The Trip So Far



Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 09:28

I love using acronyms. When my kids were growing up we used a few of them as a private language. For instance, if I got lost, or appeared to be lost, my kids would joke about my USD (Unerring Sense of Direction). For some reason, it came up a lot! At times when it seemed easier to give up, like being tired on a hike in the mountains, I’d yell at my kids, “OTSS!” (Only The Strong Survive). It was given lightheartedly, but it carried a point – “Don’t be a quitter” (and quit complaining)… Today’s message is entitled DTGE, an acronym I created very early this morning after prayer.
I don’t know about you, but the last time I was a host, I first prepared for my guests, then I assisted in the flow of their conversation, and finally, I cleaned up after they left. As the host, I was responsible for the party, and as their host, none of my guests had to clean up after themselves – that was my job, and my honor to do it. While they partied, I worked.
How is revival any different?
When we ask God to send a revival we ask for several reasons. The life of God is, or should be explosive, and we ask for revival because we somehow sense we are stagnating without that explosive kind of life. Some of us, myself included, need multiple miracles, and I see no harm in asking God to send them. He loves to display His handiwork amongst His own family. And He loves to display His handiwork so those outside His family will also have a chance to see what He can do, and also desire to be in the family. But we should know that when we seek God for revival, we are offering ourselves, our abilities, our time and our talents to Him. We are saying, in effect, “We want to host You in our midst.” And tacitly, we are committing ourselves to the required work.
Many Christians don’t seem to grasp the idea of hosting a revival. They seem to think that revival is a big Christian party where everyone can go into a circus tent, hear dynamic messages, feel better about themselves and maybe even get healed. What excitement; what fun, but the third leg of the stool is called work.
What folly to invite God to show up at our party as the invited, honored Guest, and then expect Him to not only get the party ready beforehand but to clean up the mess that follows. We are the host; He is the Holy Guest. God may indeed get us ready in the sense of training us how to be proper hosts of the Holy Spirit, but the required work before, during and after is our only way to express our gratitude to our Guest.
Jesus was invited to dine at a Pharisee’s house, but after the “party” began, He rebuked the Pharisee for not even offering to wash His feet, a common custom at the time. If we are not willing to wash the feet of our Guest at the revival we beg for, should we expect any more than a rebuke?
God wants to send a revival more than we want one. He is waiting on us, because He is not going to show up so we can fail to honor His holiness. The only way to do it, in my opinion, is to enter into what I term the DTGE. That means: Do The Great Exchange. The only way for me to properly prepare myself to host the presence of God is to be personally involved in giving Him all of myself, in exchange of all of Him.
All of me for all of Him; and that’s the gospel in one sentence. And that’s revival – everyday.




Prophecy: The Broken Heart of God

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 13:53

Prophecy given to me 10/10/2012: The Broken Heart of God

This prophecy came to me in October, 2012. I wrote it down and placed it in the back of a bible I have seldom read since then. I found it today, and have reprinted it for posting.
At the time it was given to me, my wife and I were living in Colorado and were attending a denominational church that was dead, and ignorant of its deadness. The Spirit had withdrawn, and He had already told my wife in a shocking revelation during a church prayer meeting: “This church is dead.” Frankly, we were afraid to believe it, although in our hearts we knew it to be true.
On October 10th, 2012, here is what I recorded:

“My house, my house! My heart is broken over you. Because of you, my heart is broken. My name is blasphemed among the nations because of you. Because of you, I am renowned as a God of weakness; because of you, the nations mock and laugh at my holy arm; because of you I have become a curse word, and because of you I have been continually diminished in the sight of all people.
Even in my own house, those who say they are called by my name (and are not), consider not my holiness, and make light of my righteous decrees. They dissect my word without authority or revelation; they reject my meat and rejoice over their carbohydrates; they declare parties of mirth, “Fellowship with us”, they say, when they should declare repentance and mourning, fasting and weeping g.
I am calling forth a remnant within my house, the few who have chosen to honor my name, even to their own discomfort. I am equipping them as an army to stand firm and represent my name, and I am calling forth their strength that they may shout forth my holy name when the overflowing flood of persecution attempts to sweep them away.
The strength of the remnant I have equipped will be made manifest as the great darkness comes upon the land and this people, who say they are called by my name (and are not). It is coming quickly; the sound of it does not precede, but will only be heard as it comes upon you.
I am calling my people, those who I call my own, to make ready. As you would buy food for the days ahead, seek from me now the sustenance you will need. Learn my ways while there is still some time left. Give me your whole hearts, hold nothing back, and I will withhold nothing from you in the days of darkness.
Glorify my name, for I have called you to make yourselves ready.”



