The Trip So Far

09/04/2020

Satan’s Roar -vs- The Great Unknown

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 13:43

….. the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. [1Peter 5:8; NKJV]

The lazy man says, “[There is] a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!” [Prov 22:13; NKJV]

I truly feel sorry for those folks who haven’t yet figured out that the televised, main stream media (MSM) is nothing short of the tentacles of a propaganda machine. I run into these folks all the time, and often, they are fully evident by their lemming-like regalia. They are scared, and they feel hunted by the specter of a germ called Covid, and they are fed daily doses of this fear by the MSM ane very much like chain smokers willing to pay for the right to kill themselves.
I don’t know what the cost is in today’s money, but about eight years ago, still enmeshed in our ignorance, my wife and I were paying about $80 a month for the right to be fed lies. That’s a lot of money per year. When we quit cold-turkey (due to the discrepancy between the cost -vs- the few channels of any real substance), I thought we’d regret the decision, but in fact, it took us all of three days to forget about it. Quite frankly, quitting smoking and alcohol was considerably more challenging!
As I said, those still “hooked” on the electronic sham are very easy to spot. They’ll be the ones dutifully wearing masks in their cars, or out walking, or even jogging, believe it or not! Wow, just think of it – so many millions afraid of Covid but totally immune to the facts! It is amazing. But really, considering their only sources of information shamelessly lie to them, simply making up the “facts” as they go along, what other outcome could be reasonably expected? It would be unreasonable to expect the average, non born again person to react with any faith or light, but it is even more puzzling to find many Christians reacting just as faithlessly. In fact, it’s downright embarrassing.
In Dan Fisher’s incredible books, volume I and II, entitled, Bringing Back The Black Robed Regiment, highly under-read, I might add, we find these two quotes. They are a bit long, and for those younger ones I must give this warning – There are no pictures, but these quotes have something valuable to say to us today:

‘Most preachers agree that, along with the family and the church, government is one of three institutions God ordained for the promotion of peace and order so that the Gospel can be preached throughout the world.
Strangely, when it comes to preaching about these three institutions today, preachers enthusiastically address two of the three – the family and the church. They generally steer clear of government convinced it is “unbiblical” to get political in the pulpit.
The late Adrian Rogers often said, “God created the principle of human government and it is inconceivable that God would create government and then tell His people to stay out of it.”’

‘Why are so many Christians unwilling or incapable of connecting the biblical and political dots? Many of the politically uninvolved spout the super-spiritual sounding claim that politics is a “dirty business” and as Christians, they can’t get involved in such a godless enterprise.
These “heavenly-minded” saints conveniently separate their world into “the secular” and “the spiritual” and then piously avoid dirtying their hands with anything they label as secular.
How odd that they do not consider other things like careers, sports, hobbies, etc. as “secular” and refrain from participating in them as well. Ironically, if these believers were as engaged in keeping their government biblical and constitutional as they are in their careers, sports, hobbies, etc., America would not be in the terrible fix it is in today.’

I believe it is our personal duty to become aware of the facts of our day, and if the propaganda machine uses the MSM, which they openly do, it is our duty to find alternative sources of the real facts, and thankfully, there are many other sources readily available, thanks to our electronically advanced society. Today I listened to Dan Bongino (Show) on YouTube. I’d recommend him, but be advised, he’s anything but politically correct…thank God. And isn’t it odd, that through the marvel of the internet in our time, most, if not all of my once labelled “conspiracy theories” have proven to be true!
I used the above scripture verses to illustrate what I’m hearing a lot of lately, namely that on election day and immediately afterward we’ll see copious amounts of blood in our streets. Now I partly believe it because nothing else the Socialist, Marxist, Democrats (major redundancy there) have tried since the 2016 election have succeeded up to their expectations, and raw violence and the threat of it is all they have left, and in many jurisdictions they will explode with it, but there is another consideration that may have been under appreciated.
While a lot of the alternative-media are beginning to focus on the how-we-should-get-ready-for- the-coming-onslaught narrative, very few in my opinion give enough credit to God, Who if nothing else, in times of great trouble, has always historically been the Great Unknown Factor in American history. For instance, if our aircraft carriers had been docked at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, as they logically should have been, WWII would have been incalculably more difficult for us to gear up for. Instead, they were out at sea, and didn’t suffer any damage that day. Or how about General Lee at Gettysburg? His General Longstreet proposed a plan of battle which would have logically resulted in an overwhelming victory for the Confederates, but inexplicably, Lee got his back up and did it his own way, which was far inferior to Longstreet’s plan of battle. Subsequently, many credit the battle of Gettysburg to be the beginning of the end for the Confederate States of America. Can you see the hand of God in those events? And those are only two – there are many, many more in our national history (the same history by the way, that the new breed of American Socialists seek to erase).
Election day is November 3rd, 2020, and Satan is roaring as he usually does. He thinks he’ll be so intimidating that Americans, particularly the American Christian block of voters (you know, the ones who stayed home in 2016), will do so again in 2020.
Yes, violence will happen; it’s happening now, and may ramp up for election day, but for praying and believing (not necessarily the same) Christians, voting should assume the role of a Christian obligation and a demonstration of faith. It will be worth it, for if America’s light goes out, we and the world at large will have only the darkness of Satan to look forward to, and those Christians who do not deny Christ, will quite likely be martyred, for that’s what Socialists do in every country where it’s been implemented. Worse, it will be on our watch in the eyes of God.
Let me be blunt: Our only choices this election are for Life (Trump), or Death (Biden). That’s the truth. And any so-called Christian voting for Biden, endorses his platform of death, and that endorsement brings an eternal curse. You might not like Trump’s mannerisms, or his choice of words or the color of his ties, but his record in the last four years should make the choice we face a no-brainer….unless you have already ceded your brain to the MSM.
I feel certain that the hand of God, the Great Unknown, will once again be seen in America, but those who pray warfare prayers, rather than the cringing, begging religious ones, will brace the ‘lion in the streets’ and put him to flight.
Never in the history of this country have we needed the battle lines to be fully reinforced by seasoned prayer warriors than we do right now. And if you sign up for the fight, live or die, you will forever be honored by God as one of His warriors.
I’m not inordinately brave by nature, but bravery is a choice, particularly so when it feels counter-intuitive, but I want the Warrior title only God can bestow, for it can never be taken away.
Pray, vote, and let the gates of hell shake on November 3rd.

