PATIENCE – DOORWAY TO GOD’S DREAM AND PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE! BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings Friends! I hope this Post finds you in a anticipatory spirit of discovery! For I have a Post just for you, whoever you may be…my many readers the world over! We may have heard the saying, “Patience is a virtue!” Or, “Good things come to those who wait.” Patience is listed as a vital fruit of God’s Love, “Love is patient” (1 Cor.13:4). Because God is Love He exercises patience toward us – always! He is never impatient to His children. (1 John 4:8)

“The Trying of Your Faith Produce Patience” (Jam.1:3)

How often in a day or week does setbacks (of whatever kind) affect us and makes us upset, and even angry because something has not worked out as we had imagined and planned? We lack the patience to be cool, calm, and collected? Impatience leads to emotional stress which takes its toll upon our health and well-being. One of the root causes of depression is the lack of patience to deal with stressful situations. So, we get upset easily. Life will always bring many demands and setbacks upon us, and unless we are prepared for them, especially emotionally, we will live in the roller coaster life where impatience and impulsiveness become inadvertently unkind to ourselves and others around us. So, we can see that patience brings tons of virtue into your life – if you know how to practice it in real-life situations. Let’s talk about this vital subject of patience today!

Here’s what we don’t fully realize about the subject, impatience is a meanness we impose upon ourselves, rather than someone else inflicting it upon us. We are the practitioner of impatience which makes us act rashly – it’s like “shooting ourselves in the foot” – so to speak! And, of course, it affects our relationship with others, especially our loved ones. How often have we jettisoned something good for our lives because we lack the patience to act rationally, and stay true to our objectives and endeavors. Sadly, most people try to rationalize and justify their actions, instead of assessing them objectively, and regrettably they are none the wiser. So, they enter into this vicious cycle of exasperation and become emotional wrecks, which I might add, introduces unwanted health issues.

Impatience is Self-Defeating Act That Ends In Failure

Be kind to yourself today, and let the virtue of patience shine into your life. We will face trials and tribulations and will make mistakes along the way, but those who know how to be patient with themselves and their circumstances, will come out all the better for it. But let’s be honest about it, patience is not something that we can muster out of the blue, out of nothing. It does not fall out of the sky into our laps. Patience is born out of somewhere and something. And it appears at moments when we are faced with situations that require her assistance in our lives, she is nowhere to be seen nor found, much less be of help. The Bible tells us where and how patience is manufactured so you and I can have it as a virtue and tool to help us when we are hard-pressed in life’s situations. Remember, the Bible says patience is a spiritual fruit born out of God’s Love-nature. (1 Cor.13:4)

James says this, “The trying of your faith produce patience. Let patience finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (Jam.1:3-4). Let’s begin at the end of this verse and close with the start, that way we’ll see the benefit (end) and what causes (start) the benefit to materialize. So, what we’re seeing is a ‘cause-benefit’ (start-end) process in the verse as it relates to patience. We can also call this by the jargon, ‘cost-benefit analysis,’ whereby strengths and weaknesses are determined. The benefit (end) speaks of making a person “mature and complete lacking nothing.” It means you have become a person who can control his/her circumstances so as to manipulate them to your advantage. Wow, that is a bold benefit statement.

Ironically, this is the exact opposite of what happens to a person who lacks patience, he/she is immature and incomplete, and lives a life of distress and want leading to hardship and failure. When one is immature, he/she makes rash and wrong choices which result in inadequacy, want and distress. But the unfortunate thing is we place the blame upon the situation as the offender and guilty party, whereas the guilt lies at our doorstep because we were immature and incomplete people and lacking the faculty to cope with the situation at hand. The answer lies at the start of the Verse, let’s examine it.

“Faith Produces Patience” (Jam.1:3)

What does the beginning of the verse says? “The trying of your faith produces patience” (Jam.1:3). That’s to say that when your faith is tested, your patience has a chance to grow. We cannot answer this verse adequately unless we settle two questions that arise from the verse. First, what is faith? And second, how is faith tested? The answer to both questions entails interlocking links like a chain which leads to patience. Foundationally, the believer’s life runs on faith, for the Bible says unambiguously, “The righteous will live by faith” (Rom.1:17).

Let’s answer the second question to begin with in Verse 2, “When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For the trying of your faith produce patience.” In other words, it speaks of a life of facing tests and challenges which come at you from every side. However, to face troubles, tests, and challenges in triumphant joy so patience can grow in a person’s life, has to do with faith: “faith that produces patience” (V.3).

So, the path to patience is through overcoming tests and challenges that are fought and conquered with the weapon of faith. That answers the first question: faith! But what is this weapon called faith? We must find the answer, for the foundation upon which patience rests is faith: faith that defeats troubles and tests and produces patience (“faith produces patience) (Jam1:3). Where there is no faith, troubles and challenges run amok and overwhelm us. We are a people disarmed and helpless without a defensive weapon of protection. Without the faith which produces patience we’re defenseless and subject to inflictions the tests and pressures of life brings on, which leads to a slow and natural death, both physically and spiritually. So, what is faith, and where can I find it, and how can I use it, so as to grow patience in my life, and become a person who is “complete and lacking nothing.”

Before we touch upon faith, let me add one vital element to patience…that is freedom. For to be armed with patience to overpower tests, troubles, and challenges, and emerge with personalities that are “complete and lacking nothing” is to experience the definition of utter ‘freedom.’ For consider what James said at the start of Verse 2, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (Jam.1:2). Right there we have defined what true freedom is…that we discover true joy out of defeating the trials and challenges we face each day.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”  (Gal.5:1)

The experience of going through trials and ordeals can be life-sapping. Formidable and demanding tests and challenges can be stressful, and painfully exhausting and much more. Thereby, faith is indispensably integrated with freedom wherein a person with patience experience and enjoy. This is hard concept to imagine, let alone live by, because it’s not normal to associate joy with trials and intimidating challenges. If anything, trials and challenges can be disconcerting and depressing for considerable numbers of people. You can say, that freedom and joy are flip sides of the coin of faith which generates patience. In other words, faith produces the dual fruits of patience and joyful freedom. Yes, the byproducts of all this activity is true happiness. Yes, keeping the end-goal in mind is a vital piece of insight and wisdom. Luke tell us this, “By your patient endurance you will gain your souls” (Luk.21:19).

So, what is faith? Faith as a noun speaks about a person’s religion with the belief it espouses, be it Christian or other religions. In this Post, we basically espouse Christian doctrines and principles in our thinking and outlook. However, in Christianity faith as a verb speaks of a person’s convictions which can be wielded like a tool to protect and safeguard, and also as a weapon for offensive activity. As a verb it is broken down into two categories. One is human faith, while the other is spiritual faith. The human faith is constrained within the human realm of reasoning and activity. The paraphernalia which turn the wheel of human faith are the human six senses fueled by human emotions. A person may say, “I have to see, smell, taste, touch, or hear, and desire, in order to believe,” this is human faith.

The foundation of human faith goes back to the beginning with Adam when he disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit. (Gen.2:15-17; 3:1-6) From Adam’s fall we inherited the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ with the weak human faith as its byproduct. Therefore, human faith was conceived in sin and gave birth through Adam’s fall, and thereby is powerless in matters to do with the divine spiritual realm. On account of their rebellion, our first parents were evicted from Eden and God’s presence. (Gen.3:23-24) From outside of Eden, Adam and Eve lived under the influence of the evil one whose word they esteemed above God’s Word, their Maker.

But God did not forsake humanity, but promised to send the second Adam in His Son to rescue us from rebellion and the sin-condition. (Gen.3:15; 1 Cor.15:45, 47-49; John 3:16) Paul affirmed this saying, “If by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people” (Rom.5:17-18).

The Six Senses Driven By Desire Propels The Human Faith

Listen to how Adam and Eve fell for the devil’s evil guile through the use of the human senses, “When the woman (Eve) saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband (Adam), who was with her, and he ate it” (Gen.3:6). Adam and Eve fell to the devil’s temptation because they used the sense of sight, taste, and desire for wisdom, as the basis of making choices. This is human faith.

Is it wrong, is it a sin to use the human senses, and to have desire? Not necessarily, it is a matter of perspective, for the Bible admonishes us to, “Fix our eyes not on what is seen (physical senses/desires), but on what is unseen (spiritual/spiritual desire), since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor.4:18, emphasis added). For example, desire can be channeled and made into “spiritual zeal and fervor” (Rom.12:11). So, the human faith can be made to complement spiritual faith and turned into an incredibly defensive and offensive weapon. It goes without saying that we utilize the human senses to obtain all forms of knowledge, but our understanding is sifted through the filter of our spiritual faith to determine what is good and what is bad about the knowledge we consume. The only reliable knowledge which carries ‘spiritual’ energy and life is God’s Word in Scripture (spiritual), as we shall see expounded further. (John 6:63)

The second, spiritual faith is founded upon Jesus, the second Adam, who defeated Satan in the temptations and obeyed God fully and perfectly as our Savior who died for us. (Matt.4:1-11; 1 Cor.15:45; Eph.5:2) This was God’s way through His Son of redeeming humanity’s sin-condition that was inherited from Eden on account of Adam’s fall. When it comes to matters of the divine, man is mortal and requires a faith that is not human because God is Spirit. Because we are mortal humans, it is obvious we are not born with this spiritual faith. Human faith is incompetent in spiritual matters. Scripture tell us, “God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6, ESV). In other words, when you look at a human body, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit. Jesus continues, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again (within) you cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3, ESV). The ‘Kingdom of God’ is His spiritual domain and can be ‘seen’ only by the inner spiritual person with spiritual vision.

So, we see that a person can be given to experience a rebirth from within his Spirit life; that is, in addition to the human faith, a person can be endowed with a faith that is spiritual, so as to make both faiths complement each other, rather than be on opposite sides of one another. This process is called the ‘born again’ experience, as Jesus said, “unless one is born again” (John 3:3). It is through such a rebirth that a person can receive a faith that is spiritual. Through the spiritual rebirth, we can receive the spiritual faith to empower us to defeat the test and challenges in life. The human faith which has been inadequate and powerless on its own, is now made to complement with the spiritual faith of Jesus. The two has been made one in Christ.

But what exactly is this spiritual faith? Paul makes is plain, “Even the righteousness of God which is by the ‘faith of Jesus Christ’ to all and on all them that believe” (Rom.3:22, AKJV, emphasis added). Yes, the answer is plain to see, it is Jesus’ very own personal faith! Not our human faith, however, by saying “on all them that believe” at the end of the Verse, this faith refers to the human faith. In other words, we can believe in the “faith of Jesus” with our human faith, thus blending the two faiths into one in Christ. The Spiritual faith is the living, powerful, faith of the risen Jesus who is alive today as our High Priest in heaven mediating for us. So, we know where it originates from – from Jesus in heaven.

But how do we obtain this ‘faith of Jesus?’ Is there something we do in order to receive it? Paul answers again, saying, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by the ‘faith of the Son of God,’ who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20, emphasis added).

Here, Paul explains the ‘born again’ experience and shows how we acquire and come into possession of ‘Jesus personal faith.’ He said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by the ‘faith of the Son of God.’A person is reborn spiritually when death occurs, and rebirth takes its place. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives” (John 12:24). So, even nature teaches us this divine and biological truth about the death and rebirth process. (Rom.6:5).

However, Paul tells us that our death is identified with and identical to the death of Jesus upon His cross. That’s to say, when Jesus was crucified, He took us with Him so we died along with Him upon His cross – “I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live…” (Gal.2:20). What exactly is this death? Paul answers, “So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the ‘power of sin’ and alive to God through Christ Jesus” (Rom.6:11, NLT). The Bible reiterates God’s Loving purpose in His Son, “For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time” (Heb.10:10). When Jesus was crucified He took the ‘power of sin’ inherited from the fallen Adamic humanity, and nailed it to His cross – once for all time.

It is the spiritual death of the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ and the sin-condition fueled by the spirit of rebellion in the devil into which we were imprisoned since Adam’s fall to sin in Eden. Jesus did not die alone, rather when He took us upon Himself, He acted in place of all humanity and on behalf of all humanity, for this was the purpose of His incarnation in the first place. (John 1:14; 3:16) That is how Jesus saved mankind from rebellion and sin – by crucifying the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ upon His cross, He conquered the power of sin. That is what Paul told us, wasn’t it, “You also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus” (Rom.6:11, NLT). Yes, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”

Then, just as He was resurrected from the dead, so have we been given a rebirth so Christ now lives in us spiritually… “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”  This is what rebirth (born again) means. We are reborn as spiritual beings as the resurrected Christ now lives and walks in us empowering us with His powerful faith through the Spirit’s presence and inspiration in us. (1 Cor.3:16) Paul said, “For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His” (Rom.6:5; 2 Tim.2:11). He said “The life I now live in the body, I live by the faith of the Son of God.” From here on, I am not living by my weak human faith, but Jesus’ powerful living spiritual faith. But more precisely, the two faiths have been blended into one in Christ.

Paul went further with the mind-blowing truth and said that through Jesus’ ascension into heaven, we were also lifted up together with Him, listen, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:6). What an awesome and astonishing reality within which to exist and even imagine – to realize we are seated with Christ in heaven where He mediates for us as humanity’s High Priest before the Father in real time. (Heb.4:14-16) Every time I read this passage it shakes me to my core and I’m utterly lost for words with our implausible and mind-boggling reality in Christ. I am dumbfounded and hang my head in reverent silence at this core truth in the Christian faith. Heaven is not for the dead as many teach and espouse, it is for the living, today! We are in heaven and seated with Christ in the Father’s presence. Awesome beyond words!

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal.2:20)

It is Jesus’ living faith flourishing in you and me in the Spirit’s power that is the weapon we utilize to defeat the enemy’s arsenal against us through the trials and tests of life. Paul said, “In all circumstances take up the shield of (Jesus’) faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one” (Eph.6:16, emphasis added). “Flaming darts” represent all the trials and temptations that Satan throw at us. (You can read my post about overcoming Satan’s temptations through God’s promises at: http://bulamanriver.net/11339)

Coming back to our verse from James, “The trying of your faith produce patience. Let patience finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (Jam.1:3-4). Now, we have seen that this faith is not our weak human faith, but the very powerful personified faith of Jesus who now resides in heaven as our High Priest mediating for us in the Father’s presence. (Heb.4:14). But how is the ‘faith of Jesus’ made to manifest in us in order to defeat the enemy’s exploitive scheme to deceive us and promote rebellion and sin in our lives?

The faith of Jesus exists in two manifestations, the first is through the power of the Holy Spirit in human life. The Holy Spirit is Jesus’ ‘Look-alike’ or ‘Alter Ego’ if you like, glorifying Christ and acting in His place. Paul said, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16). Jesus said this of the Spirit’s activity in human life, “He (Spirit) will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:14). So, if both Christ and the Spirit dwells in you and I, then the Spirit is Jesus’ ‘Alter Ego’ or Look-alike.’ (Gal.2:20; John 16:14).

It is interesting to note that the Spirit is always presented as ‘faceless’ in the Bible. But there are pictures and symbols He portrays Himself like the dove, water, wind, fire and oil. Also, as a Helper, Advocate and Friend. (Luk.3:22; John 7:37-39; John 3:5-8; Act.2:3-4; Jam.5:14; Matt.25:1-13; John 15:26) Why is this? Because He is the face of the Son, just as Jesus is the face of the Father to humanity. (John 14:9) Being the intrinsic part of the Tri-Personal Godhead, the Spirit is the bond of the Trinity and the utterance of the Father and the Son in the Written Word (Bible) to mankind. (2 Tim.3:16-17; 2 Pet.1:20-21)

Dove, Symbol for the Holy Spirit. “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16)

The second manifestation is through the believer’s declared beliefs, creed, principles, and philosophy. This includes the many precious promises God has given us in His Word, the Bible. Jesus is both the Personified (animate) Word and the Literal (inanimate) Word, thereby, the promises are fulfilled through and in Christ, the Word of God. (For further exposition on this aspect, you may read my post, “The Word of God – Personified and Literary” at: http://bulamanriver.net/26379)

The Word of God in Scripture (Jesus) is the utterance of the Holy Spirit through the prophets, the Apostles, and in humanity today whenever we read and utter them. (John 1:14; 2 Tim.3:16; 2 Pet.1:21; John 16:14) What does “let patience finish its work” mean? It means we have searched the Bible for God’s decrees and promises and found and applied the relevant truth and promises as it pertains to the tests and challenges we face, and utilizing the living faith of Jesus each and every time. The foundation of God’s promise is the Scripture which says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb.13:5). His Love encircles us completely like the ocean to marine life, “for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Act.17:28).

Let me share this awesome Scripture in the Psalms, a prayer affirming the promise of our heavenly Father’s Love: “Your Love, God, is my song, and I’ll sing it! I’m forever telling everyone how faithful You are. I’ll never quit telling the story of Your Love—how You built the cosmos and guaranteed everything in it. Your Love has always been our lives’ foundation, Your fidelity has been the roof over our world” (Psa.89:1-2, The Message). For such is the praise that comes only from the lips of one who has lived by, seen and experienced God’s sure and unwavering promises. You may find the following site helpful in your research and study of the Bible on the subject concerning God’s many promises: http://scripturepromises.com/).

“I will not violate My covenant or alter what My lips have uttered.” (Psa.89:34)

So, the question remains, in practical terms how do we utilize and execute the living faith of Jesus upon our circumstances so “patience finish its work”? The answer is revealed in Jesus’ life and how He defeated Satan in the temptations. The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 4, tells of the account of Jesus’ temptations in the Judean wilderness. (Matt.4:1-11) There were four temptations by which Jesus defeated Satan for humanity and serves as redemption for Adam’s fall in Eden which entrapped mankind in the spirit of rebellion and the sin-condition.

This sin-condition from Adam’s fall was the precursor for all the ills, sufferings, miseries, pain and ultimately death, through the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ which continues in all of human life to this day. Paul said, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23). Yes, the first Adam brought death on account of his fall to Satan’s temptation in Eden, and the second Adam, Jesus, brought life and immortality through His victorious life which included defeating Satan in the temptation, and took the curse of sin and death to His cross for our redemption. (1 Cor.15:45; John 3:16; Matt.4:1-11)

Adam and Eve Evicted From Eden From Whom Humanity Inherited the Rebellious Spirit

The four temptations can be categorized as follows: 1) Sustenance; 2) Reliance; 3) Materialism; and 4) Power & Influence.

Sustenance: What is the temptation of sustenance? It is about the overt care for human survival to the extent of venerating the human means by which we acquire it. In Jesus’ first temptation, Satan knew about Jesus’ divine power, so he tempted Jesus to use His divine power to turn stones into bread and satisfy His famished body after having fasted for forty days. (Matt.4:1-4) Let’s pay attention to Jesus’ answer, because in every temptation He answered with the same mindset and approach. He said this which I will call the watchword, “IT IS WRITTEN!” It is the guiding phrase which guide and direct Jesus to God’s truth and promise in the Word of Scripture (Bible).

Jesus was Tempted to Turn Stones into Bread and Sustain Himself Physically

What was Jesus trying to say, when He said, “It is written?” Obviously, He was referring to what is written in the Word of God, the Bible. To be more precise, He was referring to God’s truth and promise to counter and defeat the temptation of the devil. Jesus said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matt.4:1-4) Jesus was quoting the promise from Deuteronomy 8:3.

This was a spiritual battle with physical/material outcome (physical sustenance). Yes, the devil will always use something materially onerous and necessary in the moment to defeat us spiritually. There is nothing wrong with bread, but it was about what the situation actually conveyed. It was about Jesus’ motive, not bread. Jesus had to answer if His reliance was upon physical bread, or God’s Word which says that humans “do not live by bread alone…but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord”? (Deut.8:3). Satan knew that Jesus only had to say the word and the stones would miraculously turn into bread. He knew Jesus was God’s Son and had the power to do it.

The temptation was not about bread and stones, but it was about how and who will He promote utilizing His divine powers. It was about motive, not bread. Would Jesus obey Satan, as Adam did in Eden with the forbidden fruit, or rely upon His Father who promised to Love and sustain Him. There will be times the devil will tempt us to use our gifts and talents (divinely conferred upon us by our Maker) to do his bidding, and at such a time we apply the example of Jesus and realize this is not really about our gift, but about how and who will we promote utilizing our gift (motive)? Many have succumbed to the devil’s wiles and cunning, but we must not give in, but wait on God’s Word as it relates to our circumstances. Paul said this of Satan, “For we are familiar with his evil schemes” (2 Cor.2:11). Yes, through Jesus’ own example in His temptations we’re not oblivious to his devious ways.

To the listeners of His day Jesus contextualize the same promise of sustenance by saying, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans (unbelievers) run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt.6:31-33, read from V.26-34). The promise of sustenance asks of us to be faithful in “seeking His kingdom first” (Matt.4:4). His kingdom is the kingdom of Love, and we utilize our gifts to promote His Love, not the devil’s devious plans which ends in sin.

Reliance: again in the second temptation, Jesus once more repeated the watchword, “IT IS WRITTEN!” This time, He quoted from Deuteronomy 6:16, “Do not put the LORD your God to the test as you did at Massah” (Deut.6:16). Jesus quoted a statement of principle and belief. It will be of interest for us to realize that the devil quoted one of God’s promises about providing security and safety for His children. “The devil led Him (Jesus) to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning You to guard You carefully; they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’” (Luk.4:9-12)

Depiction of Christ’s Temptation at the Temple Height (Wiki Commons)

You see the devil even quoted our watchword, “It is written” in an attempt to mislead and deceive Jesus. (Matt.4:6) Isn’t it disturbingly foreboding to realize that Satan is aware about God’s promises more than most of us who ought to know better, or might care to admit. He employs an ancient military ploy of playing the devil’s advocate by getting to know the enemy. We ought to always have the upper hand, for Paul said this, “That Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes” (2 Cor.2:11).

Materialism: materialism is a form of idolatry. We worship material stuff when we assign value upon them higher than our worship of God. We live in a excessively materialistic society and it’s easy to fall into this trap and the devil’s temptation. Materialism turns on the ‘self-reliance switch’ and turns off the ‘God-reliance switch’ through His many promises. “The devil took Him (Jesus) to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give You,’ he said, ‘if You will bow down and worship me’” (Matt.4:8-10).

Jesus did not waste words by trying to dispute Satan’s claims of his rule in all the kingdoms and splendor of this world. But that was not His reply, His reply was the same as the previous two tests, “IT IS WRITTEN!” Jesus quoted from the Bible, “You must fear the Lord your God and serve Him” (Deut.6:13). Again, Jesus quoted a statement of creed He believes regarding worship of one true God. We cannot worship or bow to another except God Almighty. Satan longed to be worshipped in God’s place, that was his sin from the start. (Isa.14:14)

Aerial View Of City Buildings At Night
“The devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor”

Many people measure success by the accumulation of money and material possessions. When the economic temptation of money and material objects disproportionately ranks above everything else, it turns into the sin of greed and idolatry. God and His Word and promises ought to define our measure of success. For example, do we see the following promise as the yardstick to success, “Seek first My Kingdom and righteousness, and all these (material) things will be given to you as well”? (Matt.6:33-34, emphasis added).

God knows our material needs and wants before we ask Him. His promises are true blessings because they come without all the stresses that usually accompany worldly wealth which place enormous pressure upon us. Instead, His prosperity adds joy in our lives, for Proverbs utters God’s economic promise this way, “The blessing of the Lord brings (true) wealth, without painful toil (stress) for it” (Prov.10:22, my emphasis). Today, stress is an enormous emotional burden people carry daily and it has been medically proven to be the harbinger of many sicknesses and diseases.

There is the worldly material wealth and there is the everlasting spiritual wealth. Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt.6:19-21, 33). Scripture promises, “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who Love Him” (1 Cor.2:9).

Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt.5:3). To be ‘poor’ in spirit does not mean to be poor physically and materially, for God promises to bless us if we “seek His Kingdom first” (Matt.6:31-33). Being poor in spirit means to be poor in the spirit of this world, which is the spirit of self-centeredness expressed through rebellion, greed, covetousness, and the appetite of excessiveness. The Spirit of the kingdom of God is Love, as we shall see expounded following this.

