Proto-Catholicism!

In April, 1521, Martin Luther appeared before his ecclesiastical accusers at the diet of Worms. They had given him the ultimatum to repudiate his unwavering faith in the sufficiency and perspicuity of the scriptures. Luther is said to have responded, “Unless I am convicted by scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of popes and counsels, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the word of God…God help me! Here I stand.” Like Martin Luther, may we rise above the doubts within and confront the threats without when God’s word is assailed. God help us to be loyal contenders of the faith. Let us stand with God and the scriptures alone.

When Martin Luther decided to confront the errors in the traditional religion of Roman Catholicism, he knew he was in for the battle of his life; that it may indeed cost him his life! Yet, he did not waver; but rather went straight to work systematically refuting error with scripture. Martin knew that God was a God of love, and that He did not reserve His counsel for only those in high position. Martin knew that God the Father desired above all to have a loving relationship with man – His creation; and that relationship was possible for anyone who opened there heart and called upon his name. Not just popes and counsels! In short, Martin Luther did much to advance the common man’s relationship with God through the scriptures. I think it is important to note at this point for the sake of this writing, that although Martin did much to advance the unfathomable loving grace of God, he did not fully conceptualize the absolute finality of the finished work of Christ as many do today. This assumption of course, is by no means designed to diminish the awesome fortitude and tenacity of his tremendous work. It only stands to highlight the revelationary flow of God’s grace as He continues to lavish it upon us in ever increasing measure throughout the centuries! For instance, Martin did not understand just as many Christians do not understand today the issue of God’s forgiveness. Martin was under the impression just as so many Christians are today that the forgiveness of God is accomplished in increments; in other words, little by little. We sin, then we ask God to forgive us. We sin, then we ask God to forgive us – That we may be made righteous again; or rather placed back in right standing with God. Unfortunately, the scriptures do not substantiate this claim, but in fact, outright reject it! Ephesians 1:7 tells us that in Him we HAVE redemption through HIS blood, the forgiveness of sins. Notice that redemption and forgiveness are a packaged deal. I John 2:13 says your sins ARE forgiven you because of HIS name, NOT YOUR MANY CONFESSIONS. II Corinthians 5:21 says that if we are IN HIM, we HAVE BEEN MADE the righteousness of God.

Authors note:

My friends, I believe it is important to take into consideration two things when considering Martin Luther’s position and stance: 1. He was young, or rather early in the church age; which means that it’s understandable that he would miss things that should be obvious to us some 500 years after the bible was translated into English. 2. We should take note of how tenaciously he dealt with error when he knew that the truth of God’s word was being assailed. Whether purposefully or unknowingly! The fact is, that we according to scripture are eternally righteous and forgiven the moment we received the life of Christ into our hearts. So let us not be Protestant – Catholics postured up in I John 1:9, (Father forgive me for I have sinned), but rather let us be grateful that we are forgiven people!

Commentary by:

George L. Miller

Fellowship or dictatorship – You decide!

 

Over the course of the last five or six years, my wife and I have continually been subjected to making choices and decisions which have left us in a position of very little to no fellowship with other believers. At least not face to face; which is to say that most of our fellowship is done via the internet. My wife and I do not make a lot of money, and I had a stroke several months ago, which means that we cannot drive all over southern California in an attempt to find a church whose leadership can keep the message of Christ straight. And by this I mean, a church that teaches and preaches the finished work of Christ; i.e. the New Covenant. I’m sure someone reading this commentary at this point would say that I am just being too dogmatic; that I need to compromise, etc., etc. And my reply to that is simply, there is only one gospel message; and the glue that holds it all together is Christ Himself via the New Covenant! If the pastor i.e. leadership of a particular denomination or institution does not have at least a basic revelation or understanding of New Covenant principle, that institution, pastor, congregants will not receive someone that does. Because the message of the old does not blend with the new! In other words, the message of a New Covenant believer will be in direct conflict with those that are under sway of a mixture; and they will not put up with it! Which of course means that they will not allow you to preach and teach the message of grace as the apostles did, (or even Jesus for that matter!)

The following statements are just a very small example of the arguments these folks, these institutions will use in an attempt to dictate, and thus squelch the message; as well as eradicate you, the New Covenant believer from their presence!

