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No Greater Love – Part 1

My Own Story

As many of you already know by reading my blog posts, I have recently gone through some tragic events in my own personal life. In January of this year (2021) I lost my wife of forty-eight years to cancer. In case this wasn’t enough, three weeks later I also lost my mother as well. I went into an emotional “coma” for several months and thought that I would never come out of it.

But God . . .

Even though these losses were incredibly difficult and even debilitating at times, God clearly spoke to me in the darkness. He said (in a nutshell): “Milt, what are you doing here? I have some things for you to do!” Well, that was just not something that I wanted to hear at all! But God was relentlessly committed to pulling me out of my “funk”. So He told me that it was time to come home. My wife (Mary) and I were buying a home in Delta, Colorado. We had come to Southern California to help my mother who was ninety-four and just needed some help. So… long story short; we moved back to Southern California to help mom. So long story short, after my wife and mother both went to be with the Lord I moved back to Colorado where we had planted a organic house church. There was a new sister that had been added to that group that I had never met. She was having some challenges in her own family. She had listened to one of my audio messages on the website called: “The One Thing” you can listen to this message here: https://www.therebuilders.org/audios.html So once I got back to Colorado she contacted me and asked if we could meet to discuss those challenges. To be honest, I didn’t really want to help her! I was too busy “mourning” and feeling sorry for myself.

But God . . .

He made it very clear to me that I was to help this woman. So… we met together a few times along with a few of her daughters. I have to admit that I really didn’t want to help her.

But there was something about her…

Well, after meeting for a few times I found out that she had also lost her spouse three years before. She had also lost a few of her daughters. Wow! Here was someone who had lost more than me!

I asked: “God, what are you up to?”

Anyway: long story short again.

Our friendship developed over the following months and I found myself falling in love with this woman. She was kind, loving, tender hearted, intelligent, perceptive, and very insightful about life and spiritual matters. The more I got to know her, the more I wanted to know her. It was becoming very obvious to both of us that God was bringing us together. Our friendship soon turned into a romantic relationship. All the while keeping Christ totally at the center.

On September 25th, 2021 we were married in Cedaredge, Colorado. We have been incredibly happy ever since!

No Greater Love

There are many things that I have learned from all of this.

First, what God has brought together, let no one pull apart. Our love is incredibly strong because it is totally a “God thing”! I could tell you many stories about how God confirmed to other brothers and sisters that we were supposed to be together… even before we knew it!

Secondly, even though there were many obstacles both internally and externally, God kept pulling us through it all.

Thirdly, God kept showing us both things about ourselves and about each other. We needed to move past all the stuff and go to Him in it all. His love conquers all is not just a nice, cute phrase. It is absolute Truth!

Fourthly, our (His) love seems to grow in us everyday. It’s truly amazing! I honestly never thought I could love another person this much.

Fifthly, this love is cultivated in an atmosphere of self-sacrifice. The more we lay down our lives for one other the more the love grows and the stronger it gets.

Sixthly, (is that a word?) because of this wonderful love we find ourselves wanting to share this love (agape) with others. Believers and unbelievers. We have a growing desire to help those in need. We are talking more and more about what we can do to help others.

Is this the love of God?

I have no doubt that it is.

So, what I am finding, in conclusion, is that this new life we are experiencing is indeed Resurrection Life! That is, life that has gone into death and conquered it!

It is indeed the Life of Jesus Christ, who IS our Life! The One who was willing to lay down His life for the whole world to provide a whole new kind of life. An indestructable kind of life.

Resurrection Life!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog post soon!

* Also – my wife’s name is Shari. Please pray for us both.

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Running the Race (Resurrection)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

2 Timothy 4:7

In my last blog post I shared about some personal loss. Many of you responded very graciously by sending me emails giving your condolences and words of encouragement. Thank you all so much for that! And, of course, your prayers!

During the last eight months (especially the first six months) I honestly felt that I wanted to die. Though I was not suicidal, I didn’t have the motivation or the desire to do anything or move on with my life. Others have told me that this is quite common when someone is mourning the loss of close loved ones. I also had no desire for the Lord’s work at all. In fact, I really didn’t do much of that at all.

In a way, it was like a death inside of me.

But God…

is the God of resurrection! In fact, God the Son came to tell us that He IS the Resurrection and the Life.

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes into Me, though he may die, he shall live.”

John 11:25

This wonderful, glorious Christ lives inside of you and me, dear
Saints! And He IS Resurrection! You have the embodiment of resurrection life actually living inside of you right now! And this means much more than just believing or an intellectual understanding. It’s an actual apprehension. That is, a laying hold of a factual truth and then making it your’s and living it out in daily practice.