Wow, what an awesome future to look forward to. God’s majestic plan for humanity shows He places far more value upon you than you care to admit and/or realize. (1 Cor.2:9) May we be circumspect so as to place aspiring and loftier value upon God’s Word and promises and watch our hearts be not weighed down with the spirit of this world through the contrived and delusionary prosperity this world offers.

Power & Influence: In offering Jesus the “kingdoms of the world,” in addition to greed and materialism, Satan was offering worldly power and influence. (Matt.4:9) Again, Jesus answered, “Away from me, Satan! For IT IS WRITTEN ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only” (Deut.6:13). God’s power is absolute, that is a statement of truth which is supreme in the believer’s mind and heart. The prophet Isaiah quoted God as saying, “I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from Me there is no God” (Isa.45:5) The Bible declares, “Once God has spoken; Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God” (Psa.62:11, NASB). Satan may have created a worldly power in a vacuum founded upon rebellion and sin which exists conditionally and temporarily at God’s discretion, but will not survive but be destroyed forever in God’s timetable.

Matthew Henry said, “The glory of the world is the most charming temptation to the unthinking and unwary; by that men are most easily imposed upon.” So much so, people can become drunk with power, whether it is in politics, in military domination, in business empires, in family legacies, in many human talents like music and athletic prowess, satanism and mystical affiliations, the accumulation of money and possessions, in personal dreams and projects, etc. Paul warns us that Satan transforms himself before us like an “angel of light,” but hides behind his true self that’s a darkness so deep and utterly diabolical. (2 Cor.11:14).

When power is idolized, be it personal or shared, then Satan is worshipped and unwittingly people become his instruments for evil. Christ rejected this proposal with abhorrence and declared, “Away from Me, Satan!” God has promised His human children all things, as the Scripture affirms, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory” (Rom.8:17; Gal.3:29; Eph.3:6).

Jesus Defeating Satan in the Temptation, “Away from Me, Satan!” (Wiki Commons)

Jesus said, “All authority (power) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me” (Matt.28:18). For each of us personally, God’s power is manifested to us in this beautiful promise uttered by Paul, “All things God works for the good of those who Love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Rom.8:28). What a marvelous promise of God’s power operating in our lives through His Spirit in Christ. No matter what happens, He promises, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb.13:5).

We have seen from the above episode of Jesus’ temptation, is a representation of what we will encounter in Satan’s world, the four spiritual fiery darts he utilizes to seek to destroy us. He knows if he overpowers humans in the spirit, he will destroy us in the flesh. But we utilize the faith of Jesus with our watchword, IT IS WRITTEN, to utter God’s spiritual promises in our lives as it concerns specific trials and tests we face every day, as Jesus did in His temptation. Why is the phrase, IT IS WRITTEN, so powerful? Because it is the Word of God, the promise of God. Jesus said this about the words He spoke, “The words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and life” (John 6:63).

Matter, energy, life and all of creation have no independent existence but are grounded beyond themselves in God’s Word that we read in Genesis when… “God said, ‘Let there be…'” (Gen.1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26). All the laws which govern the orderliness of the universe, and life forms seen and unseen, exists with a contingent reality of their own and suspended over the abyss of nothingness, where they are brought forth totally by the grace of God (Father), imparted in the eternal presence and enduring activity of the Spirit through the Word of God (Jesus/”Logos”). This is the worldview from which we discern and apprehend the essence of life and existence as a whole as springing from the trinitarian Godhead.

Life and matter on Earth, the Universe, Grounded beyond Itself in God’s Word When… “God said, ‘Let there be…'” (Gen.1:3)

John says this about Jesus (the “Logos” or Word), “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3). Paul said this of Jesus, “He existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together…For in Him we live and move and have our being” (Col.1:17; Act.17:28). Jesus said, “I have not spoken on My own, but the Father who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and how to say it,” indicating the triune verbalization of the divine creative Word by the one unified Tri-Personal Being of the Godhead. (John 12:49).

The Holy Spirit is the one who spoke and continue to speak on behalf of the Father and the Son. He (Spirit) is the utterance of the Son and the Father. (John 16:12-15) Peter said, “For no such prophecy (word of the Bible) was ever brought forth by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21 BSP). The Word of God in Scripture is the utterance of the Spirit through the writings of the Prophets, the Apostles, and in our lives today when we speak them. (2 Tim.3:16) So, Jesus says that every word He speaks is a Spirit-word, and so it is creative… the Spirit can make life. (John 6:63) It was the Spirit who made the whole of creation as God spoke through His Son (“Logos”). (John 1:1-3)

So, what is written in the Word of God (Bible) carries life, energy, and joy, and therefore validated and sanctioned in the Spirit’s authority. Hence, when Jesus encountered the temptation, He had no recourse but turn to the Word of God, the utterance of the Spirit – IT IS WRITTEN, much like when He spoke creation into existence with the words, “LET THERE BE.” He was setting the example for us to follow in His footsteps. By turning to the sure Word and promise of Scripture He turned on the life, energy, and authority of the Spirit who uttered them. Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63). We saw what Jesus said, “I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and how to say it.” (John 16:12-15). And what Jesus speaks He does through the Holy Spirit who is the bond of the Trinity and therefore is the utterance of the Father and the Son indwelling humanity. (1 Cor.3:16) Jesus was setting an example of how to enlist the Spirit’s help as we follow in His footstep and living the triune life.* (1 Cor.11:1; 1 Thess.1:6)

The gift of the Pentecostal Spirit of power upon humanity was inaugurated by Jesus in the Jordan River when He was baptized by John the Baptist, and subsequently poured upon humanity on Pentecost . (Mar.1:9-11; Act.1:4; 2:1-4; John 3:3, 5; 1Cor. 6:19). The Spirit’s personified presence in human beings brings about the new birth in a person, for John said, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4; John 3:3, 5). By saying “our faith,” John was actually pointing to the union with Jesus’ living faith, for He said, “But take heart! I have overcome the (Satan’s) world.” (John 16:33, emphasis added; also, Eph.2:8) The Spirit defends us utilizing both the sword (Word of God) and the shield (Jesus’ faith). (Eph.6:13, 16-17)

The Spirit brings a spiritual battle, we are given the gift of the ‘miraculous life’ from God which comes by Christ’s faith in believers to shape us into Christ’s victorious image and life. (Act.2:38; Rom.8:29) When we speak the Scripture (IT IS WRITTEN), we are invoking the Spirit’s protection and defense, for what is written is the sword of the Spirit He uses upon our circumstances on behalf of the Father and the Son. (Rom.5:5; 2 Cor.13:14) Hence, we are warned, “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thess.5:19). The context of this verse speaks of “always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else” (1 Thess.5:15). We “do good for each other and for everyone” by practicing the fruits of Love of the Spirit. (1 Cor.13:1-13) Each of us are given gifts and talents from birth, and we utilize them upon the Love platform in the Spirit’s power. (To read more about God’s gifts, you may read my post titled, “Gift And Calling – God’s Destiny For Humanity” at: http://bulamanriver.net/2185).

A variety of fruit for delivery in a basket
Fruit Basket-Metaphor for God’s Love-Fruits. The Holy Spirit Comes with the Gift of Love Expounded Through His Transcendent, Generous, and Celestial Love-Fruits (Rom.5:5)

Paul speaks of these Love-fruits in his letter to the Corinthians. Summarily, they are: *the fruit of patience, *the fruit of kindness, *the fruit of contentedness,  *the fruit of modesty (unboastful), *the fruit of humility, *the fruit of honor, *the fruit of unselfishness, *the fruit of calmness and dignity, *the fruit of forgiveness and compassion, *the fruit of delighting in good and shunning evil, *the fruit of tolerance, *the fruit of responsibility, *the fruit of enduring hope, *the fruit of steadfast perseverance, *the fruit of joy, *the fruit of peace, *the fruit of goodness, *the fruit of faith, *the fruit of gentleness, *the fruit of self-control, *the fruit of zeal and spiritual fervor, *the fruit of friendship, *the fruit of sharing and generosity, *the fruit of prayerfulness, *the fruit of hospitality, etc. (1 Cor.13; also Gal. 5:22-23Rom. 12:9-21). Embryonically and instinctively our lives run on the spiritual fuel of Love. Paul said, “Without Love, I am nothing” (1 Cor.13:2).

The Holy Spirit Comes with the Gift of Love From the Father (Rom.5:5; Luk.11:13)

We mistakenly imagine these Love-fruits as a part of God’s Person like accessories. No, in truth they tell us who God IS, for God is Love. (1 John 4:8) The Love-fruits informs us how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, have existed and related with each other from eternity, and now invites humanity into His divine Love fellowship, and in relationship with each other on the human level. We quench the Spirit when we lose the ability to recognize and practice the Love-fruits as the basis of our moral/spiritual values and invert them until evil is good and good is evil.

Thus, in quenching the Spirit we become separated from the Father and the Son, which cannot conceivably occur, for the Spirit is unified in one substance with the Tri-Personal God who speaks on behalf of the Trinity. (2 Cor.13:14; Matt.12:31; 28:18-20) While distinct from one another they inhere in one another in the Godhead so that there is only one divine activity. That is, the act of one is the the act of three, and the act of three is the act of one. The Father is more than eager to unite humans He created in His likeness in His Triune Life by giving His Spirit to those who ask. Please note the Scripture reference, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luk.11:13).

The Tri-Personal Being of God (Trinity) Father, Son, and Spirit, in Consubstantial (of One Substance) Relation in the Godhead (Rublev’s Icon, Wiki Commons)

We are to remember that God is imputing the victorious life of Jesus upon humanity, as we seat with Him in heaven, so that we are living His victory vicariously in our day to day life in the Spirit’s Love and power. (You can read my post titled, “Jesus Mediates All Our Human Responses” at: http://bulamanriver.net/25846.

“The Righteous Shall Live By Faith” Rom.1:17.

Now, let us recap on what we have covered up to this point on this vital topic of patience which makes you “mature and complete, not lacking anything” (Jam.1:3-4).

  1. We saw that “The trying of your faith produce patience” (Jam.1:3).
  2. We saw that faith is tested “whenever you face trials of many kinds” (Jam.1:2).
  3. We saw that the faith which defeats the trials and challenges of life is Jesus’ very own personified faith. Paul said, “Even the righteousness of God which is by the faith of Jesus Christ to all and on all them that believe” (Rom.3:22, AKJV; Gal.2:20) We also touched upon our inadequate human faith.
  4. We read about Jesus’ own temptation at the hands of the devil, as examples of how to utilize Jesus’ faith by using the watchword “It Is Written.” It means to find the relevant Word in Scripture and apply Jesus’ faith as Spirit’s sword to do battle with the trials and temptation before us. (Mar.12:36, NLT)
  5. We saw that what is written in the Word of God (Bible) is the utterance of the Holy Spirit who inspired the prophets, apostles, and writers of the books of the Bible, and continues to move humans today. (2 Tim.3:16-17; 2 Pet.1:20-21).
  6. We saw that whenever we speak the Scriptural truth and promise (IT IS WRITTEN), we are invoking the Spirit’s utterance upon our circumstances on behalf of the Father and the Son (Personified Word of God). (Rom.5:5; 2 Cor.13:14; Mar.12:36)
  7. We saw that the Spirit’s spiritual power is revealed through the many Love-fruits which Paul claims God has deposited in the hearts of believers. (Rom.5:5; 1 Cor.13:1-13) These Love-fruits tell us how God has eternally existed in His Triune Being, and invites you into His fellowship, and with each other, as Paul asserts, “always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else” (1 Thess.5:15).  .
  8. What happens now, where do we go from here?

From here we are given the task of searching God’s Word (Bible) to discover His declared truths, principles, philosophy, and the many precious promises in His Word. (2 Pet.1:4; 2 Tim.2:15, KJV) The Psalmist declared, “Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path” (Psa.119:105, NLT). Paul uses the metaphor of the helmet for our knowledge of God’s Word stored in our minds and hearts, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph.6:16-17). If the helmet represent our knowledge of God’s Word, then the same knowledge transforms into a spiritual sword through the application of the same Word to defend us against the evil one in every adverse circumstance. The helmet also signify that we guard God’s Word like treasure and not allow anything to compromise or undermine the integrity of His Word. (Heb.6:18; Num.23:19)

We utilize the Scripture as the Spirit’s sword, and as watchwords (IT IS WRITTEN), by faithfully and firmly declaring them upon life’s daily tests and challenges we encounter, as Jesus did with His temptations. So, we take the Word of God (helmet) as the Spirit’s sword (Jesus’ Faith) wielded and empowered in the Spirit to fight our battles in all the tests, trials, and challenges of life, and whatever we may face each day. This is the ‘miraculous life’ we are privileged to live with Christ in the Spirit’s anointing with the Father’s blessing. (2 Cor.13:14) (You can read my post, “The Miraculous Life, No Ordinary Living!” at: http://bulamanriver.net/2634)

I will close with a words of encouragement from Scripture, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor.10:13, NLT). Also, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent” (2 Pet.3:9, NLT). Yes, God is patient with us and will not allow a temptation to come before us that will defeat us, for His Loves rests upon all of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

You may find the following site helpful in your research and study of the Bible on the subject concerning God’s many promises: http://scripturepromises.com/. There are other sites you may wish to explore through your own research. (2 Tim.2:15, KJV) My prayer and hope is that you will discover genuine patience emerging out from God’s Love-nature. (1 Cor.13:4)

May you utilize God’s truths and promises to help find the ‘miraculous life’ which comes from the Spirit’s anointing where you are becoming “mature and complete lacking in nothing” (Jam.1:4).

“He has Given Us Great and Precious Promises. These are the Promises that Enable You to Share His Divine Nature and Escape the World’s Corruption caused by Human Desires” (2 Pet.1:4).

Petition: Friends, as I have closed my post in the past, I customarily give our readers the opportunity to give their lives to our Maker. I thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus who has enabled us to live the Triune Life*. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven seated at His Father’s side, and ceaselessly mediating for us. I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Him as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of living this glorious humanity made children of God forever.

You can privately and quietly pray the prayer below in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human being Christ died for, regardless of your background. All are inducted into the one mankind Jesus saved, not into any religious sect or denomination, or divisions one may espouse – but into the glorious humanity that Christ is preparing as the holy temple for God’s dwelling:

Prayer: “Almighty God, Father of all humanity, forgive me of all my sins for I receive Your Son, Jesus, as my personal Savior. In Your incalculable grace, grant Your promised celestial life in Your Son through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon me and all humanity. May Your Love guide and protect me and my Loved ones always, and bring us all into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.”

Prayer: A Solemn One-On-One Spiritual Dialogue Between A Person and God (Wiki Commons)

Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s holy, eternal Family. (1 Tim.6:19) Then keep in touch with God’s Word for you by reading and studying your Bible, and visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation – go to: http://bulamanriver.net. You can email me with your questions at the address shown below.

Personal Blessing: Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life”* Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Farewell for now!

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant in Christ)

*Triune Life: “Triune Life” speaks of the process of theosis or deification of humanity. What is theosis or deification? “It refers to apotheosis, meaning “making divine.” Theosis or deification is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God (as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church).” (Wikipedia.org) The belief in the process of ‘deification’ is understood in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, when He said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If He called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside (cannot be broken)” (John 10:34-35; Psa.82:6). (You can read about the Triune Life at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and other posts)

I have written about this subject of ‘deification’ in my blogs under the theme ‘substitution’ and ‘attribution’ (see, http://bulamanriver.net/564), where I showed how Jesus came as God incarnate (Immanuel) to assume our sinful humanity in order to save mankind from sin and death for the express purpose of human deification. (Matt.1:23; Rom.3:10-12, 18, 23; John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:50-55; Rom.8:29) Further, we read the following, “As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (‘illumination’ with the ‘vision’ of God). According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God’s uncreated energies.” (Wikipedia.org)

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

So, the “Triune Life” reveals the intersection of human life and activity and the uncreated divine energy flowing from the Tri-Personal Being of God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a way of life which explains that process of theosis whereby humans are transformed in body, mind, and spirit by the Love of God. God’s uncreated energy is His Love. So, the foundational tenet of the “Triune Life” is based upon the Love of God, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Thereby, it can also be called aptly, the “Triune Love.”

I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19) This is opposed to the one-dimensional human way of life influenced by the devil. We see God’s Tri-Personal Love move in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory, in this process of theosis which I have called the ‘three ascents.’ The three ascents are three steps which dovetails into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity – where God reveals the fullness of Himself to humanity, both individually and collectively. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2) That’s to say, the act of one is the act of all three, and the act of three is the act of one, making them unified in one substance of Love. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4; 1 John 4:8)

Every aspect of human living follows this three-step format revealing the three-dimensional aspect of how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, directly and collectively involved in the life of human believers, individually and collectively to bring humanity to salvation. These three steps move in an ascending order, so I will call them ‘ascents.’ Each ‘ascent’ dovetails into the next and finally reveals the ‘manifestation’ of the topic, which we will call the fourth step, in this case, Love!

Hence, all my articles are framed within this three-step format, or ascents. The subject of the article dovetails into each ascent and spontaneously lead to the manifestation of the divine Love and reveals how humanity is enlightened by God, and cleansed in mind, body, and spirit. The ascents reveal three doors one must enter to attain the manifestation of God’s Love relationship with humanity. The ascents are not to be misconstrued as some ‘secret knowledge’ or mystical activity. Rather, each ascent represents the relationship of Love a human enjoys with the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, throughout a person’s life. In fact, the ascents are actually three Love relationships the believer encounters with the Tri-Personal God. This three-way relationship is what I have called by the term, “Triune Life” or “Triune Love.” These ascents represent the movement of God’s Love in an inward, outward, and upward, trajectory to bring God’s enlightenment in a person. The fourth step reveals how the article is made to manifest in the life of the person, both individually and then collectively in humanity.

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27).

The Bible states, “He (God) does great things that we cannot understand and miracles that we cannot count” (Job 5:9; 37:5). If God acts in ways that cannot be fathomed and is beyond human comprehension, then the miraculous life where humans are privileged recipients, cannot be deciphered by the human mind to its grandest manifestation. But we understand its meaning through divine revelation in that God reveals Himself as Love, and His miraculous activities are enveloped in His Love. (Jer.29:11)

The three-dimensional Triune Life/Love is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life of the fallen humanity inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion. For additional information about the Triune Life: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.                                          

**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, you may obtain a copy of my book, “Bula” Man-River, from Amazon.com; xulonpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book stores. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.

Bulamanriver Book Cover

All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.

Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you

THE WORD OF GOD – PERSONIFIED AND LITERARY, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings again, Friends! The Bible reveal to us that the “Word of God” appears in two manifestations. One is Personified in Christ, and the second is conveyed literally through the written Word of the holy Bible. My post this month explains them and the importance of the dynamic and interplay between the two, and thirdly their interaction with human beings. 

Jesus, The ‘Personified’ Word of God (John 1:1-3)

Part I: The Word Animate/Personified (Jesus) – The Bible calls Jesus the “Word of God.” (John 1:1-3, 14) His eternal hereditary title is “the Logos,” which identifies the belief in the preexistence of Jesus as the Spokesperson inherent within the triune Godhead. (Matt.28:18-20; 1 Pet.1:2; 2 Cor.13:14) The title “Logos” conveys the idea of God’s activity and power who speaks creation into existence through the Spokesperson, Jesus Christ His Son, the “Logos.” John identifies Jesus Christ as “the Word” (Greek “Logos”) – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-3, 14). The Epistle to the Hebrews states, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God (Jesus/Logos), so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb.11:3).

Yes, the “Logos,” the second Person of the Tri-Personal Being of God came and dwelt among us as a human/divine being (Immanuel), overcoming our rebellious and disobedient humanity through His obedient life, and became our Savior by taking our sins upon Himself and nailed them to His cross, through His sinless sacrifice. Paul said matter-of-factly, “For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time” (Heb.10:10, NLB). Yes, Jesus has offered Himself as a faithful sacrifice which remains and does not come to an end. Paul further stated eloquently, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him (Jesus) we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor.5:21). His prophetic name, “Immanuel,” reveals Jesus incarnation as both divine and human, or, “God with us” (Matt.1:23; Isa.7:14). That’s to say, ‘Jesus was always the Son of God, but now He is Man as well as God,’ as affirmed in the Nicene creed. Through His death, He took our sins upon Him so humanity can be redeemed, sanctified and saved. The Scriptures tell us further and conclusively, “He (Jesus) is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God’ (Rev.19:13).

So, we see in the first chapter of the Gospel of John, where Jesus Christ is identified as “the Word” (Greek Logos) incarnated and made flesh. He is the incarnate Word. All of creation originate from God through Him (the “Word”) – “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). I call Jesus the ‘Personified’ Word of God, for in the primordial sense, it refers to Him as the second Person of the Trinitarian God – that’s to say, the Tri-Personal Being of the Godhead in the Father, Son, and Spirit. (Matt.28:19; 1 Pet.1:2; 2 Cor.13:14) By ‘Personification’ means when the Word is spoken of as a Person (Jesus), as opposed to the inanimate literary form (Scripture/Bible).

John continues, “In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5). So, the “Logos” (Word/Jesus), in the Personified (personal) sense, breathes life and shines light into everything, thus we read, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was that was made” (John 1:3). So, the Word (“Logos”) as God the Son, is the Creator who spoke creation into existence.

Part II: The Word Inanimate/Literal (Bible) – There is a second portrayal of the “Word of God” – this conveys the inanimate literal aspect of the written Word of God, the holy Bible. Although the Bible nowhere calls the Bible the ‘Word of God,’ nonetheless the Bible says this, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim.3:16). The phrase, “all Scripture” means all of the Bible is “God-breathed,” therefore, is God’s Word! Further, Peter was inspired to write, “For no such prophecy (word of the Bible) was ever brought forth by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21 BSP).

Further, the writer of Hebrews records this, “For the Word of God (Scripture) is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb.4:12). The Bible, therefore, does not merely contain God’s word, but is God’s Word in literary form. To further extrapolate along this line of thought and analysis, the Bible does not contain the word, trinity, but many passages contain reference to God’s Tri-Personal divine nature, from which the basis of the belief is founded, for example, Matt.28:18-19; 2 Thess.2:13; 2 Cor.13:14; Act.7:55; John 10:30; 17:21-22, and others. As the patristic believers affirmed, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit coinhere in one another in the one Being of the Triune Godhead.  

The Gutenberg Bible was printed in Mainz in 1455 by Johann Gutenberg

Through the written Word of the Bible, we understand how the earth, the whole universe, every form of life both seen and unseen, and all of creation came into being. (Isa.48:13; Gen.1-2) There is history about the fall of mankind, and how the sin-condition exists as a precursor for all the ills and suffering of humanity to this day. (Gen.3) It records how the law (commandments) which God wrote with His own hands upon two tablets of stone and gave them to Moses. (Exo.31:18; 24:12)

The Bible also contains the history of Israel as a nation descended from Abraham, and how other nations and empires are named as they came into contact with Israel. (Gen.12:1-3) Israel was a nation descended from Abraham, through whom God chose to deal with and reveal His eternal plan for all mankind. (Gen.22:15-18) It was through Abraham’s lineage that God precipitated the birth of His Son as “Immanuel,” Jesus’ prophetic name which means, “God with us,” for it conveys that Jesus was both fully God and fully human who appeared as mankind’s Savior. (Matt.1:23; Isa 7:14) Peter said, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears Him and does what is right” (Act.10:34-35; also 1 Tim.2:5)

Most importantly, the Bible records many precious promises made by the Creator God to mankind upon which to anchor our souls, our faith and hopes in His priceless and endearing Love for us. (2 Pet.1:4) Chief among these is His ‘covenant promise’ with humanity to save us from the destructive consequence of the sin-condition from Adam’s fall by surrendering His Son (second Adam) to live and die in our place for our redemption, and fulfill His highest promise of immortality for mankind. (John 3:16; Heb.8:10-13; 1 Cor.15:45, 53) ( You can read my post entitled, “Standing On The Promises” at: http://bulamanriver.net/15209)

The Bible Records The Creation of Humans in God’s Likeness

The life of Jesus through the New Testament tells us about God’s activity in humanity through His Son in His plans for mankind. Much of the aforesaid facts are found in the Bible. Without the Bible, the essential knowledge about God’s Triune nature, and about humanity and the whole of creation would be unknown and lost. The Bible provides the basic and indispensable tool which keeps humanity in contact with the Creator God and His plans for us, our knowledge of Him, and humanity’s future. So, God moved men and women to record this in the books of the Bible, through the move of His Spirit, so all humans will not forget their roots with the divine likeness, and find reason to worship and Love God, now and into eternity.

