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

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.

The Two Races

In a time when the “racial issue” is so prevalent in our society, I would like to present a totally different (and radical) viewpoint.  God’s viewpoint.  So let’s take a brief look at how God thinks about race and racial issues.

The First Race

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness: and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.””  Gen. 1: 26, 28

Of course, in Genesis, chapter one, we see the creation story.  And the epitome of this is the creation of mankind or we could say, the human race.  Out of Adam, God creates Eve, the first woman.  The two became one and the human race begins.

And, of course, we all know the tragic ending and the result of the Fall.  Adam and Eve are banned from the Garden of Eden and must then live a life of hardship.

God’s Viewpoint

Now it’s very important that we “see” and understand (spiritually) how God views this First Race.  He calls Adam the first man:

“So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.”  The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”  1 Cor. 15: 45

Adam is the first human created.  Thus, he is the first one in the human race.  All of his descendants make up that race.  This is the first race.  You and I, my friend, are a part of that race.

The First Race Falls

If you read further on in Genesis chapter three, you will discover that this first race in Adam fell.  Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit and that race lived under that curse until our present day.

That was the first race…fallen forever!

The Fruit of that First Race

You don’t need a college degree to look around at this fallen race and see that it has become totally corrupt.  It’s everywhere!  And it’s getting worse all the time.  There is a good reason for this.  As you recall it was the Serpent (Satan) that tempted Eve to take the forbidden fruit.  The moment she partook of that fruit was the moment the first Race gave control over this world to Satan.  That’s why the Apostle John could make this statement:

“We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”  1 John 5: 19

Do you realize what this means?  John is telling us that the whole world system (even those parts that appear to be good!) are fallen and under Satan’s control.  Of course, he is a deceiver and a liar!

However, don’t lose heart my dear friends.

God began a whole New Race!

And He started it using a whole new Adam.  He is referred to as the Last Adam and the Second Man.

“For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.”  1 Corinthians 15:21-25

This is the Man…Christ Jesus!

He is the New Man of the New Race.  This race is those who are from the first Adam’s race but now have been born anew into the second Adam’s race.  And here is a very important and wonderful fact:

The whole New Race is inside of Christ!

And…

Christ is inside of every person in that New Race!

“Christ in you, the hope of glory!”  Colossians 1: 27

Paul tells us that this is a great mystery.  How can Christ live inside of the believer?  By one way only…in the Spirit.

And let’s be clear…the only way that a person enters this New Race is by putting their trust and life into God’s hands by receiving the life of His Son.

So there are only two races on planet earth.  The old race (in Adam) and the new race (in Christ).

The Deception of Many Races

Unfortunately, we have bought into the idea that there are many races on the earth.  Such thinking goes like this: there are whites, blacks, reds, yellows, brown, etc.  But are those designations really individual races?

Not according to many of the expert anthropologists!  Below I have included a very interesting article in Newsweek about this topic.

https://www.newsweek.com/there-is-no-such-thins-race-283123

And there are many more!  In reality these “distinctions” are merely people groups with their own distinctive cultures and features.  But what about the skin color differences and facial distinctions?

Well that’s simple.  Those “distinctions” are merely because of where those people groups live on planet Earth.  But biologically and internally, we are all the same!

Yes, we have different cultures and ethnicity.  But we are all a part of Adam’s race…the human race.

The fact that we have swallowed the “blue pill” regarding different races is why we are so separated and divided!  Yet this is a total deception of the evil one to separate us all from one another.  He is a great divider.

But now down to my main point…

Now, there is a brand New Race!

This race was born into this world about two thousand years ago through the New Adam…Jesus Christ.  If you have received this “Adam” as your Lord and Savior then you are part of this New Race.  And by the way, there are all colors and people groups within this race.  There are no cultural or ethnic divisions with this race.

The Real Battle

The struggle for this New Race is the real battle happening on the Earth today.  And yet the battle has already been won.  Jesus Christ (the New Adam) has already conquered death, sin, the world system, the religious system, and the devil and all his fallen angels.

