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  • 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

    Thu, Sep 30th - 11:03AM

    Point of Contact



    One of the first things new Christians learn, or should learn, is to cease from any form of divination or spiritism. Per Deuteronomy 18:11, we are admonished not to ‘call up the dead’. But what do we do if the “dead” call us up?

     I often have house dreams. Most of my house dreams are of complicated houses containing secret hallways, back staircases and convoluted floor plans. Usually I’m looking for something, or trying to find a hidden room, but the house always seems to be mine, and is vaguely familiar to me, like I’ve been in it before in other dreams. But last night was different.

     In last night’s dream, my wife and I both were in our house, and we knew a relative was going to visit us in the house, and we were apprehensive because the relative had been recently “loosed” from somewhere (in reality, the relative has been dead for many years).

     To get ready, we closed off some hallways and opened others, trying to be tactical in our preparations.  But finally, my wife and I entered a large, dark room in single file. I could see my wife, but I could not see in front of her. She encountered the relative somewhere in the dark to her front, and I asked her if it was him, and she told me it was. I then woke up.

     It would have been easy for me to dismiss the dream as just another non-sensical event, but instead I began to think about it, and I remembered all the dreams we’ve both had where our departed parent(s) would be in our dreams, mute, but notably in the dream. Concerning my dream last night, here is what God told me:

     The house represented our persons, the contacting relative was a demon in disguise, contacting us in a frontal assault upon our persons. In effect, we had just been involved in spiritism, which originated not with us, but with the demon!

     None of this made me afraid in the slightest, but I was very grateful for the lesson. I immediately got up and prayed, demanding the contacting demon leave us immediately, and I prayed until I felt it had. I just love it when God’s light unmasks the devil! 

     Some of you reading this may think all this talk about demons is a bit over the edge, but I assure you, any concept endorsed as valid by Jesus Himself, should be taken seriously – and if you’re not taking it seriously, be assured it has already taken you with impunity.

     I see no place in scripture where we are admonished to fear demons, or quake in their presence; we are, however, commanded to cast them out. In other words, we are to be engaged in an offensive attack on Satan’s kingdom of darkness wherever it’s encountered. 

    If you are purposely avoiding the demon issue, be aware you have already capitulated to the enemy, and he doesn’t have a shred of mercy for your stance of non-participation. With Christians, ‘ignorance is no excuse’, but rather a ticket to ineffectiveness at best, and it will eventually lead to torment (sickness, disease, etc.). You cannot wrap yourself in safety by ignoring the devil. With him, there is no middle ground, no neutral zone, and choosing not to fight is to lose the fight. Fight or flight are the only two options, and as I read it, God’s ‘breastplate’ has no backplate. 

    Many times, God will give us His version of R & R, a brief respite from our warfare, but it comes from Him and in His timing, and it is brief. Our warfare does not consist against flesh and blood, and will continue until Jesus returns. The principalities and powers of darkness that we fight don't rest, and never relent. We beat them, or they beat us – if we let them.

    It is our great honor to enforce the victory that Christ already won in His resurrection. It is not always easy or fun; it’s often down and dirty, but it’s good for us to fight because we gain eternally by enforcing, and bringing His Kingdom to earth. 

    And as warriors, we need to be aware we are the doorkeepers to ourselves, and some who knock on the doors of our houses need to be aggressively turned away. 

    Not every ‘stranger’ comes from God.

     

    John



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    Thu, Sep 23rd - 11:08AM

    Thin Ice



     It’s important that we become students of human nature and students of God’s nature, particularly now. Several problems immediately arise. First, if we assume God is a bigger, cosmic human, we look no further than ourselves in our search for Him. Secondly, if we assume God is so incomprehensible as to be “otherworldly”, we give up and again, look no further than ourselves. Third, if we look to some one human to be our “Spirit guide”, i.e.: guide to the Spirit and God, we forfeit the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, as designed by God. Fourth, if we look to the Holy Spirit and don't let Him drive us into the written Word of God as our primary source, we open ourselves up to the wrong spirit. Fifth and last, if we become so afraid of making mistakes that we don't search for God at all, Satan wins, and we stand to lose our place at the table.

     Elevating the spirits of deception above God’s Spirit, and reacting with fear, or non-participation, we fail to be effective for the Father, and we begin preaching fear in one form or another. With regard to ‘signs and wonders’, it’s quite common to run into Christians who are so afraid of being deceived that they refuse to pursue God through anything other than their particular church doctrine. 