John

07/24/2020

These Are The Times

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 06:27

If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, in which you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan? [Jeremiah 12:5; NKJV]

It is towards the end of July, 2020, and God’s people are getting weary. We’re getting weary of our world being turned upside down and we are weary of being assaulted by fear and discouragement every day. We are weary of being told to “pray”, and we are, sadly, being wearied by doing so. It seems like we pray to little or no avail, and it’s frustrating. We prayed for the exposure of corruption in our government, and we seem to have opened the tap on a sewer, and the corruption keeps pouring out, and we are feeling dirty from it all. We are tired. We all are.
I do not know what details of life in America will be like by the time we finish this awful (and glorious) year, but I know one thing: we were all called to this time by God, and this is our “turn” on the earth He created.
The above verse from the prophet Jeremiah has been one of my favorites for over forty years, but in all that time I did not know why. Now I do. God highlighted that verse to me over forty years ago for the year 2020. Now is when that verse has come to life; now it has become the rhema word of God to me, and to us all, if we would accept it. Right now it lives, as fresh as the day Jeremiah spoke it under the power of God, all those years ago in another land.
We entered this year thinking is was a year during which the ‘winds of change were blowing’, and we entered the pandemic in March and April with a feeling akin to entering into a lousy weekend excursion, soon to be over, and yet the weekend has stretched out in front of us with no end in sight. But here’s what’s really happening: the people of God have entered a new lifestyle, and many, perhaps most, don’t like it. Like it or not, we’ve entered a new lifestyle, and we will either embrace it and learn to live in it, or it will destroy us and kick us to the curb. We have a choice.
To all you brave ones who week after week bravely sang the ‘warrior’ songs in church, this is what it was foretelling. Perhaps you missed it in the emotion of the moment, but in singing the ‘warrior’ songs, you were committing yourselves to the fight yet to come, and now it is here and I must ask, where are you?
What high school history class did not dwell on, back when we had history being taught, was the incredible fact that most of our population was not directly engaged in either the Revolutionary War or the Civil War in this country. Most of the population simply stayed home and awaited the outcomes of those conflicts, while a relatively small percentage of men went into the battles and served in the front lines. Those men determined that we would have a country, and later, a united, hence United States. Most stayed out of harms way and let others do the fighting. I hope it is not the same in these times.
Thomas Paine, an American patriot, not known as a prophet, put our times in perspective in 1776 when he said these words:

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.

Mind you, he said this as the Revolutionary War had only begun, and he rightly judged it would get much worse before (or if) it got better. That’s precisely where we are now.
Without the prayers of God’s warriors now, this country is finished, and will be absorbed into the morass of Globalism worldwide. It is true: ‘Without a free America, there is no free world.’, and only by the unceasing prayers of God’s warriors will we survive.
Tired or not, we have been called to this new lifestyle of constant spiritual warfare. It is what we were created for. This is our fight, and it’s always been waiting for us. God’s army does not need the ‘summer soldier and the sunshine patriot’ any more than they were needed in the army of Gideon. They were sent home.
This lifestyle is ours by divine decree, and it will not end until the return of the King. So let’s be enduring to the end, but let’s be wise and rather than think too far ahead, let’s be sure to fight today’s battle before we fight tomorrow’s. The end of every big war is fought day by day in small battles.
No hiker looks at the top of the mountain he climbs; he looks at the path directly in front of him, and advances step by step with decreasing vigor but increasing determination. From the top, when finally reached, he can look back and marvel at the trip, and enjoy the reward of his endurance. It is the same with us.
Our strength was never meant to be good enough, but as we discover the very real practicality of God’s strength, and as we feel His power replacing our weakness, we can know the glory of being called for this time.
So take heart! Pick up the sword of the Spirit and get back in the front lines – we weren’t called to watch the baggage.