Not My Problem

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 09:07

My problem at this time in history is not a lack of information; my problem is choosing what information is worthy of my concentration.
In the mornings, after I first arrive home from work, I like to choose worshipful music and sit back in a comfortable chair and just soak in it. The selections for the music I choose are usually peaceful piano music by Dappy TKeys, found on YouTube. But I could just as easily choose something dark and somber, perhaps even depressing. I choose the way I do because it helps me focus on God and His thoughts towards me and the world I live in. The point is: I make my own choices of what I will fill my head with, and sadly in some cases, so do others. By ‘others’ I am speaking of Christian men and women.
Frankly I am not too concerned about the “world” and those unbelievers who feast on it. They are in bondage to the garbage they feed on, and although it is sad, their choices do not have to be my choices. Jesus Christ came into my life some years ago, and one of the first things He did was give me a broader, and a better menu of choices. It would seem however, that a lot of well-meaning, professing Christians are still in bondage to the darker menus, offered up on steaming platters of fresh garbage every hour of every day, on their expensive television sets and the internet.
I received an email just this morning promising to inform me how the Department of Homeland Security is in fact, doing a horrible job of protecting us from those in our midst who would do us harm. I wish I could say I was shocked! If this email was a isolated transmission it might hold some novelty, but instead it just represents another leading edge of the garbage we are tempted to wallow in every day…and by ‘we’, I’m speaking strictly to professing Christians.
Some years ago, I had a friend who fancied herself in a prophetic clearinghouse role on the internet, but the political shenanigans in this country took her captive, rendering her only another purveyor of garbage. Every so often I get another email from her warning me of another chunk of offal in our society (not too incredible..), and asking for “urgent” prayer. Thank God for Junk folders!
Tell me, if you can, does “urgent” and “God” have anything in common – really? When was He recently surprised? When did He discover something He just found out about?
It is no mystery that the “world” laughs at “Christians”, for a lot of what I see in that lukewarm community is indeed pathetic.
I’m not advocating we purposely remain in states of ignorant bliss, but I am endorsing the notion that if we feed on the same spiritual food the heathens eat from their overflowing buckets of waste, we will become and remain useless to anyone. No one salts garbage; they throw it out and substitute healthy food. And only real, Bible believing (and living) Christians have the market cornered on the food of Life. Believe what you want, but that’s the truth.
And just for the record, Jesus never wandered around in a funk, wringing His hands over the evil He saw in the Roman world, although from His vantage point I bet He could identify plenty of it. Rather, He said a lot about the good “church” folks of His day in consistent attempts to re-track their thinking. He did not come to give press to the devil by preaching about all the wrongs in society, and He did not instruct His disciples concerning “urgent” prayer. He came to undo the devil’s works, and empower us to do the same. We already have an example and a commission, and I would say, enough to keep us busy.
If we ignorantly or knowingly choose Fear, there is plenty to be afraid of right now, but how do those choices serve God?
We all serve someone.



