Struggling with the Do-Do’s!

It has been well over two years since my wife and I regularly attended a physical church. We left the church because we were asked to leave following some pretty harsh debates surrounding the New Covenant. We wrangled over the traditional use of 1 John 1:9 and the churches position in teaching the necessity of asking God for ongoing forgiveness. We argued over mixing the Old and the New Covenant saying that we should not be teaching people to work to please God through keeping the 10 commandments. That God’s desire is in fact that we would literally die to the law so that we could truly draw near to Him unhindered by the accusation of sin. And finally, the argument of all arguments; we refused to agree that we could disagree regarding whether or not God’s promise of salvation was final, and yet still remain in fellowship one with another. However, in the end, like I said, we were asked to leave. Followed of course by some good old fashioned character assassination and the accusation of heresy. Believe me, we were more than willing to comply! Hence my struggle with the do-do’s.
Though it’s been over two years since my departure from the physical church, I still find myself mis-applying God’s word in my own life. Allowing myself to be drug back under law, chained to destructive and condemning thought patterns that suggest I am not doing my part by actually forsaking the assembling of myself together with the saints. This is when I have to stop and do some serious preaching to myself. The following is an example of that preaching:
True fellowship is only possible when the life, death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is alive through the spirit in those you are attempting to have fellowship with. The apostle Paul makes this very clear in 1 Cor. 1:4-10 which states: I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you are enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement. 
There are several key points here surrounding the issue of true fellowship. #1 – It is established by the grace of God and is given to us through Christ Himself. #2 – It is enriched by Him through the power of the Holy Spirit in all utterance and knowledge, confirming the testimony of Christ in us. And finally, it is God’s faithful expression of Himself in us by whom we were called into the fellowship of His Son. It is from this position that Paul pleads with the Corinthian brethren in the name of the Lord Jesus, instructing them to speak the same thing; admonishing them that it’s completely possible to be perfectly joined together having the same mind, so long as their fellowship remains spiritually rooted and grounded in the testimony of Christ. Notice he said perfectly joined together! Which of course means, contrary to popular belief that this is entirely possible. The apostle John explains it this way in 1 John 1:3: Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. The point I am trying to make is this: My wife and I were rarely in true fellowship when we were in the physical church. Rather what we were experiencing were foolish disputes and strivings about the law. Which were unprofitable and useless! And what we did in the end was merely to reject this divisive teaching, realizing that the whole congregation was actually warped and sinning by willingly choosing to remain under law; therefore being self-condemned. Paraphrase Titus 3:9-11
Author’s note:
I know this sounds harsh because it even sounds harsh to me, and I’m the one living it. However, we are called to support the gospel which is translated the Good News. I thank my God, who is my power, that even though compelled at times to relent for the sake of pleasing man, in order to avoid persecution; He will not allow me to preach another. 
And we have such trust, through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the New Covenant, not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.
Commentary by:
George L. Miller

Figurative nonsense and the unjustifiable!