John

07/19/2020

Power Evangelism

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 12:13

I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. [1Cor 2:3-5; NASB]

Every time I read the above verse my heart burns, for I know by contrast with what we see currently in most of our Christian gatherings, it utterly convicts us, and exposes our spiritual poverty. That’s the real ‘Spirit of Poverty’, not the material one we often hear about right before the offertory messages. Indeed, with reference to this verse written by the apostle, in most of our gatherings together it can accurately be said, “Elvis has left the building.”
As I read about evangelism in the early church, as recorded in several places in the book of Acts, written by Luke, the physician, a reliable eyewitness, the gospel Jesus preached was spread not just by word, but by ‘demonstration(s)’ of Holy Spirit power. The facts were proclaimed to the people and as their hearts opened to the message, the Holy Spirit underscored the truth of the preaching by demonstrating His awesome power.
Just as the resurrection of Jesus proclaimed and demonstrated that He was Who He said He was, and what He had said was in fact true, the Holy Spirit stood behind the message preached by the apostles, and the crowds flowed into the Kingdom as a consequence. In contrast to this pattern, it would seem that we in the 21st century churches have come a long, long way – in the wrong direction.
I often think of the story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:27, and I like to look at the event from his point of view. I picture a rich man (he possessed his own scriptures) on his way back home from attending temple worship in Jerusalem. Maybe he stopped for lunch, or created his own rest stop, but he was mulling over something he had heard read in the temple service, something that the Holy Spirit had burned into his heart. His heart burned to know the truth, and was open to it.
The eunuch had questions, but no answers, and was unsettled in his spirit. Perhaps he even voiced out loud, “What does this mean?”, and God heard it as a prayer. Then, out of nowhere, a man ran directly up to the chariot (a bit brave!), and heard the eunuch reading Isaiah out loud, and asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” Obviously, that question must have been given to Philip by inspiration, for it is not logical to the circumstances.
Following that opening question, Philip explained about Jesus, the Son of God to the eunuch, and the man was baptized in a roadside pool. But get what happened next! Philip plunged the eunuch under the water, pulled him out, and before the man could wipe the muddy water out of his eyes Philip was gone! Both the Ethiopian and Philip experienced the power evangelism I’m talking about, and you can be sure neither ever forgot it!
Today, our corporate evangelism structures seem to be focused within two dimensions. Either on large crowds of people in spacious outdoor settings, who are directed into the local churches of the area by numerous representatives of those churches present by design, or the churches themselves are geared towards the “build it and they will come” school of evangelism…you know, if we can only get our heathen neighbors inside the church building, the “professionals” will take care of the rest. “We can give you a better life, yada, yada, yada..” – (but you will have to conform to our mold).
Does that make your heart burn?! It doesn’t do much for mine.
I believe with all my heart that God intensely desires to blow out the “walls” of our religious minds and our churches with His Holy Spirit power, and it is urgent. I can feel the tension building in heaven, and some of you can too! He’s looking for men who are not at all interested in building their own kingdoms (for whatever good reasons), but burn for Him, His presence, and His Kingdom to be expressly revealed to a dying, darkening world. But where are these holy nobodies?
I believe God is currently bringing this army of holy men and women upon the stage of current history, but it will be an army totally sold out and consecrated for His exclusive use, regardless of any consequences. They will be the ones who burn for Him out in the work places and byways of the world, and it’s doubtful you’ll see them in their coiffed hair and suit, in the front rows of online services. Their lives will be forfeit to the will of Almighty God, and they will know that every day might be their last.
That’s what makes my heart burn. I hope you feel the burning too.

John

07/17/2020

Tag-Line Christianity

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 12:25

Reference:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. [2Ti 1:7;NKJV]

