On April 17, 2016 the first Monthly Preterist Conference Call took place, hosted by Jordan Hardgrave and featuring Michael Miano as the main speaker. Michael Miano is the pastor of Blue Point Bible Church in Blue Point, New York. He’s the author of “Freaked Out by the New Covenant.” He’s a radio host at Miano Gone Wild – MGW Online Radio, social engineer of The Power of Preterism Network, and his blog can be seen at “Miano Gone Wild.“
Michael’s message on April 17th was titled, “The Efficacy of the Local Church.” Here’s the audio of his message (23 minutes), followed by his notes. Please feel free to share your thoughts, feedback, and questions in the Comment section:
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24).
- In the Spring 2013 edition of FULFILLED! MAGAZINE there was an article titled, “The Modern Church – Is it Biblically Based?”
- In the “Preterist community,” questions are rampant about why we should or shouldn’t gather or celebrate communion.
I would venture to say that about 80% of the “full preterists” whom you correspond with on Facebook do not attend or gather with a local church. About 99% of the “partial preterists” may attend or gather with a church church. However, neither they nor the church generally focus on the reforming efforts of Preterism. This is troublesome to me.
When I say I believe there is power in Preterism, I am saying that Preterism beings reform into the body that enables us to further have answers for those who ask questions of us, that Preterism stands the test of proving all things and, ultimately, Preterism when studied out allows for the renewing of our minds into the Biblical worldview of worshiping God in Spirit and in Truth.
How and why would we think it is acceptable for the reformation to take place outside of the local setting of Christianity – the local church? If reform is not being done in the Church with God’s people, whom will God send into this world?
“The church is suffering from an identity crisis that is largely self-inflicted.” -Frank Yerby
“The church, as the fulfillment of much Old Testament prophecy, is the culmination of the progressive revelation of God as epitomized by the principle “first the natural, then the Spiritual.” -Frank Yerby
- “Ecclesia” – this word means “called out ones”;
- In the first century it was Jews and Gentiles.
- Isaiah 9:6-7 speaks of His eternal kingdom:
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
Isaiah 48:6 says, “You have heard; see all this. And will you not declare it? I have made you hear new things from this time, even hidden things, and you did not know them.”
God’s wisdom is revealed in the famous sociologist Margaret Mead’s quote, “Never thought that a group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world? Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
- Scriptural response: Ezekiel 47 / Revelation 21 in a practical perspective
Now imagine a large body of water that raises the dead to life, yet the large body does not have local ports. I have always loved to look at the local church as a sort of “outpost of the kingdom.” This is not foreign to Scripture at all. Consider that Israel had tribes and God ordered specific things for each tribe. Throughout Scripture we see the use of the Hellenistic understanding of the “body” as an assembly or group of items or people, more specifically groups of slaves in Greek culture.
- Upon what confession were saints called into the body in Scripture?
- What makes one a Christian?
- What constitutes a “local church”? (Christian)
Only when we as a global community recognize our local responsibility will we truly see the reforming effects of Preterism take place in maturity.
Points To Make
- EVANGELICALISM AND THE LOCAL BODY (my meeting with local pastors)
- “Farewell to those who want an entirely pure and purified church. This is plainly wanting no church at all” – Martin Luther
- Yet with a paradox, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The God of our Fathers is a God of revolution. He will not be content with anything less than perfection in His children and in society.”
- Honest confusion – paradigms – yet convicted of Jesus Christ
- KINGDOM AND THE LOCAL BODY
- HEALING AND DISCIPLESHIP THROUGH THE LOCAL BODY (helps with motives, implications, examination, exhortation, academic controversy, etc.)
- OUTREACH THROUGH THE LOCAL BODY
“God would save the world through fascination, by setting up an alternative society (the church) on the margins of the empire for the world to come and see what a society of love looks like. It would be this ‘city on a hill’ that God would use to light up the world, drawing the world back to God… In the story of Noah, God exterminates the many to save the few, and in the story of Abraham, God sets apart the few to save the many.” -Shane Claiborne, Jesus For President
We must gather together to continue to urge one another to get rid of selfish individualism and excuses – a manifestation of the carnal nature of man.