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.”

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

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)

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

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!

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