Saturday, April 28, 2012

My story.

Hi this is James Burks. I am deaf since born by German measles. I born and raised up in Orlando. Now, living in PA and married to beautiful deaf lady. We have 2 wonderful kids (they are not deaf).

I first learn about Bible, God, and Jesus when I was about 7 years old via interpreter in a Baptist church. I visited there several times then stop. I did not go there until I was about 10 years old.
I learned that there was a deaf ministry under First Baptist Church of Pine hills (now changed to FBC of Central Fla). That is where I came to understood about salvation but not that moment....roughly 11 years later.

I finally understood about born again. That changed my life completed. Before I born again, I was drug-addicted and I even almost die from overdose of LSD. From point of born again to 2000's, I was somewhat frustration with eschatology. It always bother me. It was not make any sense to me.

Then I enrolled Deaf Bible College to earned THG degree and become pastor in Pittsburgh, Pa. I started a deaf church but not last long....only roughly 7 years. Somehow, we ended up into Nazarene Israelite. Because of Matt. 5:17-18. BUT that last only about 1 and half years.

My friend sent me an article about heaven/earth. THAT is when we finally understood about Matt. 5:17-18....we started off as partial preterists....we study and learn...the more we learn, partial become fade....we arrived into full eschatology, that was roughly 8 months after we first learn about Truth of the Eschatology. I can see big difference between my young Christian life and now. WOW! I am thrilled to know the truth about fulfilled eschatology.

Same thing with my wife. We are so grateful and free from confused & frustrated. Funny, I already knew that I have VICTORY in my life while I was in futuristism. Noiw, I know Victory is true.

Jesus rock!

Lord, I am so sorry!

Over the past couple of years I have experienced a huge reality check in my spiritual walk with the Lord. I have, in my ignorance, been calling Him a false prophet and a deceptive liar.

The beginning of my trek out of error began with an in depth online Bible study through the Book of Hebrews. Many of my convictions of spiritual truths were made stronger which often happens when I debate scripture. Many of the ones on this study were pastors and teachers and the debate got rather heated at times which is OK because iron sharpens iron and fire refines and removes the dross. I often blame my fiery attitude on being a red headed Irish person but the real reason is that I am a highly committed person to Christ and the doctrinal truths revealed to us in scripture. Or, so I thought.

Heated debates through the first 9 chapters brought me closer to and more convinced of the truths scripture reveals of our Lord and Saviour. Then the bomb when off and I was totally undone. The awesome power of the Word of God exploded in my mind and heart completely destroying a hermeneutic theology I had held tightly to for 25 years. All it took was looking intently at one verse in scripture.

(Heb 10:29 KJV) Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

It is a sad thing when people undermine the power of the written Word of God for through it God transforms us from faith to faith into the image of His Son. I don’t think this reality of truth would have happened to me if it were not for this study of His Word. It tears away at the error in our minds which we have when we listen only to other peoples interpretation of scripture or even to the error we have in our minds about what we ‘think’ the scripture says to us.

The hermeneutic theology I spoke about is Dispensationalism, or for those who are not familiar with this word, it is the theory (and it is a theory) of the Last Days and the second coming of Jesus Christ. Even when caught up in dispensationalism there was always a question in my mind, one of those ‘something is not right here but I can’t put my finger on it’ type of things. Well, this study revealed to me what that ‘something’ was. My question was, “Why would God set up another temple and sacrificial system in the Millennium?” I found the answer – He won’t! According to this verse in 10:29 that would be anathema and blaspheme to Him, it would be trampling underfoot the Son of God and the blood of the New Covenant and insult Him.

After I was regenerated (born again) I read completely though the Bible and discovered the wise men were not at the birth of Christ. I had been lied to. This made me wonder how many other times I had been lied to and spurred me into a study of the Bible which took 6 to 8 hours a day for 6 years. I found amazing things during that study. This one verse in Hebrews did the same thing. For the next years I studied scripture and everything I could get my hands on to help me see the truth about dispensationalism and I found amazing things.

In my study I was confronted with the many verses which Jesus talked about ‘this generation.’ I found He was, indeed, talking about THAT generation, not THIS generation 1900+ years in the future. Wow, a generation in scripture is 40 years and by no stretch of the imagination can we make it mean a generation of 1970+ years. DING, DING was going off in my head.