He has conquered all through his resurrection and lives inside of everyone who is a part of his New Race!

Dear brothers and sisters, it is time to stop focusing on “racial issues.”

There are no racial issues!

There is ONLY the Old Race and the New Race.

The Old Adam and the New Adam.

Jesus Christ and His church is the New Adam.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” (2 Cor. 5: 17)

So, I would like to propose a brand new slogan to spread on the internet:

“A New Slogan for a New Race:  Christ Life Matters!

Let’s go viral with it folks!

Also I would like to send out an invitation to all those that may not have entered the New Race yet.  If you are still stuck in the Old Race and feel frustrated, aimless, hopeless, and bogged down…then I am here to tell you that you no longer need to stay there!  There is hope for you in the New Race!

However, (this is important) you will need to give up your old life in the old race.  You will need to “die” to that race and be “born-again” into the new race of the New Adam.

If you are serious about this then please contact me at: milt@therebuilders.org

It’s a New Day folks!  And I have to tell you that there is no hope for the old race.  In fact, it’s already dead.  It just doesn’t know it yet.

If you would like more information on all this or help in knowing Christ (and His Church) in a much deeper way, please contact me the following ways:

The Rebuilders

Blog

Books

Audios

And here is another great website that will help you from some friends of ours!

3rdRace.org

The Corona of Christ

Have you wondered yet?

What is the definition of the word “corona”?

That is, besides the fact that it’s the name of a Mexican beer!  (Though, that wouldn’t be a bad idea right about now!)

One of the definitions is:  the “rarefied gaseous envelope of the sun and other stars“.  The sun’s corona is normally visible only during a total solar eclipse, when it is surrounding the darkened disk of the moon.”  The origin of the word is Spanish (La Corona) and literally means “the crown.”

It’s very interesting to me that the only time that you can actually see the corona of the sun is when an object (in this case the moon) has blocked the disk.  Then (and only then) can you see the glow (the solar flares) of the sun.  The radiance of the sun is so bright that the disk must be blocked to see the outflowing (or out-glowing) of the sun.  This is actually all very significant considering God’s eternal purpose.

Corona of the Sun - The POM - Medium

God’s eternal purpose involves the fact that He wants an expression of Himself.  This is why He created man.  He (God) wanted to have a visible, tangible expression of His nature, life, and character.  Or, you could say that God wanted a “corona” of Himself.  That is, the outflowing of His divine life in a visible creation.  The “tricky” part would be that this creation (man) would need to choose to live by God’s divine life of his own free will.

But, of course, mankind fell when Adam chose to listen to Satan (in the garden) instead of God.  Then Adam (mankind) needed to be redeemed or brought back to God somehow.  Most of us know and understand about the “how.”  God, the Father, would send His Son to the earth to die for the sins of the world in order to redeem man.

But what about the “why”?

WHY did God do all of this?

Was it because He was lonely up there in heaven?  No, because He had all of the angels.

There can be only one answer: “The Corona!

God still wanted an expression, an outflowing expression of the love for His Son.  The expression would need to be corporate because God is corporate:  Father, Son, and Spirit and yet one God!

So what did He decide to do?  Well, the answer to that is beyond all logic, theology, and human understanding.

He decided to expand His one and only Son into many sons!  Yes, that’s right.  He decided to make His one and only Son into a corporate Son.  But of course this was His plan since before eternity.  As if the word “before” even applies here!  But the point is that He had a plan, an eternal plan (or purpose).  This purpose was the out-flowing of His nature and life to be expressed in this physical creation.  In other words, “The Corona!”  This out-pouring of His life and nature could only be expressed in and through a physical being.

Joh 1:18  “No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Of course, God is a Spiritual being and He is therefore invisible to the physical creation.  But the full expression of Himself would be in both the physical and spiritual realms.

But there was a problem…

God could not be fully revealed in the physical realm.  That’s because of His glory.  That kind of all-encompassing light would kill any human. 

But that’s where the Corona comes in.