So, the Bible comprising written words of humans who were inspired by God, carries mystical and celestial allure and magnetism which cannot be explained by people who have read the Bible. Many have attested to the mystical properties of the biblical words as alive although ‘inanimate,’ as if “jumping out” at and testifying to them from the pages of the Bible, true to what the writer of Hebrews stated, “For the Word of God (Scripture) is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb.4:12).

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen.1:1)

So, we have here two portrayals of the “Word of God,” one is Personified in Christ’s Person, and the second is literary in the inanimate yet sure words of the books of the Bible. Both have divine constitution, emerging from God Himself. One, in the Person of Jesus, who is in heaven today seated at the right hand of the Father as humanity’s Savior and High Priest. (John 3:16; Heb.4:14) The second is on earth manifested in the inspired written Word of Scripture for our learning and instruction. (2 Tim.3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21)

The “Logos” depicts the ‘personality’ of God’s Word in Jesus as the second Person of the Trinity, the other conveys the ‘passive’ and unchanging literary form of God’s Word. These two constituents of God’s Word are designed to complement each other for they have a singular divine source. They cannot contradict one another. Neither can stand alone without the corroboration of the other.

The Bible Records Many Precious Promises Given By The Creator God To Mankind (2 Pet.1:4)

However, the Personified form of “the Word,” in the person of Christ, must take preeminence over the literary written form, for He is its Author and unseen Spokesperson. This is vital to keep in mind as we interact with the written Word, for the written form has taken a journey of millennia to its current status. Its history has been one of multilingual origin in the Hebrew and Greek languages. There have been translations in just about every known language, literary rendition and styles, and they can lend to different deductions, inferences, and conclusions by readers.

For example, does a passage of Scripture to be taken literally, or is the meaning symbolic or metaphorical? Is the language used strictly literal or is it a figure of speech? Is this or that is what its saying? Be that as it may, however, the Personified form in Christ (Spokesperson/Author), remains true as the scriptures attest, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Heb.13:8). This speaks of the constancy of God’s divine Love-nature. To regard the words of the Bible as divinely inspired does not mean that they are immediately intelligibly understood, for they have to be interpreted in the light of the truth to which they refer, and in accordance with which our interpretations are tested, that is, in Christ the Personified Word, through the move of the Spirit. (John 16:12-14)

Just as the Spirit inspired humans to record God’s Word, He continues to guide us to the Personified Word Jesus, in our proper understanding of the Literal Word. (John 1:13) Jesus said this about His relationship with the work of the Spirit, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from Me what He will make known to you” (John 16:12-15). There is one trinitarian activity of God which is manifested in the distinctive operations of the three divine Persons and always takes the form of a unitary movement from the Father, through the Son and in the Spirit.

So, we see the guidance of the Spirit in leading us to understand the Bible by revealing all of Christ to us through Scripture. We do this cautiously and reverently with much prayer, for although the Bible is divinely inspired that does not mean the message are intelligibly understood by everyone. They have to be interpreted in the light of the truth who is Christ, the Personified Word. Jesus told His listeners, “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to Me! Yet you refuse to come to Me to receive this life” (John 5:39-40). He said further, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

The Bible tell us, “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (2 Tim.2:15, KJV). “To be approved unto God” basically means you have received His Son Jesus as personal Savior, the “Author and Finisher of our faith” (Heb.12:2). John tells us emphatically, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them” (John 3:36; 1 John 5:12; John 3:16-17). If “God’s wrath remains upon us” it means we are not ‘approved of Him.’ The whole message of the Bible rests upon the pillar of truth of God revealed in Jesus as humanity’s Mediator and Savior between fallen humanity and the all-holy God. As Paul says eloquently, “He (Jesus) existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together” (Col.1:17). The KJ Version renders this, “In Him all things consist.”

Also note that in saying, “All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from Me what He will make known to you” (V.14-15), Jesus’ statement reflects upon the trinitarian Godhead in that when Jesus gives us the Spirit, He (Spirit) is proceeding inherently from within the Father and the Son, i.e. from the very inner Being of the Tri-Personal Godhead. God is self-existent in His Triune Self, and does not draw His Being from without, but possesses it from Himself and in Himself. (John 5:26) Yes, through the one trinitarian activity of the Godhead, manifested in the unique operations of the three divine Persons, the triune God always takes the pattern of a unified movement from the Father, through the Son and in the Spirit. Thereby, only through the relationship and work of the One Triune God in the Father, Son, and Spirit in human life, can mankind grasp the deeper things of God in His everlasting and all-embracing Love revealed in Scripture. (1 John 4:16Matt.28:18-20)

Biblical Revelation Spring From the Tri-Personal Being of the Godhead (Rublev”s Icon of the Trinity, Wiki Commons)

The above passage from John blends well with the ones quoted earlier about the Spirit’s underlying influence in the human authors of the books of the Bible. (2 Tim.3:16; 2 Pet:1:21) So, it is the Spirit who will supernaturally guide humans to Jesus (Personified Word) concerning His literal written Word, as and when genuine guidance require. We as erring humans, submit to the Spirit’s moves. Yes, we turn to Jesus in the Spirit’s motivation so we may “rightly handle the Word of Truth (Scripture)” (2 Tim.2:15). Paul goes on to say, “But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature (self-centeredness). Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in Love (other-centeredness)” (Gal.5:13, NLB).

Dove, Symbol of The Holy Spirit – “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13; Luk.3:22) (Wiki Commons)

So, the Spirit leads us to the Personified Word, Jesus, in the right and proper understanding of His literal Word of the Bible. The end result of this is unity in God’s Love, as Paul said, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph.4:4-6). If we have division, it means the Spirit is absent, and so is God’s Love, from our midst and in our deliberations. For it is the Spirit who unifies us in Christ, as we allow Him to as we stand before the Father. God’s Word (Bible) is spiritual and works to cleanse us, and keep us united in Love, as opposed to being divided by fear in our fallen humanity from Adam. (Eph.5:26; Gen.3)

So, between the two, the Personified Word is most reliable, for Jesus is the Author, and can be relied upon where doubt and difficulty may occur in our understanding of the words of the Bible. Jesus said this to the Jewish religious leaders of His day, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life” (John 5:39-40). Here, we see Jesus said that He is the key to understanding the Bible as the Spirit indwelling us as His temple, guides us. (1 Cor.6:19)

Part III: Human Personality (Gift)/”Love-Personality” – I would like now to touch on the vital aspect of the human personality generally, as it interacts with the two manifestation of God’s Word we have touched upon so far. The human personality is manifested through human gifts and talents conferred upon us by the Creator. Through the force and power of human personality we can bring to life what our imagination aspire to do. Humans can bring inanimate object to life through the sheer power of personality.

Thereby, the force of human personality naturally features a fork in the road so we are given to choose which path to travel especially in the matter of God’s Word. The human personality as expressed through a person’s gift can be used in the path for narrow self-centered reasons, or it can be projected for motives that is all-embracing through other-centeredness in God’s Love.

That being said, it is vital to also keep in mind that the original Personality from which all human personalities (gift/talent) stem and radiate, proceeds from Jesus Christ Himself (Personified Word) in whose likeness humanity was made, “In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind” (John 1:4; Gen.1:26-27; Rom.8:29) Jesus said, “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer remain in the dark” (John 12:46). “Light” here is interpreted to mean “gift/personality” that shines in the lives of humans to give them purpose and direction, fortuitously and providentially, through the “Love-Personality” of the Spirit. (Rom.5:5) Yes, the Gift and the Giver are identical in Jesus’ Person as the Son of God. God tells us this about human destiny, “For those whom He (God) foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom.8:29, RSV). So, Christ’s ‘image’ is His “Love Personality” expressed in the Spirit’s power.

Cleansing Water, Symbol of the Spirit’s Activity in Humanity, “To make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s Word” (Eph.5:26).

Paul made a mystery beautifully plain to the Colossian Christians, saying, “I want them (you) to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of Love. I want them (you) to have complete confidence that they (you) understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ Himself. In Him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col.2:2-3). Paul told the Romans God’s plan about how to utilize our personalities, “This is true because He already knew His people and had already appointed them to have the same form as the image of his Son. Therefore, His Son is the firstborn among many children” (Rom.8:29, GWT). Just so we are precise about the use of the terms ‘likeness’ or ‘image’ (of God and Jesus) in relation to human personality, it does not imply habits and qualities but to the Being of the triune God.

What is Paul saying? The “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” refers to the foundation of human gifts and talents (personality) divinely conferred upon mankind out of God’s Love and generosity from which human personalities gives birth and find meaning. (Psa.139) Gifts and human personality are opposite sides of the coin of the human persona made in God’s likeness. (Gen.1:26-27). So is Love and Freedom. Freedom has no meaning without Love, and vice versa. Both are vital divine attributes, and are flip sides of the coin of God’s deity. Through God’s gifts and talents, we each find meaning, purpose, Freedom and Love, and through which human personality gives birth and emerge.

“God’s mystery” is as Paul asserts are all our gifts and thereby personalities “lie hidden in Christ.” As state earlier that the Gift and the Giver are identical in Jesus. Paul said he wanted all our gifts (wisdom and knowledge or personalities) “to be knit together by strong ties of Love.” It means all human gifts (personalities) spring from Christ, just as John attests to the fact that Christ is the Creator of all things seen and unseen. (John 1:30)

Out Of Divinely-Conferred Gifts, Personalities Emerge And Give Meaning and Purpose to Human Life

Paul tells us this, so we are clear about where gifts and personalities originate from, “When He (Jesus) ascended to the heights, He led a crowd of captives and gave gifts (personality) to His people” (Eph.4:8). Yes, all our human personalities, are based upon our gifts and talents that have been divinely conferred from conception and birth, must be knit together by Love. (read Psa.139) Paul said, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them” (1 Cor.12:4). It must not be fragmented into private endeavors and conclusions for self-glory, conceit, and least of all for divisiveness. Yes, many have misused their divinely conferred talents for gain and lucre. (Tit.1:11)    

Today, we see many denominations of the Christian religion, each purporting to uphold what it claims as authentic from the others. What is the reason for this obvious discordant conundrum? Why can’t they agree and speak with one united voice? After all, they all purport to speak from the same source as their pretext and motive – the Bible. However, this erratic character flaw in humans is not exclusive in the religious field, it happens across the board, like politics, in labor and management, in macro and micro corporations. It exists even in families. No one is immune from this discordant flaw. Not a single entity, religious or otherwise, owns this discrepant liability and feeble spot in our humanity. Its onset has become customary lifestyle resulting from Adam’s fall into rebellion and sin in the first place in the Garden of Eden. (Gen.3)

Human Personality Must Conform To The Image Of His Son‘s Personified Love (Rom.8:29)

Be that as it may, all is not lost. God sent the second Adam in His Son Jesus, to rescue humanity from the vagaries of sin, rebellion, divisiveness, and the fallen Adamic personality, to bring harmony and Love to the human mind. (1Cor.15:45) Humans can once more possess minds inspired by Love and instructed and guided in God’s Word, both by the Personified Word in Jesus, and the literal Word through the written Bible empowered in the Spirit, in every aspect of life, whether it is religion, politics, commerce and trade, family life, and every facet of daily living.

But we know the genesis of this human character flaw and where it stems from to corrupt people’s gifts and personalities. And the prime reason for this incoherent and at times contorted outcome lays at the root of Adam’s fall into rebellion and sin, and betraying the complementary and harmonizing values (Love) of his Creator. (Gen.3) Powerful egos and personalities have taken preeminence, rather than the “Love-Personality” in the Spirit where we recognize our personality image (being) in Christ, as a first step. (Col.2:2) When we are guided by rebellion and disorder private interpretation and self-identity intuitively takes over and overshadows the pacifying complementary interpretation in God’s Love.

Yes, there is private and there is shared complementary values; there is unilateral and multilateral ideas and strategies; one is self-centered, then there is other-centered; one is solitary, the other is triune (collective); one is wicked and corrupt, while the other is upright and divine. At times, years can pass by and we come to see the folly of our choices and the life-changing habitude created. With much water having passed over the bridge of time, spawning and producing agony and fear upon all affected by it – self-centeredness (fear) has taken over other-centeredness (Love). Why is this? It comes down to personalities of humans that have strayed from its moorings and dependence in Jesus our Lord who is the anchor of our souls and personalities.

Rebellious Personality Arising From Adam’s Fall to The Devil In Eden

As we saw earlier, a strong and persuasive human personality can give life to static and colorless objects. Personalities give life (interpretation) to the ‘passive’ Word of God in the Bible for instance, or for that matter every other aspect of life, not just religious. However, when we are dealing with human personality, it must be aligned and interact with the Personified Word of Jesus, from whom all human personalities (gifts) originate. (Col.2:3)

I said earlier that prior to making contact with the passive literary Word of God, the Bible or in any enterprise for that matter, our thoughts must be garbed in the “Love-Personality” of the Spirit in Christ. Failure in doing so will give room for private interpretations dominated by fear to take over. The human personality must first harmonize with the Personified Word of Jesus Christ, before delving into the literary Word of God. This must become the first rule of thumb that’s done with prayer and study. This goes for every aspect of living.

I use religious entities as illustration because it is inundated with examples where church denominations have broken down and splintered into different fragments due to private interpretations by sheer power of human personality. The term ‘personality’ signifies the individual person comes to recognize that he/she possesses gifts (personality), and the need to align the self with the image (being) of Love in Christ in all the person does. Scripture tells us, “For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son‘s personified Love, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Rom.8:29). The question remains, does this take place in real life situations? Or, does private interpretation continue to take a life of its own, whether right or wrong, apparently does not seem to weigh in heavily for the moment.

The Rebellious Personality Began With Adam’s Fall in Eden

Our human personality, mysterious and powerful as it is, find its basis in Christ, and therefore carries an aura of sacredness with it. Consequently, it must not be used for pride, grandiosity, hypocrisy, and least of all to create division. We have seen the history of humanity in the political arena where people have used the force of personality to advance motives that we see are unbecoming and even ulterior and dehumanizing to the extreme. We only have to go back to the last world war (WWII) to witness how whole nations can be swept up in unhinged hysteria and chaotic turmoil and bring untold suffering, death, and cataclysm to the whole continent of Europe and beyond through the captivating personality of one, two, or more men, and those who have lent support to further their psychotic aims. After the war, they were charged for war crimes against humanity in the famed Nuremburg trials.

However, Love is always accommodating. The Bible says, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith (gift/personality) God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere” (Rom.12:3-9).

The metaphor given by Paul above informs us that human personalities when guided by the “Love-Personality” in Christ, results in unity, cohesion, and care through other-centeredness (Love). How can humans begin to learn and be guided by the Word of God, both personified in Christ, and literally through the Word of the Bible? First, we must realize that we cannot live the right way and have our human personalities (gifts) blend into God’s Love while we exist in our fallen state of existence from Adam’s sin and resulting rebellion. (Gen.3)

It was from Adam’s sin that humanity inherited the spirit of rebellion, the underling of self-centeredness and narcissism from which the fallen “Adamic personality” emerge to dominate the human spirit and mind. But God the Father promised to restitute humanity to His way of Love and other-centeredness by giving us His Son, the second Adam. (Gen.3:15; John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:45) So, God sent His Son, the eternal Personified Logos, to take our fallen humanity upon Himself, He bore the prophetic name, Immanuel, which means, “God with us” – fully God and fully human, and from whom the “Love-Personality” give rise. (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23)

Jesus came as our Savior by living a sinless life, was baptized by John for us, He defeated Satan in the temptations for humanity as an act of Adamic redemption, died the sacrificial death of Savior upon His cross, was resurrected glorified, then ascended into heaven for humanity, took up His role of High Priest, so He can give passage to the Holy Spirit to come and enter human life, and thereby empower and influence humans to utilize their personality (gifts) for Love (God). (1 John 4:8) The Spirit is the personification of God’s Love in humanity. (Rom.5:5; Gal.4:6; Rom.8:9; 1 Cor.3:16)

The Word Jesus - Greek Logos, Hebrew Dabar, Aramaic Memra - The Word -  Sticker | TeePublic
Jesus, The Word, Entered Our Human World as Immanuel To Redeem and Save Humanity

This is the key to utilizing our human personalities for unity, cohesion, and Love, with the triune God and for the betterment and advancement of our fellow humans. This is the purpose of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of humans. Jesus said, “I am going to send you what My Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luk.24:45-49; also Isa.53; Zech.12:10; Psa.16:10; 22:1, 7-8) I emphasize the words “until you have been clothed with power,” to convey believers are being encased, attired, and wrapped-up, in the “Love-Personality” of the Spirit. (Rom.5:5) The word “power” conveys the energy, dynamism, and capacity of God’s divine Love that’s personified in the Holy Spirit, and shares with humanity. Paul said, “Our hope does not put us to shame, because God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). So, the Spirit’s personality is the divine “Love-personality” of God.

What was the gift from the Father Jesus spoke about which was given to the disciples and by extension all humanity? It was the gift of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. (Acts 2:1-4; Rom.5:5; Gal.4:6) So, with the Spirit’s “Love-Personality,” He enters human life to malleably shape our human personality (gifts/talents) according to the pattern of the Love of God as fully expressed in Christ through His incarnation. (Rom.5:5; John 3:16; 1 Cor.13:1-13) And it is the Spirit who will give us the power to Love, and do all things for Love’s sake, much like Jesus’ incarnation only in reverse – from human to divine. But we must with open minds, freely choose God’s Love in the Spirit. (Rom.5:5; Gal.4:6) (You can read my post titled, “Christmas, The Story of Reverse Incarnation,” at http://bulamanriver.net/18857)

So there’s the human gift and talent which God could confer upon humans instantly by a miraculous act (out of nothing), and there’s the “Love-Personality” from and in the Spirit which we must freely choose to participate through our hearts and minds. Love is a participatory activity of the mind and heart with the divine nature and will. Love is like a new ‘personality garment’ we put on to utilize our human gifts and talents. We have seen gifted mathematicians, articulate wood carvers and musicians, scientists, engineers, and technologists with brilliant minds, people with exceptional abilities in many, many, fields of endeavor, etc, divinely bestowed. But the Spirit’s “Love-Personality” is the gift of the miraculous life from God which comes by faith in believers to shape us into Christ’s image (Being) now and for eternity. (Rom.8:29; Eph.2:8) The Spirit is the personification of the gift of the “true-self” (Love-Personality) in Christ in humans. Remember, the Spirit is the gift of the divine “Love-Personality” in you and me. (Rom.5:5)

It is the Spirit who empowers you and I to use our gifts and personalities in Love and for Love’s sake. The “true-self” (Love-Personality) holds the miraculous life the Spirit brings. You are now the ‘temple’ for the Spirit to do the work and will of God (Love). (1 John 4:8; 1 Cor.3:16) Paul said, “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? (1 Cor.3:16, NLB). He further said, “For the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power” (1 Cor.4:20). God tells us plainly, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the LORD Almighty” (Zech.4:6). God’s power is manifested through His Love. His creative power is demonstrated and established in His Love.

The Spirit Brings The Gift of The “Love-Personality” of God to and in Humanity

Recall the passage we read earlier as it relates to how humans were inspired to pen the written Word of God, “For no such prophecy (word) was ever brought forth by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21 BSP). That is to say, the private human personality (gifts) was not the energy behind the written Word of God, but rather it was the very “Love-Personality” of the Spirit of God who inspired and shaped these writers who in turn penned the words of the Bible. And that is how it must happen with each and every one of our personalities (gifts) clothed in the Spirit’s power and Love. (Rom.12:3-13)

Our individual gift/personality must not get in the way of the “Love-personality” of the Spirit with private interpretations, but rather we are influenced by the power of God’s “Love-Personality” through His Spirit who unifies us in Christ. Sometimes, God allows us to walk in the error of our ways to teach us a more vital lesson of Love. I hope and pray we can maintain a proper and positive mindset in the interaction between the two vital elements of God’s Word: the Personified Word (the “Logos”), Jesus, and the written Word of God in the Bible, and their interaction with our human personality (gifts/talents). The fallen “Adamic personality” which previously dictated the activities of our gifts and talents, must now be reborn and clothed in the “Love-Personality” of Christ so the Spirit’s power (Love) now dictates all our activities. (John 3:3-7) Jesus said pointedly, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. (John 6:63)

The Bible tells us emphatically, “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception (false self/Adamic-personality). Put on your new nature, created to be like God–truly righteous and holy (true self/”Love-Personality”)” (Eph.4:22-23). 

Petition: Friends, as I have closed my post in the past, I customarily give our readers the opportunity to give their lives to our Maker. I thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus who has enabled us to live the Triune Life*. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven seated at His Father’s side, and ceaselessly mediating for us. I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Him as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of living this glorious humanity made children of God forever.

You can privately and quietly pray the prayer below in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human being Christ died for, regardless of your background. All are inducted into the one mankind Jesus saved, not into any religious sect or denomination, or divisions one may espouse – but into the glorious humanity that Christ is preparing as the holy temple for God’s dwelling:

Prayer: “Almighty God, Father of all humanity, forgive me of all my sins for I receive Your Son, Jesus, as my personal Savior. In Your incalculable grace, grant Your promised celestial life in Your Son through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon me and all humanity. May Your Love guide and protect me and my Loved ones always, and bring us all into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.”

Prayer is A Solemn One-On-One Spiritual Dialogue Between a Person and God (Wiki Commons)

Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s holy, eternal Family. (1 Tim.6:19) Then keep in touch with God’s Word for you by reading and studying your Bible, and visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation – go to: http://bulamanriver.net. You can email me with your questions at the address shown below.

Personal Blessing: Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life” as a  Bulamanriver.* Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Farewell for now!

Kiang, Your Servant in Christ

*Triune Life: “Triune Life” speaks of the process of theosis or deification of humanity. What is theosis or deification? “It refers to apotheosis, meaning “making divine.” Theosis or deification is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God (as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church).” (Wikipedia.org) The belief in the process of ‘deification’ is understood in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, when He said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If He called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside (cannot be broken)” (John 10:34-35; Psa.82:6). (You can read about the Triune Life at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and other posts)

I have written about this subject of ‘deification’ in my blogs under the theme ‘substitution’ and ‘attribution’ (see, http://bulamanriver.net/564), where I showed how Jesus came as God incarnate (Immanuel) to assume our sinful humanity in order to save mankind from sin and death for the express purpose of human deification. (Matt.1:23; Rom.3:10-12, 18, 23; John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:50-55; Rom.8:29) Further, we read the following, “As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (‘illumination’ with the ‘vision’ of God). According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God’s uncreated energies.” (Wikipedia.org)

Reblev’s Icon of the Trinity (Wiki Commons)

So, the “Triune Life” reveals the intersection of human life and activity and the uncreated divine energy flowing from the Tri-Personal Being of God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a way of life which explains that process of theosis whereby humans are transformed in body, mind, and spirit by the Love of God. God’s uncreated energy is His Love. So, the foundational tenet of the “Triune Life” is based upon the Love of God, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Thereby, it can also be called aptly, the “Triune Love.”

