THE CORPORATE GOD
Our basic concept of God needs to be radically changed. If we truly want to know Him as He is and not as our minds conceive of Him, our minds must go through a major revolution. God will not fit into the mold of our finite understanding. Our God is much bigger than that.
Made Into Our Image
Fallen man has taken God and made Him into his own image. We think that He is like us, but actually, He is nothing like us (Is. 55: 8, 9). But yet, we still look at Him, and understand Him through the filters of our own fallen state. Actually, our fallen condition is the opposite of God. Therefore, we can only understand the nature of God by the grace of God. We must step outside of our fallen minds, step into our spirits and allow God to renew our minds.
The first thing that you will need to see will utterly shock you. It will shock you because you have probably never dared to think in this way before. In your mind you have formed God into your image and therefore, always relate to Him in this same way. But the first thing you must see is:
GOD IS NOT AN INDIVIDUAL!
He never has been, and He never will be. However, we think of Him as one, don't we?
We are "individual" Christians trying to relate to an "individual" God. This is like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. It just doesn't fit! God is not like us, in fact, we are not even like us! We don't know who and what we really are, and that's why we are so confused. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We need to see who God is first.
I will say it again: God is not an individual. He is a fellowship of three Persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He does not think as an individual and He does not act as an individual. He is a community of three distinct personalities who are one. He is TRI-UNE (three-one), or three-in-one. There is only one God, but He is made up of three distinct Persons. These Persons are different but they are not separate individuals. They each have a unique personality, but they do not live or function as separate entities. Each one of these Persons is God but yet there is only one God, not three. The Father is God. The Son is God. The Spirit is God. Yet there is only one God! How can this be? Why is it so difficult for us to understand this? It's simply because we think with the "individual" mind and something that does not fit into that paradigm just doesn't compute.
But God has never been an isolated individual like you; therefore His thoughts are totally different from your thoughts (Is. 55: 8, 9). Since He is not an individual, He does not think like an individual. He thinks corporately. The Corporate Viewpoint
God thinks and acts as a community, not as a separated individual. God is corporate, therefore He thinks corporately. This difference in viewpoint has been a major problem ever since the fall of man. We believe that God thinks like we think and therefore we can understand Him because He is just like us! Not so. He is nothing like us and the only way that we will understand Him or understand what He says is by changing our viewpoint. We must see things from the viewpoint of God and this viewpoint is corporate, not individual.
A good example of this corporate viewpoint can be seen in the earthly life of the Lord Jesus. He never worked alone. He spoke the words from the Father. He did the works of the Father. He cast out demons by the Spirit (Matthew 12:28). Jesus lived by the life of the Triune God. He could have lived alone and worked alone but that was not His choice. As a person, He has a will and the power to choose. And He chose, as a man, to live and work in the corporate life of God. He had a "corporate consciousness" and was aware of where He had come from. He was part of a Community and He was not going to act independently of that Community just because He was here on earth. In fact, the Father sent Him to continue that fellowship, that corporate lifestyle, here on earth so that His disciples would begin to "see" with new eyes. He wanted them to begin seeing from God's viewpoint.
One of the greatest needs among believers today is to be able to "see" from this corporate viewpoint.
At the risk of sounding redundant I will say it again:
God is not an individual!
Our God is corporate. He is Three-in-One. He thinks in corporate terms and He speaks in corporate terms. He lives a corporate "lifestyle." He lives as three distinct Persons who all have their own unique personalities and yet are one. They live together, they act together, they fellowship with one another continuously. They share the same life, substance, and essence.
Divine Life is Corporate
The scriptures speak much about divine life or eternal life. We need to understand that it is not only the quantity of life that is depicted, but it is the quality of life that is most important. Eternal life is divine life, that is, the very life essence of the Triune God. Eternal life is the "stuff" that makes up the Divine Trinity. This is a corporate life. This is community life. This is a life of oneness. This is a life of co-working and co-operation. This is a life of profound fellowship and unity. This is a life of complete self-dedication to one another and a laying down of life for one another. This is the inner life of God!
This article was an excerpt taken out of the new upcoming book entitled: "The Corporate Life of God" written by Milt Rodriguez. We expect this book to be released in the summer of 2005