Apprehension – the Secret

Somehow, by God’s grace and mercy, in the midst of my despair and grieving I was able to reach out and grab a hold of this wonderful reality:

Resurrection Life lives inside of me!

WOW! What a Christ! What a Lord!

Not only does He live inside of us but we can take hold of that Life and actually live by it everyday. This is incredible! This is much more than wonderful! And because of this Life within us we can overcome any and all tribulation, trials, and negative circumstances. Not only can we overcome them, we can actually (by God’s grace) use them to grow and mature to whole new heights in Him. Just like I did with my own tragedies. Here again, by God’s grace and strength I was able to turn to Him and actually behold and fellowship with Him in it!

And here’s the most incredible thing about all of this:

He comes to me in brand new ways and loves me and fellowships with me in the depths of my spirit!

Oneness

Hey saints… aren’t you so glad that we are all one with this glorious Christ?

And He is one with us?

And that makes us all one with one another!

And it’s the oneness of the Church, the Body, the Bride, the Kingdom that will win the world!

God’s Eternal Purpose

You folks that read my blogs, articles, books, and audios probably know that I write and speak a lot about God’s eternal purpose.

There’s a good reason for this.

His purpose is the nearest and dearest thing on His heart!

In the scriptures there are many “identifiers” for this purpose.

Just to name a few:

  • The Body of Christ

“The Church is called to be the visible expression of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul tells us that the body has many members but there is only one body, so it is with the Christ.”

I Cor. 12:12

  • The Bridegroom and the Bride

The Church is also called together in a marriage. THE Marriage! Christ is our Groom and we, the Church, are His Bride!

Eph. 5:23-32

  • Family/Household

God our Father. The Lord Jesus our Big Brother. We are all brothers and sisters in God’s family.

Eph. 2:18-20

  • A Holy Temple

“As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

1 Peter 2:4,5

  • The Kingdom of God

Obviously, a kingdom expresses the will, purposes, goals, and desires of the king. It is not only a place, but mostly a people. These people submit to the King and to one another… in love.

Of course, these are all metaphors for God’s eternal purpose. Which is to have for Himself a spiritual people to show forth His glory in this realm. There are many more such pictures of God’s purpose in the scriptures.

Bottom Line

So… in conclusion, how can I finish writing about something that is eternal? “Never” gonna happen!

But I can certainly make an attempt.

This eternal purpose that Paul writes about is the reason you were born. No… it wasn’t a mistake. God doesn’t do those! It’s the reason you are reading this blog post right now. Now, of course, God created us to have something called “free will”. That’s because our Creator is all about something called FREEDOM! Not just freedom to do what you want. But rather true freedom to do what HE wants!

Remember the prayer…

“Your kingdom come

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.”

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My Life for You

Personal Note: This post will be the story of my own personal struggles in the last 6-7 months with: personal loss (my wife and mother), of losing my sense of direction and purpose for a while. And struggling with loneliness and emotional pain.

It’s easy to say your life totally belongs to the Lord. People go forward at evangelistic crusades all the time and “give” their lives to God. Many times it’s because there is some crisis happening in their lives at the time and and they really need God to “bail” them out of jail, so to speak. Other times its a matter of really good preaching convincing many people to come forward. But honestly speaking, most people have a crisis or need in their lives when they come forward during an altar call.

But what about a crisis or crises in the life of a believer? Well, of course, I can only speak from my own experience and perspective.

About six months ago now my wife of forty-eight years passed away after a long bout with cancer. About three weeks after that my mother died. Of course, it’s impossible for me to put into words the kind of trauma, depression, some anger, and grieving that I went through. In fact, I am still going through that to some degree, though it is getting better (thank God!).

Sometimes within the course of one day I will break down and weep for no apparent reason. But then, usually, but not always, it will come to my mind why I am weeping. Most often it relates to losing someone in my life or missing someone I feel should be in my life. Also, there are what I call “triggers” which are situations, people, music, movies, or past experiences that bring back to my mind someone whom I have lost. I try to avoid those triggers if I can!

The Why of Transformation

We all know that God is in the “business” of transforming His people. Here are just a few example from the scriptures:

“Do not be comformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Romans 12:2

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come.”

2 Corinthians 5:17

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 1:6

And many more …

But it comes down to one question:

Why? Why does He transform us?

Why does God take us through suffering?

There can be only one answer to that very universal question:

It is for the completion of His eternal purpose!

Which leads to the most penetrating question ever:

What is His eternal purpose?

Well, that would definitely take more than a blog post to answer. But in the first place I would recommend you read the letter to the Ephesians. There are also links at the end of this blog post that will give you resources that will help you.

