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    FALSE TEACHING
  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Personal / Living In The Rockies Welcome Guest
    Living In The Rockies
          On he road to Cheley Camp, Estes Park, Colorado

    Mon, Aug 23rd - 12:13PM

    Hidden In Plain Sight



     Recently, a correspondent of mine wrote an email inquiry concerning a blog I wrote back in March. The inquiry dealt with the question: If God hasn’t changed, why don't we see Him doing supernatural things now, as He did throughout scripture?

     This is an incredible question! First, most serious Christians have, or are asking it, and second, because it comes from a hungry, unsatisfied heart (good thing). Most important however, is the fact that the question wouldn’t be digging at the questioner unless God put it there, and this means that He wants to answer it.

     Primarily, the shortest answer to the question is: He most certainly is doing supernatural miracles every day, all over the world. I’m not limiting that to miracles of “emotional healing” or other relatively intangible activities – I’m talking about re-creative, physical miracles in people’s bodies; miracles that can be verified by medical science. But there is a disclaimer. 

     Years ago I ordered a new car, and I ordered it in purple! I figured the car would be very distinctive, but as I waited for it to be built and shipped I began noticing scores of purple cars all over town. Point is, they had been there all the time, but I never noticed them until I became personally invested in the color. Similarly, God’s miraculous signs and wonders can fall into a “purple car” category unless we are open to seeing them. 

     Once we begin to look for them, we find that God is very actively involved in showing His love and power through the signs and wonders He promised would follow those who believe (Mark 16). In fact, I think God really loves to show Himself in incredible ways. He delights in showing how good and loving He is; He loves to show us Himself, as He really is.

     For instance, let’s consider the topic of divine healing. In Mark 6:1-6, it is documented that Jesus Himself ’could do no mighty work there..’, and in verse 6, it tells why He couldn’t do them: ‘He marveled because of their unbelief.’ To the people He was attempting to minister to, He was not the Messiah, and not even a prophet – he was only (verse 3) the carpenter’s son, and God will not share His glory with a carpenter’s son, even if the carpenter’s son is Jesus.

     Broad generalizations tend to sloppiness, but I think it’s fair to say that most professing Christians aren't much accustomed to praying for healing with believing faith, or anything approaching  their resurrection authority. Is it any wonder many of us can spend decades in our churches hearing doctrine but seeing no miracles? 

     We would be loath to say God cannot act supernaturally, but we are quick to make excuses for why we don't see Him act in those ways, and our excuses become the lifeboats for our “faith”. God is supernatural by definition, and acting supernaturally is natural for Him. So if God seems far away – who moved?

     As Pastor Bill Johnson (ibethel.org) is fond of saying, James 5 does not say, ‘If any are sick among you, call for the doctor, then pray if all else fails.’, but good church members all over America live that way. 

     More often, we are asked to pray that the sick find good doctors, or that God will guide the doctor’s hands, blah blah, but seldom is a recourse to God’s divine touch our first choice. What if we do pray first, and God doesn’t heal? Again, according to Bill Johnson, we routinely sacrifice what we do know about God to accommodate our unbelief. Might as well build a prison to keep Him out!

     And while we are here, let’s settle a root issue: sickness, disease and tragedy do not come from God! They just don't! Jesus came, lived, died and rose again to ‘undo the works of the devil’, not the other way around. He said He was the fulfillment of Isaiah 61:1-2a. Nowhere does He even hint at wanting us to suffer so we can be made “better” through the process. He is already and always the “better”, and suffering or not, our own righteousness will never suffice.

     Pondering my answer to my emailed inquiry, I sat down to write out a few blocks to healing and/or signs and wonders of God. I figured I would find a few, but I found 10 in less than 5 minutes – and I’m sure there are more. I submit them here in the hopes that something on the list will be helpful. Our attitude about who God really is urgently needs to change. This list just represents a quick, first draft.

     

    Blocks to the supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit:

    1.  Unbelief

     a. Cessationist theology = confusing Hope with Faith.

    2.  Disobedience to God’s Word = rebellion

    3.  Offenses of the heart

     a. Disappointments with God that led to grudges against Him

     b. Confusing the devil’s works as “Acts of God”

     c. Harboring unforgiveness

    4. Known, unconfessed sin

    5. Word curses we have placed on ourselves, or have had placed upon us by others with

     our agreement: “I am an alcoholic”, or “I am a diabetic”, or “I am stupid”, etc.

    6. An unspoken belief in the insufficiency of Christ’s work

     a. Not rightly discerning the ‘Lord’s body’ (1 Corinthians 11)

    7. Making excuses for the unknown at the sacrifice of what we do know – God is ALWAYS

     good, and should never be accused of doing the devil’s work – ever!

    8. Dishonoring God – why not sin if God will forgive?

    9. Thinking God will usually say “No” (another form of #1)

    10. Ties or past unconfessed ties to any form of the occult – no matter how “innocent” (this

     is extremely applicable within the deliverance ministry!