Then came these verses where Jesus is talking to His disciples:

Matthew 10:23 (NKJV) "When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

Matthew 16:27-28 (NKJV) "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 "Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."

Matthew 24:34 (NKJV) "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

Either we have almost 2000 year old disciples still going through the cities of Israel or Jesus did exactly what He said He would do in THAT generation.

But what made me realize I had been calling Jesus a false prophet and liar (unintentionally) was this quote I found by C S Lewis:

"Say what you like,” we shall be told, “the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, ‘this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else.”

It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.

C.S. Lewis, The World's Last Night: And Other Essays, p.97

This caused me to repent and change my mind about dispensationalism. Other things as well, such as realizing that dispensational theology hinges upon two things – The late date of the book of Revelation and the literal rendering of the millennium in that book. I found the late dating of Revelation (96AD) which is accepted as gospel truth all went back to one man, Irenaeus . Because of the writing of one man most everyone believes Rev. was written in 96AD. Kind of like most everyone believes in evolution because of one man, Darwin. I found there is much internal and external evidence (historical writings) that Rev. was written before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70AD. Once I got this figured out all the verses which I had to force to fall in place before simply began falling in place without my forcing them to.

The main thing Dispensationalism prides itself on is its literal interpretation of scripture. But they don’t do this, they don’t take literally the words of Christ and they have to take out of context and twist many, many scriptures in order to make them fit their theory. They take many prophecies of the Old Testament and twist them to make them prophecies for this age. Prophecies which were fulfilled in the Old Testament they take and make them apply to today. That is wrong.

In my studies I have evaluated all the eschatology theories such as Dispensationalism, Amillennium, Historicist, and Preterist. I have come to the conclusion that Preterism is the most faithful to the scriptures. I haven’t got it all figured out yet, but I will. I don’t really know for sure if I fall into the Full Preterist or Partial Preterist camp but that will come.

All I know at this point is I would rather ditch everything I believe about the Last Days than continue to make Jesus Christ into a false prophet and deceptive liar.

Lord, I am so sorry I ever did this!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Testimony.

By  Ken Palmer

I was brought up by a Presbyterian mother and an agnostic father. Went to church my whole life growing up, and got saved at Bible camp in Australia when I was 12. My father worked for Goodyear International, so we traveled a lot, and I was in touch with many faiths and cultures. When I moved to Chile, I began to move away from the faith and delve more into worldly things, started playing guitar seriously (played music since I was five...piano mostly and moved into guitar around 10 years old).

Although I smoked pot sporadically and drank rarely before the 10th grade, I began doing more of it in High School when I was in Chile. The drinking age was 18, but we were American, so it seemed ok for us teenagers to waltz into a bar and order drinks. My usage increased and my church attendance decreased, thanks to my non-religious father who didn't force us to go, which I am sure upset my mother, but I never saw that part of that program.

When I graduated High School, I embarked into Music School in Atlanta and experimented with crack and powder cocaine with my peers. After graduating from there, I had strayed from the faith almost entirely and embraced world faiths such as Taoism and Buddhism. I went on to The Recording Workshop in Ohio, and it was there, drunk and stupid, that I challenged Satan in a house I lived in with three other artists. One was Puerto Rican, and very Christian. He grabbed and and tried to stop me from doing so, knowing in my mind that I hadn't had the armor of Christ on, so he probably knew what was coming after that.

That night, in a nutshell, Satan, or at least what I thought was Satan, came to me in a dream with his scurrying little minions all over the floor where I was sleeping, and a heavy windstorm brewed outside...this is still in my dream. He kept me from speaking or breathing, and rose me out of the bed while I started to try and recite the Lord's Prayer for protection. That of course did not help, until I hit myself and startled myself out of the dream. I called my mother the next day and told her about it, and she said my brother was having similar dreams, demonic and not so good forces coming at him.

My faith started to reemerge, but not completely, as I wasn't done with "doing my own thing" as of yet.

I moved to New Orleans and started playing music fervently with many people there, all around town, generally smoking pot and drinking lots of beer. My brother attended Tulane there, so we were close, and he went to alot of my shows.