I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19) This is opposed to the one-dimensional human way of life influenced by the devil. We see God’s Tri-Personal Love move in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory, in this process of theosis which I have called the ‘three ascents.’ The three ascents are three steps which dovetails into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity – where God reveals the fullness of Himself to humanity, both individually and collectively. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2) That’s to say, the act of one is the act of all three, and the act of three is the act of one, making them unified in Love. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

Every aspect of human living follows this three-step format revealing the three-dimensional aspect of how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, directly and collectively involved in the life of human believers, individually and collectively to bring humanity to salvation. These three steps move in an ascending order, so I will call them ‘ascents.’ Each ‘ascent’ dovetails into the next and finally reveals the ‘manifestation’ of the topic, which we will call the fourth step, in this case, Love!

Hence, all my articles are framed within this three-step format, or ascents. The subject of the article dovetails into each ascent and spontaneously lead to the manifestation of the divine Love and reveals how humanity is enlightened by God, and cleansed in mind, body, and spirit. The ascents reveal three doors one must enter to attain the manifestation of God’s Love relationship with humanity. The ascents are not to be misconstrued as some ‘secret knowledge’ or mystical activity. Rather, each ascent represents the relationship of Love a human enjoys with the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, throughout a person’s life. In fact, the ascents are actually three Love relationships the believer encounters with the Tri-Personal God. This three-way relationship is what I have called by the term, “Triune Life” or “Triune Love.” These ascents represent the movement of God’s Love in an inward, outward, and upward, trajectory to bring God’s enlightenment in a person. The fourth step reveals how the article is made to manifest in the life of the person, both individually and then collectively in humanity.

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27).

The Bible states, “He (God) does great things that we cannot understand and miracles that we cannot count” (Job 5:9; 37:5). If God acts in ways that cannot be fathomed and is beyond human comprehension, then the miraculous life where humans are privileged recipients, cannot be deciphered by the human mind to its grandest manifestation. But we understand its meaning through divine revelation in that God reveals Himself as Love, and His miraculous activities are enveloped in His Love. (Jer.29:11)

The three-dimensional Triune Life/Love is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life of the fallen humanity inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion. For additional information about the Triune Life: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.                                              

**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, you may obtain a copy of my book, “Bula” Man-River, from Amazon.com; xulonpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book stores. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.

Bulamanriver Book Cover

All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.

Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you

LIVING AND ABIDING BY THE 3 LOVE-MANDATES GIVEN TO HUMANITY AT CREATION, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings once again to you, my Friends! Ever since mankind walked this earth, human life has been defined by the natural attributes they aspire and seek through the shared lens of their common humanity. These attributes are, freedom, dominion or identity, and physical and material resources.

The Creation of Humans with Divine Love-Mandates (Wiki Commons)

These three attributes reflect humanity’s common heritage given by the Creator. Freedom means the individual’s right to choose, mainly where one resides geographically, one’s occupation, the right to free speech, gathering, education, well-being, and other affiliations and relationships. Dominion means the human identity that’s identified to the earth as a domain that’s distinct to a people, nation, tribe, ethnicity, culture, language, etc. It is usually geographical. Physical resources mean the material riches, tangible or otherwise, that’s particular to a dominion and enjoyed by its people.

Mandate | Definitions & Meanings That Nobody Will Tell You.

No matter who we are, or whatever our nationality or color, wherever we live, these three attributes define our commonality as humans. Without any one of these three attributes humans cease to enjoy having a substantive and meaningful existence as humans upon this earth. They define who we are as a people. That these attributes are claimed to be God-given, is never disputed by people throughout the world. The unique expression of each attribute may differ from people to people, nation to nation, depending to a large extent upon their geography and resource, nonetheless, they are identical attributes which form the foundation for human existence in all peoples.

At the beginning of creation, the Creator said this after creating humanity, Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So, God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Gen.1:26-28).

So, here we see two distinct truths: humanity was created in the Creator’s likeness, and second, mankind is given dominion over the earth and all of the creation upon it. The second comes after the first, meaning the two forces interface and are part of each other and cannot do without the other. Humanity must first live and behave in God’s Love image…only then dominion over creation is assumed by the caveat of Love. In other words, there is a rider stipulation to humanity’s dominion over the earth. That is, humans are stewards of this earth by being stewards of God’s Love-nature first. (1 John 4:8)

However, we must first reflect on God’s image and likeness. Who is God? The Bible states categorially and clearly, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Use it as a noun (name) or verb (act) it conveys the same meaning. So, dominion over the earth is to be administered with Love. Not human love that lacks, but God’s divine Love that’s edifying and complete.

Love is completely outgoing and other-centered in its outlook and disposition. God has always been like that in His nature and character. He has never been anything else, but Love. Everything He creates He does exclusively out of, and for Love. His mind is completely immersed in thoughts and proclivity of Love. So, dominion over creation is given to humanity so God’s Love (likeness) can flow through mankind to everything created.

God created the first human, Adam, and gave his very first dominion decree with these words, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Gen.2:15). Adam was to take care of the Garden of Eden with care and Love. That is how humanity’s dominion began – looking after a garden.

Of course, this was no ordinary backyard garden, it was a garden planted with God’s own hands, and handed to Adam and Eve as their dream home, an unparalleled gift to look after and cherish, but most of all where God’s Love was ever present where they frolic and bathe in. It was a celestial garden with abundance where Love was the anchor of all that was done and seen, for God lived in it with Adam and Eve. There were all kinds of animals that were gentle and non-violent by nature, never ferocious and man-eating. The wild and ferocious proclivities came later resulting from Adam and mankind’s fall.

This caring decree given to Adam and Eve was to extend to the whole earth over which they were given dominion. But history was not so kind with humanity. For since Adam’s fall to the devil’s temptation, mankind has shown how peoples have disregarded the divine triune decree to administer earth’s dominion with God’s Love. Humanity, using satanic fear instead of the divine Love abused their God-conferred dominion and mandates.

Sadly, Adam’s disastrous and corrupting rebellion was the nexus which heralded humanity’s impoverishment of spirit and consequential untold suffering ushered upon all human generations that followed. Instead of being helpers of one another as Love prescribes, humans have coveted dominions not theirs, subjugated and destroyed people’s God-given freedoms, and raped the natural resources of others and regrettably their own. (1 Thes.5:11; Mar.12:31; Lev.19:18)

When God created humans, He not only gave us free-will to make choices and decisions, but supplied us His nature of Love to guide our liberties so we will not misuse much less abuse our freedoms. God did this so humanity will show respect and honor for each other in these three attributes that God has so richly blessed peoples everywhere. In short, God wanted humans to Love others as they Love themselves. (John 13:3; Matt.22:39; Gal.5:14) If everyone did that, individually and collectively, the ‘golden rule’ would form the cornerstone of our human relationship: “Therefore, whatever you want people to do for you, do the same for them, because this summarizes the Law and the Prophets” (Matt.7:12, ISV).

After The Fall of Adam, Fear Became the Dominant Spirit Influencing Humans In Place of God’s Love

But humans have disregarded their Maker’s Love and rebelled against His Loving will through the Love-mandates. Of all species created by God, only humans are given the mind with the freedom to choose between good and evil. Other species are given preset instincts to live according to the Maker’s distinct and intended purpose for them. From herbivores and carnivores, from the avian to the insect species, from reptiles to marine life, and all the variant species in between, every species are gifted differently and magnificently to live according to God’s purpose for them, and for mankind’s learning. Of all species, only humans have lived in rebellion to his Maker. Why is this?  This can be explained through the three Love-mandates given to humanity at creation.

In the beginning when creating humans, God gave mankind three Love mandates to live by which would guide them in their relationship with God and with other humans and the created world around them. The three Love mandates are found in the Book of Genesis which records human creation. They are: 1. the ‘Triune Love mandate,’ 2. the ‘dominion Love–mandate,’ and 3. the ‘helper Love-mandate,’ Let me expound upon them.

1: The “Triune Love Mandate” – The Father: The first mandate was centered in God the Father. The “Triune Love Mandate” speaks of the purpose of human creation in relation to mankind’s primordial nature with the divine Love-nature of the Creator. God said this about humanity, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them. Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen.1:26-27). This mandate can also be called the “likeness mandate” for mankind was created in God’s Love-image.

So, God created humans in His Love-likeness. What is God’s likeness or image? John tells us this, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). Love is God’s image and likeness. Love is His divine nature. We can say it in the reverse, ‘Love is God,’ and it conveys the same inseparable meaning. God is not made of Love, He is the uncreated everlasting Creator Being who is Love. So, humans were created in God’s divine Love – that is mankind’s primordial nature. God said at the creation of humanity, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen.1:26-27). If God’s divine image is Love, then there is no other way humans could reflect God’s likeness except, in His Love!

This image has an empty alt attribute
God Is Love” 1 John 4:8

There is another aspect of God’s nature which defines His Love-nature, God is a Trinity. That’s to say, God consist of three free Persons in one Godhead – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:18-19; 2 Thess.2:13; 2 Cor.13:14; Act.7:55; John 10:30; 17:21-22) When Jesus commissioned His disciples to take the Gospel message into all the world, He told them, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt.28:18-20). See also Peter’s affirmation, “God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and His Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace” (1 Pet.1:2, NLB).

To ‘baptize’ means to ‘induct’ into the life of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, or in short, the Trinity, as Jesus prayed for the disciples and by extension all believers, to the Father, “So they may be one as We are one” (John 17:22). Recall what God said at creation, He said, “Let Us…Our image…Our likeness.” This highlights the plurality of God’s Trinitarian divine nature. He is not a solitary God, He is the triune God. Paul said this about God’s Tri-Personal nature, “For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.” (Eph.4:4-6; also, Jud.1:20-21). God is not a solitary Being, but is the Triune Godhead in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He is not three Gods, but three persons in one Godhead. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

Jesus told His disciples, “These things I command you, so that you will Love one another” (John 15:17). He said further, “Love one another. As I have Loved you, so you also must Love one another. (John 13:34). So, Love is the first mandate, or The Triune Love Mandate.

2. The “Dominion Love-Mandate” – Jesus Christ: The second Love-mandate is centered in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The “dominion Love-mandate” was given to humanity at creation. Let’s read it, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So, God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen.1:26-28, KJV, italics for emphasis).

Jesus, Humanity’s Savior & Mediator. The Historical Silhouette of Calvary with Three Crosses is Symbolic of the One-ness of the Triune God in the Death of Jesus upon His Cross

The word “dominion” is here mentioned twice as it relates to man’s dominion over God’s earth. Other translations have rendered this term, as, “Let them be masters…” and, “They will have power over…” The “dominion Love-mandate” is centered in Christ for He is the Creator who brought the earth and all things into existence. All of the creation, both seen and unseen, arise from God who is Love by nature. Therefore, the dominion mandate is a “Love-mandate.”

The Father created at the hands of His Son, and also gave Him dominion, the Kingdom of God. The Psalmist makes this clear and repeats humanity’s dominion in Christ, “You have made Him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under His feet, All sheep and oxen—Even the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!” (Psa.8:6-9). So, dominion relates to rulership of God’s Kingdom over creation. 

The inclination and aspiration to rule and dominate is inherent in humans. This desire was placed in the heart of humanity by God to carry out the “dominion Love-mandate” upon earth. Ambitious people have driven themselves to great lengths motivated by the “dominion Love-mandate” to do great things upon this earth. (Gen. 1:26, 28; Ps. 8:6-8). Whether they are all good and done in the service of, and for good of all, or for human harm, is the burning question. In the exercise of human dominion upon earth, the rider clause of doing and acting in God’s Love in all before us must be utmost and highest in our hearts and minds.

The Bible utters God as saying, “The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty” (Hag.2:8). Further God says, “For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird on the mountains, and all the animals of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for all the world is mine and everything in it” (Psa.50:10-12). Therefore, the Bible speaks about stewardship, hence, our God-given dominions exists as a responsibility of stewardship – the stewardship of Love. (1 Pet.4:10; 1 Cor.4:1-2).

File:As08-16-2593.jpg
The Earth, Human Dominion Given by Divine Mandate

If we were to allow history to be our judge, we will have to say that much harm than good has flowed under the river of time in our human history. This is the legacy of the fallen “Adamic humanity” and the rebellious spirit inherited from Adam’s fall. The history of humanity concerning the God-given dominion upon earth has been one where people’s freedoms have been trampled upon with impunity.

Thus, we are reminded of God’s Love which can never be divorced from His freedom. Both Love and Freedom are flip sides of the nature of God and one cannot be applied without the other, for they are one and the same. (You can read more about the fallen “Adamic Humanity” inherited from Adam’s sin, and the glorious “Immanuel Humanity” humans can be reborn into through Jesus, the second Adam, at: http://bulamanriver.net/9718)

Word freedom. From the old dictionary, a close up
Freedom The Flipside of God’s Love

With Adam and Eve, God gave them an immediate stewardship over the Garden of Eden which God personally planted for them. God brought various species of animals, of birds, and other life forms to Adam to give names for them. (Gen.2:18-20) Then God instructed them, “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Gen.2:15, KJV). So, the dominion Love-mandate came with God’s direction to “dress and keep” their dominion.

That command is still valid today where we are responsible stewards of this earth to look after all life forms and species, the resources of the earth, and respecting people and their God-given domain and natural resources. Yes, this earth and all in it is given under the stewardship to mankind to dress, keep, and protect. Today, humans celebrate ‘Earth Day’ in honor of our blue planet which hangs like a jewel in outer space. Yet, today mankind faces serious environmental issues which threaten life as we know it upon this earth.

In the final analysis, God has determined that dominion of this earth will ultimately be given to humans who have the heart and Love to do what is necessary to save it from destruction – beginning with His Son, Jesus. He came to save us – not only from human sin, but for all things that has to do with human dominion upon this earth, for both cannot be separated but are inevitably connected by divine Love-mandates. (Rev.11:18) Today, Jesus sits glorified at the Father’s right hand in heaven as mankind’s Savior and Mediator High Priest, and future coming King of this earth. (Rev.1:5; 19:16; Mar.16:19; Heb.10:12; Psa.110:1)

At the climax of human dominion and civilization upon earth, the Book of Revelation declares that the Seventh Trumpet is blown, and we read, “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom (dominion) of the world  has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever’” (Rev. 11:15). Revelation goes further, and says this, “On His (Jesus’) robe and on His thigh He has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16). Yes, Jesus will reign over all the dominions of earth forever, and humanity will reign with Him. (Rev. 22:5).

3. The “Helper Love-Mandate” – Holy Spirit: The third mandate is centered in the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Triune Godhead. What is the “helper Love-mandate?” Like the previous two Love-mandates, this third Love-mandate was uttered by God in Eden at the creation of humanity. The word helper conveys the existence of other human beings with whom the ‘helper Love-mandate’ may be established and carried out.

However, Adam was alone when created. Then God created the second human upon earth, the woman Eve from Adam’s side (rib) to be his wife. From thence, the helper Love-mandate was born, this time, specifically in human relationship. Essentially, the “helper Love-mandate” was framed to picture God’s participatory triune nature of a life of union and Love.

Utilizing Our Gifts and Talents As Helpers- A Duty of Love and Care for Each Other (Wiki Commons)

This is how the Love-mandate was decreed and given by God, “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him…So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.” “At last!” the man exclaimed. This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man’” (Gen.2:18, 21-23). I emphasize what God said, “I will make a helper who is right for him.” Therein, the “helper mandate” was born and established.

The “helper Love-mandate” is not merely confined in a filial or matrimonial context, as this passage is often quoted in matrimonial ceremonial occasions between a man and woman. Rather the “helper Love-mandate” refers to the next human being and every person who is a neighbor. The creation of Eve brought into existence the very first human neighbor for Adam. It is on this basis, that the command to “Love your neighbor as yourself” gives birth. (Mar.12:31; Eph.5:28)

The “helper Love-mandate” is heritably a trinitarian way of life in the Being of the Triune God, who is first inherently neighborly and helpful in His triunity in the Father, Son, and Spirit. So, the “helper Love-mandate” has its origin and foundation in the hypostatic union of the Triune Being of God.

This is the essence of their existence in each Person of the trinitarian God reinforcing the hypostatic oneness and unity of God. Therefore, when we help other humans, we are in effect helping our self, and by extension all other human lives, for we reflect Him and His helper image based upon His Love nature. It must be appreciated that it is from the foundation of families proceeding from the matrimonial bond of a man and a woman in Eden, that humans are raised from childhood to become “helpers” in the larger human community.

Paul reinforces this beautiful ‘helper’ principle when he said this to the Ephesian Christians, “Husbands ought to Love their wives as their own bodies. He who Loves his wife Loves himself…This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. ” (Eph.5:28, 32). Each person is called to emulate and reinforce the oneness of our common unity in the triune God as a people of Love and helpers. Therefore, when we help other humans, we are in effect helping our own self, making us one humanity in Christ, as Christ is One God with the Father and the Spirit in the divine hypostatic union. (Matt.28:18-20; 2 Thess.2:13; 2 Cor.13:14; Act.7:55; John 10:30; 17:21-22) ) 

The Dominion Love-Mandate – The Debt and Duty of Care and Love Upon Humanity & All Creation (Wiki Commons)

What was Paul saying? When God made Eve, He did not create her separately and directly from the soil of the earth, as He did with Adam. No, God took a rib from Adam’s side and created Eve from it. (Gen.2:18-23) Thereby, all of humanity proceeded from Adam’s single creation and through Eve who was created from Adam. Hence, after Eve was created Adam declared and uttered, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” Hence, Eve was not foreign or indifferent from Adam’s being. She was not taken from a separate patch of mud and dust of the earth. She shared in the equal humanity of Adam who inherited the divine image from God, which Adam now passed on to Eve and by extension all mankind. We are, in the true sense of the word, originate from the one single human creation of Adam.

Therefore, by extension every human is indivisibly part of the greater Adamic humanity, and our own bodies proceed from the single creation of Adam through Eve made to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen.1:28). This shows that God created humanity to reflect Himself, where He is One in three hypostasis in the Father, Son and Spirit. Each reinforce their separateness but oneness in unity of God, just as humans are separate human beings but originate from the single creation of Adam through Eve. We are many but one, just as God is trinitarian but one Godhead. Therefore, when we help other humans, irrespective of our backgrounds, we are in effect helping our self for we are one and the same creation in Adam’s single creation after God’s Love image. This is the ‘mystery’ of our humanity, shaped in the very likeness of the divine which Paul speaks of.

The Dove – Symbol of The Holy Spirit and God’s Love Nature in Humans Who Empowers Humanity to Be Helpers in Christ (Wiki Commons)

Many today don’t have a clue, much less conceive of the sheer wonder of this awe-inspiring ‘mystery of our one humanity consisting in one body’ from the single creation of Adam. Paul calls it a mystery. (Eph.5:31-33) It is from the mystery replicated in the divine ‘hypostatic’ union of the Triune God in whose image the one humanity in Adam was founded, framed, and continues to this day. It is from this divine Triune Being of God (Love) that the “helper mandate” was founded and springs forth. (1 John 4:8)

That’s to say that all humans are part of each other in the same body, and what we do to others, we do to our own selves – a mystery that is divine at its very core. This is a principle based upon God’s trinitarian principle: “the act of one is the act of all, and the act of all is the act of one.” In short, the “helper Love-mandate” regulates and facilitates the ‘dominion Love-mandate’ where humans are inherently precluded and constrained from exercising self-centered dominion over another human, but rather become “helpers” of one another in their God-given dominion upon earth.

Therefore, humans are subjects of God’s dominion (kingdom) under Christ, not man’s self-driven, self-imposed, solitary dominion imposed by fear, but rather by God’s divine Love. God is humanity’s Savior and therefore answerable to Him, not another human. God is mankind’s Ruler, not another man or woman. Therefore, we violate the dominion Love-mandate when we try to include humans when there is no mention of humans in the dominion mandate. The dominion mandate is over God’s created earth, but not another human. What then should govern human to human relationship. Paul gives us a peek which we will cover in depth later in the helper Love-mandate. He told the Romans, “Owe no man anything, except the debt of Love” (Rom. 13:8; Gal. 6:2, KJV).

The Fruits Of Love (1 Cor.13) Expression of The Spirit’s Love-Fruits in Human Activity (Wiki Commons)

Why is this human proviso important to observe? Of all the species, only humans were created in God’s Love image and likeness. Therefore, humans are deserving of nothing less than God’s Love. Only humans were created to live this outgoing way that is based upon God’s Love. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:8) God has Loved us dearly and did not spare His Son, but gave Him up for us. That is how the Father helped mankind – by giving up His Son for us (John 3:16) We must be willing to do the same for each other. Humans were created to be composed and driven by the “helper Love-mandate” inspired by Love. Paul said, “Owe no man anything, except the debt of (to) Love” (Rom.13:8).

Let us be clear, the dominion mandate was given to be exercised over the earth and over species and resources excluding humanity. Every single human is given a shared dominion over the earth under Christ, even on an individual basis, as God reminds us, thus, “Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken” (Mic.4:4; Psa.24:1; Eccl.5:9, NKJV) That brings us to the third attribute in Genesis of the “helper Love-mandate.”

Let me ask, are these three Love-mandates still applicable today? All we can and must do is look all over this earth and see the situation of present predication as the human species. We have more than enough weapons and technology to exterminate each other from the face of this earth. Our earth, like a very sick person, gasping for breathe, is choking to death environmentally. We are assailed on all sides by a deadly pandemic. Of course, these three Love-mandates are very much applicable as it was when they were first given by the Creator. The very essence of the Gospel message Jesus brought from the Father is essentially that humanity will return to its roots in these three Love-mandates. In the final analysis, God’s image is that He is immortal and eternal, hence, the core of Jesus Gospel message was the gift of immortality. (John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:53; Rom.2:7; Matt.25:46; ) That is the ultimate divine gift humans must aspire to reach – human immortality like Christ. (1 John 3:2)

Mankind, Seeking to Find Solutions to Humanity’s Ills, While Ignoring The Creator’s Three Love-Mandates (Wiki Commons)

Make no qualms about it, our relationship with God, our fellow humans, and this earth and its resources, are governed by these three Love-mandates that was given to humanity at creation, and shows our way forward as a species given to inherit this earth. Though humanity has failed miserably at carrying the Love-mandates due to Adam’s fall, the good news is God has sent His Son, Jesus the second Adam, to take our humanity upon Himself (Immanuel), and take our place in fulfilling these Love-mandates, thus mediating for all our human deficiencies and the poverty of our human responses so we may stand perfect before the Father in Him. (You may read more about Jesus’ role as our mediating High Priest in heaven who is our substitute. Got to: http://bulamanriver.net/25846)

Petition: Friends, as I have closed my post in the past, I customarily give our readers the opportunity to give their lives to our Maker. I thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus who has enabled us to live the Triune Life*. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven seated at His Father’s side, and ceaselessly mediating for us. I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Him as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of living this glorious humanity made children of God forever.

You can privately and quietly pray the prayer below in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human being Christ died for, regardless of your background. All are inducted into the one mankind Jesus saved, not into any religious sect or denomination, or divisions one may espouse – but into the glorious humanity that Christ is preparing as the holy temple for God’s dwelling:

Prayer: “Almighty God, Father of all humanity, forgive me of all my sins for I receive Your Son, Jesus, as my personal Savior. In Your incalculable grace, grant Your promised celestial life in Your Son through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon me and all humanity. May Your Love guide and protect me and my Loved ones always, and bring us all into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.”

Prayer is A Solemn One-On-One Spiritual Dialogue Between a Person and God (Wiki Commons)

Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s holy, eternal Family. (1 Tim.6:19) Then keep in touch with God’s Word for you by reading and studying your Bible, and visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation – go to: http://bulamanriver.net. You can email me with your questions at the address shown below.

Personal Blessing: Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life” as a  Bulamanriver.*  Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Farewell for now!