Outside The Box

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 12:34

35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? What kind of body will they have when they come? ” 36 You fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And as for what you sow — you are not sowing the body that will be, but only a seed, perhaps of wheat or another grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he wants, and to each of the seeds its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same flesh; there is one flesh for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is different from that of the earthly ones.
[1Co 15:35-40 CSB]

Have you ever noticed in yourself or others the strange propensity to “flock together”?
This is often seen in mostly empty parking lots, where the few cars in attendance will be clumped. Humans have to be the most interesting and consternatible species on planet earth! I made that word up, but it works. However, applying this observation to Scripture interpretation may lead to unnecessary limits. Granted, words have meanings, but they are only a vehicle of expression, and the expression is perhaps greater in scope prior to being expressed.
For instance, when God “speaks” to us through His Word, the intimate encounter bounds across our brains like an explosion of freedom, but try to express what you heard Him say and the terminology you choose to use almost never does justice to what was heard Our God is boundless; we are the ones bound, and we are often bound by the “boxes” we’ve chosen to accept as our personal comfort zones. May we all be challenged to push against the walls of our boxes!
Lately, I was reading a book entitled, The Unseen Realm, by Michael Heiser, and it was quite an adventure in outside-the-box thinking! Riveting from start to finish. That book pushed my walls out of shape, and perhaps that’s why today I began to think of what it would be like to have already died and entered into God’s presence. What would “life” be like in that case?
First of all, and foundational to my construct, is that God Himself would be our life. Therefore, it wouldn’t be necessary to sustain it by breathing (oxygen or anything else!). I didn’t say we won’t be able to breath, and smell the aromas of His presence, but the life sustaining function of breathing on earth would not be necessary. Breathing would become a choice.
Second, I thought about eating food. The underlying concept of food on earth is for us to sustain life, and again, we wouldn’t need to do that in God’s presence. Notice, I’m staying away from the term “heaven”, for I think true heaven is the presence of God, rather than a place on a map. Now I did not say we would not eat, rather I said we would not need to do it to sustain our lives. Imagine, if you decided to go on a hunger strike or wrap up your head in a plastic bag, would your resurrection body be suddenly subject to death? Not in God’s presence, it wouldn’t be. In fact, God probably enjoys good food, and I bet He eats well if He wants to, but He doesn’t need the calories to be alive. He is Life; Jesus said so.
My reference verses are 1st Corinthians 15:35-40, and it appears to present the possibility that animals will have resurrection bodies. However, I can also choose to read them within a pre-disposed box that would dis-include that possibility. But I wonder, how big was God’s box in those verses? I already know there are some horses where He is, and we know from the last verse of the book of Jonah that He loves animals. Just thinking…
I expect that shortly in the days just ahead if His return, God will give us expanded revelations of what He really meant by what He said in our bibles. I also expect many will not make that journey out of respect for their comfort zones, i.e.: fear.
I don’t plan on being one of them. I want the full ride, and I think God will give a full ride to those that want it. But…nothing worth having comes free.
The tickets are available but expensive.