My faith stayed on the back burner, but I did believe Jesus was who He said He was, and knew he was the Son of God, but never asked him to come into my life as I did when I was 12. I was still His though, now as I look back on those days, and He wasn't letting go.

I got real good band together and we moved to Providence hoping to penetrate the Boston scene in the early 90's..we had plenty of good shows there, and my late friend Eric Sand (911 victim) and I had many discussions concerning Philosophy and Faith....he was Jewish, but we always came to agreement that faith was not so important to how it was applied and how we lived and portrayed ourselves to the rest of the world. Alas, Eric was older than all of us, and he needed to move onto the next chapter of his life, get a real job and family, so he moved to NYC and began working at the WTC with his brother 'n' law (Cantor Fitzgerald). Our band broke up, and I started to drink alot and my neighbor happened to be a Cocaine dealer, so I started using plenty of that. I left Providence in the middle of the night, like a scared cat, and moved back to New Orleans, hoping to rekindle what I once had there a few years earlier.

Alas, that didn't happen, and I began doing more drugs and more drinking, and my character began to dwindle. I met my first wife there, and things were good in the beginning, but the drug and drink usage took its toll, as well as the failure of not getting anything going there, and we fought alot, sometimes violently. We moved to Florida, where my mother and father had retired, along with my sister whom were living there, thinking that that atmosphere might bring some stability. Unfortunately, it was a resort town, with lots of partying, and I was in the Hospitality Industry, and drinking and drugs went right along with, as I did as well. Our marriage carried on for only another year until one final knock down drag out fight, and I exposed my infidelity, and it was over from there.

For the next couple of years, I focused on my Chef work, and rose up the ranks of a infamous restaurant group there, and started doing real well, putting two good bands together and making some real good music, along with a couple of albums to show for. While I was working one day, there was a fellow that worked the line, and he was a Christian and very interested in me. I was into the supernatural, UFO's Demons and Angels, as well as Ghosts and such, and he took a liking to me. We talked alot, even when we were really busy, and he shepherded me back into the faith. One day I told him about the dream I had had in Ohio, and the countless similar dreams that followed throughout my life in various places, and he asked me about the strong presence in the dreams. I told him about the dark forces, but always noticed another force, benign as it was, was always there. He asked me to approach that particular force, because it most likely is the one that needs me the most. He was talking about Jesus.

A few nights later, I did just that. I was in a dream, or nightmare, and was being constricted, and I asked that force to help me. It did. To be honest, I felt like the Fifth Element character in that movie at the end when he ejects that force out of her mouth to destroy evil. Everything that was bad in the dream, disappeared. The next night, sober and worn out from a day's work, I was watching VH1 and Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville were singing "I don't know much, but I love you" at Austin City Limits, and I fell to my knees balling like a little girl. I then asked Jesus to come into my life, and my whole body went numb and warm and I fell asleep.

The bad things didn't stop there. My life did get better for a while, and things were looking up, but one day, my friend pulled me aside and we sat down and had lunch together on our break. He said the night before, he had a "Word" about me, and he fell to his knees and prayed fervently for me. He then told me that things are looking up for me, but there will be a time when things won't, and I will need to turn to Jesus for support. I was in the "Honey Moon" period right now with my faith, but that will come to an end soon. Something bad was going to happen.

And it did. My father got real sick, my ex-girlfriend and I began using drugs, and we fought violently, and me and my band members were going down the rabbit's hole with Oxycontin and Booze, not the kids stuff either, we are talking heavy amounts of Jim Beam, the cleanest heroin in the pharmacy, and sometimes, a little coke to get this going real good.

Then my ex-girlfriend and I got into a real big fight, and she broke a window, cutting herself up in the arm bad. I went to jail, lost my dream job, and my brother that was practicing law in the next town, had moved to Seattle. I spent a year there under probation for a battery charge, while my father deteriorated in health. My drug use continued, but I still managed to pray for deliverance every night. Jesus heard me...I know He did.

After my tenure with the courts was almost up, I met Kelley at my job. She was a waitress, going through a hard time with an ex-boyfriend, and a history of Meth use in her back pocket. She was a mess as well as I , but we clicked and started seeing each other. During this time, I had been lurking several sites, occasionally posting as "21stcenturyhuman" , being caught up by the New Age agenda, but Christ had His grip on me, I knew that for sure. if it wasn't for some of the dispensational sites I frequented, and Herb Peters, it would have been very hard to get through that year. Thank you for your support that year.