But (in a nutshell) the eternal purpose is all about God getting what He wanted since before creation: a Kingdom, a Body, a Bride, a City, a Community, a Family, and a House… all inside of a New Creation!

Not…

An institution, a club, an organization, a building (made of dead stones), a hierarchy, a business, a once per week ritual, etc, etc, etc.

In fact, it will take you the rest of your life (and beyond!) to discover all of the glories of this marvelous purpose!

In Conclusion

So you see, this is why God has been taking me through the “meat grinder”, so to speak. He wants to use me (and all of you as well!) to help bring about that glorious kingdom. It will take a crucified people who are dead to themselves but alive to God.

Please feel free to contact me at: milt@therebuilders.org

There are also many resources you can find about this subject and many others on our website here: http://www.therebuilders.org

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Life From the Head

Let no one defraud you by judging you unworthy or your prize, in self-chosen lowliness and the worship of the angels, dwelling on the things which he has seen, vainly puffed up by his mind set on the flesh,

And not holding the Head, out from whom all the Body being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God.” Col. 2:18,19

There is now a new species living on the earth. This species is neither human nor divine … but instead it is both! Part God and part Man. And yet these two “parts” are no longer two separate parts. They have been fused together to become one. This “fusion” was implemented and initiated by the One who was, and is, and who is to come. He is the Three who are One.

This New Species is referred to in scripture using many metaphors or descriptors. The One New Man, the New Creation, the New Race, the Body of Christ, the Kingdom of God, the New Jerusalem, the City of God, the House of God, the Bride of Christ, and many more.

All of these descriptors point to the same thing: Christ and the Church. But what does this word “church” really mean? Well, I can tell you one thing. It is right here that we mess up big time! Literally, the word church is “ekklesia” in the original language which means “the called out ones”. But called out from what? It’s clear from the Greek that its a calling out from the world system to God and His people.

Please note: We were never called to come out of the world system and then create a new system called “the church”! Actually, the church system is a part of the world system. It is based upon the same principles as we see in the business world. Most “churches” today have a CEO called the Pastor to whom the people invest in with their “offerings”. You go to a building (corporate office), sit in a pew and pay (oops, support) the CEO. Then the CEO announces that the “church” is growing like crazy (because of his awesome teaching!) and now a newer and bigger building is needed. Before you can blink, the offering basket is being passed around. Wow! Just like what Jesus did when He passed around the baskets to the multitudes. Oops! Except that Jesus passed around the baskets full of bread to feed the people instead of empty baskets to collect His own “bread’!

Called Out of the Church System

I have the blessed privilege of sharing Christ with many awesome believers who have “stepped out”. What have they stepped out from? Well, actually two things; the world system AND the church system. Of course, technically speaking, if you completely step out of the world systemyou will also be stepping out of the church system. I am referring to the institutional church system. That’s because the institutional church system is part of the world system. Our enemy (the deceiver) has succeeded (in many cases) in deceiving many to believe that going to a building on Sunday morning, sitting in a pew, and listening to a sermon is actually “church”! Dear brothers and sisters, why would you allow yourselves to become pew warming spectators instead of actively participating in the life of the Body of Christ?

You definitely DO have a choice!

The Life of the Body

The only way that believers can truly function as the living Body of Christ is by receiving and living by the life of the Head… Jesus Christ!

This is both an individual lifestyle as well as a corporate one. Unfortunately, many believers today do not know how to practically live by the life of the Head; Jesus Christ. Most will read some kind of devotional each morning (with a scripture) and then go to “church” on Sunday morning. However, this is a sadly pathetic excuse for living by the life of the Head!

Since the New Testament uses the example of our human body as a picture of Christ and the Church, let’s ask some very probing questions.

  • Does your physical body only receive “life signals” from the Head briefly each morning?
  • Does your body receive larger doses from the Head once a week on Sunday morning?
  • How do you think and function the rest of the week? By picking out a verse of scripture and studying it?
  • Do you use the scripture as a “conduit” to contact God?
  • Do you understand anything about the phrase “fixing your eyes upon Jesus?”

Dear brothers and sisters, there is a much deeper and effective way to know the Lord. It all has to do with the little word “in”. A word definitely used a ton in the New Testament. So much so that most believers totally miss it!

Dear saints, the most wonderful Person ever lives inside of you! He is there waiting to have intimate fellowship with you.

Stay tuned for Part Two of Life from the Head coming soon!

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Run Wild

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

This scripture has always fascinated me, especially: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Shouldn’t it read: “It was for Christ that we were set free?” But no, “it is for freedom that we are set free.”

I would like to propose to you that the word “freedom” here is synonymous with the word “Christ”. Why do I say this? Because of this verse:

Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” Col.3:11

So, if Christ is our all wouldn’t it mean that He IS freedom? So if Christ is our true freedom then outward circumstances have nothing to do with our freedom. We could be held in the tightest prison cell in the world and yet be totally free!