It seems the only time the sermon on the mount is preached literally is when it points to yours or my sin. Yet ironically, it is always used in a figurative sense when it comes to the churches responsibility in the civic social arena; namely when it comes to the subject of war or outright crimes against humanity; where there always seems to be some form of figurative justification. I realize that it is impossible to impose true judicial law or to administrate the actions of a civil government based on the sermon on the mount; yet surely, a little transparency and honesty on the part of the American clergy wouldn’t hurt. Surely we should not be in support of every military conquest that comes down the pike. Shouting the same old slogan time and time again, ‘Support our troops!’; when we are not even sure what we are supporting in the first place. 
Look, by now it should be common knowledge to those who are even remotely awake that our public media sources and outlets are in fact government run. Of course this has been the case for many years, however, the level and sophistication of government propaganda we are being exposed to now is at an all time high. As the devil himself seeks to harness the power and unity of the christian communities faith and make it his own. At present, there is the huge debate over Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Yesterday it was Saddma Hussein and his alleged weapons of mass destruction; today it is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Yet through it all there seems to be little or no discourse surrounding our basic needs and interests as human beings. No doubt Saddam Hussein had to go, but the situation was terribly orchestrated so a lot of innocent people died with him. 
Let me pose a question: If I am allowed a pistol, a rifle, and a shotgun to protect my home and my family, yet my neighbor is not; even though his character has been subject to criticism in times past; does he still not have a legitimate complaint in asking for the same protection afforded me? In this case, the right to bear arms. Of course the natural argument here would be, ‘We are not talking about a rifle or a shotgun; we are talking about a nuclear weapon!’ My answer to this would be the nuclear weapon is today’s basic armament. 
This is a very basic human argument! No critical thinking necessary! Yet in all our self-proclaimed wisdom as a people and a nation, simple principles such as this seem to fly right over our head. Leaving us to justify the unjustifiable. 
Author’s note:
When one man tells another that he cannot do something or possess a thing which he himself both possesses and is doing, can the one making this demand honestly expect his desire to be met? Is it not unreasonable?
‘Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Then God said to Noah, the end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them.’ ~ Gen. 6:5-6, 13
My friends, if you do not know the Lord, just call on His name, and Jesus will come into your heart and love you! His love is the answer!
‘For when we were still without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly. Demonstrating His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. And whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. We implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we become the righteousness of God in Him.
Commentary by:
George L. Miller

God’s desire!

When we stop trying to love others in order to please God, God’s desire is fulfilled. God does not care whether or not we please Him; He wants us to truly love. Despite what many think, God is not self-centered. He is utterly and completely others centered. If we do not believe this, we need to take another good long look at the cross.
‘Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship in the spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interest, but also for the interest of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of man. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. ~ Phill. 2:1-8
When we work to please God through our obedience to certain commands, our focus is in the wrong place; because whether we realize it or not, this approach will always produce an operation of the flesh. It accomplishes this in several ways, but the root of the problem surrounding this approach is that it is based on self. Because the love we are attempting to give another or the goodness we are trying to accomplish is based on us receiving something in return; which unfortunately in this case is the love and acceptance of God. Something we should already know we have.
On the other hand, when our focus is on Jesus, and the fact that He has made us as loved and as well pleasing to God as we are ever going to get, there remains nothing to work for! Leaving only the pure motive of God’s love to perform it’s miraculous and eternal task.
‘Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifest towards us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts our fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.’ ~ 1 John 4:7-11, 18-19
Authors note:
While I was thinking about what the Lord just gave me to write, His desire, this is the scripture that came to heart: ‘Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.’ ~ Phill. 3:13-14 What an awesome ride brothers and sisters with so much to see and learn..amen!
Commentary by:
George L. Miller

Sowing to the flesh!

When a person sows to the flesh by attempting to please God in apparent service to the kingdom of God through observance to the law, behavior modification or external conformity, that person/ministry may reap the temporal harvest of a clean looking life; but the kingdom of God is much more than that!
My friends, the life, death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ was designed to join man with God in spirit. That we may work in supernatural unity with the Creator of the universe to reap a harvest unto everlasting life. This life begins and is found and continues in the spirit; or it is no life at all.
The apostle Paul warned the Galatians in this way stating:
‘This only I want to learn from you, did you receive the spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the spirit are you now being made perfect by the flesh.’ ~ Gal. 3:2-3
Paul then goes on to say:
‘Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh, will of the flesh reap corruption. But he who sows to the spirit, will of the spirit reap everlasting life. ~ Gal. 6:7-8
And finally he states:
‘As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.’
Authors note:
There is a sad chapter recorded throughout the pages of humanity. This story began in the garden and will continue into the new millennium  It is the tale of man in his righteousness attempting to suppress and supersede the overall goodness of an all-knowing and ever merciful, righteous loving God. 
P.S. This is all God has ever desired for man; that we choose to let Him give us life, and that life is just to know Him. And this is eternal life, that we may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Commentary by:
George L. Miller

Home improvement – The inner man!