I am continually amazed at the ground-level, biblical ignorance many Christians are content to live with, and much of the time it begs the question, “Why aren’t the churches teaching this stuff?” I would have to guess the men in our pulpits don’t know themselves, or they are following the path of least resistance and teaching the bare minimum to their flocks. Of the one, we could say it’s an example of ‘the blind leading the blind’ and of the other we could substitute ‘blind’ for ‘lazy’. Much of this deficiency can be spotted by the over-abundant use of what I term, tag-line teaching.
My reference scripture, above, is a good example of tag-lining. How many pulpits spout off this verse nearly every Sunday morning? Frankly, I’m fed up with it. They do a disservice to God’s people by using the verse without any real foundation, and often, the congregants go away feeling ashamed for any fear they might be feeling…so they cover it all over by re-spouting, re-driveling the same tag-line to themselves and others. So let’s open it up a bit:
Fear is a natural, created response given to us by God. It keeps us from crossing the street without checking the cross traffic, or jumping out of airplanes without parachutes. If you’ve ever put your hand on a glass-topped, electric stove too soon, you find that fear is a pretty good teacher. But what God does not give us is, as the scripture plainly states, is a ‘spirit’ of fear. Please don’t gloss over that word, as we so often do as we re-drivel that tag-line to our friends. God does not give us a demon spirit of fear – ever, and that’s what this scripture says, but we often give the demon access to our souls as we leave the spiritual doors and windows open into ourselves through sins, particularly the sin of unbelief.
The demon spirit of fear is born out of Satan’s witchcraft, and as such, it is no surprise that it seeks to ‘control’…that’s the fundamental motivation behind witchcraft – control. The spirit of fear controls us through our emotions, and it specifically hunts down and kills our faith. Without faith, all our doors and windows are left open with signs posted declaring: “All are welcome, come on in”, and the demons cluster in us in unique groupings to destroy God’s unique creations.
We sense this demonic spirit of fear through our emotions, but we should be taught to access our faith through decision. Fear is emotion based, faith is decision based. Since this is like apples and oranges to our brains, it’s no wonder it’s not very intuitive and easy to learn, but it’s especially difficult when we do not get this fundamental teaching as par from our pulpits. And again, the question needs to be asked, “Why don’t we hear this from our pulpits?” To be clear, I do not mean all pulpits, just the vast, media accessible ones, and in most of our so-called, Christian books.
There are many other tag-line teachings out there, and we need the discernment to spot them, for they are not productive in helping prepare us for what God is calling us to do at this time. Without going in too deep for a short read, I should mention that another oft-abused, tag-line teaching is deftly mined from Romans 10:17: ‘So then faith [comes] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’, and that’s right, as far as it goes, but most often it’s given to us like a bread sandwich.
The bread of this sandwich is taught as a call to simply read our Bibles more. The meaning, however, the meat that should be taught, has everything to do with hearing personally and directly from the Spirit of God, and believe me, when we hear from Him, faith comes! And as His faith combines with our faith, given to each of us at creation, miracles naturally occur. How can they not?!
We need to become sensitive to the many tag-lines used by many of today’s so-called Bible teachers. These tag-line teachings don’t work in real life, and are totally impractical for anything other than raising the temperatures of our spiritual guilt complexes.
Why aren’t our churches teaching this stuff?

John

07/10/2020

God Of The Flood

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 11:54

The LORD sat [as King] at the flood; Yes, the LORD sits as King forever. [Psalm 29:10; NASB]

King Solomon, in his wiser days, wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:18: ‘in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge [results in] increasing pain’. With so many things being exposed in our politics, and so much widespread corruption coming to the light, Solomon was correct.
Speaking to professing Christians, there are at least two ways to deal with it just to keep our heads on straight. One, we can retreat into ourselves and ignore it all, hoping it will eventually go away, and at some point all of our religious ducks will re-align, or two, we can get engaged in the dialogue and risk getting in so deep our faith begins to suffer. Frankly, I think option two is the better choice.
Although it might seem more peaceful to retreat into option one, it begs several questions and denies reality. Churches that just want to “return to normal”, are complicit in enabling Christian voices to be, and remain, stifled. These religious corporations do not concern Satan at all, in fact, he’s the one in charge of them. Who else would stifle Christians, and concurrently make them feel good about themselves? I’ll risk option two rather than retreat; retreat was never God’s plan, and if Jesus had done so we’d still be lost.
Yes, option two is fraught with peril; peril to our daily faith, peril to our happiness, peril to our joy and definitely peril to any kind of positivity, but it’s still better than hunkering down and hoping the devil will leave us alone…he won’t.
Today I temporarily bottomed out in my faith as I began to pray. I realized I had become discouraged in my faith, and I had begun to view the downward moral plunge of America as sadly inevitable. That’s hard to pray against. Discouragement is dangerous because it has to do with running out of courage, and that’s no way to live a life worth living. I confessed my discouragement to God, for discouragement is rooted in unbelief, and then a strange thought came into my head, namely, “God was the God of the Flood”. Wait, what?!
I began to imagine what the Flood during Noah’s time must have been like, and the chaos he must have experienced. Crazy wind and torrential rain, way too much water everywhere and high ocean waves, lightning flashes and thunder off the charts, and to top it all off the underwater volcanism must have been way too exciting! You really can’t buy a ride like that! And the thought came again, “God was the God of the Flood”. In other words, it was His flood, His event, and He was in charge throughout it all.
Then I began to compare the chaotic events of our day, and the lesson became crystal clear: As God was in charge of the Flood, He is still in charge in 2020. Well, I guess I knew that theologically, but I never had put it into the Flood context, but as I did, my courage returned and my discouragement fled. Things in America may get a lot worse before they get better (or they may not), but either way, God is still very much in charge, and He still owns 2020.
Right now, America reminds me of a construction project involving an ugly old house on beautiful property. Rather than bandaid the structure, sometimes it’s better, faster and cheaper to just bulldoze the house and rebuild from the ground up, and maybe that’s part of what we are seeing now in our country.
We’ve been praying for years that God would fix things that were so wrong in America; did we really just want another bandaid? I think His plans are much bigger than we ever imagined. I believe God is bulldozing structures prior to rebuilding, and obvious to me is the bulldozing of churchiosity. (Well, all words had to start sometime).
There will be those who partner with God in building His structure, and those who partner against God by patching up the old building. Sadly in some respects, I believe those who partner against God will be in the distinct majority, and persecution will arise against God’s Church by those who have partnered against Him. None of this will become visible until enough pressure is placed on those involved to bring it about. Just as birth pains bring forth life in the natural, persecution has always brought spiritual life to God’s children.
God is still on His throne, and none of this surprises Him. He’s in charge in 2020, just as He was at the Flood. This ride’s just beginning!!