Kiang, (Your Servant in Christ)

*Triune Life: “Triune Life” speaks of the process of theosis or deification of humanity. What is theosis or deification? “It refers to apotheosis, meaning “making divine.” Theosis or deification is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God (as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church).” (Wikipedia.org) The belief in the process of ‘deification’ is understood in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, when He said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If He called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside (cannot be broken)” (John 10:34-35; Psa.82:6). (You can read about the Triune Life at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and other posts)

I have written about this subject of ‘deification’ in my blogs under the theme ‘substitution’ and ‘attribution’ (see, http://bulamanriver.net/564), where I showed how Jesus came as God incarnate (Immanuel) to assume our sinful humanity in order to save mankind from sin and death for the express purpose of human deification. (Matt.1:23; Rom.3:10-12, 18, 23; John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:50-55; Rom.8:29) Further, we read the following, “As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (‘illumination’ with the ‘vision’ of God). According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God’s uncreated energies.” (Wikipedia.org)

Reblev’s Icon of the Trinity (Wiki Commons)

So, the “Triune Life” reveals the intersection of human life and activity and the uncreated divine energy flowing from the Tri-Personal Being of God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a way of life which explains that process of theosis whereby humans are transformed in body, mind, and spirit by the Love of God. God’s uncreated energy is His Love. So, the foundational tenet of the “Triune Life” is based upon the Love of God, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Thereby, it can also be called aptly, the “Triune Love.”

I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19) This is opposed to the one-dimensional human way of life influenced by the devil. We see God’s Tri-Personal Love move in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory, in this process of theosis which I have called the ‘three ascents.’ The three ascents are three steps which dovetails into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity – where God reveals the fullness of Himself to humanity, both individually and collectively. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2) That’s to say, the act of one is the act of all three, and the act of three is the act of one, making them unified in Love. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

Every aspect of human living follows this three-step format revealing the three-dimensional aspect of how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, directly and collectively involved in the life of human believers, individually and collectively to bring humanity to salvation. These three steps move in an ascending order, so I will call them ‘ascents.’ Each ‘ascent’ dovetails into the next and finally reveals the ‘manifestation’ of the topic, which we will call the fourth step, in this case, Love!

Hence, all my articles are framed within this three-step format, or ascents. The subject of the article dovetails into each ascent and spontaneously lead to the manifestation of the divine Love and reveals how humanity is enlightened by God, and cleansed in mind, body, and spirit. The ascents reveal three doors one must enter to attain the manifestation of God’s Love relationship with humanity. The ascents are not to be misconstrued as some ‘secret knowledge’ or mystical activity. Rather, each ascent represents the relationship of Love a human enjoys with the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, throughout a person’s life. In fact, the ascents are actually three Love relationships the believer encounters with the Tri-Personal God. This three-way relationship is what I have called by the term, “Triune Life” or “Triune Love.” These ascents represent the movement of God’s Love in an inward, outward, and upward, trajectory to bring God’s enlightenment in a person. The fourth step reveals how the article is made to manifest in the life of the person, both individually and then collectively in humanity.

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27).

The Bible states, “He (God) does great things that we cannot understand and miracles that we cannot count” (Job 5:9; 37:5). If God acts in ways that cannot be fathomed and is beyond human comprehension, then the miraculous life where humans are privileged recipients, cannot be deciphered by the human mind to its grandest manifestation. But we understand its meaning through divine revelation in that God reveals Himself as Love, and His miraculous activities are enveloped in His Love. (Jer.29:11)

The three-dimensional Triune Life/Love is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life of the fallen humanity inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion. For additional information about the Triune Life: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.                                                  

**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, you may obtain a copy of my book, “Bula” Man-River, from Amazon.com; xulonpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book stores. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.

Bulamanriver Book Cover

Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664

All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you

JESUS MEDIATES ALL OUR HUMAN RESPONSES – PRINCIPLE OF IMPUTATION, ATTRIBUTION, AND SUBSTITUTION, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings again, friends everywhere! May the blessing of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you today and give you strength for authentic living in our troubling times.

The principle of imputing, of assigning, of superimposing the life of Jesus upon believers is the very essence of the saving message of the gospel. Paul talks about this in his letters to the Galatians, the Ephesians, and the Colossians. This theme shapes and props the New Testament message all through, and reveals the Love and activity of the Trinitarian God in humanity. Paul tells the Romans, “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people” (Rom.5:17-18).

Mediation puzzle concept. Mediation puzzle concept. mediation stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
Christ Is In The Business of Mediation

Humans cannot save themselves from the spirit of rebellion and sin. Mankind can never earn the salvation God offers them. It can only be given by the Creator as a gift. The Bible is abundantly clear on this, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23).

The term salvation conveys the act of saving humans from sin, and therefore death, and conferring immortality as a gift so humanity may live in God’s Loving embrace forever as His children. The Bible tells us, “God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16). Immortality comes to humanity through the miraculous activity of God through Jesus in the Spirit’s power. (Read about this awesome life humans are privileged to experience, at my blog post titled, “The Miraculous Life – No Ordinary Life!” at: http://bulamanriver.net/22961)

If it were possible for you and I to earn our salvation, then God would not have sent His Son to die for us in our place. (John 3:16) The Bible states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3;23). To “fall short” means that we are inherently deficient and inadequate at receiving let alone engaging in God’s radiant glory. Fallen humanity haven’t by any stretch of the imagination what the glory of God is. However, Paul was inspired to write, “For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many!” (Rom.5:15). Jesus is humanity’s pathway to God’s awe-inspiring glory.

This does not mean humans have nothing to contribute to their salvation. No, God planned the whole process of salvation to be a divine participatory journey we choose to undertake with and in Christ, as we will see. It is a life of surrender and Love, as much as God Loves us unconditionally and completely surrendered His Son for our salvation. John tell us this, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever rejects the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36). To receive or reject the Son, (to believe or doubt Jesus) is an act of free will on each person’s part. It is an act of faith – that’s our part, to believe and trust and never doubt God’s Word.

So, if Adam’s disobedience and sin in Eden was and continues to be imputed upon all of humanity resulting in human death and alienation from God, then Jesus’ obedience and faithfulness is likewise attributed to the believer and reconciles humanity to God and brings salvation and true life in the Spirit. Because of Adam’s rebellion, God imputes the fallen state of existence upon earthly humans. I call this fallen human being and existence, the alienated “Adamic humanity.” Humans remain a rejected human species from Adam because they first rejected God’s Love in Eden. (Gal.2:16-17; 3:1-6)

Adam & Eve Banished From Eden, God’s Garden. The Fallen “Adamic Humanity” Born Out of Adam’s Sin & Rebellion (Wiki Commons)

Nevertheless, in God’s great Love for humanity, He sent His Son, Jesus to save humanity from sin, and in doing so, He imputed Jesus’ perfect and risen glorious heavenly life upon believing mankind, and to that end become humanity’s eternal Mediator. Thus, Jesus brought a new human species and life I call, the “Immanuel humanity” species. This person possesses the ‘God with us’ (Immanuel) humanity. (Matt.1:23)

Jesus said humans must be reborn into the new human species with God indwelling the person through His Spirit. (John 3:3-8) This is the essence of the ‘Immanuel humanity’ given birth out of God’s Spirit we read in John 3 above) You may read more at my Blog Post, “The New Humanity Of Jesus” at: http://bulamanriver.net/9718)

God Is Love

The prophet Isaiah prophesied about the coming of the new “Immanuel humanity” in the person of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. (John 3:16) He said, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and will call Him Immanuel” (Isa.7:14). In the New Testament, Matthew affirmed this prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus Christ’s birth. (Matt.1:18-25) I mentioned that salvation is a participatory process. God is this way, living this participatory life, because He is a trinitarian Being and live participatorily and collaboratively in His triune Being. So, He chooses to extend and participate His divine triune life with humanity (Immanuel – “God with us”) by giving His only Son. (Matt.1:23; John 3:16)

God – The Trinitarian Participatory God-Being In The Father, Son, And Spirit – Homoousios of One Substance. (Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity, Wiki Commons)

The angel’s message from God to Joseph and Mary about Jesus’ birth was, “What is conceived in her (Mary) is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son, and you will give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins” (Matt.1:20-21). Jesus is the second Adam, the new “Immanuel human” species we must now adopt to displace and replace the fallen “Adamic human” species. The ‘Immanuel human’ is born through the gift of and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (John 3:3-8; 1 Cor.3:16; 6:19; Gal.2:20)

There are only two forms of humans that has ever existed and walked upon this earth. Both originate from the Creator God – the first Adam, who fell to the devil’s temptation in Eden. (Gen.2:16-17; 3:1-6) The second Adam (Jesus Christ), who defeated Satan in the temptations in the Judean wilderness, and went on to become our Savior and High Priest. (1 Cor.15:45; Gen.2:17; 3:1-6; Matt.4:1-11).

The New “Immanuel Humanity” Born Out of Faith In Jesus Our Messiah

Paul explains Jesus’ role as Savior is twofold when he said, “He (Jesus) was delivered to death for our trespasses, and was raised to life for our justification” (Rom.4:25). First, Jesus in His ‘Immanuel human form, lived a perfect life, was baptized by John for mankind, and defeated the devil in the temptation for humanity, then crucified for our atonement. That is the first of Jesus’ twofold role as Savior we read from Paul – what He was and did as the Son of God in human form: “He was delivered to death for our trespasses.”

Second, Jesus did not remain a dead Savior upon His cross. The crucifixion was not the end of God’s story of salvation. If anything, the cross merely signifies the beginning of it. For God resurrected Jesus from the dead, and He became the first human of many to be given the gift of immortality. (John 3:16; Rom.8:29; 1 Cor.15:51-57) God resurrected Him from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus is the very heart of the Gospel and the Christian faith. Without the resurrection the cross stands devoid of any lasting meaning.

Then God ascends Jesus to heaven for our ongoing justification. In His now risen glorified human state He spent forty days upon earth with His disciples and others, before He ascended to His Father in heaven. (Act.1:3, 9). When Jesus ascended to heaven, He continued His role as Savior, but only now in His role as humanity’s High Priest continually mediating for us affirming Paul’s words – “and was raised to life for our justification.”

There we see the twofold face of our Savior, the first in His Immanuel human form, subject to all our frailties and through His death took all of humanity’s sins and atoned for them all. Second, then in His resurrected glorified form, as God’s High Priest in heaven endlessly mediating for His fallen human brothers and sisters – all of mankind. In one instance, Jesus took care of His twofold responsibility as mankind’s complete Savior. (Col.2:10)

The Cross, Symbol of Love and Reconciliation (Wiki Commons)

We can overemphasize Jesus’ cross which takes care of our past, but know little or nothing about how He saves us in our todays and tomorrows, in His everlasting role as our glorified human High Priest. As High Priest, Jesus takes care of all our human responses today and forever. This is how all our human trespasses are taken care of past, present, and future, by Jesus twofold role as Savior and Mediator. (Rom.4:25)

I assume most readers are familiar with Jesus first role of Savior as depicted by the symbol of the cross. The immortal verse of John 3:16 bears this out, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” But I want us to look at His second role of saving humanity on a continual basis as our glorified High Priest in heaven today – the “He was raised to life for our justification” role.

Jesus is the great High Priest, and we read affirmation of this wonderful truth in the book of Hebrews, “Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Heb.4:14-16).  

A Depiction of The Resurrection of Jesus

God the Father’s plan was for Jesus to take our humanity in Himself through Mary His human mother, and glorify our humanity in His now divine/human form (“Immanuel”) and be humanity’s eternal High Priest to be our Mediator forever. He came as the Immanuel (“God with us”) fully God and fully man. (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23)

With the High Priest, there must of necessity be a temple wherein He serves. The two, the High Priest and the temple, go hand in hand and are indispensably unified into one. In Jesus’ day, He answered a question concerning the temple in Jerusalem. He told His detractors, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” His critics replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple He had spoken of was His body. After He was raised from the dead, His disciples recalled what He had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken” (John 2:19-22).

Here we see Jesus referred to Himself as the very temple of God personified in Himself. So, Jesus is both the temple and its High Priest. A temple is the house of God where humans enter to meet and worship God. Hence, people enter the temple of Jesus, and as its High Priest mediates for us in facilitating true and proper worship of God. So we we see why Jesus was angered when He saw the people desecrate and defile the temple with their sacrileges activities.

We see John was given the vision of this beautiful truth in Revelation, stating, “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev.21:22). The verses before this shows the heavenly Jerusalem, the city wherein the church and the bride of Christ will dwell for eternity. (Rev.21:9-27) What a beautiful picture of humanity’s shown united with the triune God in glorious divine Love for eternity.

The temple in Jerusalem was a physical edifice that has been replicated from the time of Moses when he was first instructed by God to build a temporary temple in the wilderness soon after Israel was freed from slavery in Egypt. God told Moses, “This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain” (Heb.8:5; Exo.25:9).

The physical temple Moses built according to God’s instruction was a copy of the true spiritual temple of God in heaven with seven artifacts and furnishings which depict for us the vital roles of Jesus as the High Priest. The pattern of the temple was important because these seven artifacts and furnishing represents the seven works Jesus does within the temple of Himself to bring humanity immortality and unity with the triune God.

A Depiction of the The Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem

Once we identify these seven works of the High Priest, we will understand Jesus’ various mediatory roles on our behalf to unite humanity with the triune God in heaven in the personified temple of Jesus’ glorified body. When a person receives Jesus as personal Savior, he/she undergoes a new birth in the person’s spiritual life and becomes a “Immanuel human” (Christian). Christ comes and dwell in the believer, and the saved person likewise dwells in Christ.

Paul said this upon a person’s conversion and new birth into an “Immanuel human” (becomes a Christian), “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20; Rom.6:6). I would like to emphasize Paul’s words, “I live by the faith of the Son of God.” In a separate passage from the Book of Romans and other Bible passages, Paul said this, “The righteous shall live by faith” (Rom.1:17; also, Gal.3:11; Heb.10:38).

The earthly temple of God is not a physical structure, but a spiritual one for God is composed of Spirit. He is not mortal like humans. His earthly spiritual temple is the inner sanctum of the hearts and minds of humans who have received Jesus as personal Savior. And at its very core is the living faith of the people, Paul said, “But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners” (Rom.4:5, NLB) (You may read my Post about the “Living Faith of Jesus” at: http://bulamanriver.net/21946)

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The High Priest In Ancient Israel Depicting Christ, The Ultimate High Priest of God in Heaven Today and Forever

In the Spirit’s move and power, we are brought into the heavenly temple through the Holy Spirit indwelling us on earth in the spiritual life (temple) of the human body, where humanity is collectively called the Church, and the Church in turn is called the “Body of Christ,” and by co-indwelling with Christ made into the one temple of God in Christ. (1 Cor.12:24-27)

Paul said emphatically, “This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13). Then Paul further affirms the Spirit indwelling humanity, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” (1 Cor.6:19; also, 1 Cor.12:27-31)

The prophet Ezekiel and apostle Paul quote God stating, “My dwelling place will be with them and will walk among them; I will be their God, and they will be My people” (Ezek.37:27; 2 Cor.6:16). God’s desire has always been to live with humanity and make us His children forever. (Rev.21:3-4) To be precise, God’s spiritual temple is the very inner sanctum of the hearts and minds of saved humanity that is surrendered and given to Christ, and in which He lives and walks, and we live in Him. Intuitively, that describes who the “Immanuel human” (Christian) is.

The High Priest’s Garments Articles and Artifacts of The Temple (Wiki Commons)

These seven divine works Jesus has already carried out upon earth and continues to do in the temple of God in Christ in heaven before the Father. And on earth, Jesus continues to do in the human temple of the believer’s body and life – individually and collectively (Church). So, as God’s Loving will is being done in His heavenly temple in Christ, it is also being carried out upon earth in His earthly temple of the inner sanctum of the hearts and minds of saved humanity. (Matt.6:10) What Christ has done on earth as the Messiah, which He continues to do as our glorified human High Priest, is fully expounded and pictured in these seven furnishings within the temple of Himself in heaven in the Father’s presence for saved humanity. (John 2:19-22)

Recall the prayer Jesus taught the disciples to pray before God each day, the “Lords’ Prayer.” The essence of the prayer Jesus taught us to pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt.6:10). It means may the temple-life we live in the Spirit in Christ our High Priest in heaven be replicated in the spiritual temple of the human body of believers on earth, the Church.

Let us now see how Jesus performs each of these seven mediatory functions within the temple to keep us in divine completeness with the Father, bearing in mind that this is a participatory process where humans have a part to play by expressing faith in these intercessory works of Christ. (Rom.1:17; 3:22; 2 Cor.5:7) Jesus’ multiple role as humanity’s High Priest before God show without any shadow of doubt why He and only He is the Savior of mankind. Little surprise the Bible records how Jesus was angered when He saw the people defile the temple with their desecrating activities. These are the seven roles of Christ as depicted in the articles of the temple, with Scriptural reference relating to God’s instruction to Moses:

  • 1 The Alter of Sacrifice Exo.27:1-8: The Alter of Sacrifice is where sacrifices are burnt by the priesthood in Ancient Israel who were appointed to carry out this work in the temple on behalf of humanity. (Exodus 27:1) This represents Jesus who was slain and offered as sacrifice for human sins. Redemption always works through the atoning blood of Christ.

Christ is the Lamb of God who who was sacrificed for the sins of all humanity. God meets saved humanity only at the foot of Jesus’ cross, where sins past, present, and future receive absolution through the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb. (Exo.12:1-12; John 3:16-17; 1 Cor.11:26)

As High Priest today, He continues to do this in heaven in the personified temple of Himself, and in the inner sanctum of the hearts and minds of saved humanity that is given to Christ. We can offer our lives as a ‘sacrifice’ only because Jesus has gone before and offered Himself for us. (Rom.12:1)

Jesus Died to Atone for Human Sin and Rebellion
  • 2 Laver – The Laver Exo.30:17-21: The Laver was a large bowl filled with water used for cleansing the priesthood before entering the Holy Place of the temple. This represent the work of the Holy Spirit who cleanses humanity before God, through the Spirit of Love and its many Love-fruits. (1 Cor.13) (You can read Blog Post, “OUR HUMAN RESPONSE IN THE “TRIUNE LIFE”*-LOVE!” at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199)

In this function, we are reminded of what Jesus did for us when He entered the waters of the Jordan to be baptized for us and repent of our sins by the hand of John the Baptist. Jesus had no sin to repent of, so He bore our sins by repenting for humanity, and subsequently died for us on His cross. Recall what Jesus told John when he first hesitated baptizing Him, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” In other words, they must carry out God’s will, so humans can repent by imputing what Jesus’ has done for us. He has made it possible for us to repent, not because we can do it on our own. God ascribes His Son’s finished work upon us. (Rom.4:5; 5:19; Phi.3:9)

The Laver Symbolizing Baptism of Jesus We Reflect and Replicate

Then, He inaugurated the gift of the Spirit from the Father to mankind prior to Pentecost. (Matt.3:13-17) The Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to face and defeat Satan in the temptations for us, and then died on the cross for us, thus, ending the cycle of death through sin which started from Adam’s fall. Jesus rebooted God’s purpose in mankind by washing us clean and giving back true life in His likeness. This is the basis for our spiritual and psychological health and welfare.

Recall what Jesus promised the disciples before He was crucified, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate (Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7).

In other words, the Spirit cannot come and indwell humanity as a cleansing and sanctifying agent (laver) until the Savior has done His work of atonement for humanity. (1 above). His atoning work continues to this day in heaven before the Father, and in the lives of saved humanity so the Spirit’s sanctifying activity may continue unbroken.

  • 3 Table of Showbread Exo.25:23-30: This function represents Jesus as the personified Word of God. (John 1:1-2) Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.” God told Moses this is the “bread of the Presence” (Exo.25:30). This typifies the continual presence of Jesus as the living Word of God in our lives. Jesus the Personified Word, and the written Word of God, the Bible, in saved humanity. When we partake in the communion by eating the bread (representing His Body/flesh) and drinking the wine (representing His blood for life is in the blood) we are being reborn and given new life to take up in Christ, and He in us. (Matt.26:26-30; 1 Cor. 11:23).

The bread and wine (communion) represent Jesus’ body and blood (new “Immanuel humanity”), the born-again believer who now lives in Christ, and become temples as Christ is God’s temple. This is the source of our confidence in living upon this earth as we rely upon the Word of God, both the literal (Bible) and personified Christ (High Priest). (John 6:53-58) Jesus continues to feed us spiritually through the power of the Spirit who cleanses us through His Word.

The Gutenberg Bible – The Written Word of God
  • 4 The Golden Lampstand Exo.25:31-40: The Golden Lampstand represent Jesus who is the light of the world. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12). It had a central shaft with which represents Christ, with six branches, each with oil which gives light in the temple. The oil in the lampstand characterize the Holy Spirit. (Matt.25:1-13) We keep our lamps alight by not quenching the Spirit of Love (oil which gives light) in our lives. (1 Thess.5:19; 1 Cor.13; Rom.5:5)

What does the light mean? For humans, light symbolize one’s gift and defines who he/she is. Jesus confers gifts upon His followers to keep them in purposeful and focused communion with Him and the Father throughout their sojourn on earth under the Spirit’s direction and protection. (Eph.4:7-8; Heb.8:3) This gives us our true purpose to life, and inspires confidence in all we do.

As God told Zerubbabel, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Zech.4:6). So, light symbolize various gifts God has given to humanity which guides them through life, and keeps them connected to the divine Loving will of God through their sojourn as humans upon earth.

The Golden Lampstand
  • 5 Altar of Incense Exo.30:1-8: Altar of Incense speaks to us about the believer’s prayers, thanksgiving offerings, and worship empowered by Jesus and the Spirit bringing the fragrance of the beloved Son before the face of the Father in Heaven. (Eph.5:1-2) Jesus and the Spirit prays for us. (see Rom.8:34 and Rom.8:26, also Isa.53:12b) We do not know how to pray perfectly, but Jesus and the Spirit does. We do not know how to Love the Father perfectly in our depraved hearts, but Jesus through the Spirit does. (Rom.5:5)
File:Albrecht Dürer - Study of an Apostle's Hands (Praying Hands) - WGA07062.jpg
Our Prayers, Worship, Gratitude, perfected in the Temple of Jesus before the Father and transforming them into a Sweet-Smelling Aroma before God.

Here, we live in a time/space in our prayer life where death to self-love and self-will abides and we are alive in the Spirit through prayers of supplication, travailing in spirit, intercession, battles against evil forces, petition, praise, adoration, giving of thanks, Love, Faith, and Hope. The incense signifies Jesus taking our prayers, our worship, our gratitude, and perfecting them in the temple of Himself before the Father and transforming them into a sweet-smelling aroma before God. (2 Cor.2:15-16)

High Priest Offering Incense Before The Mercy Seat and Ark Of The Covenant Symbolizing Prayer & Praise of the Faithful (Wiki Commons)
  • 6 Ark of the Covenant Exo.25:10-16: The Golden Ark of the Covenant reveals the covenant promises of God to humanity which He exhibited and was embodied in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. And Jesus, as High Priest, continue to discharge these vital promises in the lives of saved humanity. The three artifacts contained in the Ark are:
  • 6A The Ten Commandments Exo.16:34; Heb.9:4 —The tablets of stone which has the 10 Commandments written with God’s hands in Sinai. It means one thing – Love. God’s Love for us is revealed in the Love-fruits of the Spirit with which He Loves us intimately, and by which we personify the law through Love. (1 Cor.13:1-12) Through Jesus the Father continues to Love humanity completely. (Rom.5:5)
  • 6B The Gold Jar of Manna Exo.16:34; Heb.9:4 —The Manna which God rained daily for forty years upon the Ancient Israelites during their sojourn in the wilderness after leaving Egypt, symbolizes the miraculous life they were privileged recipients. (Exo.16:35) Just as the Israelites lived the miraculous life for forty years before entering the Promise Land, so does saved humanity today as we dwell in the temple of Jesus daily and draw strength from Herald the Spirit and dependability on Christ in matters great and small in this world. The miraculous manna symbolize the miraculous life we live in the Spirit’s power.
  • 6C Aaron’s Rod Heb.9:4 —Aaron’s Rod represents the supremacy and sovereignty of Jesus in the Kingdom of God. His power of Kingship and the power to impart immortality to His people. (John 3:36; 5:24; 6:47) We acknowledge Jesus’ pre-eminence as Savior, Mediatory High Priesthood, King of kings and Lord of lords, and God’s very Temple in heaven and earth, and through whom immortality will be imparted to humans in the Spirit’s power. (Rom.8:11)
  • 7 The Mercy Seat Exo.25:17: The Mercy Seat served as a covering lid for the Ark of the Covenant where the Father, God Almighty, is seated. (See picture below) It is made of solid-gold and portrays the fullness of the Glory of God and our unity with the Father through Christ and the Holy Spirit. This is the eternal “throne of grace and confidence.” This is where we come to find help, this is humanity’s ultimate place of rest, assurance where we are embraced in the compassionate and Loving embrace of our caring Father for eternity. (Heb.4:14-16) He knows every one of our human frailties through His Son who took our humanity and presents us in Himself to the Father. All that Christ has done in the six functions prior to this, is to unite us with the Father as His children, caressed in His Love forever. (Rev.21:3-4)

My hope is you have caught a glimpse of the awe-inspiring mediatory and substitutionary work of Christ, God’s High Priest, which He continues today and forever. His work did not finish at the cross, but is ongoing in the temple of Himself before God in heaven and on earth in the inner sanctum of the hearts and minds of saved humanity.