     While originally conceived to keep believers within the guidelines of the Word of God, as judged by the early apostles before the New Testament was completed, doctrine quickly ascended to the throne. In many denominations, doctrine controls believers within it’s own structure, while keeping them away from the liberty of the Spirit. For instance, what purpose would Presbyterian doctrine serve if it allowed Presbyterian believers to grow out of itself and into the whole counsel of God? Of course, that question continues to make no sense to those trapped within the concrete walls of their doctrine because they don't see the trap, but in fact, their doctrine might just be keeping them IN while keeping the Holy Spirit OUT.

     Right now, many mainline denominations are in a dither over declining membership, and it would appear they are being abandoned by all but the “satisfied”. Pew warmers have been left behind because they were never searching for more of God in the first place, and the escaping droves are staying home on Sundays because football is more relevant to them than “church”, or “religion”. This is so obvious it’s sadly funny when the denominations hold leadership meetings in vain efforts to upgrade their relevancy. I can just imagine James, the brother of Jesus, calling just such a meeting in the early church, can't you? NOT!!

    The fact comes down to one simple principle, and I can put it into one sentence:

    Only the Holy Spirit brings LIFE to God’s Word, but He will NOT operate outside of it; problem is, many churches haven't let the Holy Spirit operate at all! 

    They’ve done this for what they consider good reasons – they are afraid of the Holy Spirit (indeed, they are afraid of ANY spirit!), because once out of their doctrinal box, who knows where He might lead? As an unknown person, He might be uncontrollable!! Can’t let that happen, now can we?

    But there needs to be some control, and here it is; first, we must let the Holy Spirit of God operate in our churches – MUST – failure to do so is killing our churches and leading the congregations into spiritual anemia at best, and potentially, hell itself. Secondly, we must trust the Holy Spirit to work only within the confines of the written Word of God – again, MUST. And third, we must trust the Holy Spirit to give us the Wisdom of God as we administer 1st John 4:1 within our churches. That’s the job of every Christian, not just the leadership of the churches. However, they are the point of the spear, or should be – that’s why God put them in charge.

    Many years ago I had a close, Christian friend who portrayed himself as a prophet. He wore overalls and an Elijah body odor! I don't think he ever got within arms reach of a razor, or had made it past the sixth grade, but he prophesied in fluent King James, so he always attracted quite a following. The problem I didn’t see at the time was that while he was acting as a prophet to many different groups, he was committed to none. I was honored to be inside his close circle of friends, and we shared many revelations together as I began to grow in Christ. 

    My prophet friend owned nothing but a banger of a pickup and a worn out Bible. He lived gratis outside the county on a farm owned by a widow. Do you see where this is going? Is it any surprise that he took the widow’s mind captive and eventually “inherited” the farm and dropped out of sight? That was in the 70’s, and I haven't heard from or about him since. And my question remains: why wasn’t this man judged right up front by the collective leaders of the groups he frequented? And if he indeed was, why wasn’t anyone made aware of the danger he demonstrated; it would have made a great lesson at the time; it did for me. 

    But you know, even though I was deceived at the time, because I had learned early on to work ONLY within the confines of the written Word of God, rather than elevating signs and wonders above it, I suffered no harm, and in fact, learned a good lesson. Today, I thank God for that lesson, and it’s on my mind this morning as I write, because we “seekers” have been presented with good news and bad news, and we must be cognizant of both if we are to enter into God’s plan for each of us.

    Yes, it’s totally and holy (pun) healthy to seek more of God, but as we expectantly seek more of Him (which makes Him glad!), we need to be aware of the thin ice we tread. Only our absolute reliance upon the Holy Spirit will help us, and the closer we approach to Almighty God, and the closer He works within us, the ice around us not only becomes more and more thin, but the solid ground becomes a minefield. 

    ONLY the Holy Spirit can direct our course – after all, it’s His job, and if we let Him, He’ll do it well. If through fear of deception we back away from the table set before us, someone else will do our job – and eat our food in the process. He who begins to plow and looks back…..

    Expect the Holy Spirit to reveal more and more of Jesus to each of us; expect the Holy Spirit to dramatically demonstrate His mighty power through signs and wonders….DO NOT expect the Holy Spirit to operate outside of the written Word of God, because if he does, it isn't Him.