The Incarnation

God came in the form of human flesh in the man, Christ Jesus.  You could say that His flesh (body) provided a “shield” to protect us frail humans from disintegrating in His glorious presence.  Much like the physical moon protects us when it covers the body of the sun.  Jesus Christ is God come in human flesh.  In other words:

Jesus Christ is the Corona of God!

By coming in the flesh He “stepped” in front of the unapproachable light (glory) of the Father.  In this way, we are able to see what God is like.

But that’s not all!

Christ Incorporated

Not only did the Lord Jesus come to show us the Father, He also died on the cross and was resurrected to further God’s eternal purpose.  And that was to multiply Himself in humans!

Paul of Tarsus said it this way:

(Col. 1:27)  “Christ in you (plural), the hope of glory.”

Ah…there it is…God gets His purpose by multiplying the life of His Son in humans.  Throughout the scriptures this purpose is called various things such as the House of God, the Kingdom of God, the Family of God, the Community of God, the Body of Christ, and the Church of the living God.

Conclusion

So you see, the Corona of God is Christ.  And…

The Corona of Christ is the living, breathing expression of He who is Lord of all.  That is, the Church.

But this Christ cannot have His Corona by you sitting in a pew and listening to a sermon!  His Corona is much more vibrant and dynamic than that.  He must have His Body and that means every member functioning, sharing, loving, and caring for one another.  That means that Christ (and only Christ) will be the Head and Life of the Church.  And that also means that every part of the Body must learn how to live by His life and Spirit.

Prologue

Dear believer, is this the kind of church life that you long for?

Are you hungry to know Christ intimately with other believers?

Is there a strong desire in you for God to have His Corona?

If so, then here are some resources that will help you in your journey:

  • Signup for our FREE newsletter and receive a 2 FREE ebooks called:

Christ in 3-D

The Organic Church

Click here to signup for newsletter now!

Higher Ground

One of my favorite songs is called “In Christ Alone”.  Here are some of the lyrics:

In Christ alone my hope is found

He is my light, my strength, my song

This Cornerstone, this solid ground

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace

My Comforter, my All in All

Here in the love of Christ I stand

I will stand

I will stand, all other ground is sinking sand

All other ground, all other ground

Is sinking sand, is sinking sand

So I’ll stand

Written by Keith Getty/Stuart Townend

My dear readers… the question which is begging to be asked is:  what kind of ground are you standing on?

According to this song, according to the scriptures and according to everything within me and you all of creation (visible and invisible) is shouting out to us that our glorious Christ is the only solid ground!

But let me also ask you this: At what level is this solid ground?  Or let me put it this way; at what place is this ground discovered?  Well if you are paying attention at all you will know that this ground is only to be found in the highest place.  That is, this ground IS the highest ground there is.  It is only to be found in the high places.  This means it is in the heavenly places.

The Problem with the Low Places

I hope that you don’t think that I am making a judgement call when I say this but most Christians are living in the low places!  I know this because my wife and I have been helping believers to come up hither in their personal walk with God as well as in their corporate (church) life for the last twenty-five years.  It is absolutely amazing how most Christians live on such a low place.  Most of these believers honestly and sincerely believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, have had a born-again experience, and are making some attempt at getting to know Him better.  They read their bibles occasionally, go to church on Sunday morning, and try to live a clean and decent life.  They love God and want to be with Him in heaven someday.  Wherever that is and whatever that is!  If they are Fundamentals they read their bibles every day.  If they are Pentecostals they speak in tongues every day.  If they are Evangelicals then they witness to at least one person every day.  Many are attending an institution of higher learning to have a great career.  Some are getting married and having children.  Some are building a business and making lots of money.  Many are very busy with all of these things!  They go to a building on Sunday morning and sit in a pew and listen to a sermon.  This is a description of the typical American Christian life.  But is there anyone out there reading this blog post right now who is asking this simple question:

What is it all for?  What is the purpose for my life?  There MUST be more than this!