Why? Because our freedom is not a thing, a place, or a circumstance. Our freedom is a Person! Christ Himself! And that Person can never be bound by anyone or anything!

Okay, with this as our foundation, let’s take a look at what Freedom is NOT.

Freedom is not Religion or Legalism.

Religion

Religion is the attempt of our enemy, Satan, to fabricate what God has done and is doing. It is definitely a cheap imitation of God’s eternal purpose. It’s the enemies attempt at trying to put Christ and the Church in a box.

Recently I moved back to my home in Western Colorado. A few weeks ago the moving company brought all the stuff. Oh my! What a ton of boxes! I am still trying to unpack them all. But all of those things inside of the boxes were never meant to be prisoners of those containers. They were made to be free. That is, outside of all of the boxes!

And likewise, we believers many times allow ourselves to be confined to “boxes”. What about when we (like zombies) pile into that big box on Sunday morning? Then we go through a ritual of songs, prayers, and preaching. Or, perhaps, in some cases some religious calisthenics and prayers by rote. But that is all just outward conditions displaying inward spiritual bankruptcy.

Why do we go to that “box” every week and listen to that person on the podium? Do not ALL the saints have a voice? Do not ALL of the believers have Christ living inside of them? Do they not ALL have gifts and anointings? Where is the Body of Christ in all of this? Just image if your own human body only had a few parts that functioned! That would be called paralysis!

Legalism

It is for freedom that we are set free!

Dear brothers and sisters, our only law is love and the life of Christ inside of each one of us. Our only occupation is to know Him in us and our brothers and sisters. But wow… what an occupation! And what is the result, the fruit, the outflowing of this occupation? The Church! Yes, the church of Jesus Christ, Christ in Us, the hope of Glory. Yes! The Body and Bride of Jesus Christ.

Dear ones, the law only kills. Please don’t use the Bible to try to “lord” it over your brothers and sisters. It’s not a rule book! It’s the written revelation and expression of Jesus Christ, who is the Living Word!

There are a lot of Christian Pharisees out there!

But I have some excellent news …

Your Lord is just waiting for you to break so that He can set you totally free!

You have been like a caged lion all these years.

But lions were made to roam free!

Check out the For King and Country video:

“Run Wild”

Also these books about your true identity and your freedom in Christ:

The Butterfly in You

Return to the Wild

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Burn the Ships

What I would like to share in this blog post is something so foundational, so fundamental, and so basically essential to the Christian life that we have totally missed it!  It is one of the main reasons why Christians fall away from the Lord.  It is also one of the main reasons why believers stop living the life of the ecclesia.  That is, the genuine Christ life of His body.

Some evangelists are spreading the very misleading “gospel” that all you need to do is come on forward and “repeat after me” the so-called sinners prayer.  But let me ask you this: Did Jesus Christ or the apostles ever do this?  Dear brothers and sisters, I propose to you this one (very clear) proposition.  Could it be that the reason we have so many weak Christians today is because of our incredibly weak, insipid, and shallow gospel?  Are we presenting the gospel the same way that Jesus did?  Well, let’s take a quick look at some of these passages.

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”    Matthew 10:38-39

Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Still another said, “I just got married, so I can’t come.” The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, “Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.”   Luke 14:16-21

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”   Colossians 3:1-4

It seems to me that the good news that Jesus and the apostles preached was a gospel of tremendous cost to the disciple (or follower).  In fact, the call to follow Christ is one of losing your own life and taking up His life.  And what is this life?  It is the life of the cross.  And you know what happens to someone on a cross!

The Good News

Now, I am not here to preach to you a gospel of fear, death, and destruction.  But rather, just the opposite.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of life!  But not your life.  Not my life.  God has no desire to improve your life.  He wants to give you a new life.  His Life!  You see, it’s really not about you anymore at all.  He gives you His life so that now, instead of living by your old life (from Adam) you can live by the eternal of the NEW Adam!  And that is life eternal, indestructible, the very life of God Himself!

The New Creation

This is called the “new creation” in the New Testament.  Paul goes to great lengths to share with us this new creation.  He writes about the old man (Adam) and the New Man (Christ).

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  2 Corinthians 5:17

I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And this life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20

Alright, if all of this is true (and it definitely is!) then why do so many believers continue to live the old life with the carnal nature?  And when I say carnal

nature I am not only referring to grossly repulsive thoughts and behavior.  The “old man” also includes the legalistic pharisaic nature of man!  You see, it’s all carnal if it proceeds out of the fallen human life.