     

    John

     



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    Tue, Sep 14th - 12:48PM

    Fearful Advice



    Numbers 11: 23

    Numbers 12, 13

     

     I think a good movie could be made from the above references. First, in Numbers 11:23, we have God’s word to Moses, ‘The LORD said to Moses, “Is the LORD’S power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.”, and Moses related this Word to the people. With that in mind, a three-foot deep covering of quail fell outside the camp in response to complaints about no meat! With regard to the ‘severe plague’ that fell on the meat eaters, perhaps it should be metaphorically noted that “meat” that falls outside the camp, is not good for us to eat!

     It should also be noted that throughout the Bible we see God’s delegation of authority in operation. In Numbers 12, a complaint concerning Moses was interpreted by God as a complaint against Him. That happened because Moses was chosen by God to represent God to Israel – Moses was God’s delegated authority, and that authority was not to be taken lightly. (Recommended reading on authority: Driven By Eternity, by John Bevere).

     With regard to delegated authority, in Numbers 13, God told Moses to send spies into the land of Canaan. In verse 17, it says, ‘..Moses sent them..’. Now if the spies had the slightest understanding about delegated authority, they would have realized their ultimate report should be given to the one who sent them – Moses. Instead, they viewed their report through their eyes of human reasoning, became fearful and consequently lost all semblance of faith in God, and gave the report ‘to all the congregation’, in verse 26. In all reality, Moses was probably the last to hear their report!

     The original commission the spies received from God via Moses is found entirely in Numbers 13: 18-20. Nowhere in that commission are they asked to spy out the land and give their advice, especially fear-based advice. But even if they had become fearful, even then, if they had reported directly and only to Moses, the situation probably could have been handled with Moses’ faith. Instead, by giving the fear-influenced report to the people, the spies fomented rebellion against God. This wasn’t a little mistake or minor indiscretion; it cost forty years of time and the lives of an entire generation, including their own, with only two exceptions.

     I’m sure the congregation was breathlessly waiting for the return of the spies, and when they came back with a load of grapes, I’m sure the questions flew, but the spies should have deferred any response to Moses – the man who sent them. But, like most of us would do in similar situations, the spies went over and around their authority and took it upon themselves to fearfully inculcate fear to the congregation. 

     They reported to the wrong people and they reported from their fear-based perspective. It should be noted that fear-based decisions are not one of the options for God’s people – then or now. As Pastor Bill Johnson writes in his book, When Heaven Invades Earth, ‘Fear is faith in the devil.’ (page 50, ¶ 2).

     Probably the biggest tool the devil uses against God’s people (or anyone, for that matter) is fear. Harkin back to Numbers 11: 23, and compare it to all the texts we have concerning the oft-quoted, divine command: ‘Fear not’, in both the Old and New Testaments. I haven't counted them, but someone told me recently that there are 366 instances of ‘fear not’ in the Bible – one for each day of the year, plus 1! Even if there were half that many the point would be well made.

     My conclusion is this: 1) be ever-cognizant of your chain of command (authority), including who you are responsible to report to, and 2) know that fear-based living will cut you out of the Promised Land. To quote my favorite author:

     

    “Fear not”!

     

    John



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    Mon, Sep 13th - 6:13PM

    Parable of the Ten Virgins and Holy Communion [NASB]



    A. Parable of the Virgins: Matthew 25: 1-12

    1. Opens with the word ‘Then’ = refers to a time in history = events in Matthew 24.

    2. Similarities between ‘prudent’ and ‘foolish’:

    a. all were ‘virgins’, i.e.: keeping themselves for the bridegroom.

    b. all were waiting for the bridegroom’s return.

    c. all had lamps.

    d. all went to sleep while waiting.

    3. Dis-similarities: 

    a. ‘prudent’ and ‘foolish’ pre-determined before the body of the parable. 

    b. ‘prudent’ had ‘extra oil’ in ‘their flasks’, while ‘foolish’ had no extra oil and no extra flasks.

    c. the ‘prudent’ were so because, (1.) they possessed the extra oil while they waited on the bridegroom, and (2.) they valued the extra oil so much they would not even think about sharing it – besides, it belonged to them.

     

      4. Conclusions:

    a. the primary difference between the virgins was the extra oil in the flask(s).

       b. this difference comprised a vital difference. 

     

      5. KEYS:

       a. ‘prudent’ = Prepared in advance.

       b. ‘foolish’ = Not prepared

    c. Prudent = waiting in Faith; Foolish = waiting in Hope – Faith –vs- Hope the difference btwn being prepared and not prepared.

    d. ‘lamps’ = their lives.

    e. ‘oil’ = the (S)pirit of their lives.

    f. flasks of extra oil = promises of God that convey His Life.