John

07/03/2020

Transitions

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 08:35

I should probably begin by nailing down some terms. Most often, when I use the word ‘church’, I mean the multiple church congregations in the mainline churches in America, i.e.: Presbyterian, Methodist, Pentecostal, etc. When I use the word ‘Church’, I’m referring to the universal Church of God worldwide, which is composed of people from all different denominations (or not) and all different ethnic groups. And as I use it, ‘Church’ is synonymous with ‘Remnant’, those chosen by God to be His family throughout history. It is plain, at least it should be, that ‘church’ is not necessarily the same group of people that are in the ‘Church’.
Our church congregations are packed with folks that may, or may not, believe in the absolute divinity of Jesus Christ, and many of their church leaders are exactly the same. In many of the churches that are well stocked with unbelieving believers, it is an obvious case of ‘the blind leading the blind’, as Jesus said. Other congregations struggle to stay afloat in their collective faith, and it is almost like a row boat full of holes that gets patched with bandaids every Sunday.
As you can see, the lines between these groups are fuzzy and complicated, and often we think we see one group when in fact, we see wrongly. Meanwhile, God is interested in our hearts, and only He can see and evaluate them accurately – we cannot.
Throughout these differing groups, there is one book that stands alone as the one, trustworthy guideline, the Bible. But complications arise as each little offshoot denomination interprets parts of the Bible to suit themselves, and in most cases it seems that if one interpretation is indeed correct, no other interpretation can be. So what is the truth? It is no wonder that Truth has become “interpretive” in our times. And while all this has been going on for decades, God has seen to it that everything in our world seems to be in some kind of transition.
With this in mind, it seems abhorrent to me that many, probably most of the different churches in America just want the current shaking to end so they can get back to “normal”, as it used to be. It is so sad and frustrating to me that getting back to what was normal is not what God has in mind, and worse, we’d rather fight God than seek His face to find out just what exactly He wants us to transition to. Why can’t we understand that “normal” was what got us into this mess?
We have those who tell us ‘Trump and the patriots’ have all in hand, and all will be fine in the end. We have those who are having dreams and visions that darker times are coming, and we are caught in the middle, as each side seems right when we hear it. Oh, what to believe? Reading the Bible book of Revelation would seem to lend credence to it getting darker before the light comes, but again, that poor book has been studied and reinterpreted until there seems to be no clear path through it all. I personally think we are in for darker times ahead, but I have a learned friend who’s convinced the world is getting better, and I am cast in a perpetual wait-and-see mode.
If the head of a house hears that a famine has been predicted from one of his friends, while another tries to convince him it is not, would it be wiser to stock up on water pallets while they are readily available or not stock up at all? What would you do? I submit that it is always wiser to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. The other way around is to be caught unprepared, and suffer the consequences. But it bothers me that the church at large doesn’t seem to be preparing the flock for anything other than “normal”. That, in my opinion, is criminal negligence from the pulpits.
We see exposed daily the massive, growing knowledge of corruption in high places. That’s what God is doing right now – exposure, and this exposure is going to sweep through our churches as well. God is preparing His house, and He begins by cleaning out the dirt. But many will disregard the cleansing, and will cling to the ‘dirt’. They will continue to tell us that we are okay because we are loved by God, while the real message coming forth from the throne of God is that only He is okay, and we are not, and He wants us to seek Him, reject our sins that keep us so comfortable, even in our churches, and seek Him only.
God is wanting to demonstrate Himself through His people on earth. He is going to empower His own children with incredible displays of His power and goodness in these last days, but my question is: Is He wanting to empower the ‘church’ or the ‘Church’?
If you were the father of the family, who would you empower?