Dear saints, the only life that produce true spiritual fruit is the life of God Himself!  But the good news is that if you are a born again believer, then you have that life within you!

But now the critical question is:  “how do you learn to draw from the Life (God’s Life) within you instead of your own fallen life?”

Well, the answer to that question would take a lot more than a few blog posts!  But not to worry, I’m not going to leave you hanging.  There is a book that I wrote a few years ago called “The Temple Within”.  It will greatly help you to get started on this path of living by the indwelling life of Christ.  And here is the website link where you can get the book:

The Temple Within

https://www.therebuilders.org/temple-book.html

Epilogue

Now, before you attempt to begin learning how to live by His life there is something that is critically important for you to understand.  And that is simply this:  you will need to “burn the ships”.  Now let me explain where that phrase came from.

Around the year 1519 there was a Spanish explorer by the name of Hernandez Cortez.  He took a fleet of ships with him and sailed from Spain to conquer the Aztec empire in Mexico.  After arriving there with his men and fleet of ships he told them all that they would not be returning home to Spain.  They would all now live in this newly discovered land!  So, he had all of the ships burned.

So “Burn the Ships” means that there is no turning back.  Brothers and sisters, when we follow Christ there is no turning back. Remember Lot’s wife?  It’s a totally new life and we can no longer live by the old (carnal man) life.  So I must ask the question:  have you burned all of your ships?  Or are you still hanging onto the old ways of knowing Christ and living out His kingdom?

Check out this video by the band For King and Country:

for KING & COUNTRY – burn the ships (Official Music Video)

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The Pearl and the Price

Part Two – The Great Price

In part one I have tried to share with you the object of our attention, that is, The Pearl or the Treasure.  This is nothing less than Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).  This is Christ glorified, Christ magnified, and Christ multiplied through a vessel.  And that vessel is His Body, Bride, House, Assembly, New Creation, New Jerusalem, New Adam.  The Church!

However, the only way that you can spiritually apprehend and appreciate that great Purpose is by a God given revelation.  But you must seek this revelation with all of your being.  God is just waiting for you to seek this revelation.  But be careful what you ask for!  There is a huge price tag for this revelation and even more so for the actual realization of this Pearl of Great Price.  Personally, I believe that any believer who has a mind-blowing, Spirit-born revelation of God’s eternal purpose (the Pearl) will have to make one out of two possible decisions.

1.)  Either they will try real hard to forget that revelation and bury it (which is very difficult but possible).

2.)  Or, they will be radically changed in their whole being and seek out the reality and expression of the Pearl with all that they are and have.

Okay, so if you (the person reading this right now) go the route of #1 above, you will have an incredibly difficult time.  Your life will be one frustration after another.  You will never be fulfilled by making other things your “pearl”.  There is only one Pearl and that is Jesus Christ in His Church.  You can continue to ignore the Pearl and pretending that everything is alright but deep down in your spirit you will never be fulfilled.

But if you choose #2 above then I can guarantee two things will happen with you.  First of all, you will never be “successful” in the eyes of this world system.  Secondly, you will experience many trials, tribulations, and missunderstandings in this world and especially with the “Christian religious system”.  You will be viewed by many as some kind of spiritual freak, trouble maker and outcast.  But why would this happen to you?

Because both systems lie under the power of the evil one!  (see 1 John 5:19)

So, you see, this is just part of the Price… persecution!

Some of these folks who come against you may be some of your closest companions.

But what are some of the other aspects of this incredibly high price tag to acquire the Pearl?

EVERYTHING!!!

Please remember that our friend in Matthew 13 went and sold all that he had to acquire this incredibly precious Pearl.

Now, I realize that many of you reading this blog right now are thinking to yourselves; “oh yeah, no problem, I will gladly give all that I own to get this Pearl.”  But dear reader, this is not just about your possessions, it is about your whole life.  This man in the story sold all that he owned.  And herein lies the key.

This man had possession of his own life!

So, you see, this everything included himself.  In order to get this Pearl he had to give away all ownership of his own life.  You see, that’s what it means when you make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life.  The word “Lord” means owner, ruler and sovereign.  You no longer have any rights to that thing that you used to call “my life”.  It now completely belongs to Him!

That means that now He decides what happens with what you used to call “my Life”.  He decides where you live, who you marry, if you marry, where you work, what you do with “your” time.

Now… you may be thinking…

But Milt, that sounds like some kind of weird oppressive cult thing!

And you would be right except for one simple thing…

You are so glad to pay any price for the Pearl because you realize how incredibly valuable He is!  In other words… you love your Lord more than anyone or anything else.  So let me ask you one simple question:

Is that You?