Well my dear brothers and sisters, I am here to tell you with every fiber of my being that there is certainly more to it than the typical American (or whatever culture) Christian life.  God definitely has a higher purpose for you and me.  And I am not referring to going to heaven when you die!  What will you do up there?  Float on clouds and play harps for eternity?  PLEASE!!!

Yes, God definitely has a much higher purpose for you and me.  But this purpose is found in a much higher place.  It’s only found on higher ground.  And let me say something right now that is of utmost importance.

Even though this purpose involves you… it is not about you!

You see this purpose is something totally out from God and totally for God.

Living on a Very Low Ground

If you are a believer then you are seated with Christ right now in a certain place.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” 

Eph. 2:4-7

Now please follow me when I say that being seated with Christ in the heavenly places is your position.  And this position is a spiritual reality and fact right now as you are reading this post.  Right now, you are seated with Him in the heavenly places.  Why?  Because you are in Christ!  Paul is very emphatic when he tells us that we are not only seated with Him but we are also in Him.  We are seated with Him, that is, right beside Him.  BUT… we are also seated in Him, that is, right there inside of our precious Lord!

That is our position right now.  It is a fact just as real (in fact more real!) than I am seated here right now in my office typing this blog post.

However… (you knew that was coming right?)  Just because that glorious truth is my position doesn’t mean that it’s my experience.  Just because I am seated with Christ now in the heavenly places doesn’t mean that I am walking that way and experiencing that reality here on earth.

Paul writes many times about our position in Christ.  He tells us these things throughout his writings, especially in his letters to the Ephesians, Colossians, and Galatians.  However, in all of those writings Paul not only gives us this glorious revelation of our position in Christ and His position in us.  He also gets very practical and tells us how to walk out this spiritual reality and make it practical.

“that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”  Col. 2:2-3

This is a very glorious passage about our position in Christ attained by Christ in His death and resurrection.  But then, in just three verses Paul tells us about how this is lived out in everyday life practically.

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,  having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.  See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

Notice with me that now Paul uses such terms as “walk”, being “built up”, “established”, and “instructed”.  These are practical terms that denote our actual experience.  And our experience determines the actual expression of Christ through us to the world.

Walking the Talk

The eternal purpose is that God would have an expression of Himself in Christ through the Church.  And so He has placed us inside of Christ and placed Christ inside of us.  (Christ in you the hope of glory! Colossians 1:27).  The mystery, the purpose, is that God made us one with Christ so that He would be glorified (expressed to the fullest) to all of creation in and through the Church!  Wow!  What a Purpose!

But this expression will only happen as we walk the walk, so to speak.  It must become practical for the glory to be seen by men and angels.  Our position in Christ is a wonderful and glorious thing.  But if we are not walking (that is, abiding in Him and beholding Him) on a daily basis as individuals AND as the redeemed community of God, how will His life (the glory) be seen?

So how does this effect you dear reader?  Are you living in the highest place?  Are you living with a family (community) of believers that are functioning and living by His life?

A Serious (and practical!) Invitation

I have a very radical invitation for you. 

If this post has stirred your heart (and perhaps pricked at your conscience a bit!) and you are definitely hungry to know Christ and live by Him in a deeper way… I have a proposition for you.  If you want to live a deeper community life with other believers in a truly biblical and alive fellowship… then you will want to read this invitation at the webpage below:

A Special Invitation

The True Riches

Once, my wife and I and some friends went to visit Australia to share our precious Lord with some believers in the cities of Perth and Melbourne (Ballarat).  While we were in Ballarat we visited some of the old gold mines left from their gold rush in the 1850s.  Of course, they had a tour and so we took it.  We actually went down under ground into the mines to see what the miners experienced when when they dug for gold.  It absolutely amazed me how much these men had sacrificed with the hopes of “striking it rich” way down there in the mines.  It was definitely not a pleasant situation.  It was dark and cold and many times there would be a collapse of the caves and many would die.  The air was thin and everyone down there was out to make it rich for themselves and their families.  Basically, they sacrificed their very lives in the hopes of finding some gold.  Most of them never did.  Many of them died in the attempt.  Many families up on the surface lost sons, husbands, fathers, and brothers.  And for what?  Some rocks that had some very shiny metal inside!