John

06/27/2020

A Time For War

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 08:01

3 A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.

8 A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace. [Eccl 3:3, 8; NASB]

Every now and then I wake up in the night and cannot go back to sleep. My mind usually wakes up, and just churns through thoughts as I toss and turn. That happened again to me early this morning at 0218 hours (AM). After about 40 minutes of trying to get comfortable, I figured out that if I was going to be wasting time fruitlessly trying to go back to sleep, I might as well pray. If I have to lose sleep, I might as well at least accomplish something.
Going to my basement lair, I began to pray in the Spirit, because I had absolutely no idea what to pray about. After a few minutes, I began to realize that right now, God wants His people to war when they pray, and He began to fill my mind with His thoughts concerning the art of warfare.
First, I saw in my mind the armor of God that the saints are supposed to put on, but as I saw the armor, I began to realize that each set is custom made by the Holy Spirit for the individual soldier.
I remembered in 1968 when I was entering the army in Fort Dix, NJ, that we were herded through the quartermaster’s and each of us was given a new duffle bag, and more than enough uniforms to fill it! We found out a few hours later that these training uniforms were anything but “custom”, and each of us looked like dressed up dumpster divers! God’s armor is not at all like the uniform gear we were issued at Dix! Each piece perfectly fits the individual soldier of the Lord.
Then I remembered that in basic training we all were trained basically. No individuality was permitted, and there was no slack given to different learning styles; it was basic stuff, but it was a necessary foundation for what came next.
After basic training we went into a more advanced phase, which we called A.I.T., standing for Advanced Infantry Training. It was a bit more relaxed, and more advanced. We were allowed a lot more freedom of movement after the day’s training was over, and we could grow our hair back! (within limits, of course). Since I was in an infantry division, all of my training related to the infantry skill set. Mortarmen and tank drivers were trained differently because their jobs were different, but not so differently that they were independent of everyone else. Each skill set was complimentary, or meant to be.
During all these memories, God showed me that the spiritual war we were told was coming back in the early 70’s, was only now beginning to rage around us. Each of us is needed right now, in the trenches of God. Our “official” training is over and from now on the training we’ll be getting will consist of the hard knocks we get from on-the-job-training. Now is not the time for basic training for the soldiers of God. No more sitting back and playing at it; that time is over, and from now on it’s serious business. Don’t doubt it.
God’s army is not full of lemming-like lookalikes. Each soldier has been prepared for this war, but many don’t know it yet. They are each needed, for there is a unique, created place on the line for them, and they are desperately needed right now! From now on, we will learn to fight not by going to some class or conference; from now on we will not fight for 1.5 hours on Sunday mornings and relax till the next Sunday. From now on we will fight all the time, and we will hone our skills not by training, but by using them. It is too late to train; now is the time for combat, for killing, for hating what God hates and a time for war, not peace.
If we are only Sunday-Morning fighters, we would do better to stay out of the way. God wants a new generation of “Mighty men”, like David’s fighters, and we’ve been chosen for this particular time and for this particular war. Whether we live or die doesn’t matter; what matters is that we fight to win with all the courage and skill He gives us.
There is one warning: Gideon was instructed to send home the cowards. Cowards infect others with their timidity and doubts, and they are effectively better off nowhere near the real battle.
It’s been my personal observation that most of the (official)“prayer warriors”…..aren’t. No man can appoint for that position. It is a voluntary position that God calls us into, and then He shows us how to fight. Each position of God results in individual “callings”, for if that were not true, He would have an army of hirelings…
So far, the part of the battle I have been seeing has been fought on the defensive. Many Christians are scared and feel backed into a corner, so they “cry out” to God for relief. It’s time now to take the battle to the enemy. It’s time for him to feel backed into corners and for him to shake in his boots. It’s time we get blood on the swords we were issued when we signed up. It’s time our uniforms, armor and weapons were tested through use.
It’s time for us to quit squealing to God in our fear and rise up in holy anger and go on the offensive. It’s time for our so-called leaders to also be exposed through testings, that we might know who is hearing from God and who is not. It’s time for our leaders to come out of the woodwork and be recognized, and I daresay, many heretofore known leaders, never really were. From now on, promotions will be on the battlefield, not in the classrooms.
Wake up Church of God. Wake up! You sleep to your peril. No devil will run from play-acting Christians. Get dirty, get bloody. If you fall, God will pick you up.
Now is the time to prove what it means to ‘be courageous.’