When the thrill of the next home improvement project fades into the Autumn of the bodies failing ability to perform the task, and ones children, family and friends are either too busy, too far away or too old themselves to visit; one will need more than ever the powerful and encouraging and strength of the Lord. God help the man that did not take the necessary time to know the Lord a midst the things He created with his own hands out of wood steel and stone.

Remember now your Creator, in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.’ Before the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Contemplation by:
George L. Miller

Stuck on milk!

When a person is under law, there remains a veil over the heart. This veil represents a blindness surrounding the seat of one’s intellect concerning the eternal mysteries of God in Christ and Christ in us. It is a blindness chained to external conformity which is unable to grasp and internalize the supernatural power within God’s perfect plan of redemption. Which unfortunately leaves one to the tit, perpetually unable to digest solid food. The author of Hebrews puts it like this in his epistle to the Jews:
‘For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have there senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith towards God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgement.’
What the author of Hebrews was trying to accomplish was to get them past an external relationship with God; and move them into the reality of Christ in them. He desired a unity and fellowship of faith which only this reality could produce. Knowing that only Christ alone could confirm in their hearts the mysterious final and sufficient work within God’s precious promise of salvation. He longed for them to leave the elementary principles of external conformity to find God Himself through the New Covenant and enter His rest. 
Author’s note:
The only person that can bring about the level of maturity the author of Hebrews sought for them was Christ Himself, the Author and Finisher of all faith. And the only way we can tap into Christ is to unequivocally believe that He actually lives inside us; that we may learn to hear from Him directly, and establish a spiritual dialogue with our King for life. Where even our best theology or works pale in the reality of honestly knowing Him.
‘I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body which is the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ ~ Col. 1:24-27
Commentary by:
George L. Miller

The New Jerusalem – Israel, Palestine?

If Israel would have received Christ as Messiah, the middle-east would be in an entirely different state. The conflict between Israel and Palestine would no doubt still exist, but the dialogue between the two would look completely different. As it is now, both parties are responding to one another as of the world.
Throughout history, God spoke to Israel in this way, “I am your God and you are My people, and I will fight your battles for you. I am your protection and your provision; and I do not want you to go to other nations for support. Lest you inherit their pagan practices and forget my Name.” Time after time God warned them not to do this; and time after time they refused to listen. They are not listening now!
God in fact will do a miraculous work in Jerusalem, as it will be the center and hub of God’s New Jerusalem. The center of the kingdom of God for all who believe and are lead and kept by the authority of God in Christ. The King of kings, and Lord of lords. The Alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end!
When we step into a relationship with God through Christ, Jesus then becomes for us wisdom from God. In other words, when we are born again, we are filled with God’s spirit; and His spirit guides and leads us into all truth. We have been given the mind of Christ! On the other hand, God’s word is very clear stating, “if anyone does not have the spirit of Christ, he is not His.” Which is to say that he or she is lost and cannot discern truth. 
My point is simple; it is common knowledge that for the most part, the nation of Israel has refused Jesus as Messiah; choosing rather to serve and worship the Torah, i.e. the books of the law, instead of Christ. Which in turn means that they are currently blind and unable to discern spiritual truths that would enable them to maintain a dialogue more closely resembling peaceful resolution than ultimate military conflict. I am not saying by any stretch of the imagination that this is one-sided blindness, because it is most certainly not, as it takes two to tango! However, what I am saying is this; that all parties concerned are running head long into a murderous self-fulfilling prophecy that will ultimately destroy most of the world.
Of course God warns us to this event, but His warning is designed to lead humanity to Himself through Christ. And these apocolyptic signs given within precise timelines are God’s verification of Himself to man saying, “I am the Great I AM! Come to Me, believe Me, receive Me and you will be saved!”
Authors note:
Whether you are Jew or Gentile, Greek, Palestinian or Arab; there is only one way, one door, one entrance into this New Jerusalem. And that door. that entrance, that way is the Lord Jesus Christ! Let us pray that Christ’s second visitation on the nation of Israel produces a crop 100 fold! That we may harmoniously be joined for eternity in the splendors of God’s New Jerusalem! That every tribe, tongue, and nation may sing the song of victory in praise to His Name!
Commentary by:
George L. Miller