Kelley moved to California to be with her mom for surgery, and in the winter of 2005, I moved to Seattle to be near my brother. I wanted a fresh start, but I hadn't let go of the drinking and I lied about my sporadic drug use. Kelley moved up to Seattle with me, my father passed away in the summer, and we carried on, tapping into our old ways for a couple of years, fighting now and then, violently at times as well, always under the influence. It all came to a head in April 2007, after some bad news about the death of some friends, I went on a binge, and she did as well. We both arrived home and began to fight very hard. I was blacked out for most of it, but from what she told me it wasn't pretty. The next thing I remember, I was in the back of a police car on my way to jail, looking at some time behind bars. In the cell, I cried out to Jesus to deliver me from all of it, balling my eyes out once again.

Kelley and I got married in 2008 on March 12, two days shy of my birthday, and 3 days shy of hers.  After being promoted back to the level I was at before my downward spiral ensued, I am doing much better than I have ever done in the Hospitality industry.  The Lord has blessed me beyond words, things I never deserved.  About this time, I ventured into Preterism known by my Music Tech name Sciota Micks, somewhat reluctantly, yet unafraid as I pleaded God to keep me grounded the whole way through.  I trusted Him as I do now, no matter what the cost and what type of terrain I need to push through.  I wasn't very versed in any creeds, at all to say the least, and I wasn't very comfortable with futurism, in any way, since the glaring simplicity of the texts were screaming out at me, that this is most likely all past tense events. Thank the Lord I didn't have those hangups, and was able to approach the word of God void of any outside presuppositions. 

I entered into it with a clean slate.  It has been a long road since I was 12, but I read the Word everyday, and pray almost every hour, thanking him for all those nights I faced darkness at my feet.  But my wife and I are both sober now (4 years) and very much in-love. Our life is better, maybe not financially at times, and we do have problems and issues, but Jesus is in control of those things, and He is alot better at it than we are, so things are much better. We don't fight much anymore, and if we do, it is only a disagreement that lasts a minute or so till it is resolved. If we keep Jesus at the Center, not in, but at the very core of our lives, miracles do happen. My story could have turned for the worse, but it didn't. And it came out, just as I had prayed it to materialize into. 

And with a little patience, and trust in Jesus, He can definitely accomplish anything.  Nowadays, I still play guitar, I record a lot at home, writing songs, centered on family, friends and my faith in Christ.  In 2009, my daughter Jean Virginia was born, the other love of my life, and one blessing that far outweighs anything I have ever received from God, likewise, a wish, I never fully deserved, considering my wife and myself both denied two of God's greatest gifts from the world in our youth by abortion, a sin, probably one of my greatest of sins, in which I will always ask forgiveness for. God is great everyone.  I am living proof.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

This is a testimony of how I came to the Preterist position of Eschatology, the study of 'Last Things'

My objective here is to simply share the story of how I came to believe what I believe, and hopefully my story will cause someone to think about what they've been taught as far as the "End Times," or the study of Last Things.

I became a 'born-again Christian' Dec 10, 1984, after growing up in a staunch Roman Catholic family.  It was a very super-natural, God-driven experience... not a case of a "god-shaped hole" in my heart being filled.  I was a rotten sinner in need of a savior.  As far as the Roman Catholic Church, it was a group where pretty much everyone believed the same way as far as the essentials.  There weren't any doctrinal differences that I knew of.  Virtually no one questioned the teachings of the preists, bishops, cardinals - the Pope even had this thing called "Papal infallability" ! There was no second-guessing of any teachings or doctrines going on in my religious world as a practicing Catholic.

It would be many years as a Christian before I even heard the fancy term "Eschatology," the study of last things.  I was far more excited in those early years about my new-found salvation, and getting to know God.  I didn't even know of the 'rapture' when I was a baby Christian, new in the faith, wet behind the ears.

My "One Size fits all" mentality that I carried over from the Catholic Church led me to believe that my new "group" (born-again Christians) were similarly like-minded, so there was no reason to question what I was hearing from the pulpit. That "papal infallability" mind-set for me . . . was just transferred over to the Protestant preacher in the pulpit or on the radio.