     

      6. Verse 12: ‘I do not know you.’

       a. contrast verse 12 with Matthew 7:21-23 for the “rest of the story”.

    b. the ‘know’ in verse 12 suggests an INTIMATE KNOWING, and here is the tie-in with Holy Communion:

     

     B. Holy Communion – Matthew 26:26+; Mark 14:22+; Luke 22:19+;

    1st Corinthians 11:1+

     1. In all four portions of scripture: ‘This IS my body’ and (blood).

    2. The bread and wine ARE (spiritually – by faith) the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and they are used to signify, or witness to the blood covenant (‘New Covenant’) the partaker is attesting he is a part of. 

    3. Why we celebrate the Lord’s Supper is explained – what it means is not.

     

     

     

     

    C. Notes:

      “Salvation” is more than “belief” because if that were the only aspect the demons would be “saved”. Salvation is (my definition): a belief in the absolute and only Lordship of Jesus Christ as a direct result of a faith choice by the individual believer that allows the Holy Spirit to bring about an intimate relationship with God, through Jesus Christ.

     

      In Matthew 25, the foolish virgins possessed belief in the bridegroom, and had knowledge of his imminent return, but they had no revelation knowledge because that’s only available through the Holy Spirit. They knew “about” the promised return, but didn’t have the promise imparted to their spirits by Him due to revelation, and without that, the knowledge they had of the promise had no ability to impart life to their spirits.

     

      In contrast, the prudent virgins had both knowledge and the revelatory impartation of the bridegroom’s life found in his promise(s). This is evident because they had gathered ‘extra oil’ into their vessels, and valued the extra oil as much as their lives. The extra oil not only symbolized the promises of the bridegroom in their individual lives, it also symbolized that his life, living their vessels, was the deciding factor on who attended the wedding as his bride – and they recognized it was that important – before his return; that’s precisely why they are called the ‘prudent’.

     

      I mentioned in B3, above, that why we celebrate Communion is readily apparent in scripture. Jesus told us to do it ‘in remembrance of Me’, but even this explanation needs more explanation. What it means when we do celebrate Communion is almost never explained, and forms the basis Paul’s stern warning in 1st Corinthians 11: 27-30. He is saying, in effect, that he who attests to having an intimate relationship (intimate as in “marriage”); a “knowing” relationship, while not having it – brings a curse on himself.

     

      The inferior testifies to the superior, not the other way around. Our natural world is a mere shadow of the spiritual world, and can't help but testify to its greater reality. Nowhere does heaven point to the natural world as a greater existence. With that in mind, our earthly processes of procreation testify to a greater spiritual reality, not vice-versa, and Holy Communion (earthly Sacrament) attests to an almost spiritually sexual intimacy (1st Corinthians 6: 17) each true believer should have with the Lord. 

     

       In other words, by taking the bread and wine of Communion inside our bodies, we testify/signify taking the very Life of the Lord inside ourselves, as a ratification of the blood covenant we profess to be in with Him. To signify otherwise would be to lie about a covenant relationship we do not have, and would indeed make sense of the harsh judgment rendered in Matthew 7:23 – a fully justified judgment.

     

      To partake of Holy Communion without the required blood covenant intimacy, equals an extreme mockery of God, observed in Christ’s sacrifice. It says, in effect, “I want the benefits of this blood covenant without the required relationship with Christ.” It is casting dirt on the sacrifice of Christ and into the face of God. 

     

                       This teaching could easily be expanded to show why God ‘hates divorce’, and why just “living together” is sin in His eyes.

     

     

    John Miltenberger

    Estes Park, Colorado

      



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    Tue, Sep 7th - 2:37PM

    Jehovah-Jireh, or Not?



     In the Bible, God names Himself using several compound names, names which communicate and describe His attributes. In Genesis 22, God is called, “Jehovah-Jireh” = the God who provides. And it should be obvious that the reason God discloses Himself in this way is to disclose to us Who He Is. 

     Contrary to public opinion, even within our churches, God greatly DESIRES for us to know Who He Is. But all too often, we want Him to remain mysterious so we can claim ignorance of Him as an excuse for our lifestyles. We only fool ourselves, and make fools of ourselves when we do.

     When I began to acquire the knowledge (not mine) that He wanted us to know Him for His true self, I began to be desperate for God to reveal Himself to me; not His stuff, not His power – just Him. In my reasoning, I figured He was the One responsible for my longing, and therefore, He would fulfill it. 