For Your Consideration

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 10:18

Ref: Ezekiel 47:2-5

Don’t we live in interesting times?! I never thought I’d see the day when the Democratic Party became shamelessly unmasked and revealed as the Socialist Party it’s always been. Nor did I foresee a time in our history when one of our political parties would become such an open purveyor of hatred. I guess it crept up on me. Something else that I believe crept up on me is the end-times great move of the Holy Spirit we’ve been praying about. What does not surprise me is the concurrency of both phenomenon.
I suppose to some degree, most of us are captives to our perceptions. I always thought the ‘next great move of God’ would break upon us suddenly like a spiritual explosion and a sudden revelation God’s immediate presence and power. To be clear, the explosion may yet happen, for how God chooses to reveal Himself is totally up to Him, but as a sign of the beginning of the move we’ve prayed about, I doubt it. And I submit this piece for your consideration.
Last night I attended a men’s intercessory prayer group. Seven were present, and as we began to pray, I asked God to “give me something”. As the intensity of the prayers ratcheted up, I became more withdrawn, to my dismay. I began to feel as if I was watching the group from a distance, and it bothered me that I was not able to enter in. Then I began to see a picture in my mind…
I see lots of stuff in my mind, as do all humans, I suspect, but how to determine if what we see is from God? If what I see is not obviously over the known line of biblical principles, and is merely not understood, I tend to back-burner it for a time. If it returns the next day, it may be worthy of my consideration, and quite often I completely forget what I saw by the next day. Anyway, that’s how I do it. However, if the vision fits within the biblical framework and I also get a very clear instruction to air it, I will share it immediately.
You may have another way that works for you, but the general rule though is that anything given to us by God will never violate clear scriptural principles or objectives. Nor will it violate what we know of God’s nature and attributes. And the Holy Spirit (not our own spirit) should always be allowed to dictate how we handle what we’ve been given, and God’s Spirit is not disruptive nor out of order. He does not seek to draw attention to Himself or the vessel He chooses to use.
So last night as fervent prayers were being offered to God by the other six men, and I was quietly praying in the Spirit, I saw that I was standing in a shallow river. It was wide, but I could easily stand on the bottom. Then the waters began to come up and get deeper. Before the vision ended, the water was up to my armpits, and the Spirit made me understand, “It has already begun.” I put the vision on the back burner as it didn’t seem to fit what the others were praying for or talking about. But this morning, the vision came up in my mind again, and I submit it for your consideration, and I say that because I do not consider myself infallible, regardless of what I hear or see.
God is in charge of the earth and its courses. The times are in His capable hands. Having said that, I’m submitting that the ‘next great move of God’ is already beginning, and we dare not wait for it to appear as we think it will. And while I’m certain we will see incredible displays of God’s great miracle-working power in the future, those signs and wonders are not the beginning, and unless He corrects and countermands what I’ve seen, I’ll place my money on the rising waters I saw.
Stop waiting for “IT” to happen. It has begun.

For your consideration,



The Call Of God

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 14:30


Before the lamp of God had gone out, Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was located. Then the LORD called Samuel, and he answered, “Here I am.” He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “I didn’t call,” Eli replied. “Go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
Once again the LORD called, “Samuel! ” Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “I didn’t call, my son,” he replied. “Go back and lie down.”
Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, because the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
Once again, for the third time, the LORD called Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the boy. He told Samuel, “Go and lie down. If he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
The LORD came, stood there, and called as before, “Samuel, Samuel! ” Samuel responded, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” [1Samuel 3:3-10; CSB]

I really love the story of Samuel’s call in 1 Samuel 3. It should be very instructive for Christian parents. Backing up from the story of his call, we read how Samuel’s mother dedicated him to the service of the Lord even before his conception. I believe that should be instructive for Christian couples who are contemplating starting their families.
After Samuel’s birth, his mother fulfilled her vow to God, and took her first born son to the temple and gave him into the care of Eli, the priest. Of course, I would not recommend we literally do that, but I do think we should do this in the same spirit.
We are not told how much time passed between the time Samuel was weaned and given up for adoption, and the time that God called him directly, but this is the part of the story I want to focus on.
The Bible is clear that children are gifted to us by God. God cannot give away what does not belong to him, therefore, children belong to God, and when we give birth to them they enter our lives as entrustments from Him. How sad that we most often miss this point.
I believe God expects more from Christian parents than unbelieving parents, and I think the bar is higher for them in the sense that an often overlooked responsibility for Christian parents is to position their children to, at some point, begin to hear directly from God themselves.
Samuel was living with the priest in the temple of God, and yet the text states he ‘did not yet know the Lord, because the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.’, and I believe that’s the pattern we should follow today as we raise up our children. In other words, it is the primary responsibility of Christian parents to prepare their kids to hear directly from God, and to make them ready for His call.
I go to a church full of kids, thank you God! But most of them first have an adopted kind of faith they get from their parents. At some point though, probably earlier than we might think, God will speak directly to them, and the direction of their lives will turn into the unique path God has for each one of them. It is our job to get them ready to receive the call, and not to stand in the way of it when it does come. We see this quite clearly in the life of Samuel, as God called him to be a prophet at an early age, and began entrusting him with the words of God to a priest and a nation.
There was evidently a lot of grace shown to Samuel while he lived with the family of Eli, because Eli was a lousy parent and his sons remained out of control until the day of their deaths. And yet in the midst of this environment, Samuel was made ready for God’s call. No family is perfect, yet I draw hope knowing that if God could protect Samuel in the midst of family-wide sin, He can protect our children too.
Therefore, I would say to Christian parents, do all you can to position your children for the arrival of God’s call on their lives. It will probably be difficult to “uncover” them for His use, but it is the way Godly parenting is done. Our kids are like guided missiles, and at some point God will want to program their unique, internal guidance systems. At the right time, He will program them to fulfill His purpose, and it is our job to let Him do it, and prepare them for the event.