At some point, I found out about the "Rapture," this teaching that one day, in the time it takes to blink, we (true Christian believers) would go up literally, physically in the air, and meet our Lord Jesus Christ in the literal clouds.  We would thusly have the awesome "bonus" of not having to taste death.  All Christians, as far as I knew, believed that this event would precede His "2nd coming" by seven years.  The 2nd coming as I was taught was an event  where Jesus would touch town literally and set His literal, physical foot on the Mount of Olives and sit on a literal throne in a rebuilt Temple and rule and reign the world for a thousand years.  In my mind's eye, I pictured Jesus with his long hair and beard, sitting in a big chair with about a hundred stairs rising up to the chair.

Finding out about this rapture was FANTASTIC !  I don't have to grow old, save for retirement, this was so awesome !  I closed out my 401K,  thus instantly giving myself a bigger paycheck, and life was sweet.  I remember seeing a T-Shirt in our local Christian book store depicting an outdoor basketball game, where SOME of the players and SOME of the fans were floating up in the air, the scriptural reference of I Thess. 4:17.  Of course, that is the well-known verse which states that we will be caught up in the air.

During my first couple of decades as a Christian, I believed that all Christians believed in the rapture view as taught by the Church, as well as all teachings about the second coming. I had no idea there were all these differing views.

In 1998, I began taking seminary-level theology classes, including one on Hermenuetics, which is the art and science of Biblical interpretation.  I learned quite a bit, including a principle called "Audience Relevance," which means we have to consider that the Bible was written to people in the first century and earlier.  Doesn't mean it's irrelevant to everyone else, of course, but as I heard at least one person say years later: "We are reading someone elses mail ! "  My professor at that time, who does NOT hold to the Preterist position by the way, said we have to "Bridge the gap," and get in the mind of the 1st century believer.  We need to ask: "What did these words mean to THEM ?"  This made perfect sense to me at the time, and still does today, as far as I'm concerned.

So one day I'm studying Matthew 24, where Jesus has been talking about his yet future return in judgment, commonly referred to by many as his "second coming."  I get to verse 34, where I read: "This generation shall not pass until all these things be fulfilled."  I stopped when I read that.  I was uneasy, because he seemed to be addressing THEM - the  PEOPLE ALIVE AT THAT time !  In fact, what I didn't realize at that time I was reading was that just a handful of verses prior, he was speaking of "this wicked and perverse generation."  In that earlier passage, with no context change, chapter and verse breaks being added centuries later, everyone today agrees he was talking to the people alive at that time - back then. I literally became "quesy" when I would read verses like this where Jesus seemed to be speaking to the people alive at that time.  That "first" passage was in Matthew Chapter 23, and the "this generation shall not pass" statement is found in Matthew's Gospel in Chapter 24.

For several months, I was very shaken, and my faith was really messed up - not like I no longer believed in God, or had "issues" with God, but I was so confused.  I frequently read verses / passages where Jesus and his disciples seemed to be speaking of a soon return, and this really had me extremely perplexed !

Before, I hadn't been troubled by this, because I was taught as a new believer that, yes, Jesus and His diciples DID speak of a soon return, but the "Key" to understanding all this was that Jesus was supposedly referring to the fig tree in Matthew 24:32:"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer [is] nigh:" (KJV)

I was taught that he (Jesus) was referring to Israel, and that whenever a Fig Tree is mentioned, it's talking about Israel.  I was also taught that the tender leaves being put forth was the regathering of the Jews to their homeland, and the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.

I had been told the 'prophetic time clock' began ticking in 1948, and since a biblical generation was 40 years, that the rapture would happen at least by 1981, since the rapture would occur 7 years prior to the 2nd coming (pre-trib view), using the following formula:  1948+40=1988 minus seven, equals 1981.  So Jesus, I was told, was actually referring (back then) to the event of Israel being regathered in the future at some point.  The fact that it happened 2,000 years later is irrelevant, because Jesus is 'outside of time' as they often say - he is eternal - he knew it would happen, but didn't know when.  That was explained by the verse that says "But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. Implying that the Son (Jesus) did NOT know.

But it was WAY past 1981 or 1988 now - it was 1998 - anyway, I was pretty messed up as far as my Christian faith - very confused.

