterism” but called “Full Preterism” heresy. I wanted to figure out why and prove this to Pastor Bondar.

I remember when Pastor Bondar first asked me, “Mike, what do you believe happens when you die?” I began to explain how the dead go into the grave, and then at the coming of the Lord they will be raised in the twinkling of an eye (1 Thessalonians chapter 4 & 1 Corinthians 15 seem to speak of this). Pastor Bondar explained this was called “soul sleep” and would have been foreign to the Jewish mindset and their view on Sheol/ Hades. I did my research and sure enough Pastor Bondar was right. This peaked my interest.

Reading through Matthew chapters 23-24 realizing that Jesus was giving His actual disciples answers to the questions they were asking. He was telling them about the soon coming destruction of the Temple and the “end of the age” (age does not mean world, instead it means the end to a period of time). Sure enough, reading the things Jesus spoke about in Matthew chapters 23-24 in light of the historical account that Apostles do in the New Testament (gospel being preached to the whole world- Romans 1:8, Romans 16:19, Colossians 1:6, 23 ; persecution – a read through the book of Acts will serve well, not to mention 2 Thessalonians chapter 1; false teachers – again are seen throughout the New Testament however read 1 Timothy 1:3-6, 2 John chapter 1, for some insight; and the 1st century Jewish historian Josephus’ written accounts of the Jewish-Roman War.

After hearing Pastor Bondar explain that he believed the resurrection of the dead already occurred I knew I had him pinned as a “false teacher”. I approached him with 2 Timothy, and how the early church was warned to stay away from those who were saying the resurrection had already occurred. The first point Alan made was – if the resurrection of the dead was understood to be biological corpses coming out of the graves – how in the name of reason could people convince others that this had occurred and they had missed it? I had to admit that was a rather good point. Alan also pointed out that in 2 Thessalonians chapter 1, there were some who believed the “coming of the Lord” already occurred. It forced me to face the fact that the physical sighting of Jesus Christ that I demanded must happen in the future was an error. Actually stood in direct contrast to some of the things Jesus Himself said in John chapter 14.

Pastor Bondar then explained how what we read in the New Testament is referring back to things in the Old Testament. Jesus made it very clear He came to fulfill the Law (the Old Covenant/ Testament). It was His blood that was establishing the New. The Apostle Paul was emphatic about the fact that the gospel he preached was the hope of the forefathers of Israel, “the hope of Israel”, which was detailed in the Law and the Prophets (Acts 24:13-16; Acts 26:22; Acts 28:20). It is vital that we understand what the Old Testament before trying to understand or interpret the New Testament.

A major aspect of the Old Testament is the use of “prophetic language’. The Hebrew Metaphors and idoms that are used throughout the Old Testament are foreign to our common thought. Imagine trying to explain to an ancient Hebrew the expressing “It’s raining cats and dogs”. This would be just as confusing as them trying to explain how they used language such as “hearts melting” (Isaiah 13:7) and the sun turning black (Joel 2:21; Matthew 24:29) to depict the coming war with a foreign nation. I remember as I sought to understand how the ‘original audience’ would have understood these phrases, it caused me to change the way I understood writings in the New Testament. For example, if throughout the Old Testament the prophets used phrases such as “coming of the Lord” to speak about invading armies- why would we interpret Jesus’ words any different? Why all of a sudden to Jesus’ words mean literal cosmic events and a literal Jewish man coming out of the sky? Where do we get this understanding?

After understanding the use of the language, I then was able to pay attention to what are called “time statements” in Scripture. In speaking about the “end of the age” or the “coming of the Lord”, Jesus’ seemingly gave time frames when these things would happen. Obviously, the “end of the world” had not happened yet because I was living in it and there is no historical record of a man coming out of the sky. However, when the “prophetic language” is properly understood we realize the Scriptures speak of the “end of the age”, which was the “present evil age” the 1st century Jews were living in which would change at the “coming of the Lord” (again, I point out that this was a term depicting judgment of God that would come through foreign armies. An in-depth study of the following passages proves this point: Genesis 18:21; Exodus 3:8; Isaiah 19:1; Isaiah 64:3; Matthew 24; Luke 21; 2 Thessalonians 1-2, and so many more!

I knew that embracing the truth as I was seeing it, through a view called Full Preterism, was quite controversial and stood in contrast to the ‘traditional thinking’ most Christians utilize. However, I came to a point where I had to choose from what the Bible teaches in context or the comfort of tradition. This is what men of God like John Wycliffe and Martin Luther had to deal with. If these men where not ‘intellectually honest’ and had the courage to challenge the ‘status quo’, we would hardly have the Christianity we know of today.

By understanding the historical and redemptive context of the Scriptures, as is weaved through the Bible in a beautiful way, we can truly understand the Bible as the original audiences would have understood each of the writings. The Scriptures are not dealing with world history, that is why we do not read about those people in Australia or the natives in the Americas in the Bible. Instead, the Biblical writings are dealing with the God of Israel and His relationship with His people. The Messiah of Israel comes and through His fulfilling their promises, He invites others “through Jesus Christ” to enjoy the blessings of being “in covenant” with Him. That my friends is the glorious gospel as revealed through Scripture. The ‘death’ that Israel experienced in Adam, was taken away in Christ. Those that were without God, without hope, “far off” from covenant relationship with God, “the Gentiles”, were called to the New Covenant (Ephesians chapters 2-3 explains this).