To Be A Slave

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 10:13

Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” [Mark 9:35; NASB]

…and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. [Mark 10:44; NASB]

I was blessed to grow up about 100 years after the American Civil War, but even after that time lapse the issue of slavery was still a hot topic. I attended a small, Midwest college that largely defined the small town adjacent to it. Vietnam was ongoing, like a headache with no foreseeable end, and the nation was increasingly polarized by anti-war protesters and civil rights protesters. At the same time, our national morals, to use a sloppy generality, were being tested on every level, and the hippy/drug/free love culture was alive and well in the soil of those protests.
Concurrent to those social movements, the Charismatic Renewal was sweeping through churches and denominations, and although it was an exciting time to be a Christian, it was also a time of great religious division, and bitter polarity. It seemed evident proof of Jesus’ words when He said He did not come to bring peace, but a sword, and Christian infighting can be the meanest, most merciless kind of fighting. The assumed justification of ‘having God on our side’ often precludes mercy.
I was 30 years old by the time Vietnam officially ended in our defeat, with the odious cost of over 58,000 American servicemen and women dead. That’s a sizable sacrifice, and I daresay, we still feel those losses today. America has never been the same since then; it was a corner we turned that could never be unturned, but how I wish we could. But by the time I was 30 years old, I thought I knew all the answers.
I gave my life to Christ during the Charismatic Renewal that swept the Midwest in the early 70’s. I read my Bible(s), worked in a Christian ministry and felt fully qualified to dispense Christian advice and counsel to many…after all, I had all the answers. In all of this, I never saw any arrogance in myself, never detected the stench of spiritual smugness, and I thought I wanted to serve God for the rest of my life.
I held out against the world and its temptations for almost 7 years…then, worn out and disgusted with the Christian infighting among the groups I had contact with, I chose a secular career path. I put the last nail in the coffin when I looked at my new peers and co-workers and stated, “I want to be like them.” Only after 25 years of a bumpy ride to the bottom of the barrel did I realize that with that one statement, I had turned my back on God and His calling for me. He let me have my own way; He will always do that if we oppose Him long enough. Getting our own way is the easy road; finding God’s road and staying on it narrows the pavement considerably. It only took me about 40 years to figure that out.
Now, much older and hopefully wiser, I feel like I’m starting over with God. It takes a lot more faith now than I needed 40 years ago; I’m not the same Spring Chicken, and some days the old body forces me to rely totally on God’s mercy and grace – well actually, every day, to be honest. One big difference is that now I really love God; before I loved the knowledge of God, and it was so easy to translate it into pride. Gratifying, sure…but deadly in every way.
Several years ago, in the midst of a peaceful retirement, I made a decision with God. If God asks you a question, be careful how fast you answer Him. Think it through – this Guy doesn’t play Christian games, and your answer will stand for, or against you – forever. In short, I told God I would not ever again say “No” to Him. I should have foreseen that testing would be next. One day while reading in my easy chair, with my cat on my lap, I told the cat, “You know, these are the easy times.” I might have guessed it was a prophecy!
Say what high and almighty things you want to say to God, but be advised He is only impressed if your heart says the same. And He will try to prove your word. I think most of the time when we are most impressed with ourselves, God remains unimpressed. God will put your rubber to the road, and the ride may not be at all pleasant or what we would have chosen. I’ve been a little under the weather lately, you know, a lot of “bugs” going around, and was dragging myself through day after long day. I didn’t really voice any complaints, and I didn’t think I was complaining, until God asked me one of His quiet little questions: “Can you serve me here?” And the voice behind that question broke my heart! “Yes, I will be honored to serve you here.” And I meant it.
If you don’t find the heart of a slave within yourself, ask yourself who really, are you serving? He loves us too much to let us get away with anything less.