     

     As I said above, this is just a quickie list off the top of my head, and probably only scratches the surface, but each item on this short list represents attitudes that might block healing. 

     This said, many times God will act supernaturally in spite of our hang ups, and the Holy Spirit will catch them later. He is Sovereign – all the time!

     God the Father is not just an older Jesus with a whiter beard. He holds the entire universe in His hands, and as such, will always be bigger than any problem we can possible acquire. If that doesn’t accurately describe the God we worship – we are worshiping the wrong god.  

      The same Jesus in the Bible said He accurately portrayed the Father to us. He re-presented Him with delegated authority, and we re-present Jesus with delegated authority – or we should.

     It’s paid for, and our Claim Check sat down at God’s right hand. Presumably, He’s still there!

     

    John

     

     



    Comment (0)

    Thu, Aug 12th - 3:41PM

    D- Christianity



     I was a terrible student during my school years. I wasn’t particularly interested in most of the classes presented, and this lack of interest remained throughout my elementary, high school and college classes. Oh I passed the curriculum, but what I worked at the hardest was to barely exceed the lowest possible necessary passing grade. I was a definite D- student.

     Even later, when I was paid to take classes relating to my chosen field of study, I only hit the high C’s because my D- mentality had become so ingrained as a lifestyle study habit. Thankfully, when I first accepted Jesus Christ, others in my peer group were dedicated and in earnest, so I tried hard to adopt higher standards, but even then, it was an uphill battle.

     Very gradually however, I slid back into a D- mentality with my faith; I sincerely believed I only had to make a grade of D- to get to heaven, and getting there at all seemed sufficient. I figured it didn’t matter much what I said, thought or did because Jesus promised forgiveness. He became to me little more than a cosmic insurance policy. I “blended in” with my contemporaries – and I did that all too well! In adopting again my previous D- standards, I became completely blinded to the clear warning in Romans, chapter 6.

     Looking back on those times, now titled my “long, dark tunnel”, I think I was completely deluded into a false sense of security. In fact, had I died in that tunnel, I now think I would have missed heaven entirely. Talk about mercy!!

     I have to admit, one of the most obvious reasons for my slide into darkness was my total lack of commitment to any body of fellow believers. I had become adept at being spiritually astute (critical), or so I thought, and since I didn’t find any churches that met my “high” standards, I decided to provide my own fellowship rather than submit to anyone else.

     But be advised – this “Lone Ranger” Christian lifestyle is always, eventually 100% unsustainable. Always, and if you are currently like I was, I would counsel you to run, not walk, to the nearest full-gospel church in your area and commit yourself to that body without delay. And as the veil covering your heart (which you probably weren’t aware existed) begins to fall off, you’ll thank me for the advice!

     I mentioned a full-gospel church because anything less would constitute a jump from the frying pan into the fire for you see, simply “believing” in Jesus is not enough – the demons do that!

     D- Christianity should always and only be for death-bed conversions, and only then because those believers don't have time to “follow” - but neither do they have time to fall away. For the rest of us, it should be our great honor and pleasure to serve the King of heaven, and serve Him every day. We should never allow ourselves the comfort of having anything less than all of Him!

     With Him, there is always more.

     

    John



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    Thu, Aug 12th - 12:33PM

    Nothing Better To Do?



    Colossians 4:2 – ‘Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;..’

     

     The lip service we pay to the subject of prayer, as an activity, is appalling! Although most Christians, just like most pagans, quickly learn the acceptable systems and therefore, the acceptable answers to common questions, our casual attitude about the activity of prayer is badly in need of repair. I put this forth as an opinion based on my own attitude, and the underlying assumption is based on me being nothing, if not very average.

     For decades, in spite of putting prayer on the top of my list of important, spiritual things to do, (the correct “Christian” answer) my true heart towards prayer could better be expressed thusly: “Something you do only if 1) there are no other resources, and 2) only if there is absolutely nothing better to do”. And so, running across the above verse in Colossians this morning caused a bit of a disruption in my thinking. I needed the disruption!

      What a verse! Notice, it is not given as a recommendation. And notice it also says we should pray while we are also ‘keeping alert in it’… Isn't that rich?!  The apostle is giving a direct command to the church at Colossae – and to us. But why be alert if prayer is a static, boring, one-way exercise in futility? Maybe he meant we are to be alert to any divine response! Think of it – what if a two-way communication is really supposed to be the norm!

     

    So I looked up the definitions of “Devote” in both the dictionary and Strong’s Concordance:

     

    Dictionary:

    devote |diˈvōt|

    verb [ trans. ]

    1 ( devote something to) give all or a large part of one's time or resources to (a person, activity, or cause) : I wanted to devote more time to my family | she devoted herself to fund-raising.