What is the mercy seat? | Bibleinfo.com
The Mercy Seat Where God The Father is Symbolically Seated (Bibleinfo.com)

(To read more about what the temple means to us personally and collectively, read my post titled, “The Role and Function of The Temple of God” at: http://bulamanriver.net/11230. Also, “For We Are the Temple of The Living God” at: http://bulamanriver.net/10700)

Petition: Friends, as I have closed my post in the past, I customarily give our readers the opportunity to give their lives to our Maker. I thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus who has enabled us to live the Triune Life*. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven seated at His Father’s side, and ceaselessly mediating for us. I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Him as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of living this glorious humanity made children of God forever. You can privately and quietly pray the prayer below in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human being Christ died for, regardless of your background. All are inducted into the one mankind Jesus saved, not into any religious sect or denomination, or divisions one may espouse – but into the glorious humanity that Christ is preparing as the holy temple for God’s dwelling:

Prayer: “Almighty God, Father of all humanity, forgive me of all my sins for I receive Your Son, Jesus, as my personal Savior. In Your incalculable grace, grant Your promised celestial life in Your Son through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon me and all humanity. May Your Love guide and protect me and my Loved ones always, and bring us all into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.”

Prayer is A Solemn One-On-One Spiritual Love Dialogue Between a Person and God the Father (Wiki Commons)

Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s holy, eternal Family. (1 Tim.6:19) Then keep in touch with God’s Word for you by reading and studying your Bible, and visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation – go to: http://bulamanriver.net. You can email me with your questions at the address shown below.

Blessing: Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life” as a  Bulamanriver.*  Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Farewell for now!

Kiang, (Your Servant in Christ)

*Triune Life: “Triune Life” speaks of the process of theosis or deification of humanity. What is theosis or deification? “It refers to apotheosis, meaning “making divine.” Theosis or deification is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God (as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church).” (Wikipedia.org) The belief in the process of ‘deification’ is understood in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, when He said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If He called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside (cannot be broken)” (John 10:34-35; Psa.82:6). (You can read about the Triune Life at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and other posts)

I have written about this subject of ‘deification’ in my blogs under the theme ‘substitution’ and ‘attribution’ (see, http://bulamanriver.net/564), where I showed how Jesus came as God incarnate (Immanuel) to assume our sinful humanity in order to save mankind from sin and death for the express purpose of human deification. (Matt.1:23; Rom.3:10-12, 18, 23; John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:50-55; Rom.8:29) Further, we read the following, “As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (‘illumination’ with the ‘vision’ of God). According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God’s uncreated energies.” (Wikipedia.org)

So, the “Triune Life” reveals the intersection of human life and activity and the uncreated divine energy flowing from the Tri-Personal Being of God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a way of life which explains that process of theosis whereby humans are transformed in body, mind, and spirit by the Love of God. God’s uncreated energy is His Love. So, the foundational tenet of the “Triune Life” is based upon the Love of God, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Thereby, it can also be called aptly, the “Triune Love.”

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19) This is opposed to the one-dimensional human way of life influenced by the devil. We see God’s Tri-Personal Love move in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory, in this process of theosis which I have called the ‘three ascents.’ The three ascents are three steps which dovetails into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity – where God reveals the fullness of Himself to humanity, both individually and collectively. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2) That’s to say, the act of one is the act of all three, and the act of three is the act of one, making them unified in Love. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

Every aspect of human living follows this three-step format revealing the three-dimensional aspect of how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, directly and collectively involved in the life of human believers, individually and collectively to bring humanity to salvation. These three steps move in an ascending order, so I will call them ‘ascents.’ Each ‘ascent’ dovetails into the next and finally reveals the ‘manifestation’ of the topic, which we will call the fourth step, in this case, Love!

Hence, all my articles are framed within this three-step format, or ascents. The subject of the article dovetails into each ascent and spontaneously lead to the manifestation of the divine Love and reveals how humanity is enlightened by God, and cleansed in mind, body, and spirit. The ascents reveal three doors one must enter to attain the manifestation of God’s Love relationship with humanity. The ascents are not to be misconstrued as some ‘secret knowledge’ or mystical activity. Rather, each ascent represents the relationship of Love a human enjoys with the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, throughout a person’s life. In fact, the ascents are actually three Love relationships the believer encounters with the Tri-Personal God. This three-way relationship is what I have called by the term, “Triune Life” or “Triune Love.” These ascents represent the movement of God’s Love in an inward, outward, and upward, trajectory to bring God’s enlightenment in a person. The fourth step reveals how the article is made to manifest in the life of the person, both individually and then collectively in humanity.

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27).

The Bible states, “He (God) does great things that we cannot understand and miracles that we cannot count” (Job 5:9; 37:5). If God acts in ways that cannot be fathomed and is beyond human comprehension, then the miraculous life where humans are privileged recipients, cannot be deciphered by the human mind to its grandest manifestation. But we understand its meaning through divine revelation in that God reveals Himself as Love, and His miraculous activities are enveloped in His Love. (Jer.29:11)

The three-dimensional Triune Life/Love is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life of the fallen humanity inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion. For additional information about the Triune Life: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.                                                     

**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, you may obtain a copy of my book, “Bula” Man-River, from Amazon.com; xulonpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book stores. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.

Bulamanriver Book Cover

Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664

All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you

PENTECOST AND “THE MIRACULOUS LIFE” BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings Friends everywhere! I would like to share a true-life miracle with my readers in this post. My wife, two family friends, and yours truly, were privileged recipients of God’s saving grace. I remember the miracle like it happened yesterday although it has been years now. I share this miraculous event to impress upon us that when we enter into a relationship with God, we will walk a life of miraculous activity which He intended for humans to live from the moment of man’s creation. The miraculous life humans are privileged to live and experience is very much associated with the advent of Pentecost and the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Act.2:1-4; 3:1-16)

Adam and Eve lived with God in Eden experiencing this miraculous life. The Garden of Eden was our first parent’s celestial home on earth which God their Creator and Father created miraculously and presented for His gift and place of residence. They existed in God’s likeness and lived a form of human immortality never to be experienced by mankind since. (Gen.2:26-27)

God could not have created Adam and Eve and subjected them to death, that would contradict His words when He created humanity “Let Us create mankind in Our image and Our likeness” (Gen.1:26). God’s likeness is He has existed eternally in immortality. Death came upon our first parents only after they sinned and disobeyed God’s instruction. (Gen.2:15-17; 3:1-6) The Bible states unequivocally, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23). Adam was warned in the Garden, “But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Gen.2:16). God promises to restore human immortality through the second Adam, Jesus Christ. (1 Cor.15:45Isa.7:14John 3:16; 6:47)

When Adam and Eve alienated themselves from God’s presence the miraculous life stopped, and the countdown to mankind’s physical life began ticking from the moment God said this after their fall, “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen.3:19Rom.6:23). After Adam and Eve disobeyed God, humanity must now await the arrival of the second Adam to restore humanity’s birthright, which God proclaimed to our first parents and Satan, the arch deceiver. (Gen.3:15Isa.7:14Matt.1:23)

The second Adam who would restore humanity’s rightful place in God’s presence was none other than Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of God. (1 Cor.15:45-48John 3:16) Human immortality will be restored at the second coming of Christ, the second Adam. Man has always lived under God’s sovereignty no matter what, but scarcely in relationship of oneness in the bond of Love which produces the miraculous life which the second Adam makes possible. That comes as a matter of choice on humanity’s part as he responds to God’s Love. Recall, as long as Adam and Eve lived in the celestial Garden encased in God’s Loving presence, they enjoyed an uninterrupted miraculous human life and experience.

Jesus, the Second Adam, Came and Defeated Satan in the Temptations Restoring the Adamic Birthright.

This momentous event to restore human immortality became possible when the Son of God came as the Immanuel, God in the human flesh in the person of Jesus, fully God and fully man, to restore man back to the miraculous life which has always been our human birthright. (Isa.7:14Matt.1:232 Tim.1:7Eph.3:20-21Gen 2:26-27) Hence, we see Jesus went about doing good through God’s miraculous power which we read in the four Gospels. (Acts 10:38) Jesus did not come in the mold of the fallen “Adamic humanity,” but in His now risen glorious “Immanuel humanity.” Jesus came to raise the new human species – the “God with us” humanity, or the “Immanuel humanity.”

By taking our fallen humanity upon Himself, Jesus, the second Person of the triune Godhead, through His defeat of Satan’s temptations in the Judean wilderness, His perfect sinless life, His sacrificial death for our atonement, His human incarnational resurrection and ascension, fused our humanity forever to the very Triune Being of God. Man can now enter a life of miracles as his birthright. Miracles come wrapped in God’s Love expression for man. God is divine and we are mere mortals, and when the two intersect in the bond of Love, miracles happen.

Jesus, Using The Divine Miraculous Power to Heal The Blind (Wiki Commoms)

Keep the “end” in mind as it relates to our beginnings in Eden (Rev.21:31 Cor.15:51-52Gen.1:26-27) That is a vital nugget of wisdom to keep us on an even spiritual keel in this journey we call life. Beasts and other forms of life don’t set goals much less inherit a divine destiny. They behave spontaneously through their God-given instincts in the moment and for the greater benefit of humans to reflect upon the responsibility of dominion conferred by divine edict upon humanity. (Gen.1:28-29)

Humans don’t fully comprehend this awesome truth of their ultimate destiny as ordained by the Creator, they live in the present relative to the past and with an objective “end” (future) he has set out in his mind to achieve. There are many “ends” humans can craft for themselves, but life’s true “end” is to live for our heavenly Father’s purpose of living eternally in His presence. The Creator set for man his “end” from the beginning: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule.’” (Gen.1:26-27Rom.8:29) Everything we do in life must have this overriding purpose behind it. His image is He is divine and immortal and He is Love by nature and Being. (1John 4:8John 4:24Neh.9:6)

There’s only one way to achieve God’s objective “end” purpose for man – it has to take a hands-on miracle from God Himself. It’s that plain, it’s that simple. Immortality and Love is God’s image in His Tri-Personal Being, and for man to attain that objective requires God’s direct input. It is impossible for humans to attain the purpose of God for him/her so miracles has to be part of the human life. That brings about a constant miraculous activity in the human journey on this earth.

So the miraculous life we experience as humans is a foretaste of the immortal life we will share with the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, for eternity. It is a trailer, a preview, of God’s movie for humanity happening in real life, if you like. It is your birthright and mine to live the miraculous life as a human, and eternally in immortality in Christ. Paul said, “For the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” (1 Cor. 4:20)

The miraculous life humanity is ordained to live stems from God’s supernatural power. If we can get our limited human mind off of our equally limited material world, and take the opportunity to look deeper at the greater creation and universe, we would undoubtedly conclude that miracles are happening all around us, and especially within our humanity. It is for man to make a choice, as God gave Adam, whether a person will enter into this relational oneness in Love with Him by faith in His Son through the Spirit’s move and power. (Zech.4:62 Cor.13:14)

As we stand at the threshold of life conferred by divine edict and look ahead to this astounding promise God our Father has given humanity through His Son, let us take heed of God’s counsel, “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” (Deut.30:19). Freedom is a divine trait and therefore a gift from God to humanity to reflect His own likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) Yes, as it did with our first parents in Eden, it has always been about the freedom to make choices – God pleads with us to choose the path of life – the path of living the miraculous life in Christ Jesus His Son by the Spirit’s power. (Zech.4:6Gal.2:20)

The Human Resurrection to Immortality-The Divine Gift From God to Humanity John 3:16 (Wiki Commons)

God affirms the miraculous life He has given humanity through the many precious promises He has given us in His Word, the Bible. (2 Pet.1:4) To read more about God’s promises to protect us, go to: http://bulamanriver.net/11339

Here’s what I wrote regarding my miraculous experience in my book, “Bulamanriver – The Miracle of Triune Living”:

“The year was 1996 – the night of November 9th to be exact. I was living and working in the islands of Fiji in the South Pacific. The day, like any other, was fraught with its usual hectic demands of work. Yes, even in this beautiful idyllic paradise on earth, the strife of life is no respecter of your world. Little did I know the extraordinary event that lay in wait and about to unfold before me—that day will forever change the course of my life.

“Scheduled to take an early-morning flight to Canberra, Australia, my wife and I had to drive to the other side of the main island of Viti Levu where the international airport is located. A couple, friends of the family, traveled with us on this two-and-a-half-hour drive. The night was black as could be, with only the car’s headlights slicing through the pitch darkness. This stretch of the road ran straight and level for about a quarter mile with a bridge at the end and then turned sharply left around a mountain on the far side of the bridge.

“At around 2:30 a.m., the one thing most dreaded by drivers happened: I fell asleep at the wheel. I drove off my side of the two-lane road, drifted into the opposite lane, and finally went off the road onto the stopping lane. By now the car was not aligned with the bridge ahead to take us safely across the river. Instead, we were heading for a nosedive into the waters of the river below the bridge.

Intense Blinding Light Awoke Me From My Deep Slumber (Pic: Wiki Commons)

“My short but deep sleep was the kind you just don’t get out of unless you are vigorously shaken. Then something amazing occurred. In my mind’s eye I saw the most blinding white light I have ever seen. The light was so intensely bright it woke me from my sleep. As I opened my eyes, astonishingly, there before me I saw the source of this intense white light – literally in front of me. I now looked directly at a person clothed in dazzling white garment to his feet, standing in front of me. With his right arm outstretched he held up his lamp, the source of the brilliant light that woke me. He would not move out of my way. He never flinched but stood his ground.

“All this happened so fast my immediate reaction was to swerve to evade a head-on crash into the person. As I veered left, I found myself on the road landing on the road again and crossing the bridge. The spot where the person in dazzling white garment stood led directly into the river below. If he had not stood his ground, forcing me to turn sharply to avoid a collision, we would have headed straight into the river and most likely died of drowning—leaving seven parentless children behind.

“What happened next was equally astonishing. The bridge, made of concrete and pipe railings, lit up the dark night. Yes, the whole bridge was ablaze in brilliant white light. So as I swerved to avoid the crash into the person with the lamp, I was unwittingly maneuvered onto the bridge. The bridge’s railings turned into lights, something like fluorescent tube lights with a more intense brightness about them. By the side rails of the bridge I saw more people, all dressed in dazzling white shorts and short-sleeved shirts, walking along happily chatting and delighting in each other’s presence. All I could remember from their demeanor in those fleeting moments was the aura of complete joy and peace that radiated from their presence. It was a short but unforgettable few seconds in my life.

“My mind reeling, I wondered what had just happened. As we crossed the bridge and made the ninety-degree turn, we had a good view of the bridge we crossed. All we saw was nothing but pitch darkness, the brilliant light-show evident no more. I drove slowly for a few moments trying to collect my thoughts. “Did you see what just happened?” I asked my wife. She nodded, equally dumbfounded, and said she did. I asked my friends, and they said they too saw what happened. We all sat silent for a moment as the truth sank in: we had just tasted a miracle of angelic intervention.

Angels to the Rescue

“God sent angels to rescue us from certain death. (Psa.91:11) At the hotel, my wife and I knelt to thank God for His love and mercy for keeping us all safe. Seven children would have lost their parents that pitch-dark morning, but for the grace of God. It would be an understatement to say the event affirmed and solidified our weak human faith in God’s existence, His sovereignty over our lives, and unquestionably, His extraordinary Love.

A Bridge in Nadi, Fiji, Similar to One Crossed by Author, With Its Steel Pipe Rails Which Lit Up Like Fluorescent Light in The Pitch Black Night (Wiki Commons)

“I know the Lord saved us for more reasons than His awesome Love for us. You see, a friend from the nearby village had told me stories of lives lost to the awkward bend in the road—but why spare us? I had read about one such tragic incident at this very bridge in the local newspaper not so long ago. As this event kept replaying in my mind, and I recognized God’s unerring hand in my life from before and after the event, I kept asking “why” because I felt no more deserving than the next person.

“When I think of the people who have lost their lives in that river it’s hard not to see yourself as special to Him. God brought me to see that what He did for us that pitch-dark night, He would do for anyone – yes, you and me and everyone. Yes, I was special and so were my wife and friends and all of humanity. Everyone is precious in His sight. I was not any more special or exclusive to Him than the next person. His love is for all, and no one person can claim exclusivity to it. And as for the people who perished in that river? As we shall see, God’s Love never left them.

God is Love

“God Loves all humanity, make no mistake about that. However, the secret to the miracle-life is to have Him Love us intimately – like the “apple of His eye” (Psalm 17:7-9). Doesn’t this make God partial? Isn’t this the selectiveness we just discounted? God gives us the freedom to make choices. Freedom, as we will see later, undergirds the Love God extends to man. There is no Love without freedom and no freedom without Love. Love and freedom are relational and reciprocal by nature, for “God is Love.” (1 John 4:8) Therefore, because of God’s Love, we have a choice to make. We experience God’s Love intimately when we reciprocate His Love through the exercise of our free will—when we Love Him in return. (Read my blog on Loving God absolutely at: http://bulamanriver.net/21412)

“God Is Love” 1 John 4:8, (pexels)

“That is the difference. God’s Love is impartial; He has unreservedly set aside His Love for every man, woman, and child for all time, and nothing can make Him change His mind. He sacrificed His only Son to prove His Love for all mankind. However, this intimate relationship can be made to happen in human reality. God waits upon every human person to choose to freely Love Him as He has chosen to freely Love humanity.

The Person with the Lamp

“As for the Person holding the lamp, I believe He is more than an angel. His attire and the lamp are symbolic of His station. The Person who held that lamp emitting the blinding white light on that black November night was none other than Jesus Christ Himself. The brilliant light emitted from the lamp is analogous of Him as the Personified Word (Psa. 119:105). He is the Light of the world, who guides humanity out of darkness. (John 8:12) He is also the Author of the literal Word of God, the Bible, who wakes us to see our human weaknesses which does not conform to God’s image. The bridge represents the crossover we make when we express faith in Him as our Savior.” (Excerpt from: “Bula-Man-River – The Miracle of Triune Living”)

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

I hope you found that true story fascinating, but at the same time authentic and relatable because humans are offspring of the divine. My hope is that my story be a teaching moment about the greatness of God our Father in heaven who intimately cares for His human children. Yes, miracles become a way of life when you receive Jesus and the Holy Spirit live in you as His temple, where God says, “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people” (2 Cor.6;16).

Jesus Died To Make The Miraculous Life Possible for Humanity

Pentecost signifies a person’s rebirth from the fallen “Adamic humanity” we have inherited from Adam and Eve’s fall, and being reborn into the risen “Immanuel humanity” of Jesus (the second Adam), through the power of the Holy Spirit. (John 3:5-7, 3; 1 Cor.15:22, 45) Jesus inaugurated this spiritual birth when He was baptized for all humanity by John the Baptist in the Jordan, and the Spirit came from the Father upon Him. (Matt.3:13-17)

Jesus was without sin, and did not require John’s “baptism of repentance” (Act.19:4; Matt.3:11; Mar.1:4; 2 Cor.5:21; Heb.4:15; 1 John 3:5). Jesus was baptized for us just He was crucified upon His cross for the sins of all humanity. Subsequently, the Spirit was given to all humanity on Pentecost. (Act.1:4-5; 2:1-4) Yes, all who are baptized undergoes a rebirth in the Spirit’s power and made new humans after the image of Jesus Christ, our Savior. (Rom.8:29; Gal.2:20; 2 Cor.3:18; Eph.1:5; Gal.3:27, NLT; Rom.6:23) Paul said, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here” (2 Cor.5:17).

Pentecost reveal how humans have become the temple for the Holy Spirit to dwell in, after having received Jesus as Savior and Mediator. Paul affirms this beautiful truth, saying, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself” (1 Cor.6:19). The temple of God is a spiritual edifice, not a physical one. God’s physical temple is seen in the whole of creation, the universe and everything in it, the earth and all in it, which He shares with humanity. (Isa.66:1-2)

His spiritual temple is the inner sanctum of the heart and mind of humanity that is given to Christ, and in whom Jesus lives and walks in the Spirit’s power. Paul affirms the relationship of Love in this celestial life, saying, “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people” (2 Cor.6:16).

This image has an empty alt attribute

Jesus referred to Himself as the temple of God. He told His listeners, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days…But the temple He had spoken of was His body. After He was raised from the dead, His disciples recalled what He had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken” (John 2:19, 21-22). We have become God’s temple because we are housed in the glorified life of Christ who sits at the Father’s right hand in heaven. Paul was eloquent, saying, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:6).

The temple is the very heartbeat of the miraculous life humans are privileged to live and experience. Like the flickering lights of Pentecost, we emit as lights of the One true Temple that is Jesus, to shine His light in a darkened world, in the Spirit’s power. (To read more about what the temple means to us personally and collectively, read my post titled, “The Role and Function of The Temple of God” at: http://bulamanriver.net/11230. Also, “For We Are the Temple of The Living God” at: http://bulamanriver.net/10700)

Petition: Friends, as I have closed my post in the past, I customarily give our readers the opportunity to give their lives to our Maker. I thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus who has enabled us to live the Triune Life* through the 3 Ascents. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven seated at His Father’s side, and ceaselessly mediating for us. I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Him as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of living this glorious humanity made children of God forever. You can privately and quietly pray the prayer below in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human being Christ died for, regardless of your background. All are inducted into the one mankind Jesus saved, not into any religious sect or denomination – into the glorious humanity that Christ is preparing as the holy temple for God’s dwelling:

Prayer: “Almighty God, Father of all humanity, forgive me of all my sins for I receive Your Son, Jesus, as my personal Savior. In Your incalculable grace, grant Your promised celestial life in Your Son through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon me and all humanity. May Your Love guide and protect me and my Loved ones always, and bring us all into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.”

Prayer is A Solemn One-On-One Spiritual Love Dialogue Between a Person and God the Father (Wiki Commons)

Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s holy, eternal Family. (1 Tim.6:19) Then keep in touch with God’s Word for you by reading and studying your Bible, and visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation – go to: http://bulamanriver.net. You can email me with your questions at the address shown below.

Blessing: Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life” as a  Bulamanriver.*  Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Farewell for now!

Kiang, (Your Servant in Christ)

*Triune Life: “Triune Life” speaks of the process of theosis or deification of humanity. What is theosis or deification? “It refers to apotheosis, meaning “making divine.” Theosis or deification is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God (as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church).” (Wikipedia.org) The belief in the process of ‘deification’ is understood in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, when He said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If He called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside (cannot be broken)” (John 10:34-35Psa.82:6). (You can read about the Triune Life at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and other posts)

I have written about this subject of ‘deification’ in my blogs under the theme ‘substitution’ and ‘attribution’ (see, http://bulamanriver.net/564), where I showed how Jesus came as God incarnate (Immanuel) to assume our sinful humanity in order to save mankind from sin and death for the express purpose of human deification. (Matt.1:23Rom.3:10-121823John 3:161 Cor.15:50-55Rom.8:29) Further, we read the following, “As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (‘illumination’ with the ‘vision’ of God). According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God’s uncreated energies.” (Wikipedia.org)

So, the “Triune Life” reveals the intersection of human life and activity and the uncreated divine energy flowing from the Tri-Personal Being of God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a way of life which explains that process of theosis whereby humans are transformed in body, mind, and spirit by the Love of God. God’s uncreated energy is His Love. So, the foundational tenet of the “Triune Life” is based upon the Love of God, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:816). Thereby, it can also be called aptly, the “Triune Love.”