So, all of this serves as my defense of my position as a “Full Preterist”. I have been willing to debate and defend these views- firstly, because I believe my position is correct. If you would like to discuss these things in more detail, I would love to explain. Secondly, I have been wrong once and am humble enough to be wrong again. However, I seek to be faithful to understanding Scripture in an effort to truly understand God- therefore I ask to be shown if I am wrong through the use of Scripture in context and not what ‘tradition’ teaches. I see much hypocrisy alive and well in the Church when it comes to “proving all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) and instead of doing so, many have a “zeal without knowledge” as the first century Jews who persecuted Christ did (Romans 10:2). They believed they were right and the Christians were wrong- how do you suppose the Truth was made known? Go and read Acts 17:11- ‘SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES”. Scripture commands that we “study to show ourselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15)” and therefore I ask you, the reader of this document, to not only prove what I am saying wrong (if I am wrong) and prove your position through a historical and Biblically consistent examination.

 

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The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (It’s a COVENANT Thing)

Last week, I had a man who goes by the moniker “RiversofEden” as my guest on Miano Gone Wild. “RiversofEden” holds to a fulfilled perspective that limits all the implications of the New Covenant to “Israel of the Flesh”. You can listen to the podcast by clicking here:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mianogonewild/2013/01/23/miano-gone-wild

Now let’s unpack some things before I get to the ‘meat and potatoes’ of what I am looking to say in this blog post. I hold to what is called “Full Preterism” which means that I believe the entirety of Bible prophecy is in the past. This is simply because of the time statements and the context of what was being prophesied in the New Testament- i.e. the fulfillment of the “hope of Israel”. This is where “RiversofEden” and I stand in agreement. Where we differ is how we come at the context of what is occurring. As I made public yesterday, I think the depth of the view I hold is best summarized as “Covenant Eschatology” which would show that in the New Testament a “covenant” was coming to an end (thus “eschatology” meaning “last things”).  “RiversofEden” and I contrast at this point, since he is very adamant about the fact that the promise of the “New Covenant” in Jeremiah chapter 31 was only made to the houses of Israel and Judah, and therefore had no “ongoing effect” for any other people. While I agree that the promise was to the “houses of Israel and Judah”, I completely disagree that this wasn’t intended to have an effect on “other nations”, i.e., “strangers” or “gentiles”. Allow me to explain.

“In the beginning”, God takes man (adam) and places him in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15). The ‘garden of Eden’ is used as metaphor for land of blessing and promise (Isaiah 51:3; Ezekiel 36:35; Joel 2:3). Through Adam who violated the law given to him, he was removed from the garden and covered by God with animal skins, and given “curses and blessings” (Genesis 3:12-24). Type and shadow of God doing exactly that with Israel? Some have said so. Through Adam comes Cain, Abel, and Seth. After the death of Abel and the driving away of Cain, we only hear the lineage through Seth. Through Seth, Noah would eventually be born. Everyone knows the story of the flood, but oddly many assume this to be a world-wide flood, why? Yeah, something to consider for another time, eh? Noah’s family survives the flood and through his son, Shem, eventually will come Abram (who comes to be known as Abraham).

Abraham is called by the Lord and given blessings (Genesis chapter 12). Abraham has his ups and downs and eventually God establishes a covenant with Abraham (Genesis chapter 15 and chapter 17). The “natural” covenant that God made with Abraham was that his people would possess the land and many nations would come of them, circumcision would “seal the deal” (pun intended).  When God said that all nations would be blessed through Abraham’s seed (Genesis 22:17-18), it is important to remember that many nations were already in existence (Genesis chapters 10 and 17).

Through Isaac, who as given by the grace and promise of God, his seed would be reckoned (Genesis 21:12 although we know that this is truly done in and through Jesus Christ, Galatians chapter 3).  Isaac would give birth to Esau and Jacob, and the blessings would fall into the hands of Jacob (Genesis chapter 27). Jacob is later named “Israel” and it is through him that the 12 tribes of Israel would come into being.

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

So God calls Israel to Himself as He utilizes Moses to lead them out of Egypt, creates a covenant with them, establishes a covering called The Law, and says this:

“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all the nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:4-6)”.

“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His people, His treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6)”.

So…why did God set apart a nation for Himself? Did this have an effect on the other nations?

“May God be gracious to US (Israel) and bless US and make His face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations (Psalm 67:1-2)”.

“See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will SHOW your wisdom and understanding TO THE NATIONS, who will hear about these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people”. What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to Him?” (Deuteronomy 4:5-7)”

It is my contention that God chose Israel and set them apart as a people unto Himself to demonstrate (show) His will for the nations-a set apart kingdom of wisdom and understanding! God’s presence was known to Israel, His judgments were demonstrated on and through Israel, and His blessing was upon Israel. Matter of fact this is what Paul says in Romans chapter 9:

  “…the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ…(Romans 9:4-5)”.