If I say that we have been eternally set apart, cleansed, and forgiven, (Col. 1:14), they will say, ‘Yeah but… What about 1 John 1:9’ If I say the law is the ministry of death and condemnation, (II Cor. 3:7-9), they will say, ‘Yeah but…. We need the law as a moral compass for life.’ If I say that we have a new heart that we can trust, (Eze. 36:26), they will say, ‘Yeah but…. What about Jeremiah 17:9? Doesn’t that say that we have a deceitful and wicked heart that is beyond knowing?’ If I say that God remains faithful to the covenant that He swore by Himself; not only to fulfill but to uphold, (Heb. 6:13-20, II Tim. 2:13), they will say, ‘Yeah but…. You better do your part, or you will lose it.’ And if I say that we have peace with God, (Romans 5:1-2), they will say ‘Yeah but…. You better not get too comfortable.’ And the yeah but’s go on and on until there is nothing left but unfruitful contention!

‘But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonishing; knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. ~ Titus 3:9-11

Authors note:

My friends, true obedience to the gospel message is a relationship with reality! If you are unable to present the gospel of Christ in its pure form in your church, you are under a dictatorship!

Commentary by:

George L. Miller

P.S. To gain a better understanding of the position I have taken in this commentary, please look up the scriptures I have cited to substantiate my point!

The music of Christ in us!

About 15 years ago, I began to tinker with the guitar. My friends told me that the quickest, most proficient way to learn was to actually study music theory. They instructed me to start with the basics, so that in the end, I would understand the fundamentals and be able to find my way around the fret board. In short, I did not listen to them because I found the study of music to be quite challenging. The result of this error of course is, that I still don’t know how to actually play guitar! Sure, I can fake it and play some songs; and to the untrained ear, my capabilities may look good and sound fine. However, to the trained musician, this will most certainly not be the case; because what he or she will see are the wanderings of the lost. In other words, what they will see is a person that doesn’t know what key he is in, or where the root notes in any given scale begin or end. Quite simply put, the trained musician will know that what they are observing is someone that does not understand the basic principles of music. Which brings us to point!

I have been a christian now for nearly 13 years, yet it has only been in the past three or four years that I have actually experienced the music of Christ in harmony in me! Prior to that, I did not understand because I was not taught that the basic principles of Christianity are all wrapped up in Christ Himself via the New Covenant. In essence, prior to this understanding, my attempts to live the Christian life weren’t much better than the way I had pursued playing the guitar! Of course this analogy falls short when one considers the fact that Christ enters us at salvation, and never leaves us nor forsakes us; nevertheless, the riches of having a New Covenant understanding surrounding God the Father, the word of God, and Christ Himself are without parallel in terms of our relationship with God!

The following statements are taken from a short study series by Bob George called: ‘A Closer look at the New Covenant”:

The New Covenant

 Forgiveness, reconciliation, sanctification, righteousness, justification, identity, life – These New Testament words make up the very essence of the gospel. For most people, however, these are just nebulous doctrines dangling out in space somewhere, as if they don’t belong or connect to each other.

Historically, some groups have been so focused on these “individual doctrines” that great division has resulted. New denominations and sects have been formed based on single doctrines. In the process, the true meaning of the doctrine has been totally obscured. As a result, the average Christian knows something about each piece that makes up the gospel message, but is unsure and confused about how they fit together.

God has given us a framework that holds the various elements of the gospel in place: this framework is called the New Covenant. It encompasses everything that Christ has accomplished for us through His death, burial and resurrection. That is why it is of utmost importance for every believer to understand the New Covenant. With a proper understanding of the New Covenant, all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

Authors note:

I was unable to experience the harmonious music of Christ in me because I was under the bondage of the Old Covenant; and the fact of the matter is, that it is impossible to experience life in the new while remaining under the old! For the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.

And we have such trust in 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. ~ II Cor. 3:4-6

Commentary by:

George L. Miller

God is not mad!

Good morning everybody! This is what my loving Father has asked me to put forth today: He wants everyone around the world to know that He is not mad at you! That in fact, He loves you beyond measure. That if you think He is mad at you, it is only because you do not know Him. The desire of the Father’s heart towards His creation can be summed up in the following words:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promises, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. ~ II Peter 3:9

For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. ~ Romans 10:13

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. ~ John 17:3

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. ~ I John 4:9, 10

My friends, God is not mad, and He wants you to know it to know Him. Please meditate on these things; and if you have any questions about getting to know Him, please ask! You will not be judged, you will only be loved.

Sincerely,
George L. Miller

Stuck in the seat of Moses!

One of the most profound errors in modern Christianity is its failure to recognize that the New Testament did not come into effect until the cross; which means quite simply, that the gospels are in fact Old Testament; and Jesus was teaching under law.

The following passages are taken from the New Testament letters and should substantiate the two points I am trying to make. #1 – The fact that Jesus was born under law and therefore taught under law. #2 – A will does not come into effect until the one who made it dies.

Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. ~ Gal. 4:1-5

And for this reason He is the mediator of the New Covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. ~ Heb. 9: 15-17

My friends, if we are unable to discern what is old and what is new, how in the world can we even begin to discern things like proper interpretation, let alone fruitful application? Let’s make no mistake here, if we don’t understand the timeline between the Old and New Testament, our understanding of the entire bible will be jaded. You will have one piece over here, and another over there; and none of them will fit together as a cohesive unit. The worse part of this confusion is that by nature this teaching can do nothing but put the saints directly under law.

The following verses are an example of how easily this law based nonsense can get stuck in the heart of the believer:

Enter Matthew 23:1-3 – Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.”

Now upon close examination of these verses, it is very clear that Jesus admonished the multitudes, as well as His disciples, not only to observe the law of Moses, but to perform it as well. Now let’s take a look at modern christianity! Making statements such as the Ten Commandments are the christians moral standard for life; and wa – la! Everyone is quite effectively placed under law.

Authors note:
There are very few pastor teachers that teach the gospels are Old Testament. Therefore, as a result, they themselves remain in the seat of Moses. My advice my friends is that should you discern your pastor, your teacher, or even your best friend attempting to bring you under law; that you do exactly the opposite of what Jesus told His disciples and the multitudes and do neither what they say nor what they do. Lest you find yourself stuck in the seat of Moses with them! God bless!

Commentary by:
George L. Miller

Subsequent reading:
Hebrews chapters 7-10
Romans chapters 5-8
II Cor. chapter 3 verses 4-18

P.S. Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. ~ Gal. 5:1

Law and Grace – Conflict or Peace!

As I sat this morning to contemplate a world on fire, the words of the apostle James came rushing in like a flood, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” The book of Hebrews tells us the law made nothing perfect; that there is a bringing in of a better hope through which we draw near to God. ~ Hebrews 7:19; meaning quite simply that the law would not allow man to draw near to God; but that the New Covenant agreement between God and man would. That is of course should one actually choose to enter in. Jesus put it this way in Matthew 11: 28-29: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Notice the word rest is used two times in this short set. The Master knowing full well that the law would always produce a state of unrest which in the end will always bring about conflict, confusion and spiritual blindness, i.e. death! The following is an example of what the apostle James would say to the law driven religious evangelicals of our day:

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend to the world makes Himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the scripture says in vain, the spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. ~ James 4:1-8

Authors note:
My friends the law demands that we fight for our rights! The gospel on the other hand declares that we are to look out for the rights of others and esteem others better than ourselves. That we are in fact ministers of reconciliation! I know this will not sit well with the constitutionally driven right, but then the flesh is always at odds with the spirit; just as surely as friendship with the world is enmity with God.

Father please give us discernment that we may know what is of you and what is not! That we do not fall prey to any more shock and awe campaigns posed by Christian lawyers who do not know You from Adam. Father let us radiate the love You have so freely given us towards those in need of that love! We thank You Father that You hear us and that You love us. In your precious name Jesus…Amen!

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. ~ Col.2:6-8

But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. ~ Gal. 5: 22-23

Commentary by:
George L. Miller

The author of doubt!

The serpent told Eve that she would not die if she ate of the forbidden fruit! Eve did not even consider what God said; thus took the fatal bite! The enemy effectively producing two of the worse hindrances known to man in regards to our relationship with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. These two things are of course: doubt and spiritual death!

As I am writing this, it is Sunday morning and my wife and I are sitting at home! The reason we are sitting at home is because we refuse to go to a church building and be tempted by the devil via the same tactics he used thousands of years ago to create doubt in Eve. Only now it looks like this: God did not say it is finished; you can walk away from your salvation. God did not say you have been perfected forever; you gotta work for that. God did not say you’ve been made holy, blameless and without accusation in His sight; you better walk worthy of your calling to achieve that. God did not say you are the righteousness of Him in Christ; you better keep a short list in order to maintain that position. And the list goes on! I believe Andrew Farley caught the gist of what I am saying in one phrase, stating, “The devil has a theology for us Christians; and he is using it quite effectively in our churches today!”

Author’s note:

I do not understand how a pastor or teacher can say they are believing when they do not believe what God said! To rephrase this I will say it like this: How can anyone really say they are believing when they don’t believe what God said? I know this is harsh, but it is what it is! Either it is finished, and Christ is the author; or it is not finished, in which case the devil remains the author!

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1

“You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.” Galatians 5:7-8

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8

Commentary by:

George L. Miller