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19) This is opposed to the one-dimensional human way of life influenced by the devil. We see God’s Tri-Personal Love move in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory, in this process of theosis which I have called the ‘three ascents.’ The three ascents are three steps which dovetails into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity – where God reveals the fullness of Himself to humanity, both individually and collectively. (2 Cor.13:141 Pet.1:1-2) That’s to say, the act of one is the act of all three, and the act of three is the act of one, making them unified in Love. (Mar.12:29Deut.6:4)

Every aspect of human living follows this three-step format revealing the three-dimensional aspect of how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, directly and collectively involved in the life of human believers, individually and collectively to bring humanity to salvation. These three steps move in an ascending order, so I will call them ‘ascents.’ Each ‘ascent’ dovetails into the next and finally reveals the ‘manifestation’ of the topic, which we will call the fourth step, in this case, Love!

Hence, all my articles are framed within this three-step format, or ascents. The subject of the article dovetails into each ascent and spontaneously lead to the manifestation of the divine Love and reveals how humanity is enlightened by God, and cleansed in mind, body, and spirit. The ascents reveal three doors one must enter to attain the manifestation of God’s Love relationship with humanity. The ascents are not to be misconstrued as some ‘secret knowledge’ or mystical activity. Rather, each ascent represents the relationship of Love a human enjoys with the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, throughout a person’s life. In fact, the ascents are actually three Love relationships the believer encounters with the Tri-Personal God. This three-way relationship is what I have called by the term, “Triune Life” or “Triune Love.” These ascents represent the movement of God’s Love in an inward, outward, and upward, trajectory to bring God’s enlightenment in a person. The fourth step reveals how the article is made to manifest in the life of the person, both individually and then collectively in humanity.

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27).

The Bible states, “He (God) does great things that we cannot understand and miracles that we cannot count” (Job 5:9; 37:5). If God acts in ways that cannot be fathomed and is beyond human comprehension, then the miraculous life where humans are privileged recipients, cannot be deciphered by the human mind to its grandest manifestation. But we understand its meaning through divine revelation in that God reveals Himself as Love, and His miraculous activities are enveloped in His Love. (Jer.29:11)

The three-dimensional Triune Life/Love is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life of the fallen humanity inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion. For additional information about the Triune Life: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.                                                          

**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, you may obtain a copy of my book, “Bula” Man-River, from Amazon.com; xulonpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book stores. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.

Bulamanriver Book Cover

Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664

All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you

PENTECOST AND THE TEMPLE OF GOD, BY KIANG P LEE

Pentecost is the most marvelous festival in the Christian calendar which sits at the pivotal point in the Christian journey. Pentecost commemorates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon mankind as promised by Jesus and prophesied by the prophet Joel. (Joel 2:28-29; Act.1:4-5)

It is an extraordinary day because it is the day which signifies a believer’s spiritual rebirth from the fallen ‘Adamic humanity,’ and being reborn into the new risen ‘Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus Himself, the second Adam. (1 Cor.15:45) Through Jesus’ divine/human new being (Immanuel) humans are recreated into complete humans as God first created mankind to become. (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23; Gen.1:26-27)

Paul said this, “In Christ you have been brought to fullness, for His power extends over everything” (Col.2:10). Yes, everyone who receives Jesus as Savior is equipped with divine fullness and share in God’s glory. (Rom.8:17; Gen.1:26-27)

Light, Peace, Hope, Pentecost, Sunbeam
Pentecost – New Spirit, New Birth, New Human (Rom.8:29) (Pixabay)

Jesus said this to the people who were gathered for a festival, “Whoever believes in Me, as the Scriptures have said, river of living waters will flow from within them. By this He meant the Spirit” (John 7:38-39). What is a river? A river is an attractant for people because it is a place where they can flourish and be sustained indefinitely by the river’s waters. Ancient civilizations have been established along mighty rivers – the Nile, Euphrates, Yangtze, Ganges, Amazon, Mississippi, Thames, etc.

The greatest river is spiritual in nature. That is the role of the Holy Spirit – to give the spiritual life-giving waters for the sustenance of humanity who have received Jesus as Savior. Peter made this transference, this diffusion and flow of the Spirit to humans through Jesus’ mediation apparent when he said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Act.2:38).

This was Peter’s message to the people as they celebrated Pentecost on that momentous day when this astounding prophecy of Joel came to pass in Jerusalem when the Spirit was poured out upon the disciples and believers. And as sure as God promised, the Spirit was poured upon the disciples and followers, one hundred and twenty in all. Soon after, three thousand more people were added by Peter’s message of reconciliation. (Luk.24:49; Act.2:41; Joel 2:28-29)

Sponsored image

The Spirit will not and cannot enter human life unless and until a human being “repents and is baptized.” What does this phrase mean, “repent and be baptized?” To repent means to acknowledge one’s past life of existing in the sin-condition of the fallen ‘Adamic humanity.’ The ‘Adamic humanity’ is the fallen sin-conditioned humanity of Adam mankind inherited from his first sin in Eden. It is diametrically opposite to the ‘Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus. He is the second Adam God gave for mankind’s redemption and restoration. (1 Cor.15:45; Isa.7:14; Matt.1:22-23; John 3:16-17)

From Paul’s words, we understand that all humans are descended from two human genealogy – the ‘first Adam’ and the ‘second Adam’ (Jesus). One is given by physical birth through Adam’s creation, while the other is bestowed by both human and spiritual birth through the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor.15:45; Matt.1:20-23). From this revelation, the terms ‘Adamic humanity,’ and ‘Immanuel humanity’ is used. Pentecost and the gift of the Holy Spirit was a promise fulfilled of humanity’s new birth into Jesus’ ‘Immanuel humanity.’ (John 3:5, 3)

Secondly, to be baptized means to be born and inducted (initiated, installed, and ordained) by the Spirit’s power into the risen ‘Immanuel humanity’ of the resurrected Jesus, and enter into communion with the divine triune life of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit. We read Jesus instructed His followers, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing (inducting) them in the name (life) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt.28:19, italics my emphasis). To be inducted into the divine life is to live the ‘Triune Life*”. (To know more about the ‘Triune Life’ please read my post titled, “Our Human Response In The “Triune Life” of God,“ at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199; and the “New Humanity of Jesus” at: http://bulamanriver.net/9718).

Jesus Baptized By John The Baptist in The Jordan River And Inaugurating The Reality of Human Rebirth Through The Gift Of The Holy Spirit as Symbolized By The Dove.

Paul said this about our baptism following Jesus’ own template of repentance and forgiveness by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. (Matt.3:13-17) To the Roman believers, he said saliently, “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His” (Rom.6:3-5).

Yes, to be baptized means to die to and bury our fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ from Adam in the watery grave of baptism through Jesus’ cross. Then rising up and out of the watery grave into the new resurrected life of Christ’s ‘Immanuel humanity,’ the second Adam, and unified with the one triune God. (1 Cor.15:45; Matt.28:19) Jesus’ ‘Immanuel humanity’ means the ‘God with us’ human life that’s inspired by the resurrected Christ in the Spirit’s power. (Matt.1:23; Isa.7:14)

Our Baptism Follows The Template Of Jesus’ Own Baptism (Wiki Commons)

In the new spiritual birth, humans become and receive Jesus’ new ‘Immanuel humanity,’ displacing and replacing the sin-conditioned fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ of Adam in Eden. Jesus gave his followers a rather weird prerequisite for becoming a follower. He said, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. (John 6:53-57).

Jesus was speaking metaphorically, not literal cannibalism as His listeners assumed. Later, Jesus used the emblem of bread and wine to convey the same message. John records, “Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is My body.” Then, He took wine and said, “Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt.26:26-28).

The terms “flesh and blood,” and “bread and wine,” were metaphors to convey the truth of the second Adam, the new glorified bodily ‘Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus that is God’s gift to humanity. (John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:45) Paul said, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation (Immanuel human) has come: The old (Adamic human) has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor.5:17, italics mine for emphasis).

So recapping, “to repent” means to give up and forsake the sin-conditioned fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ of the first Adam, and “be baptized” means to be inducted and installed into the new ‘Immanuel humanity’ of the resurrected Jesus, the second Adam, and unified in the one triune life of God. (1 Cor.15:45) Through Jesus’ glorified humanity, mankind is made to live the Triune Life* in the Father, Son, and Spirit. (Matt.28:19)

So, Jesus is the One who gives passage for the Spirit to enter and renew humanity in Jesus’ ‘Immanuel humanity’ and the Triune Life*. Notice, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7, NLT). Jesus said this knowing of His impending death on the cross to redeem mankind. Recall, Adam had cutoff humanity’s connection and communion with the Spirit as symbolized by the ‘Tree of Life’ in Eden.

Our First Parents Evicted From Eden Due to Sin, And an Angel Stood in The Way to The Tree of Life, Representing The Holy Spirit (Wiki Commons)

Note, after Adam had sinned, the Bibles says this, “After sending them (Adam and Eve) out (of Eden), the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And He placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life (Holy Spirit)” (Gen.3:24). So, humanity was cutoff from the Holy Spirit because of Adam’s sin against God, which humanity inherited from Adam. (Rom.5:12, 15) Unity with God substantially means holistic union in His Trinitarian Being in the Father, Son, and Spirit. You cannot have One without the Others. God is one not three. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

It was left for the second Adam (Jesus) to make this all-important vital connection to the Spirit and to the Tri-Personal Being of God. (Matt.28:19; John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:45) Paul said, “For if the many died by the trespass of the one man (first Adam), how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ (second Adam/’Immanuel human’), overflow to the many!” (Rom.5:15, 17-19, italics my emphasis).

What happens when the Spirit comes and makes His abode in a human life? Paul answers, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” (1 Cor.6:19). Yes, the Spirit’s presence in a person makes him/her the very temple of the living God. In this, God’s following prophecy comes to pass, “As God has said: “I will dwell with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people” (2 Cor.6:16). Yes, individually and collectively, saved humans have become the very temple God has sought to erect and live in upon earth.

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A Rendition of Solomon’s Temple Where God Is Present in The Holy Place (Wiki Commons)

The temple Moses built in the wilderness under God’s instruction, and subsequently Solomon’s magnificent temple in Israel, was picturing the spiritual temple of the hearts of saved humanity. God is not human to live in physical structures like grandiose cathedrals and other religious edifices. The Bible states He already has a physical temple, the whole of creation is His physical temple. (Isa.66:1-2)

God is Spirit and therefore lives in a spiritual temple. God lives in His glorious temple in heaven, and upon earth in His spiritual temple of the inner sanctum of the hearts and minds of saved humanity. (Psa.34:18; 51:10-12, 16-17; Matt.22:37-40) Once we live this life in the Spirit then we are living in harmony with creation and the universal order as divinely conferred upon Adam and humanity at creation. (Gen.1:26-31)

We saw earlier Jesus compared the Holy Spirit as a riving of living waters. (John 7:38-39) This metaphor is symbolic of the Holy Spirit’s cleansing activity in human life. A human being is the spiritual riverbed for God’s Spirit. So, the “riverbed” (human person) plus the “living waters” (Holy Spirit) = the authentic union of humans with the Triune God through the ‘Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus.

And if the Spirit’s “living water” is always flowing in humans, then He never leaves a void in us but fills every aspect of our lives. What is the Spirit’s cleansing activity? What does He do in each of us as His vessel, God’s very temple on earth? Paul documents this in his letter to the Corinthians as he expounds about God’s Love-fruits as expressed through the fruits of His Spirit’s activity in humanity. (1 Cor. 13; Also Gal. 5:22-23; Rom. 12:9-21).

God’s Love-fruit is the peaceful flow of the Spirit’s life in humans through His Love fruits. Paul tells us what they are: it is, *the fruit of patience, *the fruit of kindness, *the fruit of contentedness, *the fruit of being modest and unboastful, *the fruit of humility, *the fruit of honor, *the fruit of unselfishness, *the fruit of calmness and dignity, *the fruit of forgiveness and compassion, *the fruit of delighting in good and shunning evil, *the fruit of tolerance, *the fruit of responsibility, *the fruit of enduring hope, *the fruit of steadfast perseverance, *the fruit of joy, *the fruit of peace, *the fruit of goodness, *the fruit of faith, *the fruit of gentleness, *the fruit of self-control, *the fruit of zeal and spiritual fervor, *the fruit of friendship, *the fruit of sharing and generosity, *the fruit of prayerfulness, *the fruit of hospitality, etc. (1 Cor.13) The spiritual river is the flow of the Spirit’s Love-fruits we see above in humanity.

The River of Living Waters – Metaphor for The Spirit’s Cleansing Power Through The Fruits of Love (1 Cor.13)

All these and other Love-fruits and traits of the Spirit spells one thing: they spell the actions and emotions of God’s Love in the life of saved humans. (Rom.5:5) By and through them we decipher and peek into the different tones of God’s Love. They present to us the way of life of how God had eternally existed in His Triune Being in the Father, Son, and Spirit, and now invites humanity into His Loving existence. John tells us about how this Loving relationship will exist for eternity, “God is Love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of Love, we live in God and God lives in us’ (1 John 4:16).

Fruits of The Spirit Tell Us The Different Tones of God’s Love – (1 Cor.13) (Wiki Commons)

As we approach the festival of Pentecost which commemorates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon mankind as prophesied by the prophet Joel, let us be reminded that it is the Spirit’s Presence in humanity that brings about and enliven the very Christ-life in each of us, His ‘Immanuel humanity’ empowered by the Spirit’s Love. And with Christ living and walking in humans, mankind has become the very temple of God upon earth where our heavenly Father dwells and is worshipped day and might. (Joel 2:28-29; Act.2:17)

God’s Gift to Humanity – The New ‘Immanuel Humanity’ of Jesus Which Displaces the Fallen ‘Adamic Humanity’ of Adam Through Rebirth

I close this post with my best wishes to all my readers for a blessed Pentecost season 2021. May God’s Spirit be with you and grant you peace and abundance.

The Dove, Symbol of The Holy Spirit and Power of God’s Love in Humanity (Rom.5:5)

Petition: Friends, as I have closed my post in the past, I customarily give our readers the opportunity to give their lives to our Maker. I thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus who has enabled us to live the Triune Life.* Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven seated at His Father’s side, and ceaselessly mediating for us.

God is Love

I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Him as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of living this glorious humanity made children of God forever. (1 Sam.16:7; Jer.17:10) You can privately and quietly pray the prayer below in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human being Christ died for, regardless of your background. All are inducted into the one mankind Jesus saved, not into any religion, religious sect or denomination, color, culture, or nationality – but into one glorious ‘Immanuel humanity’ that Christ is preparing as the holy temple for God’s dwelling:

Prayer: “Almighty God, Father of all humanity, forgive me of all my sins for I receive Your Son, Jesus, as my personal Savior. In Your incalculable grace, thank You for recuing me and my loved ones, and all humanity, from the enemy’s fearful and destructive waters, and bringing us home into the life-giving waters of Your Ocean of Love. Grant Your promised celestial life in Your Son through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts You have conferred upon us all so we may serve one another in Your Love. May Your Love guide and protect me and my Loved ones always, and bring us all into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.”

Prayer is A Profound One-On-One Spiritual Love Dialogue Between a Person and God the Father in Heaven (Wiki Commons)

Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s holy, eternal Family. (1 Tim.6:19) Then keep in touch with God’s Word for you by reading and studying your Bible, and visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation – go to: http://bulamanriver.net. You can email me with your questions at – bulamanriver@gmail.com.

brown wooden cross on orange background
The Cross, Symbol of Death and Rebirth In Christ – Gal.2:20; John 3:5. (Unsplash)

Blessing: Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you and your loved ones this Pentecost season and always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life”*. In closing, pray for God’s intervention with regard to the pandemic that is sweeping this world. Finally, may you always find strength in the Lord’s Joy.

Farewell for now,

Kiang, (Your Servant in Christ)

*Triune Life: “Triune Life” speaks of the process of theosis or deification of humanity. What is theosis or deification? “It refers to apotheosis, meaning “making divine.” Theosis or deification is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God (as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church).” (Wikipedia.org) The belief in the process of ‘deification’ is understood in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, when He said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If He called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside (cannot be broken)” (John 10:34-35; Psa.82:6). (You can read about the Triune Life at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and other posts)

The Resurrection to Immortality and Deification of Humanity Created In God’s Image (Wiki Commons)

I have written about this subject of ‘deification’ in my blogs under the theme ‘substitution’ and ‘attribution’ (see, http://bulamanriver.net/564), where I showed how Jesus came as God incarnate (Immanuel) to assume our sinful humanity in order to save mankind from sin and death for the express purpose of human deification. (Matt.1:23; Rom.3:10-12, 18, 23; John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:50-55; Rom.8:29) Further, we read the following, “As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (‘illumination’ with the ‘vision’ of God). According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God’s uncreated energies.” (Wikipedia.org)

So, the “Triune Life” reveals the intersection of human life and activity and the uncreated divine energy flowing from the Tri-Personal Being of God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a way of life which explains that process of theosis whereby humans are transformed in body, mind, and spirit by the Love of God. God’s uncreated energy is His Love. So, the foundational tenet of the “Triune Life” is based upon the Love of God, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Thereby, it can also be called aptly, the “Triune Love.”

Sculpture of Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity (Wiki Commons)

I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19) This is opposed to the one-dimensional human way of life influenced by the devil. We see God’s Tri-Personal Love move in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory, in this process of theosis which I have called the ‘three ascents.’ The three ascents are three steps which dovetails into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity – where God reveals the fullness of Himself to humanity, both individually and collectively. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2) That’s to say, the act of one is the act of all three, and the act of three is the act of one, making them unified with in Love. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

Every aspect of human living follows this three-step format revealing the three-dimensional aspect of how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, directly and collectively involved in the life of human believers, individually and collectively to bring humanity to salvation. These three steps move in an ascending order, so I will call them ‘ascents.’ Each ‘ascent’ dovetails into the next and finally reveals the ‘manifestation’ of the topic, which we will call the fourth step, in this case, Love!

Hence, all my articles are framed within this three-step format, or ascents. The subject of the article dovetails into each ascent and spontaneously lead to the manifestation of the divine Love and reveals how humanity is enlightened by God, and cleansed in mind, body, and spirit. The ascents reveal three doors one must enter to attain the manifestation of God’s Love relationship with humanity. The ascents are not to be misconstrued as some ‘secret knowledge’ or mystical activity. Rather, each ascent represents the relationship of Love a human enjoys with the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, throughout a person’s life.

In fact, the ascents are actually three Love relationships the believer encounters with the Tri-Personal God. This three-way relationship is what I have called by the term, “Triune Life” or “Triune Love.” These ascents represent the movement of God’s Love in an inward, outward, and upward, trajectory to bring God’s enlightenment in a person. The fourth step reveals how the article is made to manifest in the life of the person, both individually and then collectively in humanity.

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5; Eph.3:16; Col2:2) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27).

The Bible states, “He (God) does great things that we cannot understand and miracles that we cannot count” (Job 5:9; 37:5). If God acts in ways that cannot be fathomed and is beyond human comprehension, then the miraculous life where humans are privileged recipients, cannot be deciphered by the human mind to its grandest manifestation. But we understand its meaning through divine revelation in that God reveals Himself as Love, and His miraculous activities are enveloped in His Love. (Jer.29:11)

The three-dimensional Triune Life/Love is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life of the fallen humanity inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion. For additional information about the Triune Life: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.                                              

**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, you may obtain a copy of my book, “Bula” Man-River, from Amazon.com; xulonpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book stores. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.

Bulamanriver: Book Cover by Author

*Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664

All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you!

EASTER 2021: DAY OF ATONEMENT, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings Friends! In this post I would like us to explore the role of Jesus’ messiahship through the lens of the atonement story that was told in Israel in the Old Testament each year. Yes, it was the special religious observance called the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement is known in Judaism as “Yom Kippur.” It is a ritual performed yearly in the Old Testament setting in ancient Israel. (Lev.16) This is relevant as we enter and keep the season of Passover and Easter, 2021. The message of Atonement was prophetic in its scope and corresponds with the New Testament message of the cross and Jesus’ work of Messiah and Savior of humanity. (Hebrews chapters 9 and 10)

Yom Kippur Wall Art - Painting - Atonement by M Spadecaller
Trumpet Blown on Day of Atonement to Signify Freedom (Lev.25:9)

The story behind the Day of Atonement foretells the role of Jesus and His work of dealing with human sin and rebellion, but fundamentally to contend with and confront Satan, God’s and humanity’s adversary, who is the chief architect and instigator of sin and rebellion in humanity. Yom Kippur was a religious high day in ancient Israel because of its meaning and relevance to the people and to the God they worshipped. It is a day full of ritual and symbolism with profound significance.

Israel’s temple high priest played the chief role on this day. The high priest was enacting the role of mankind’s true High Priest who would later come in the Person of Jesus Christ. Paul tell us this, “Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Heb.4:14-16).

The temple high priest was required to perform vital rituals associated with God’s relationship with the nation of Israel, and ultimately the whole world. (John 3:16) It is the only day the high priest is permitted to enter the most holy location in the temple, called the ‘holy of holies,’ where God is present when atonement is made for the people. (Heb.9:7). The people of Israel, for their part, were required to fast and confessed their sins before God as part of their act of worship. “Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites” (Lev.16:34). God would appear before Israel in the holy place of the temple to cleanse the people of all their sins.

High Priest Before The Ark And Mercy Seat in the Most Holy Place in The Temple

On this most solemn of days in the Israelite religious calendar, the high priest performs a ceremony unique for this day where two goats are presented, and “he is to cast lots for the two goats – one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat (Azazel)” (Lev.16:8). A very interesting, one might say strange ceremony, but why the two goats, and what do they mean?

The Two Goats of Day of Atonement and What They Represent (Wiki Commons)

The goat allotted “for the Lord” represents Jesus Christ. This goat was sacrificed and its blood sprinkled in the mercy seat in the ‘holy of holies’ before God. This act represents atonement made for the sins of the people which symbolically cleanse and unify them with God. (Lev.16:15-16) The Bible states emphatically, “The law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb.9:22; Lev.17:11). Yes, everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, forgiveness can’t be achieved. This sacrificial goat depicts Jesus and the atoning sacrifice upon His cross for humanity’s sin and rebellion against God.

One of the Goats Represent the Messiah Jesus Christ’s Atonement for Humanity’s Sins

The other goat is called the Azazel or scapegoat. (Lev.16:8) The High Priest performed a separate and unique routine upon the Azazel goat. The high priest shall “lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites–all their sins–and put them on the goat’s head” (Lev.16:21-22). This scapegoat represents the devil who is the instigator of all rebellion and sin in humanity against God. This had been Satan’s chief activity who was ultimately responsible for Adam’s fall in Eden. He continues to tempt and seduce humans from all walks of life to sin against God and His holy Love. This goat is allowed to be released ‘alive’ into the desert wilderness, for obvious reason as we’ll see a little later.

This live goat represented Satan the devil, and through this unique ceremonial act the high priest transfers all the sins and guilt of the people upon the head of the live goat (Satan’s head), for he is the great tempter, and first cause for all sin and rebellion committed by the people against God.  

The Live Goat (Azazel) Released Into The Desert Wilderness (Wiki Commons)

Let us now see the New Testament parallel of this vital message of reconciliation and forgiveness through Jesus’ cross from the Day of Atonement, and specifically as it relates to Jesus Christ, humanity’s Savior, High Priest, and heavenly eternal Mediator. We are told clearly from Scripture, “Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess” (Heb.4:14). So, Aaron as high priest in Israel, was performing the role picturing the true High Priest, Jesus, who later came and fulfill this office and function in God’s grand plan of saving mankind, and continues to do so to this today. So, Jesus is both Savior and High Priest; the sacrificial Lamb of God and Redeemer.