While I was listening to this story being told by the tour guide I realized something.  People will do all kinds of crazy things to make it rich.  They will even risk their lives to hit the big one.  They will travel all over the world, go to extreme risk and expense to find some hope of making the big time and striking it rich.

But how many will sacrifice their lives for the True riches? 

“This grace was given to me, I being less than the least of all the saints, to preach the gospel of the unsearchable riches of Christ among the nations, and to bring to light all, what is the fellowship of the mystery having been hidden from eternity in God, the One creating all things through Jesus Christ”  (Eph 3:8,9)

Brothers and sisters, I can tell you without any doubt that this “mining” for the true riches of Christ will cost you.  What will it cost, you may ask?  Time?  Money?  Effort?  Family?  Convenience?  Leisure?  No, not at all.  It will not cost you any of those things.  It will only cost you one thing…

YOUR LIFE!

“And He said to all, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily. And let him follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life, he will lose it. But whoever loses his life for My sake, this one will save it.”  (Luke 9:23,24)

Read our New Radical Invitation Here

First and Foremost – Part III

Note: This is the third and final part of a three part post.  If you have not read parts 1 and 2 I recommend that you click here.

Fact: It is without a doubt that at no time in history has the church of Jesus Christ expressed more life and power than in the first century.

Question: Why is that?

Some Ideas:

* it was fresh and new

* Jesus was there

* Paul and the apostles were there

* first century people didn’t have all the distractions

* times were simpler then

* persecution kept the church pure

All true…but I believe we have missed the main reason —

Those people laid their lives down for Christ and the Church!

Needed: Men and Women of Vision

The scriptures say that without a vision the people perish. (Prov. 29:18)

In our day there seems to be no lack of believers who have a vision. It seems to be that there are “visions” abounding all over the place in Christian circles today. The question is: what vision do they have? Is it God’s vision? Oh, did you know that God has a vision?

Paul claimed that he received a “heavenly vision” (as he communicated to King Agrippa in Acts 26:12 – 20.)

“While so engaged as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me. “And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ “And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. ‘But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’ “So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.” (Acts 26:12-20)

Here we see that Paul said that he was not disobedient to that vision. In other words, this “vision” was the governing fact of his life!

Now let’s take a look at that vision. A few key points regarding the eternal purpose of God to which Paul was called.

  • Paul was persecuting Jesus! (verse 14) How could this be? Paul (Saul) had never met Jesus. yet the voice claimed that Paul had been persecuting Him. Paul was persecuting the church! Do you see how closely the Lord Jesus identifies with his Body? They are one. When you hurt his Body, you hurt him!
  • I think it’s really cool that God gave Paul a heavenly vision by making him blind! Blind to all else but Christ and His Church. And in Acts 9, we see that the Lord called a brother named Ananias to pray for Paul and the first sight Paul had after being blind was a brother; Ananias. Isn’t that beautiful? God could have just sovereignly healed Paul, but instead he sent a member of his Body to lay hands and pray for him. Here again, God is revealing his purpose to Paul.

Brothers and sisters, do you have a heavenly vision; a revelation of God’s eternal purpose? If not, you need to earnestly ask Him for it. And if you have received it, then has it become the governing force in your life? Is this what drives you to do everything you do? Does this vision determine what you do, where you go, and what you think and speak?

If you answered “yes!” to the above questions, then I would like to speak with you about a very special offer I am making. This offer is only for believers who are serious. I mean really serious!

To read about this special opportunity, click  here

First and Foremost – Part II

This is the second installment in this series. If you haven’t read part one, I definitely recommend you do so now.  Click Here

When focusing on Christ and His church becoming first and foremost in our lives, it is imperative that we look at the teachings of Christ on the kingdom of God. This will clearly show us what God is looking for in His people regarding His eternal purpose. Nowhere in the teachings of Christ is this made clearer than in Luke 14 and Luke 9:58 – 62, especially concerning obstacles and distractions to the kingdom (His purpose).

“Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but first permit me to say farewell to those who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”    (Luke 9:57-62)

Let’s take a closer look at those verses.

Verse 57: Notice here with me that someone approaches the Lord Jesus and tells Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” Following Jesus is the key to fulfilling His purpose for your life. The Lord’s purpose is to have a kingdom, a family, a bride, a body, a city that will fully express His person and life. But in order to have this purpose He must have a people who place Him in His proper place, that is Lord and Head and Center of their lives! How can He have a kingdom without being the King (Lord) over His people?

“I will follow you wherever You go…”

That person had no idea what he was saying!

Then Jesus makes it clear with the statement: “the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

Wow! Do you realize what He was saying? Basically He was telling and asking this would-be follower if he was willing to follow a homeless Lord! Obviously, the conclusion would be that a follower of a homeless Lord would also be homeless.

Dear reader…are you willing to be homeless to follow your Lord? Or is your home something very precious to you that you hold onto with clenched fists?

Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but first permit me to say farewell to those who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”   (Luke 9:59-62)

In these verses the issue is obviously family. This is a biggie! Certainly the “Lord” would not ask us to lay down our family for the kingdom! Would He? Absolutely! That’s what the word “Lord” means: He is First and foremost!

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you ignore your family at all. It doesn’t mean that you love them less. But it does mean that when making decisions for your life and family…Christ and His kingdom (the church) comes first!

“Seek first His kingdom” Matt. 6:33 means exactly that! First in order and priority. In other words: First and Foremost.

But that’s not all…the Lord doesn’t just end there with our homes and families.

“Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat dinner in the kingdom of God!” Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great dinner, and he invited many, and he sent his servant at dinnertime to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to excuse themselves. The first said to him, ‘I bought a field, and I must go and see it. I ask you, have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you, have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.'”
(Luke 14:15-20)

Ah! So now the Lord touches upon not only home and family but also business and marriage. The acquisition of possessions, financial security and marriage are all included within this passage. What a thorough Lord we have! He didn’t leave even one stone unturned.

Now some of you may be thinking “well Milt, when the Lord said to seek first the kingdom He was talking about me (individually) seeking God’s will for my life.” And I would have to say that is true, but not completely. Notice He is referring emphatically to a “kingdom,” not just God’s will for you personally. Yes, if you are a believer then you are part of the kingdom of God. But there is so much more to it. What is a “Kingdom”? Is it not a whole civilization of people who live under auspice of a King? It is a society, a corporate people, a city, a government, in fact this particular kingdom is also a new humanity, a new creation, and a new body of people who all live in the life and under the headship of King Jesus!

Brothers and sisters, if these words of our Lord do not get practical in your life then they are powerless to bear fruit for His kingdom. And what a glorious kingdom this is!

And THIS kingdom is to come first and foremost in our decisions, our homes, our families, our jobs, and every aspect of our lives.

But again…I must ask you some searching questions.

* Does this King and His kingdom come first and foremost in your personal life?

* Is this first and foremost in your family, your home, your decisions, and your relationships?

* Is the goal of everything you do geared toward this heavenly kingdom coming to earth as it is in heaven?

* Is this kingdom made practical in your decisions such as who to marry? Where to live? What job to take? How to spend your time?  How to spend your money?

  • Is the Lord speaking to you right now through this blog post?  Or are you making excuses why you cannot comply with the King’s wishes?

May His kingdom come (through you and I) on this earth as it is in heaven.

Please contact us directly if you are serious about God’s eternal purpose and want to know how you can get involved.  The Rebuilders

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For audio messages on this topic:

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

More resources on this topic:

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

Read the next part of this post here.

 

First and Foremost

As I travel around this country (the U.S.) and others helping and planting organic New Testament style churches I have learned many things. One of the questions I have asked is why do organic churches fail? Now of course I first need to define what I mean by “fail”. I’m not just referring to groups that “fall apart” in the sense that they no longer meet. But what about the groups that continue to meet for years and yet are failing to exist for their original purpose?