If so, (and you are seriously serious) we would love to hear from you.  We will help you in any way that we can.  We have lots of materials and tools that can help on your journey.  Perhaps we can connect you with a group of believers who are moving towards this way of life.  Perhaps we can help you to start a new group in your area.

The BIG question is this:

HOW DESPERATE ARE YOU?

“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.  Matthew 11:12

If you are desperate.  If you mean business with God then He will mean business with you.

Because dear Saints:

It’s only the violent that take the kingdom!

If you are one of those seriously desperate and violent radicals here are some resources to help you:

A Radical Invitation:  http://www.therebuilders.org/special_invitation.html

Some Materials that will help:

Books:  http://www.therebuilders.org/books.html

Articles:  http://www.therebuilders.org/articles.html

Audio Messages:  http://www.therebuilders.org/audios.html

Blog Posts:  http://www.miltrodriguez.com

If you have a group or want to start a group contact me here:  milt@therebuilders.org

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The Pearl and the Price

Part One – The Pearl

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.

Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1: 25-27

For about the last thirty years or so my wife, Mary, and I have been involved with helping Christians in two specific areas: 1.) knowing Christ deeply and living by His life 2.) living by His life within us. The second part of this calling involves an understanding, revelation, and practical outworking of the life of the church of Jesus Christ. We believe that the only way that this can work is by the second part being built and lived by the first part. In other words; the life of the Church must be based upon the members knowing and living by the life of the indwelling Lord.

That which the apostle Paul called “the mystery which has been from the ages” is still a mystery and definitely hidden to many believers in our day! And yet the mystery is the key to understanding something which Paul called “the eternal purpose of God.” The whole purpose for your existence as a believer is to fulfill this eternal purpose of God. But what exactly is that purpose?

Well, it is a many-splendored purpose and can be expressed in many ways. But for our use here (in this post) I will explain it as:

“that the eternal God in Christ might be lived out and expressed through His creation in human beings. This expression is both individual and corporate. And this Christ is lived out through this New Race; the New Adam”

This Pearl (Purpose) is explained and described in many ways throughout the scriptures. But all of these point to Christ and His Church. Just to name a few: the Body of Christ, the House (Temple) of God, the New Jerusalem, the Family of God, the Bride of Christ, the Kingdom of God, the New Man (Humanity), and the Warrior. These are all “descriptors” of the same thing; the Eternal Purpose. However, each of them describes a unique aspect of that purpose.

It is my estimation that the number one reason why believers today don’t place much value on the church (the Pearl) is twofold.

  • They simply don’t have a life-changing revelation of God’s eternal purpose. Some may understand it from merely an intellectual viewpoint. But that will never do! It must be a radical revelation of God’s heart and desire for His Church. This can only be given by the Holy Spirit.
  • But you must earnestly and honestly seek Him for it. What is the one thing that God places higher than all else? What is HIS vision and HIS goal? Most believers have never even asked God these kinds of questions. And to that, He will answer with: “you have not because you ask not.”

If you read our text in Matthew 13:44-46 you will see that both the man and the merchant were seeking the treasure and the pearl. Dear saint (holy one), you first of all must be earnestly seeking God’s eternal purpose before you can find it. You must understand the value of such a treasure/pearl. Actually, the value is beyond estimation. Just think, God sent His only Son to the earth to live, suffer, and die for that purpose!

HOW INCREDIBLY VALUABLE IS THIS PEARL!

There is nothing… I repeat NOTHING more valuable than this.

Also notice with me that this Pearl is hidden. It is buried at the bottom of the ocean inside of an oyster. The fisherman must dive down to the depths of the sea to find one, then must bring it up from out of the depths. Then he must “dive” again into the shell, open it, and dig it out of the shell.

Why would anyone do this? Because they understand the VALUE of the Pearl!

Dear brothers and sisters, the bottom line here is this one question: “How much do you value your Lord Jesus?”

You see, He IS the Pearl of Great Price!

If you truly value Him as your All and your Everything then it wil definitely show up in how you live your life. Is it still your life or have you totally give it to Him?

Now… this question leads us to the next part of this blog post. Stay tuned!

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The World System and the Church

“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”

1 John 2:15-17, 1 John 5:19 

In these passages the word “world” is kosmos in the original GreekThis literally means the “world system”.  It’s very important for us, as believers, to understand that this world that we live in is a system.  That is, there is definitely a mind behind the system.  Actually, the kosmos is made up of many systems.  You could say that the “system” is made up of many “sub-systems”.

For example, in this kosmos there are systems such as: the economic system, the governmental system, the political system, the media system, the military system, and on it goes.  But the most treacherous system for believers is the religious system!  Of course, there are many religions in the world, but we are focusing on the so called “Christian religious system”.  This is what I would call “institutional Christianity” or the “institutional church”.