“He has revealed His word to Jacob, His laws and decrees to Israel. He has done this for no other nation; they do not know His laws. Praise the Lord (Psalm 147:19-20)”.

I call this “Hebrew Exclusivity”, since that is what we read about in the Old Testament. God has chosen Israel and throughout the Old Testament He is dealing with them.  Could others share in this?

“Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you… For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, INCLUDING THOSE BORN IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD OR BOUGHT WITH YOUR MONEY, THEY MUST BE CIRCUMCISED. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people, he has broken my covenant (Genesis 17:9-14)”.

Did you catch that? Even the “strangers” had to be circumcised because they would share in the blessings of Abraham’s people. The Sabbath regulations also were mandated for those in the household (Exodus 20:10).

So when Israel went into slavery in Egypt for 400 years and then God was about to demonstrate His will for Israel, wouldn’t you imagine that this had an impact on Egyptians? Well sure enough when Moses was leading Israel out of bondage it is said that some of the Egyptians left as well.

  “Many other people went up with them, as well as large droves of livestock and herds (Exodus 12:38)”.

“The Lord said these are the regulations for the Passover: NO FOREIGNOR IS TO EAT OF IT. Any slave you have brought MAY EAT OF IT AFTER YOU HAVE CIRCUMCISED HIM, but a temporary resident and a hired worker may not eat if it (Exodus 12:43-45)”.

Well folks, that about sums it up, doesn’t it? No foreigner may eat of it. If they are circumcised they are allowed. Why? Because they have come into covenant as God had proposed to Abraham and was incorporated into the Law of Moses. (This nullifies the argument “RiversofEden” tries to use when citing verses such as Nehemiah 13:3; Ezra 10:11, 43). When a “foreigner is circumcised he is brought into the covenant relationship of Israel (after all, Passover was a thing for Israel, right?).

God fulfilled the exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land and we see that this had an effect on some of those in Egypt who left with the Israelites. They were then circumcised and could participate in the Passover blessings. Interestingly, in the book of Revelation chapter 11 verse 8, the “great city” is “figuratively called Sodom and Egypt”. When compared with Galatians 4:21-31, one can see the parallel of the literal story of Israel leaving Egypt, also the New Jerusalem being persecuted by the physical Jerusalem, but glory to God, Christ is the Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7).

So, I agree that what is written in the Old Testament and the New Testament were promises to Israel. After all, in Acts chapters 24, 26, and 28, the apostle Paul makes it very clear that all he has spoken about what “the hope of Israel”. That was/is the gospel. “RiversofEden” makes it a point to constantly point out that Jeremiah chapter 31 (which speaks of the New Covenant) was a promise made to the houses of Israel and Judah, and was a part of prophecy. This would therefore mean that under the construct of “ALL BIBLE PROPHECY FULFILLED” and Matthew 5:16-18, Jeremiah chapter 31 must be fulfilled.

Is anyone arguing against that? Nope! Heaven and Earth would not pass away until ALL was fulfilled. Sure enough, in Revelation chapter 20, the “heavens and earth” flee when the books of judgment are opened. What do we see happening in Revelation chapter 21? A “new heaven and a new earth” come down from heaven.

I do believe that the “hope of Israel” was entirely fulfilled in AD 70. “The old order passed away”- remember the “order” when Israel constantly had to be atoned for causing tears), or would be judged and displaced (the mourning that occurred), the sin and death under the Law? Do you remember these things? When is the last time you did them? You don’t! Why? Read Jeremiah 3:15-25.

Just as God chose Israel and made a covenant with her (“heaven and earth”), demonstrated His loving kindness to her in judgment and restoration, which served as an example to the nations- for example, those who followed Israel out of Egypt. The would also happen when God fulfilled all prophecy to natural Israel, the passing of “heaven and earth”, and demonstrated his judgment and restoration- this time in Spirit, at the establishment of the “new heavens and new earth”. Philippians chapter 3 gives a great illustration of the old contrasted to the new. Say goodbye to circumcision of the flesh! A temple made with hands. The “body” of sin and death.

Today, what is called “Covenant Eschatology” espouses these truths that come under constant attack. We believe in the fulfilled prophecies of “Israel of the flesh” and through God demonstrating Himself through judgment and resurrection, i.e, “the hope of Israel”. We can now “put on Jesus Christ”, or better said the “robes of righteousness (Revelation 22:14; Matthew 22:1-14; Isaiah 61:10 ) and “come into covenant with God” (Revelation 22:17).

Blessings in Christ,

Michael Miano

For more “good reading” dealing with this subject, check out these links:

http://donkpreston.com/the-mystery-of-god-revealed-guest-article-by-larry-siegle/

http://donkpreston.com/israel-hope-of-the-gentiles/

http://www.postost.net/2011/01/more-salvation-israel-response-nations

http://www.postost.net/2012/06/salvation-gentiles-antioch-pisidia

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