Hindsight Is 20/20

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 13:54

Ref: Matthew 24:(all); Acts 1:11

One of our God-given “rights” is the authority to have our own opinions, but difficulties sometimes arise when we fail to identify our opinions as such, and not necessarily facts. The written word of God is not opinion when it sets forth God’s thoughts. All of God’s opinions are facts, and unless human opinions coincide with His words, they fall short of being 100% factual.
With regard to biblical interpretations, there are many schools of…you guessed it, opinions. Bible commentaries, no matter how impressive they may seem, are educated attempts by well educated men at making God’s words more easily understood, while necessarily subject to human limits, human understanding and human opinions about what indeed, God meant when He said what He said.
I’ve tried to stay on firm ground so far in this piece, but now it gets diverse, and interesting. Enter the human mind, and every simple thing becomes complex. Often, such is the case with the interpretation of Scripture. Some years ago, a pastor friend of mine who valued biblical prophecy and taught on it frequently, came out with a blanket statement summing up all his learning by saying in so many words, “You will always understand biblical prophecy in hindsight.”
Some of my friends teach and write biblical interpretive opinions that I respectfully disagree with. I can say ‘respectfully’ because their opinions have not yet been necessarily tested by clear hindsight, and more importantly, they don’t alter or deep-six my salvation. As long as we can agree on Who saved us, and what Salvation is according to biblical standards, what they opine about the book of Revelation frankly doesn’t bear much on my day. We are both in God’s family through our common covenant ratified by Jesus, and as far as I’m currently concerned, everything else, though interesting to debate, is to some extent, biblical background noise.
However, even though to me someone’s peripheral opinion about how to correctly interpret Holy Scripture may be of some intellectual interest, and often contains nuggets of truth I may benefit from, the expressed teachings may unnecessarily shake the faith of some new babes, who may not be as well grounded as the person with the teaching. There is a very clear warning about how we should not create stumbling blocks for God’s kids, and sometimes (in my opinion), we track a bit too close to that line. We need to be careful that our freedoms don’t become someone else’s bondages.
For me, one such ‘peripheral opinion’ is officially known as Preterism. Here is an interesting link that sheds light on what that is: It is worth the read…all the way to the bottom. For the record, I am as yet, no Preterist, but as I haven’t seen the end of my journey I can’t say for certain I never will be. But today, I definitely am not a Preterist.
In Matthew 24, according to the NASB Bible text, Jesus is asked three questions. He just told His disciples that the temple complex they so admired will be torn apart, and afterwards they ask Him, 1) when will these things (the destruction of the temple complex) happen, 2) what will be the sign of His return (second coming), and 3) what will be the sign of the ‘end of the age’? Some translations seem to break this discourse into two, not three questions, but in any event, there is more than one part to this seemingly simple question.
A very careful review of Jesus’ answer not only hints at a 70 A.D. fulfillment, but also a second advent considerably later than that date. It is obvious to me that the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. does not fully satisfy Jesus’ answer to His disciples.
Acts 1:11 makes it pretty clear, I think, that when Jesus returns at His second coming, it will be a physical return, and puts a big hole in the bottom of the Preterist’s boat that His second coming happened in spirit in 70 A.D. Yes, judgment happened to Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and it was a horrible time for the Jews, but I can’t realistically think it fulfills the qualifications of the Great Tribulation described in the book of Revelation. Nor do I think that Nero was The Antichrist, although he certainly fell into that general classification – like Hitler, and others of note. Nero might have been depraved and demon-inspired, but he did not exterminate over six million Jews, and others like Hitler, Stalin for instance, far exceeded six million murders.
Yes, I think Jesus’ answer to His disciples prophetically addressed the destruction of that specific temple complex, but like many other prophets, He also went far beyond 70 A.D. with the rest of His answer. In fact, He answered the complex question in great detail.
If I read Scripture to find justification for my favorite opinions, I can become blinded to any other options outside of them. Sure, like everyone else, I have my “pet” doctrines, but I know what I think I understand today may look vastly different tomorrow, and I often find that in several years, and with a little more spiritual maturity, my understanding may also mature, and change. It is after all, the Word of the living God.
In fact, the better I know God, and draw close to His heart, He gets bigger and better, and so does His Word, and I’ve learned to be wary of setting my peripheral beliefs in stone; it is stone I may have to later break up.
Prophetically, hindsight is 20/20, and all great men are – just men, and to anyone reading this I can say with certainty, in less than one hundred years we will all know all of the Truth.