One Saturday, I was listening to a talk show on a Christian radio station, KBRT-AM 740 in the Southern California area.  The host, Ken Davies, was speaking of this Preterist view - the show was called "Beyond the  end times"  Well, words at this point could not do justice to the cataclysmic shift from depression to elation, when I got the biggest "sanity check" ever, listening to this show !

Ken would later add a brother named Harley "H.L." James as his co-host, and I continued to listen to the show.  I was able to contact H.L., and I had a lot of questions.  He agreed to meet with me, and what ensued was the most amazing Bible study for me ever up to that point in my life !
What was great about my "study" with H.L. was that he didn't 'orchestrate' it by showing me this verse and then speaking some flowery words, then another verse, all to support his 'theories.' No - he just had me open MY Bible and read FOR MYSELF - he would say things like "Check out Joel 2:28," and I did - it read:"And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: " 

Then he said: "Now check out Acts 2:16-17'" - where I myself read out loud:
"But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams..."
What ? Last Days ?  I thought we were in the "last days" now (in 1998) !  And this (the Acts passage) is obviously the fulfillment of the passage in Joel - like the saying goes: "Wump ! There it is !"  The beginning of many light-bulb moments for me !

That day it was like Harley was 'magically' inserting pages in my Bible - I didn't know that was in there !  - and this went on and on and on... read a verse, and think: "I didn't know that was in there !!"  read a verse, and think: "I didn't know that was in there !!"    Over and over and over again.
Hearing Ken and HL talk about how the 1st Century believers were not looking for a literal, physical, bodily return of Christ, nor a literal physical resurrection of biological bodies, made everything fit - the Bible made sense to me now !  I read a story about these guys named Hymenaus and Philetus, who were teaching that the resurrection had ALREADY happened.  Paul was concerned with this false teaching, and it was messing people up.  I realized sane people would've never believed this teaching in the first place, because all they had to do was roll back the stones of the graves and see the bodies of the righteous believers were still there.

I would also pick up on so many things I'd missed before - like how when it talks about Jesus' Parousia, the event commonly referred to as the "2nd coming," that they asked Jesus for a SIGN of His return - I realized that if they were expecting this event where he appeared literally, physically, why would they need a SIGN that it had happened ? - that he was now with (spiritually speaking) his (New) covenant people, his bride, the true Church.

Coming to the Preterist position for me was like a Salmon swimming upstream (compared to my fellow Christians), but now that the 'futurist goggles' are off, the Bible makes sense now !  There are too many to list here, but so many portions of scripture that I used to put on a shelf, so to speak, and just gloss over, now make sense - they FIT.

I said 'futurist goggles' - what I mean by that is we look around and we don't see a physical representation of Jesus, we didn't see Him floating on clouds, and so we read the Bible from the perspective that His parousia, his presence with His bride, His Church, has not happened yet, and then we struggle to try and interpret the scriptures using that grid.  It's like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole !

The Church is the Bride of Christ - before He was crucified, He said that He was going to prepare a place for us, His bride - and that He would return - His parousia, the word is in Greek - means His presence.  He is with us now in Spirit - we (true believers) are one in Him.  They asked Him for a sign when He would come in His kingdom, and one He gave was the destruction of the Jewish Temple, and it happened in AD70.
Good enough for me...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

JP, The French Preterist

Hi, my name is Jean-Pierre Côté

Born in 1957 in Montreal, Canada Raised as a Catholic (nominal), I became an evangelical Christian in 1984.

Studied in bible colleges and seminary, I was a music director in a Pentecostal church, prison ministry, mid week bible study leader, evangelist, substitute preacher, etc.  Became a  4 pt Calvinist then a 5 point Calvinist.

This rocked my church life, they kicked me out. Went to Baptist & Brethren churches to finally have a house church with about 18 members.  Today I do not attend any regular local church but I visit my brothers and sister now and then.

About ten years ago, I bought a couple of books which seemed interesting.  Apocalypse Conspiracy and End Times Madness.

They slowly worked their way in my understanding until I started to dive directly in the study of Preterism.

After reading a good sample of all the different positions within Preterism, I have come to hold A Full Preterist view. This answers more questions than any other eschatological system.