The Eternal Purpose of God

And He is the Head of the Body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that He Himself might have the first place in all things.” Col. 1:18

This verse, in a nutshell, summarizes the eternal purpose of God. God, the Father, wants all positive things in the universe to find their center in and through His Son, Jesus Christ. That Christ would be the All in all. That He Himself (not just things about Him) would be the First, the Center, the Source, the Life, the Beginning, and the End of all things.

Wow! What an awesome purpose!

The Eternal Plan of God

But how is He going to accomplish this glorious purpose? In other words, what is the “method” by which He will get His purpose? There is only one way. It is in and through His people, the Church. Paul called this a “mystery.”

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)

There it is! God’s eternal purpose. The reason for everything.

I don’t know about you but it sounds to me like God has a purpose (goal) and a plan to achieve that goal. He wants to make his Son the Center and Life of all things. That is, the Son Himself, His very Person. And the way (plan or method) is to place that Son into humans. Those humans (the Church) will then express His Life to all creation (visible and invisible).

Now, here is the all important question:

How do you, dear reader, fit into that plan?

Well, if you are a believer then this purpose and plan are your purpose and plan! In fact, it’s the very reason you exist!

Next question: if all this is true, then how does this purpose and plan get lived out in your daily life?

You see it’s very easy to simply declare to yourself and others that your life is first and foremost for God and His purpose. It’s so easy to say that. But does your life practically reflect that statement? When the rubber meets the road is Christ and His Church the first and foremost in your everyday life?

Or are you too busy to make that a practical reality in your life? You see the Christ-life is much more than your personal testimony of faith, your doctrine, your church attendance, or your morality.

It’s about the way you live!

Is Christ and the Church first and foremost? You see the “litmus test” will come out in your daily life. As I stated at the beginning of this post; the number one reason organic churches fail to fulfill God’s purpose is that the people in those churches are just too busy! What are they so busy doing, you may ask? They are going about living out their natural lives. Getting married, building careers, getting an education, raising families, going on vacation, accumulating wealth and material possessions, etc. etc. The lifestyle in this world system (especially in America) is an extremely fast-paced, success driven, high-stress, comfort-driven, self-driven, busyness-driven whirlwind of confusion and pressure. This is for the purpose of taking care of our “needs” (though a lot of wants are usually included). Keeping up with the Jones’s definitely plays a part as well.

But wait…stop everything…

Wasn’t there someone who walked on this planet a while back who claimed that he would take care of all our needs?

“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31-33)

Just think…the Lord of all things promised you and I that He would take care of all our needs if we would just put His kingdom first! Do you, dear reader, actually believe that He will do that?

In essence He said that if we place His purpose and desire (kingdom) first then He would take care of all those things that we spend so much time, energy, and thought worrying about! He greatly desires a Bride, a House, a Family, a Kingdom, a Civilization where all the citizens are completely centered and focused on the awesome All in all!

But instead most Christians are just too busy!

Dear reader, are You too busy?

Too busy to place His purpose first and to seek after it with all your heart, strength, and mind?

Too busy to make Him first and foremost? Think about it.

If this blog post has touched you in some way then I would love to hear from you. either place a comment or email me privately at: milt@therebuilders.org

If you like this blog post then you will love these resources:

The Gathering a novel by Milt and Mary Rodriguez

The Mystery of God – Christ All in All by Manfred Haller

The Master Craftsman

I have a good friend and brother who is an excellent builder and mechanic.  In fact, I would even say that he is a master craftsman.  He has grown up being exposed to the building trades and definitely knows what needs to be done and how to do it.

Recently, he came to visit us to help with some projects around our house.  As I watched him work, I was amazed at the accuracy, the speed, and the quality of his work.  I have honestly never seen such a worker who was totally committed to his work.  Getting the job done and getting it done right was evident in every move he made.  He would quite literally work sun up until sun down without taking many breaks at all.  All of this with the utmost integrity and quality of work I have ever seen.