Does Size Matter?

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 06:25

[Genesis 1:1; NKJV] In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Over thousands of years we have hung the very beginnings of our faith on the beginning of this ‘book of beginnings’, and no doubt, countless sermons have been hung on this one, little verse. I’m not at all interested in expounding upon this verse as to whether (or not) it is accurate, or did, in fact happen with the simplicity expressed. Rather than attempt in my poor way to ‘re-invent the wheel’, my focus with this verse rests on one simple question we don’t ask very often: HOW do we know this happened? The answer of course, is that God told someone, and in fact, if not for God taking the initiative we would know nothing today of Him. Put bluntly, God chose to reveal Himself to mankind this way, and without Him making the first move, we would still be in the dark. Why is this important?
Today, I spent some time reading a book about a neurosurgeon who purported to have had a NDE (Near Death Experience), and came back to tell about it. I have no doubt the author had an experience, which he swears is the truth for all ages, nor do I doubt that he now feels compelled to tell everyone about his journey into the ‘Core’ and back. What I am contending with is the problem with not only the details of his testimony, and how they may conflict with the Bible as we have it, as well as the fact that many non-believers will no doubt take the doctor’s testimony more seriously than the Bibles they have gathering dust on their bookshelves. That’s just human nature. We’d rather believe a man we can see instead of a God we cannot, and after His resurrection, Jesus said something about this to the apostle Thomas.
This sincere and well-meaning author seemed to find no need to address the pertinent issue of Jesus in-the-flesh, and instead talked at length and detail about God, who he called the Core, and his name for the Core was “Om”. At this point in the book, I began to feel uncomfortable with the narrative, and I prayed, asking God to reveal to me what caused my uneasiness. Several hours later, the realization hit me: God, and only God, could have taken the initiative to reveal Himself to mankind, and He did so in the way that pleased Him.
We already have the Name(s) He gave us for Himself; He already testified to what His Son would do, then told us the details of His Son doing those things thousands of years later. He testified directly through men who had been with God’s Son for several years, witnessed His miracles, heard His teachings, saw His suffering and observed first hand the resurrection appearances and the ascension of the previously, very dead Jesus. They later died horrible deaths themselves, rather than recant their testimonies – not the stuff of weak men or liars.
In the book, the doctor told of a God infinitely bigger than anything or anybody we could ever imagine. I believe it, and I agree with the author about this point. We are so limited by our environment here on earth, that we are virtual prisoners to our earth-bound, miniscule viewpoints. But again, if that weren’t the case, where would be the motivation to run after a God we already understood? Why seek Him if we already feel we completely understand Him?
Paul the apostle, the man who by inspiration wrote most of the New Testament, claimed to have been taken to the third heaven, God’s abode, but rather than run around selling his book on the matter, he said it would be illegal for him to talk about it. Instead, he traveled the then known world preaching about a man Who rose from the dead. Now that’s some bad marketing, right there! And rather than getting rich on his heavenly travel-monologues, Paul got mistreated, shipwrecked, beat up, whipped, stoned (I bet that hurt!), and eventually lost his head in some lonely prison cell. Bummer! What did Paul know that we should know? Namely, God is very real, very good and very BIG, and in this respect, Paul knew size indeed matters. Paul also knew that minus Jesus, we would never find any of that out.
Our denominational God is ridiculously small and impotent. He just waits around the corners of our religions to be summoned, just so we Christians can be happy and well, and He sent His only Son to die in our place so we could forever fight amongst our religious selves what it all meant, and just the right way to understand it.
The good neurosurgeon got this part right….with God, size does matter, and as such it just begs to be stated: We don’t yet have a clue Who we are so carelessly dealing with.
At least the doctor’s version of God was too big to adequately describe, and as far as that goes, I totally agree with him.