I work a whole lot in the French community on the net trying to spread the Word of (Fulfilled eschatology)

Thank God for the internet and
God bless you all.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How I came to the Preterist view.

I was brought up in a non believing home, nominally Catholic. When I was 19 the Lord revealed Himself to me through His Word and I believed. That was 1980. I had just moved to Las Vegas, NV from Southern California. I was living with my brother and his wife and he had just gone forward at a Billy Graham crusade a few months earlier.
So I ended up going to his Assembly of God then after meeting a friend and being invited to a great Bible Study I started to attend a Four-Square church. During this time I married Bill , we met at that Bible study called Fish city. We me married in the 1980s and had our first two children.
At the Four-square church a little bit of end times was taught it was not quite dispensational.

The pastor did teach that we are the temple, we are Zion, we are the New Jerusalem. This really stuck out in my mind and later when we attended a Calvary Chapel and were exposed to strong Dispensational teaching for the first time we did question some of the statements. It just didn't line up in my mind. The church age being a parenthesis or hiccup in the true plan of God, etc. But pretty much I remember reading and studying Hal Lindsey, Tex Mars etc. While attending Calvary Chapel we were getting burnt out.

Meeting with friends and fellow believers we are disillusioned with “doing church” at the big buildings and all the trappings of the institutionalized church. So many of us banded together and started a home church. It was the best thing for us because we had hours upon hours each week to study the word and go through it with others. During that time, 15 years ago, one of the members of our Home Church was Amillennial in his eschatology. My husband Bill and I had never heard of that or any other eschatological view other than what we had always been taught – Futurism and Dispensationism. Now of course we didn’t even know those titles. We were just waiting for the rapture and to leave this earth that belonged to the Devil.

Our friend asked us to read a book explaining his view. Well, out of love for our friend and his family, we read Ammillenilism Today and found it intriguing. So we embarked on an intense study of End Times views. The friend that told us about the book and his wife and daughter did the research with us. We read several books and much of the New Testament scrutinizing it with our new found understanding of time statements and audience relevance! During this time we became reformed in our theology. Lots of paradigm shifts were happening.

Eventually we got on the mailing list of a Baptist Preacher named John Bray. We received little booklets in the mail from him quite regularly. They were very informative, thought provoking and interesting. He was first Amillennial then Partial Preterist. This was the first place that we heard the word Preterism.

Well, as we read John Bray his eschatology was changing and he became a Full Preterist and wrote a book called Matthew 24 Fulfilled. This was in 1998. We ordered the book and read it. We really tried to poke holes in the system but came to understand and embrace it.

Through the Internet we found out about David Curtis and Berean Bible Church. We started reading some of his teachings and got on the mailing list for the teaching tapes. We were so blessed and learned and grew tremendously in our understanding of Preterism. By this time we had 6 children and our two oldest listened to the tapes from Berean Bible Church daily as part of their homeschool studies. They are both men now and Preterist too. It was not just David’s teaching on Preterism that we liked we enjoyed many of the topics he taught on. We liked his teachings on many subjects! We did meet some other Preterist through the Internet. Some of the people we met online came to visit and that was quite encouraging. Bill and my oldest son attended a Preterist seminar in California and that was good too.

Eventually we decided to move east to be a part of a Preterist Church. So we visited Virginia in 2004 and moved there in 2005. We did end up moving back to Las Vegas in 2008. While living there we did have our last child #7 and gained a daughter-in-law for our oldest son!! The reason for moving back to Vegas was monetary and longing to be back with family and friends. Our second son Brian still lives there and goes to Berean. My husband still facilitates the pod cast. He also does that for another Preterist church, Messiah Reformed Church in Omaha, Nebraska.
1. I created a Preterist group for women on Yahoo groups now it is a Facebook group it is called Safe Haven for Preterist Women. The mission of the group is a safe place for women to have fellowship and to feel a part. I know that many of us have had to leave various churches or have to be silent. It is nice to have a safe place to go and share.

The church we attend now has a Preterist pastor. Some of the people in the congregation are also. As you can imagine there are many variations in what we all believe. So at times we have differences. I am thankful that the drive that my husband and I have is for love and unity along with the truth. We take it serious to , “as much as possible live at peace with all people”. So I thank God for the church we are in and our dear pastor.