This brother had a plan and then executed the plan with extreme precision.  Nothing could dissuade or distract this worker from fulfillment of the plan.  And not only that, but he has an unswerving commitment to the fulfillment of the vision no matter what it cost him.  The purpose and the plan are everything and the expression of that purpose is the ultimate goal.

Well, as you may have figured out by now, this post is not really about my friend.  Though I must say that God used my friend to show me some of these wonderful aspects of our Lord.

Builder

Our God is definitely a Builder.  He has had something in his mind to build since before eternity.  And that building is a house and a temple.  He “drew up” the plans for this House before he created anything.  The physical temple in physical Jerusalem was simply a fore-shadow of the Real House and the Real Temple!

Planner

Our God is a Planner!  He always has a plan for everything he does.  He plans it out in detail.  You could say that when he has a purpose, that is a building project, he always conceives it in his mind and then makes a detailed plan.  Of course, we know this is true because of His creation of the physical universe.  Every detail is pre-planned and fore ordained.  Not only of the physical universe but also the invisible universe, something Paul calls the “heavenly places”.

The Purpose

But what is the Plan for?  It is to execute the Purpose.  At my little house we had a purpose to build a deck.  My friend made a plan (a detailed map) on how to execute the purpose, or goal.  The ultimate goal was to have an outside space that would be relaxing and inviting to us and our guests.  That was the purpose.  But to see that purpose fulfilled we needed to have a plan to execute the purpose.

The Expression

Then, of course, after the building is complete the goal is realized of seeing and experiencing the fulfillment or expression of the purpose.  Stay with me folks, this post is about much more than my deck!  God definitely wants to have an awesome, beautiful, wonderful expression of His glorious Son.  That expression is also to bring heaven to earth and to reveal all that Christ is through a people, a new race, and a new humanity.

The Vision

Now, please understand me that the deck would never have been built if my wife and I didn’t have a “vision” of the deck.  This is also extremely important.  The scriptures tell us that “without a vision the people perish.” (Prov. 29:18)  What are we to have a vision of (for)?  The Purpose!

This is a major problem among believers today. 

There is no vision for God’s eternal purpose!

It all begins with the vision.  The vision can only come from God to the heart that is seeking Him.  And the vision will be the driving force behind everything you do in your life!  It will be the reason you get up in the morning…the reason you wash your face or comb your hair.  It will be the reason why you go to work, have a family, make a living.

It is the reason you are breathing air right now!

In other words, if you are a believer, the Purpose is the reason you are alive!

It’s also the reason why Jesus told us to pray, “Our Father who is in heaven, Holy is your name.

Your kingdom come…

Your kingdom come…

Your kingdom come!

On earth as it is in heaven.

There it is!  There is the Purpose!

And brothers and sisters you will find it all throughout the whole New Testament.

You know, we are always asking God for things, but does anyone ask him to fulfill his own desire and purpose?

So…putting it plainly…

God wants:         A Building, a house

A Family

A Bride

A City

A Body

A Kingdom

A Community

And this building will only be built upon one foundation

His Precious Son!

Only Christ will be the Foundation

Only Christ will be the walls

Only Christ will be the roof

Only Christ will be the windows and doors!

Only Christ will be everything in the House.

Bottom Line

Brothers and sisters, do you personally have a vision of this purpose?  Are you personally willing to live and die for this Purpose?  This Purpose should be the all-consuming drive in your life.  But is it?  I ask you to examine yourself, dear reader.  If your answer is “no” or “I don’t know” then I would advise you to spend some serious time with your Lord.  Ask him to give you a spiritual vision of his eternal purpose.  Give your life totally over to him for this purpose.

I can tell you in complete confidence that your Lord is waiting for that prayer!

If you follow through with this with a sincere heart, I would love to hear from you.  Please email me at milt@therebuilders.org.

I would also like to thank my good friend and brother (who is a builder) for showing me more of our Master Craftsman!

Note: If you liked this post then you will love this book!    Order Here