Sometimes When He Speaks

Filed under: Real Life Christianity — John Miltenberger @ 11:03

I was blessed to sit in church Wednesday, 11/1/2017, and hear my son-in-law and my daughter give their testimony. That alone is a situation to be envied by many, and I was well aware of it! But the point of this essay is found in what they said, and how God spoke through them, because it’s important to train our ears to recognize His voice.
Through the years I’ve heard God speak in many ways, and to be candid, I’ve no doubt missed hearing Him more often than not. Good thing He’s eternally patient with His kids! Books, a few of them worthwhile, have been written setting forth how to hear from God, but it should be said that no book, no teaching and no sermon can take the place of actually hearing from God ourselves. It has been said that a man with experience will never be at the mercy of a man with a doctrine, and within biblical guidelines that’s true.
There was a time, not that many years ago, that I told my wife if my son-in-law were to show up in my driveway, I’d probably just have to shoot him – and I was not exaggerating. My daughter’s marriage was not just on the rocks, those rocks were jagged and unrelenting. Shortly after that comment to my wife, she and I began to pray, seriously pray for my daughter, her children and my son-in-law. We did not consciously sit down and pray because it was the right thing to do, we simply forgave my son-in-law, because that was the right thing to do, and then we prayed for their marriage.
There are prayers that seem to be just prayers, maybe most of them, then there are prayers that immediately morph into an adventurous journey, and I don’t think we have the choice which ones become which ones, but God knows what is needed. And as we prayed, mostly separately and unknown to each other, we both began journeys we highly value today. At the conclusion of our independent adventures in prayer for these two, I knew my son-in-law would live; my wife knew my daughter’s marriage would be healed. This was not a quickie fix, and our prayers spanned many months.
Indeed, my son-in-law did not self-destruct, and their marriage was transformed from a hellish, agonizing thing into a marriage that shouts for all to hear, “God did this! This is what God can do!!” I find myself in a weird position today, for I am in total shock, in a good way, and totally envious in another. Every time I see these two once broken, wasted lives, I see the very life God promised to become in the lives of His children. Honestly, I know it’s a fact, but I don’t really understand it, but then, I don’t have to, for He works in His own ways. He doesn’t work miracles so we will understand them; He works them so we can see Him.
So to restart at the beginning, here’s what I heard God say to me Wednesday night, and He said it through both my son-in-law (a true prophet), and my daughter (warrior to the core)…they said the answer to all their problems came when they both realized:


Today, two days later, I finally began to digest those five little words. As I prayed and meditated on them, their significance became clear…Mack truck clear! They hit deep, until I heard the voice inside those words I should have heard Wednesday. God was telling me, and you, if you’re willing to hear it, that if we allow our spirits to live inside those five words, nothing else will ever cause us to succumb to circumstances, be in lack, be sick, be discouraged, be damaged, and on and on… Nothing. If we can say, and mean it from deep within, “All I want is God.”, God Himself will invoke these promises quoted from the last three verses of Psalm 91, in our lives:

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high. Because he has known My Name, he shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and (I will) honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and (I will) show him My salvation.”
I call those the eight “I wills” of God, and they become ours if we base our lives completely and irrevocably on those five little words: “ALL I WANT IS GOD.”
This is no secret and no mystery, and it’s only hidden from those who don’t want to find it. God is real, and He is really good. When we give Him all of us, He stands ready, willing and able to give us all of Himself.

From my house to yours, “ALL I WANT IS GOD.”


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