Some History

Now, of course, this religious system is very ancient.  Actually, it began in the Garden of Eden.  You know, when Adam and Eve first ate of that other tree?  Now, it’s important that we understand that from Satan’s perspective those kids eating from his tree wasn’t just about sin.  It was about control!  He is the usurper who will always (well, not always!) try to gain control over God’s creation.  So… now we have a fallen creation and a fallen humanity.  So now, everything that mankind touches is corrupt because the whole race is corrupt.

A New Adam and a New Race

And we all (hopefully) know the story.

“So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”   1 Co 15:45   

However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.

The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.

As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.

As we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

1 Co 15:47-49

Here Paul discusses the two Men.  The first Adam (Man) became a living soul but the last Adam became a life giving Spirit.  And we who are in the last Adam (Christ) now bear the image of the heavenly.

So… now we can see that this is not about going to church, sitting in a pew, and listening to a sermon.  It is not about doing “good” or “religious things”.  It is not about memorizing scripture or “saying” your prayers.  No!  We are not talking about that realm at all.  Instead we are focusing on a whole new and different realm altogether.  It is a New Creation and a New Race.  And that creation is all about the New Man (or Adam).  That is, Jesus Christ Himself.  Not just things about Christ.  Not just things for Christ.  Not just things mentioning Christ.

                                      But Christ Himself!

That is the very Person of Christ.  He is the New Creation.  Those who are part of that New Creation live in and by that New Man who is Christ.  This is totally and utterly different and even directly opposed to the first Adam and his race.  Okay, so now this brings us back to 1 John and the fact that the whole world system (kosmos) lies under the power of the evil one.  And this includes all the “sub-systems” which includes the religious system.  But what exactly is the religious system?  Well, if you have read about church history at all you will know that as early on as the second century the Christian churches began to take on the forms and practices of the world system around them.

The centrality and headship of Jesus Christ were beginning to be replaced by man-made structures and organization.  The Church, who is the Family of God, stopped meeting in homes and looked toward lifeless buildings instead.  This was all instigated by men who were building their “ministries” instead of the kingdom of God.  This gave rise to humanism in the church.

One man or woman ministries became more popular than the Church herself.  Christian “superstars” began mega-churches built around their own ministries and personalities rather than Christ Himself.  The “every member functioning” that we see in the New Testament was almost totally lost.  The believers became spectators of the church “service” on Sunday morning.  If you aren’t the “Pastor” or part of “the staff” then you are simply an attendee and an audience.

Even the “church” buildings were designed and built to be auditoriums where you would only attend and watch the back of the heads of the people in the row in front of you!  Then, you would listen an oration (called a sermon) given by a trained speaker called a “pastor”.  There would also be some music with hymns or praise songs.  Many people I know have told me that the worship is their favorite part of the service because they get to participate.  By singing the songs!

Brothers and sisters, let’s be honest with ourselves and God.  Is this a picture of:

What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.

If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God.

Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment.

But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent.

For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted

1 Corinthians 14:26-31

Notice the phrases: “each one” and “one by one”

This doesn’t sound like a one-man show to me.

Not even close!

And what about the daily life of the church?  Is the church a loving family that loves to be together and share the life of Christ together?  Or are we too busy for that?  And that’s exactly why the Sunday morning service works so well for us.  There, we don’t actually have to lay down our lives for one another on a daily basis.  Isn’t living the church and being the church better than just going to church for a forty-five minute service?  Of course it’s better… it’s exactly what God designed for us.  It’s better for us, but more importantly, it’s better for Him.  Our God has an eternal purpose to have an expression of Himself on this earth and in this physical realm.  That expression is His church!

The Descriptors

The words or phrases used in the New Testament to describe the church of Jesus Christ are as follows:  Body of Christ, Family of God, Temple of the Holy Spirit, House of God, Bride of Christ, Kingdom of God, One New Man (humanity), New Race, New Creation, Priesthood of All Believers, Christ in You, the Mystery of God, the Eternal Purpose, the Saints (holy ones), His Inheritance, His Masterpiece, His Body, His Fullness, and many others!

Now… let me ask you a very penetrating question:

How in the world could such a group of people be so limited to actually sit in a pew and listen to a sermon on Sunday morning?

Dear brothers and sisters, there is so much more (incredibly more!) to this whole matter of being the church than we have ever imagined!

My wife, Mary and I have been working for the last thirty years to help believers realize their true calling as the Body of Christ.  If you are open to it, we have many resources and co-workers that could possibly help you.  All you have to do is respond to this email.

Here are the resources and contacts to help you:

Milt & Mary Rodriguez:

Website:  http://TheRebuilders.org       Blog:  http://MiltRodriguez.com/

The Rebuilders site has many resources such as articles, posts, audios, books, etc.