    2 archaic invoke or pronounce a curse upon.

    ORIGIN late 16th cent. (in the sense [dedicate formally, consecrate] ): from Latin devot- ‘consecrated,’ from the verb devovere, from de- ‘formally’ + vovere ‘to vow.’

     

    Strong’s:

     1) to adhere to one, be his adherent, to be devoted or constant to one

     2) to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing

     3) to continue all the time in a place

     4) to persevere and not to faint

     5) to show one's self courageous for

     6) to be in constant readiness for one, wait on constantly

     

     

     I’m finding that God is currently giving many exciting gifts to individual church members – but He is giving them to be used first within a family context, and after that, to our “neighbors”. We believers are God’s Family, and He not only gifts individuals for the benefit of all, He carefully places each believer into the Family in a certain place. 

     God, the Master Builder, is constructing His House, and we all are a part of the structure. The oil that causes the Family to function is called Prayer. It’s that important. Hopefully, you never see the oil running inside your car engine, but without it your finely crafted piece of engineering is just so much Japanese or German junk. And without being devoted to prayer, the search for God’s heart becomes religion. I think that analogy will hold!

     Prayer is not something we should do when nothing else works or we don't have any better thing to do – prayer IS the better thing.

     

    John



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    Tue, Aug 10th - 3:42PM

    Free Radicals



     Who does this describe?

    One who is totally, completely and forever sold out to the divinity and headship of Jesus, the Christ of God. One who has been born again by the Spirit and as a natural result, baptized in water and the Holy Spirit. One who is constantly hungry, bordering on desperation, for the manifestation of the Son of God through the Holy Spirit’s ministry and presence, and one who would rather hear from God daily than spend another moment alive without His presence.  This person knows his inheritance and authority due to Christ’s work on the cross, resurrection and ascension. To this person Jesus is Lord, LORD, King, friend, righteous judge, lover, ever merciful and gracious, awesome most holy God, and much more. All other loves in this person’s life are a distant second to his love for God. To this one, the Holy Spirit is a Person, and Holy Author, never a concept. This person actively looks every day for the Kingdom of God to collide with the kingdom of this world, and will facilitate the crash if given a chance.

     By today’s standards, this would describe a “radical” Christian. Also by today’s standards, many  contemporary Christians would be very nervous around this kind of person, but in the first century, this person was only an ordinary, average Christian. Do you see how far we have fallen?

     But wait, there’s more! This radical believer didn’t even have the advantage of easily obtainable, and complete scriptures! The New Testament wasn’t complete, and the portions floating around couldn’t be purchased at the corner bookstore. This poor radical only had the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit in other radicals! And with all this working to his disadvantage, this believer turned the world on its ear! Shouldn’t believers today be much farther ahead of this poor, first century believer? 

     Currently, the complete scriptures are available nearly everywhere in the world. If you’re reading this, you have email and internet access, and you could send it to any other believer so equipped anywhere in the world – and do it instantly! See how far we have fallen? 

     If a first century, average believer would visit your church this coming Sunday morning, would he be even mildly amazed at the spiritual progress he observed in comparison to his time in history? I seriously doubt it! But he would be amazed – at the plethora of churches that either don't teach the truth, or only the “comfortable” parts of it. He would be absolutely stunned that so many so-called churches blithely elevate their particular denominational doctrine over the clear cut words in the Bible – or any words in the Bible, for that matter.

     He would be devastated to see how we routinely deliver the scriptures to so-called modern believers, much like parts of an owner’s manual. And on that note, don't we also teach them if they find themselves with too many parts left over, just throw them away – they must not be for “today”. Any first century Christian would be wiped out by the tepidity in our churches, and he would justifiably ask, “Are these the inheritors of the martyrs”? 

     Where is their authority that Jesus died and paid for? Where is their righteous anger over blatant sin? Where is there any real fruit in their lives to testify Jesus made any difference? Come to think of it – what do they really care about, anyhow?

     If any of this upsets you, it may be a mark of your spiritual health. Country club Christianity will dump more people into hell than any other organized group in the known world. And if that statement makes you angry, you need to find again the ‘narrow road’. If it makes you angry at the writer, you need to examine the problem with the offended nerve. If you say, “We should just love one another”…be careful! I agree, we should, but not at the sacrifice of the truth plainly written in the real Bible.

     Get out of the country clubs and stop allowing diminishing results be the norm in your life. Jesus died and rose again so you could be nothing less than a radical – a free radical. Go out and create a collision!        

     John 



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    About Me

    Name: John Miltenberger
    ChristiansUnite ID: jmilty
    Member Since: 2006-08-22
    Location: Estes Park, Colorado, United States
    Denomination: Born-again believer
    About Me: Retired from Overland Park, Kansas and now living in Estes Park, Colorado. Another escapee from the Midwest!! Email: jmilty@q.com

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