John

06/23/2020

The 180 Degree Spin

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 13:59

A few years after BHO got elected we began to “decode” him. Once we realized that the key to knowing what he was going to do was to take what he said publicly and spin it 180 degrees, we knew what was really going to happen. It was amazing how accurate this decoding was over the course of his dissembling of America. And today, this same decoding methodology seems to work well with what the MSM is releasing as “news” on any given day. What really fascinates me is that discerning what is, and is not of Satan, works with the same decoding system.
When the God of the Bible says something, that something happens. God’s first recorded words in the Bible were, “Let there be light.” And guess what? There was ‘light’. The Bible gives us a clue on decoding/discerning Satan, when it tells us that he masquerades as an ‘angel of light’, and it’s obvious that he’s the god of darkness. He’s always either masquerading or openly on display, but with Satan one thing is always true: he’s always in total opposition to God, and if he appears to be present in gray areas of ideology, that only means he’s in masquerade mode. God is always light; Satan is always darkness. It is not at all complicated.
God is the God of liberation; Jesus came to set us free (to know, recognize, worship and serve) the real God, the Creator. When Satan mimics ‘freedom’, in reality he comes to ultimately enslave, for the truth is, no free man or woman serves Satan; only slaves serve him.
In any areas of our lives where we feel enslaved, or in bondage, as is sometimes seen within religious denominations bound to their “traditions”, that can be a clue that they’ve unwittingly (we hope) capitulated to Satan’s darkness. To be ‘bound’ to traditions, is to be bound, and to be bound is not of God.
With such traditions, we see the traditions themselves being elevated above God. This may not be obvious at first, for we are not used to being alert to it, but when we hear men say things or do things that always attest to the age-old mantra, “But we’ve always done it that way.”, we know that God has been taken down from His rightful place. I grew up in the Presbyterian Church in the 50’s and 60’s; I saw a lot of it, but at the time, I didn’t know what I was seeing.
I’m not saying the people or organizations I’ve mentioned are necessarily intentionally bad, but I’d go with at least being deceived. God’s worship is the worship of the heart towards Him, and that’s the worship He looks for in His people. He’s not interested in the decibel rating of the rock music, nor is He delighted with the light shows or the smoke pumped out by the smoke machines, which are only a fake stand-in for the presence of the Holy Spirit. He wants hearts. Period. And if we can’t give Him our hearts, we might as well get honest enough to stay home.
The New Testament admonishes us to ‘circumcise our hearts’, rather than our flesh. Maybe we should give it a try before crying out for Revival.

John

06/17/2020

All Shook Up

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 12:24

Are we having fun yet? An acquaintance of many years ago sent me a message via Facebook yesterday, and I’ve been thinking about its implications ever since. He voiced confusion over current events, and there was a (logical) hint of fear in his question. I’m in no position to criticize, because without being grounded in my faith, I would be asking the same kind of questions.
I have to admit, when God says something, He usually seems to understate it. If God says things will get bad, when it manifests on the earth, it will be unimaginably bad, not just unpleasant. Some years ago, God said He would shake all things. Most unbelievers never even knew what God had said, while many Christians paid no real attention to the word, but now it’s getting real, and we’ve only just begun. In every area of he world I live in, I’m more and more convinced that the only trustworthy high ground is God Himself.
Many so-called “Patriots” have yet to be tested. Many Christians are in the same boat. I’ve often said, “Everyone’s a winner until the contest begins.”, and I think it bears repeating. I see many disturbing on-line posts from people who say brave things, but as the old rancher said, many are “All hat and no cattle.”
As I see it, the Christian’s mandate at this time is two fold. First, we are to pray. That’s almost an “Oh duh!” thing to say, but it’s true. Secondly, within the limits of their faith, we are to become involved somehow in the social discourses of our day. If we do not represent Christ and His Kingdom now, when would be a better time?
I’m certain many Christians would take issue with my last statement, but I would ask them how they expect to be ‘salt and light’ to anyone but themselves if they do not somehow actively represent Christ to an obviously dying world? While I definitely do not advocate we get caught up and distracted by so much of what is happening, at some level, I believe we are required to represent and be witnesses of the King we say we serve, and I don’t mean Mr. Trump.
Remember when Joshua was confronted with the Commander of the Lord’s Hosts in the book of Joshua? He asked the Angelic being, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”, and the answer came back, “Neither”. God is on His own side, and we would be wise to first be sure we are on it too, before we shoot our mouths off. I would encourage us to get a bigger picture of current events, and that means to see them from God’s perspective. We so easily get sucked into the microscopic distractions – I speak from experience.
I am without apology, a Constitutional Conservative. That’s what I am, but that’s not who I am. I am God’s property. He made me and later, He redeemed me to Himself – I belong to Him. As such, it is incumbent upon me to represent Him, and in doing that I am categorically opposed to evil, just as He is, and just as His Son was, and still is. In God’s plan, I was born a citizen of the United States of America, and as such, He imposed upon me the common responsibilities of citizenship in this country. One of those rights is the right to vote, and I look upon it as a solemn obligation. It is solemn because many Americans have died to make it so. It may be one little vote among so many, but it is serious business.
In 2016, I cast my vote for the person I thought would best uphold and maintain my Christian values and the Constitution. I did not vote for the “perfect” man; that was never an option. All of us are flawed. And I did not vote for a man because I viewed him as a savior or some kind of god-man; I already know Who that is, and so should you. But I DID vote. Sadly, many so-called Christians did not because they thought the lessor of two evils was to skip the voting booth altogether. I could not disagree more! No real Christian, given the opportunity and the freedom to do so, should refrain from voting, and I would go so far as to say it represents an abrogation of God’s expectations.
The bigger picture in America, and the world at large, is the multifaceted attack by the spirit of Anti-Christ. He uses many names and comes in many disguises, but he is, underneath all the makeup, the same spirit we’ve seen throughout history. This spirit has now taken off the gloves of deception and subterfuge, and is openly challenging and opposing everything good, sane and of God throughout the world.
He is the inspiration and the motivating force behind Antifa, BLM, George Soros, Nancy Pelosi, and many, many more. He is the embodiment of evil, and his purpose is to put together a one world government with himself as the exalted, and worshiped ruler. There is absolutely nothing new about his “New age”. It’s the same old, repackaged stuff. The gloves are off because he’s running out of time and he’s getting desperate.
Yes, ‘prayer changes things’, but only if the people that pray are also alert to the subsequent opportunities God gives them to act. Prayer is not the end game, it is the door opener. God most often acts through people, and the Bible is full of those He used. We can volunteer to be used like they were – we are ‘the boots on the ground’ in our generation. Believe it.
I would strongly encourage each believer to recognize the authority and responsibilities God has given them, then vote with their prayers, their actions, their money, their feet and at the ballot box. Get involved, but kneel to no man. You have a King, and it’s His pleasure to give you the Kingdom. It is time..