     Of course, all my preconceived, religious notions of God, good and bad, got dumped, and I figured He would replace them with His truth. I now believe He is doing it a little bit at a time, and since I am a finite creature, this is a mercy. Remember, the promised land wasn’t acquired in a day – and for good reason.

     In some of our churches we are taught to trust God to provide for our needs, and His Name, Jehovah-Jireh is taught. The church members are encouraged to have faith in Him for their provision. I think it’s wonderful! But the other night I was watching a “Christian” television station wherein the second-generation leader of a once world-wide ministry was talking about “seeding” into the ministry. The message didn’t bother me until I realized that it WAS the message!  

     Personally, I find it irreprehensible to think Almighty God called into being a Seed Ministry! I’ll go further – I believe there will be an incredible, eternal judgment against those who feel the “call” to gather seeds of this nature, and I don't for one minute, think the seed call was from God. Perhaps it’s just another example of beginning well but ending badly. 

     I, and many others like me are feeling the hunger pangs of spiritual starvation, and only the real God has the food we need. More and more, I feel the extreme urgency of wanting the God to Whom the impossible is possible, to reveal His face and heart to me. I will die on doctrine. I will starve on religion. The good news – Jesus came so we could have (His) life, and have it in abundance! And that is His will in the matter.

     As a result, I’m trusting God (Jehovah-Jireh) to provide me with the things only He can provide. I’m not referring to money or possessions, I am asking for His love, His faith and His heart, to be given to my heart as revelation - gifts no man can ever provide. 

     Don't misunderstand, I’m not against God providing money or possessions, but if my needs were made known to man – man could meet them. While I’m not turning away any money that arrives unbidden in my post office box, I’m praying for the gifts that only the God of the impossible can provide.

     I believe God desires to make His true self known. I believe He wants to display His true nature, His true love and His true power to a hardened and skeptical world. And I believe He wants to do it now.

     I want the real Jehovah-Jireh to arise! It is the time.

     

     John



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    Wed, Sep 1st - 1:01PM

    Absentee Owners



     During our daily devotional readings this morning, my wife and I read out of Job 41:11 –

     ‘Who has given to Me that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven

     is Mine.’

     This particular verse has always been highlighted to me, but this morning it struck a chord in me that resulted in my thinking of “ownership”, specifically, my ownership of others. 

     When we hold a debt against someone else, even (especially) God Himself, we are exercising a kind of ownership, for the debtor is owned by the debt holder in the amount of the debt. As “good” Christians, we are adept at forgiving others, or so we like to think, but sometimes we don't consider holding another in our debt as unforgiveness. 

     For instance, I’ve been seeking God a lot lately, and as such, I’ve been nagging Him to keep His promises to me. But while I think we are encouraged to pray for the fulfillment of God’s promises to us, we have no right to place an ownership interest against Him until He does. 

     Realizing I was guilty of doing this, I began to pray, and asked God’s forgiveness – but that simply wasn’t good enough; I also told Him, and anyone else He was using as a witness, that I released Him from any perceived debt I had out against Him, and I told Him, “You owe me NOTHING!”

     Having done that, I began thinking of my filial brother, who in my estimation, wrongly acquired a possession of mine years ago, and still has it. I have forgiven him for that transgression quite some time ago, but in the back of my mind always felt he at least owed me an apology – again, ownership. I relinquished my ownership of my brother in that regard, and gave his ownership back to God. 

     On a roll, I released my ownership of a debt I held against an old (ex) friend in Kansas. I again told God, “He owes me nothing.” My prayers of relinquishing ownership of other’s perceived “debts” went on for a while, and in each case, involved those I know I’ve previously “forgiven”.

     As it stands now, God owes me nothing. If He never answers another prayer I pray or keeps any of His promises to me – He is still God, and I am not. I will always owe Him. Always. The others I prayed about are now debt free in my eyes, and I see this morning that without this specific release, I was allowing myself to hang onto the debts, and remain living in a deception of forgiveness. I was wrong.

     Looking back on my prayers this morning, I consider my release of God to be the most important, indeed vital, prayer of all. All of my other releases sprang from that one, but all were extremely important. But here’s the interesting part: releasing all the others made me free! How cool is that?!

     If you’re reading this, I recommend you consider those you’ve previously “forgiven”, and if there is anything you feel they owe you – even if they really do, my recommendation is that you dump your ownership rights. Maybe you’ve been deceived like me.

      To the degree that you own another, to that degree you are in bondage to them, and bondage is not free – it’s expensive.

     

    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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