Also, here are a few FREE resources:

http://www.therebuilders.org/christ_in_3-DFreeDL.html

Some of our co-workers:

http://3rdrace.org/

http://terriorekklesia.blogspot.com/

http://searchingtogether.org

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Aspects Through Angles

Seeing Christ from a Different Point of View

Introduction:

In this post I am sharing something which is very dear to my heart.  In fact, it’s so dear that I am in the process of writing a whole book on the subject!  (But more about that later on in this post.)  Knowing Christ deeply and intimately is the most important aspect of our walk with God.  Therefore, it is no wonder that the enemy of God has gone to great lengths to attempt to block and steal this from us.

The Current Situation

Dear brothers and sisters, please don’t misunderstand me at this point.  I am not making a judgement call here.  I am simply making an observation.

Most believers do not know their Lord in a deep way!  Sad to say that most believers are either steeped in religion, institutionalism, or guilt-driven, duty-motivated religious activity.

Most only know Him in an anemic, pathetically superficial way.  He is not really their All in all but rather a God that you “say your prayers to” and run to when help is needed.  In other words, He is a God of our convenience.

For many believers He is only a God that you ask, ask, and ask some more.  He is kind of like a big Santa Claus in the sky!  You want your “asking” to be answered so you go to a building on Sunday morning, sit in a pew and listen to a sermon.  Then you put something in the offering plate and feel better about yourself because you actually gave something!

Dear Brothers and Sisters, I am here to let you know that there is a much, much better way!  You can actually know this Lord more intimately than your closest friend and even your spouse.  You can actually walk in His presence all throughout your day and (in varying degrees) sense Him and touch Him continuously.  He is one who sticks closer to you than any brother or friend.  In fact, the scriptures tell us that if you have surrendered your life to Him then He has come to live inside of you!  Wow!  You can’t get any closer than that.

So I am asking you, dear reader, to open your heart, mind, and spirit to learn to see Him in (perhaps) a totally new way.

The True Diamond

He is like a great diamond.  As you hold this great jewel in your hand, you begin to notice something that is quite startling.  As you hold it up in your hand and begin to move it around in the light, you will see many different colors depending upon your point of view.

If you learn to view our Lord from many different angels and in many different ways then you will “behold” a Christ much greater than you ever thought possible.  In fact, there are literally endless ways to see Him.  You will discover many “new” aspects of this Christ as you view Him and experience Him in many new ways.

The Major Hindrance

This may sound very wonderful and all, I mean, who wouldn’t want to “behold” this incredible Christ?  But you need to know that there is a problem.  Paul calls it the veil.

Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech,
and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away.
But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ.
But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart;
but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.


Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:12-18

Here the veil is referring to the Law of Moses and our own old flesh natures.  In our time we can relate this to the religious (legalistic) nature of mankind and the power of the fallen soul-life.

Many Christians are driven by a sense of duty to God.  They are motivated by what I call the “should” of religion.

“I should get up in the morning to pray”

“I should share Christ with people at work”

“I should go to church on Sunday morning”

“I should read my bible every day”

And on and on it goes…

Many Christians need to be set free from the “shoulds!”

The key to the Christian life is not doing things out of a sense of guilt, or pressure, or duty.  This is not the Christian life!

The Christian life is simply one thing…

You and I living by the Life of Christ within us!

He IS the Christian life.

Now, you may be thinking, “yes, Milt, that’s all well and good but we need to know practically how to abide in this Christ.”

I understand.  However, that would take a whole book to explain.

But, guess what?  I’m writing such a book right now!  It will be titled “Eyes Wide Open” – Learning to see and Experience an Indwelling Christ.  In this book I am going into great detail both spiritually and practically to help believers to behold this wonderful Lord.  The book is broken down into three parts:

  • A life Changing Revelation of Jesus Christ
  • How you can know this Christ deeply and intimately
  • How groups of believers (churches) can know Him and live by His life together.

All of this help is given after over thirty-five years of experience helping believers in this way.

But we need your help!

You can help us get the word out about this unique book.  You can tell your friends, relatives, home groups, bible study groups, etc.

If you would like to be notified when this book is published then all you need to do is send us an email at: milt@therebuilders.org

In the subject line of the email type the words: Eyes Wide Open Book

We will add you to a special email list for those interested.  Even though this unique book probably won’t be available until late 2020 or early 2021, you can still tell others about it.  And we will work on making it available as soon as possible.

*Special Gift! Also, if you add your email to the list, I will send you a FREE copy of my ebook entitled: “Christ in 3-D.”  This ebook will give you a good introduction to seeing a Christ you have never known before.