For me being a Preterist is a real blessing because I now look forward to the future. I know that God is faithful and that He is truthful and that Jesus is ruling and reigning.

The New Testament makes so much more sense! I don't have to do mental calisthenics to make the time statements in scripture fit the text.

I believe that God's kingdom here on earth is a glorious reality and it is a privilege to be a part of it.

I don't have to fear the Antichrist, mark of the beast or Armageddon. Jesus is faithful and true to His word! I understand more than ever that Jesus came to give us life and that more abundantly!
So there it is.

In Christ, Tricia Gann, wife to Bill, mother to Jeremy, Brian, Rebecca, Victoria, Steven, Elizabeth and Margaret

Las Vegas, Nevada

Sunday, July 10, 2011

God really got my attention.

Mark Church.

At age 18-19 (in 2002), when I decided to give God a chance to prove HIMSELF, I was in the U.S. Air Force and had made it past boot camp. As I was in my Tech school training, I developed exercised induced asthma (which wasn't that severe), but they don't even allow you to stay in if you have it a little bit. I was being discharged and didn't know what I was going to do when I got out. I need to add that I was in boot camp when the Trade Towers were attacked on September 11th, 2001. So one night a few weeks before they gave me my DD214 (discharge papers) and sent me home, I broke down in the shower and cried out to God.

I said, "God, if you're even real, please show me who you are and what purpose I am here for. I want to know if you're Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Allah, Mohammed, etc.. (every name I could think of that had a religious "Messiah/God" connotation). 30 minutes after I got out of the shower, my sister randomly called me. Before I could say anything, she said that she was just in the bathtub "30 MINUTES" ago (exact same time I had been in the shower) praying to "JESUS" that I would get out of the military. First of all, she did not know that I was already getting discharged for a slight form of exercise induced asthma. Secondly, she was not a believer in anything at that time, but decided to call out to "JESUS" specifically and told me that's who she prayed to SPECIFICALLY, without me saying anything to her at all.

I told her that I was just in the shower praying to God to show me who HE was, and HE used her to give me that confirmation. She was blown away, and I think it influenced her faith as well. I honestly did not expect an answer from God so quickly. From that point onward, God was revealing HIMSELF to me more and more. I came in to it all with an open mind, even after that spiritual occurrence happened, because I wanted to know for sure. But at the same time I wanted God to know that I was going to HIM my best shot. In Deuteronomy 4:29 and Jeremiah 29:13 it says that if you seek HIM with all of your heart, you will find HIM. I literally did that, and I surely did find HIM.

After I finally got sent home, I ended up meeting a guy who introduced me to a pastor. I stayed with this pastor for 3 years (2002-2005). It was a non-denominational church (leaning more toward pentecostal / charismatic teaching). I remember singing songs about Christ's return, and just always believed that bible eschatology was speaking not only about our future, but about our very NEAR FUTURE.

After I left in 2005, I began enlarging my borders, via searching out different teachings in Christendom. I was exposed to Jehovah's witnesses, Mormons, 7th Day Adventists, Messianics, Catholics, etc.. and the list goes on. It got me very confused, so I eventually stopped going to denominational congregations of men.

I began researching and studying things on my own. Well, in November of 2008, I was not even searching for anything in particular on you tube, when I came across a video series by Ken Gentry. He was speaking about the true identity of the Beast in the book of Revelation.

I watched the videos a few times through, and took a whole day (over 10 hours) pausing the videos every few seconds, so that I could take down notes. Every time I thought that he would get stuck, he always brought to light something that I had never seen or heard before.

Never in my christian walk before that did anyone challenge me to study 1st Century history (particularly the time period between 30-70 AD). I was so amazed and shocked by it, that I actually put it on the back shelf for 2 years (from November 2008-December 2010). In December of 2010, I felt the Lord prodding me to study more. For the past 7 months now I've done so much extensive study, and I can truly say without a shadow of a doubt that Preterist belief is correct in terms of eschatology.

After all of the confusion and perplexity I went through with the different denominations, doctrines, teachings, etc.. I finally found a system (Preterism) that made sense. I have been hooked on studying it out more thoroughly ever since, and I will until the day I die.

My story.

Hi this is James Burks. I am deaf since born by German measles. I born and raised up in Orlando. Now, living in PA and married to beautif...