to show it.

John

06/11/2020

This Is Our Watch!

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 13:01

My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
[Psalm 31:15 ESV]

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, [Acts 17:26 ESV]

When I was much younger, I always wanted to have lived in the 1870’s and 80’s, but God had other plans. I now realize that rather than a product of random biology, I am exactly when and where I need to be, to fulfill God’s specific plan for my life. That said, I’ll never see the full reason(s) for this divine plan until I get to talk with Him face to face, but I’m good with that as long as I can indeed arrive in His Kingdom and have the conversation.
The other day, I posted a piece that I didn’t really like. It was another piece concerning our civic responsibilities, and I must confess, I never really was satisfied with the wording. Sometimes it’s like that, and sometimes general ideas don’t always accommodate themselves into specific wordings, but it’s an important concept and needs to be put forth at this time, so I’ll keep trying.
As Christians, the redeemed of God and in blood covenant with the Father through the blood of the Son, we have clearly been carefully placed within history by God. We are the boots on the ground at this time; this is our “watch”, and it is our only turn.
As the redeemed, our lives have great significance to God, as family members should. He has put us in this America at this specific time, and if we’re honest, we should know that on some level we’ve been getting prepared all our lives for this time. So, now what?
We are blood-bought members of another Kingdom, yes we are, but we are also expected to be His witnesses on earth at this time, and this means we have been given responsibilities, civic responsibilities. There is probably no other good reason why we’ve been born again, yet we are physically placed on earth. We cannot be His witnesses if we abdicate our responsibilities to others, particularly heathens. And it makes even less sense to vote that many with anti-christ spirits and motivations, rule over us.
If we refuse to wage war, both against the spiritual forces in the heavenlies, and against the earthly people placed in power by those forces, we avoid the very reason for our post-salvation existence on earth. God works most often through people, and so does the devil. It’s really quite simple.
There are some who would point out that Jesus never directly addressed our civic duties, but that is a dodge. He never talked about using cars, airplanes or cell phones either. He never once mentioned voting. In fact, He never said much of anything about what we would call the mundane details of life in America in 2020…yet here we are, and He is still God, and He is not at all taken by surprise in these times. If we refuse to become participants in the events of our times, just how would we think the watching world would find relevance in our so-called ‘faith’?
Our Christian faith and our scriptures should enable the world to see the Kingdom of God as a functioning government on the earth. Our God and our faith encapsulates the only cogent answer to an ever-darkening planet. We should OWN the life raft so many need, and to retreat into some kind of ethereal spirituality while failing to stand up and be counted, we have, and will continue to be viewed as irrelevant, and rightly so.
I make a lot of mistakes. Often I misinterpret events and things happening, but I really do trust God to somehow, some way, make my life a life that counts toward the advance of His Kingdom on earth. And that won’t happen if I withdraw into a spiritual-life cocoon and simply hope that somehow God will just use my prayers and worship to influence the world I’ve rejected. God hasn’t rejected this world, and I am not bidden to do so either.
We desperately need more real, blood-bought Christians, those who fear God, to be intimately involved in civil government. We need the same group to be cops and firemen, doctors, nurses and teachers.
If we don’t live our civil lives according to the dictates of our spiritual faith, by what kind of lunacy would we hope to be ‘salt and light’?

John

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