And besides Jesus’ High Priestly function, the New Testament reveals how at this identical time, Jesus as humanity’s Savior defeated Satan in the titanic spiritual battle of the temptations unleashed by Satan upon Jesus as recorded in the Bible – Matthew.4:1-11. This was God’s overall plan for His Son to eradicate sin in humanity, by defeating the instigator of all sin, Satan, in the titanic battle of the temptations, and ultimately upon His cross upon Calvary.

Notice, one of the obligatory exercises expected of the people for observing the Day of Atonement was the people fasted and confessed their sins before God. (Lev.23:27; Lev.16:29-33) In the New Testament, Jesus fulfilled both obligations when He was baptized by John for the baptism of forgiveness of sins, and thereafter fasted for forty days in the Judean wilderness. Mark tells us, “And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mar.1:4). Yes, John’s message was identical with the message of Atonement the people of Israel heard and confessed their sins before God on the Day of Atonement.

However, Jesus had no sin to repent of, much less the need for forgiveness. Being the Son of God, the Immanuel and Messiah, He was sinless. (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23; Luk.2:11) Jesus is the second Person of the Trinitarian Godhead. (John 10:30; 17:21; Matt.28:28-30; 2 Cor.13:14; Act.7:55; 1 Pet.1:2) John affirms this truth, saying, “The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14)

Paul affirms this astounding truth, saying, “But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father” (Gal.4:4-6). He was both divine and human – “Immanuel,” meaning “God with us” – in the Person of Jesus Christ. (Matt.1:23)

Jesus, Born Immanuel Human to Become Mankind’s Savior and Mediator (Wiki Commons)

The Bible further affirms Jesus divesting His divinity to take up our fallen humanity in Himself in order to save us from sin and death. Immerse yourself in the words of Paul, “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood (Immanuel). For only as a human being could He die, and only by dying could He break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could He set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to fear of dying” (Heb.2:14-15, NLB; Matt.1:23; John 3:16, italics mine). Paul reminds us what sin and rebellion brings, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23).

Paul supports Jesus’ deity, saying, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature a God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Phi.2:5-8) God knew what it was like to be a tormented human held in bondage of sin by giving His Son to identify with us and save humanity. John corroborated this most beautiful truth about Jesus’ perfect Being, saying, “And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in Him” (1 John 3:5).

Jesus Baptized by John for Humanity’s Forgiveness

So, we ask, what was the purpose of Jesus’ baptism considering He had no sin to confess nor repent of, much less be forgiven? The true purpose of Jesus’ baptism was He was baptized for all humanity. He was repenting for mankind’s forgiveness, absolution, and salvation. Humans repent, obtain forgiveness, and are baptized because Jesus has gone on before and done it for mankind. Hence, God the Father imputes Christ’s perfect work, His sacrificial death upon the cross, and His resurrected now glorified human life, upon us. (1 Cor.1:30; 2 Cor.5:21; Act.2:38)

In other words, humans cannot repent on their own volition, repentance is a gift of God through His Son. (Act.11:18; Gal.3:13) When John saw Jesus approaching to be baptized, recollect their dialog. John said, “I am the one who needs to be baptized by You,” he said, “so why are You coming to me?” He recognized who Jesus was. Then Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt.3:13-15). To “fulfill all righteousness” means they were obligated to carry out all that God required of them. And God’s plan was that Jesus was to be baptized by John for humanity’s repentance and forgiveness. (2 Cor.5:21; 1 Cor.1:30)

We repent and are forgiven upon the template of Jesus’ baptism, His saving work through His perfect life in our place. Just as Jesus was crucified for our sins, He was similarly baptized for our forgiveness. Paul said this, “In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade” (2 Cor.2:14, MSG). Yes, in life we are marching with Him in His triumphant procession. Thank God, like a true Loving Father, He has ascribed and imputed His Son’s finished work upon us for our ultimate salvation. (Phi.3:9; Rom.4:55:19)

In truth, the new human life Jesus brought, the ‘Immanuel humanity,’ was to displace and substitute the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ we inherited from Adam’s fall – so His whole life was a substitute for our fallen ‘Adamic humanity.’ He told us that we must be reborn and take upon us His new humanity energized by and enabled in the Spirit’s appeal and Love. (John 3:3-7; Rom.5:5) Paul affirmed this marvelous truth, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor.5:17). Jesus said, “Unless you repent (change), you will all perish likewise” (Luk.13:3, 5). Essentially, the call to repentance is of and in itself the call to change and take up the new ‘Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus in place of the sin-conditioned ‘Adamic humanity’ from Adam’s fall. (2 Cor.5:17; Ezek.36:26; John 3:3; Rom.6:4) (You can read about the New Humanity Jesus brought from the Father to Substitute our fallen ‘Adamic Humanity’ at: http://bulamanriver.net/19496)

We Are Baptized Into and Following Jesus’ Own Baptism of Forgiveness And Rebirth (Rom.6:3-4)

God gave Jesus this mission to bring us His new ‘Immanuel humanity’ empowered in the Spirit by coming as the Messiah who repented for us, lived a perfect human life, and died a sinless sacrifice upon His cross to save mankind from all sin, past, present, and future. (Rom.:12:1-2; Rom.15:16;) John said this, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2; also 2 Cor.5:21).

In God’s boundless mercy He has made provision for our destiny and salvation through His Son as our ongoing Savior and eternal Mediator High Priest in heaven today. He will not abandon us but will finish what He has begun in His Son. (John 3:16) Paul said this about God’s guarantee to bring us and all humanity into His divine realm and kingdom, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of His glory” (Eph.1:13-14).

The Gentle Dove, Symbol of the Holy Spirit (Wiki Commons)

God’s limitless compassion for humanity is beyond comprehension, “Because of the Lord’s great Love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness” (Lam.3:22-23). Paul says here, “You were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession.” And here we see the second reason the Father sent His Son, to inaugurate the gift of the Holy Spirit to indwell mankind and make real and tangible Christ’s new ‘Immanuel humanity.’

Recall, after Jesus was baptized by John, the Bible records, “Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, He saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Mar.1:9-11). Yes, Jesus inaugurated the gift of the Holy Spirit, and later the Spirit was poured out upon the faithful and all humanity on the day of Pentecost. (Act.2:1-4)

“Rivers of Living Water” – Symbol of The Holy Spirit’s Cleansing Activity In Humanity (John 3:5; 7:38-39)

So, we see how Jesus replicated the traditional obligation to solicit divine forgiveness of human sins through repentance as was expected of the people on the Day of Atonement. (Lev.16:29-33) He then gave passage for the Holy Spirit to enter human life from the Father for the purpose of sanctifying humans in God’s Love (Rom.5:5; John 16:7; 14:26)

In the ancient Israelite ritual, baptism was symbolized by the high priest washing in the laver, a washbowl filled with water. The Bible states, “And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water (Lev.8:6). Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5, also Eph.5:26-27).

The next ritual was that of fasting. Let’s note the parallel in Jesus’ own life. After His baptism, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him” (Matt.4:1-3). Yes, Jesus fasted as did the people in ancient Israel.

Recall, where was the live Azazel goat released? It was let go alive into the desert wilderness, and Jesus fasted for forty days in the identical wilderness. (Lev.16:20-22) And here is where Jesus confronted Satan in the titanic spiritual battle in the temptations for the soul of humanity. His spiritual preparation was He fasted for 40 days.

He was tempted by Satan during His 40 days of fasting. What was the purpose of Jesus’ fast and His simultaneous encounter with Satan’s temptation? Jesus faced up to four paramount aspects of the devil’s temptations revealed in the Gospel of Matthew. (Matt.4:1-11) These 4 temptations forms the very foundation of Satan’s primal force of sin and rebellion which he unleashes upon all humanity.

By defeating Satan, Jesus not only gave humanity victory over this invisible enemy who is the instigator of all sin, He has also laid bare the very core of Satan’s evil plan to keep humanity in the chains of sin. That’s to say, Jesus gave humanity the divine inside track (so to speak) to Satan’s blueprint by which he tempts all humans to sin, do evil, and rebel against God, and keep humanity in the bondage of sin and rebellion. It has been said that the key ingredient for defeating an enemy is, “know thine enemy.” Through the temptations, God has opened this eternal wisdom for humans through His Son. Not only was Jesus baptized for our forgiveness, He also defeated the devil in our place, then was crucified for our atonement. 

Jesus was famished From His Fast. In the First Temptation Jesus was Tempted to Concede His Divine Powers to the Enemy by Changing Rocks into Bread (Wiki Commons)

So, Jesus led a glorious victory for humanity by defeating Satan by way of these temptations, and thereby defeat all of humanity’s sins which arise from them. If you were able to imagine all the sin and rebellion of humanity since Adam’s fall, they essentially can be categorized into and arise from these four temptation sub-headings. From their various pigments and color, indentations and grooves, and patterns and profiles, Satan blinds people and keep humanity in the chains of sin and rebellion. Be truly thankful for God’s divine wisdom, for Scripture tell us, “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted (by the devil)” (Heb.2:18). God our Father comforts us with His Fatherly words, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you” (Psa.32:8).

(You can read about the four temptations in my blog post, titled, a) – “The Four Temptations And God’s Promises,” at: http://bulamanriver.net/11339. Also, b) – “The Saving Faith of Jesus,” at: http://bulamanriver.net/21946; and c) – “The 4 Temptations, How To Overcome and Live Victoriously In Christ,” at http://bulamanriver.net/20216)

So, what is the essential meaning of Jesus act of defeating the devil’s deceitful cunning temptations with overwhelming victory and accomplishment in the Judean wilderness? You will recall the high priest’s extraordinary act upon the second live scapegoat (Azazel): “He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place; and the man shall release it in the wilderness” (Lev.16:20-22). Note the parallel with Jesus’ victory over Satan. The reason the live goat (Azazel) was released live in the wilderness is because it represents the devil who was created of spirit, not physical matter. Satan is a fallen angel who cannot die, hence the second goat was released ‘alive’ in the desert wilderness.


The High Priest “Lay Both Hands on the Head of the Live Goat and Confess Over It all the Wickedness and Rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head. He Shall Send the Goat Away into the Wilderness.”

When the high priest in Israel laid his hands on the live goat (Azazel), he was portraying what the true High Priest, Jesus, would later do for all humanity when He effectively laid His hands squarely upon Satan’s head (the live goat) and transferred all the sins and rebellion of Israel, and by extension all humanity, when He defeated Satan in the temptations. (John 3:16, 36) Jesus had done what God His Father had planned in His appointed time and place. Today, Jesus Christ is mankind’s High Priest in heaven who continues to unceasingly mediate for humanity. (Heb.4:14-16; 1 Cor.1:30)

So, in Jesus’ temptation in the Judean wilderness, He was reconstructing the Israelite high priest’s ritual from the Day of Atonement of placing all the charge of humanity’s sin where they rightfully belong, Satan’s head. Jesus defeated Satan at his own temptations by which he has held humanity captive to the prison of sin and rebellion. It turned out to be the ultimate battle for the soul of humanity which culminated at His cross upon Calvary to restore humanity back to God. Seconds before Jesus breathed His last upon His cross, He uttered the words, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

Jesus, Humanity’s High Priest Today Before The Heavenly Mercy Seat.

Yes, Jesus had ‘finished’ a vital aspect of His earthly mission given Him by the Father, by defeating the devil once for all through the temptations and later by His death upon His cross. Jesus’ mission continues to this day upon those He calls. (Matt.28:18-20; Act.14:21-28; 26:12-18) Jesus has brought humanity back from the brink of eternal disaster which began at the hands of Adam’s rebellion and sin in Eden, and back to the eternal God and Creator and made mankind His eternal children forever. (Gen.3:1-6, 23-24; John 3:16)

The message of the Gospel of reconciliation continues today, as Paul declares, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us” (2 Cor.5:18-19).

John, in a vision he was given of the end of time when Jesus has restituted all things to His Father, recorded this, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Rev.21:3-5).

Living the Human Victorious Life in Christ

If eternal justice must be served, it would not be divine justice for Jesus to carry the weight of humanity’s sin upon Himself on His cross for which He is not ultimately responsible, where the primary guilty party is allowed to go scot free without charge. Christ’s sacrifice was to pay for and atone human sin and rebellion – yes, humanity is culpable because the choice was theirs, albeit by the deception and cunning of the devil. Since humanity is responsible and thereby answerable for their actions, individually and collectively, they must repent, ask for forgiveness and receive Jesus’ as personal Savior through His baptism. The Bible is unambiguous, For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Rom.3:23; also, Act.2:37-39; 3:19; 20:21; Mar.1:15; Eccl.7:20). Jesus came to redeem us from all our personal guilt and sins.

However, the absolute and incontrovertible responsible party who instigated, caused, and is indisputably guilty of all human sin and rebellion, Satan the devil, must be held accountable and answer to the charges of sin and rebellion against God and His human children, and be convicted of all guilt for mankind’s sin and rebellion.

For Satan, to live eternally with all his and humanity’s sins he was responsible for, misdeeds and failures, his defeats, disasters, and blunders, beginning with his revolt from the start, are of themselves considered as ‘hell’ to live through on its own self-sabotaging merits. Conceivably, a hell suited for a fallen archangel and other revolting angels with the incorrigibles who have turned against their Creator God. (Isa.14:13-14; Rev.12:9, 3-4; Matt.25:41) What is the closest place which analogizes the desert wilderness where the live scapegoat was released? The Bible calls it the “lake of fire and brimstone” (Rev.20:1-2, 10). One can say, this is the categorical ‘graveyard’ of all sin and rebellion,

After Jesus had defeated Satan, angels appeared and ministered and comforted Him. (Matt.11:4). Then the Scripture tell us what Jesus did immediately after His momentous victory over Satan, “From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matt.4:17). Yes, the Scripture tell us something so powerful and astoundingly marvelous beyond comprehension here, which we can easily gloss over and miss altogether.

That is: since Adam’s fall in Eden at the hands of the devil, the “Kingdom of Heaven” have been closed to humanity. But not anymore…that is what Jesus announced after He defeated Satan in His titanic battle in the temptation…Jesus has now opened the doors of the Kingdom for mankind to enter. Hence, and not until Jesus defeated Satan the enemy, could this passage be stated by Jesus in its timely and foreordained manner, “the Kingdom of Heaven has come” (Matt.4:17). The ‘first Adam’ had closed the door to the Kingdom that was available to him and his children trough rebellion and sin. Now, the ‘second Adam (Jesus) has reopened the doors of the Kingdom. (1 Cor.15:22, 45)

Cross, Christ, Faith, God, Jesus, Clouds
Jesus, Son of God, Savior, High Priest

Up to the point when Jesus defeated Satan in the temptations, humanity entered and experienced life in the kingdom of darkness of the devil through Adam’s fall. Paul affirmed this, saying, “For He (God the Father) has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins” (Col.1:13-14, italics my emphasis).

Since Jesus opened the doors of the Kingdom He affirmed this announcement, saying, “Until John the Baptist, the law of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is eager to get in” (Luk.16:16, also Matt.11:12). Yes, “the kingdom of heaven has come” (Matt.4:17). What a glorious announcement by Jesus to humanity. We ought to leap for joy in our hearts because of Jesus’ finished work of defeating the architect and father of sin, living the perfect human life, and ultimately sacrificing Himself for our atonement. (John 19:28; 30; John 8:44; 1 John 3:1)

Through Noah, the Patriarchs, Moses, Israel, and the Prophets, until the Messiah’s coming, God slowly but surely restored the Kingdom that was first available to Adam but sadly lost through his fall, and finally reinstated by Jesus through His birth, His colossal battle with Satan, His sinless life, His atoning death upon His cross, His resurrection and ascension to heaven. With that, Jesus changed humanity’s destiny forever when He finally opened the doors of the Kingdom where humanity may fulfill their rightful birthright as God’s offspring. (Gen.1:26-27) Be utterly thankful!

So, Jesus’ finished work of bringing humanity back to God the Father had started until mankind arrive at its destiny as stated in the Gospel, so we may enter and live with God our heavenly Father for all eternity. (Matt.25:34, NLT; John 3:16)

A final word about the temple of God. Bear in mind, all we have read about Atonement as it relates to the work of the Messiah and its related activities were focused primarily within the confines and context of the temple. Without the temple, the work of the high priest in Israel and the act of reconciling the people with God could not have been carried out. The most holy place where God is seated, where mercy flows and acquittal is obtained located within the temple’s holy of holies. God is the Tri-Personal Spirit Being who is composed of ‘spirit,’ and as such dwells in a spiritual temple. He is not a physical human being to dwell in a physical temple. The physical tabernacle/temple was a copy of the true spiritual temple of God in heaven, and now He seeks a dwelling to live and walk in upon earth. (2 Cor.6:16; Rev.21:3)

What and where is God’s temple on earth today? God’s spiritual temple is the very heart of His own spiritual people. (Act.7:47-50; 17:24-25) Yes, there is a spiritual component to man’s makeup. And yes, humans are mortal beings but he is given a heart and mind resembling God’s spiritual likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) Many today think that God dwells in impressive physical temples. No, God is not a human being to dwell in such physical edifices. Humans were created with the internal orientation of heart to receive God’s Holy Spirit and be made offspring of the divine, and God’s spiritual, living, temple.

“Don’t You Realize that All of You Together are The Temple of God and that the Spirit of God Lives in You?” (1 Cor.3:16).

He made this distinction between the physical and spiritual temples when He asks, “Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Could you build Me a temple as good as that? Could you build Me such a resting place? My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are Mine. I, the Lord, have spoken! I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at My word” (Isa.66:1-2, NLT). What an awesome declaration of truth about His physical and spiritual temples. Let’s break this passage down.

God is proclaiming He already has a physical temple – the whole of creation and the universe is His physical temple. Elsewhere God asks, “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD” (Jer.23:24). The Scriptures says how God is adorned in His physical temple, “You are dressed in a robe of light.” It tells us what His temple looks like, “You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens; You lay the rafters of Your home in the rain clouds; You ride upon the wings of the wind. The winds are your messengers; flames of fire are your servants” (Psa.104).

We only have to look at the marvelous beauty of this earth and the awesome expanse of the heavens to witness His magnificent physical temple. Of course, it would be laughable to even imagine that humanity can build a physical temple that’s vaguely comparable to His wondrously sweeping panoramic creation.

When God commanded Moses to erect a temple so He could live among His people, He was portraying and characterizing His spiritual temple. What is that spiritual temple? Paul answers clearly, “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?” (1 Cor.3:16). Speaking to individual humans, God tell us through Paul, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So, you must honor God with your body” (1 Cor.6:19). Yes, individually and collectively, we comprise God’s spiritual temple on earth. So, His vast material creation is God’s physical temple, and the collective Loving heart of humanity is His spiritual temple.

Paul taught the Ephesians, “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit” (Eph.2:19-22). Again, we are all individual bricks that the Master Builder, Jesus, is building to erect the very spiritual temple of God.

Peter asserted this wondrous truth concerning our common human destiny with God our Father and Creator, “And you are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple. What’s more, you are His holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God” (1 Pet.2:5; also, Rom.12:1-2). Jesus told His hearers, “Behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luk.17:21). Jesus was pointing to Himself living within each and every saved human being, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col.1:27; also, Gal.2:20)

The prophet Isaiah gives us this revealing passage about the human heart as the spiritual aspect of the human body wherein God dwells, “For this is what the high and exalted One says– He who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isa.57:15). Yes, God lives in the heart of His human children who are contrite and humble in spirit and mind. John said this about this beautiful coexistence of God with His human children, “God is Love, and all who live in Love live in God, and God lives in them” (1 John 4:16).

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A Rendition of Solomon’s Temple Where God Is Present in The Holy Place (Wiki Commons)

The Psalmist’s prayer of contrition laments, “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart You, God, will not despise” (Psa.51:16-17; Psa.34:18; Isa.66:1-2; Matt.22:37-40). His children have a “broken and contrite heart,” that’s to say, we Love Him with all our hearts and relate with Him in a humbling and respectful disposition and attitude of mind and spirit. We live to let His all-encompassing Love find a permanent home in the inner sanctum of our hearts. (1 Cor.13)

The act of Atonement happening in the heavenly temple in God’s presence, is replicated in the heart of humanity in those who have surrendered their lives to Christ, God’s High Priest. (Isa.57:15) The “holy of holies” in the physical temple portrays the “human heart/mind,” God’s spiritual temple on earth, where God’s presence is located in the inner sanctum of the surrendered heart of humanity. Here, humanity is cleansed through Jesus’ mediation and the Father communes in Loving relationship with us. It is truly an awesome divine picture of the future Loving union between God and His human children.

The Spiritual Aspect of Human Life in His Spiritual Consciousness In The Inner Sanctum Of The Human Heart and Mind (Wiki Commons)

God’s ‘mercy seat’ in heaven is identical with the ‘mercy seat’ on earth in the inner sanctum of the heart and mind of saved humanity. It is here the Father is seated enthroned and exalted. It is here before the Father, that Jesus our High Priest appears and appeals for us with His shed blood in His glorified human life for our eternal absolution and reconciliation. (Gal.2:20; Rom.8:3; Heb.4:14-16)

This is the sacred abode of God, the atmospheric within the temple is heavily laden and saturated with delightful fragranced incense, symbolizing human prayers, our Love and worship, gratitude and praise, being perfected in Jesus who transforms them into a sweet-smelling aroma before God. (2 Cor.2:15; Eph.5:2) It is here that humanity meets with the Triune God all the days of sojourn upon earth, until our change comes at the resurrection in the Spirit’s power at Christ’s return to earth. (1 Cor.15:51-58; also, 1 Thes.4:16-18; Rom.8:11)

What we are seeing is the fusing of two hearts in Love – the heart of God and the ‘contrite heart’ of humanity. John tells us this, “We know how much God Loves us, and we have put our trust in His Love. God is Love, and all who live in Love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our Love grows more perfect” (1 John 4:16-17). We see the most beautiful picture of God living united with His human children in His divine nature of Love. (To read and understand the various functions of the temple and what they portray in our lives as humans and God’s children, you may read my post at: http://bulamanriver.net/11230.)

The “Holy of Holies” in the Physical Temple, Depiction of the Spiritual Temple and Holy Place of the Inner Sanctum of the Human Heart of God’s People

I close this post with my best wishes to all my readers for a solemn and blessed Passover/Easter 2021. May God’s grace be with you abundantly.

Petition: Friends, as I have closed my post in the past, I customarily give our readers the opportunity to give their lives to our Maker. I thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus who has enabled us to live the Triune Life.* Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven seated at His Father’s side, and ceaselessly mediating for us.

I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Him as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of living this glorious humanity made children of God forever. (1 Sam.16:7; Jer.17:10) You can privately and quietly pray the prayer below in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human being Christ died for, regardless of your background. All are inducted into the one mankind Jesus saved, not into any religion, religious sect or denomination, color, culture, or nationality – but into the one glorious humanity that Christ is preparing as the holy temple for God’s dwelling:

Prayer: “Almighty God, Father of all humanity, forgive me of all my sins for I receive Your Son, Jesus, as my personal Savior. In Your incalculable grace, thank you for recuing me and my loved ones, and all humanity, from the enemy’s fearful and destructive waters, and bringing us home into the life-giving waters of your Ocean of Love. Grant Your promised celestial life in Your Son through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon us all so we may serve one another in your Love. May Your Love guide and protect me and my Loved ones always, and bring us all into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.”

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Prayer is A Profound One-On-One Spiritual Love Dialogue Between a Person and God the Father in Heaven (Wiki Commons)

Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s holy, eternal Family. (1 Tim.6:19) Then keep in touch with God’s Word for you by reading and studying your Bible, and visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation – go to: http://bulamanriver.net. You can email me with your questions at – bulamanriver@gmail.com.

Blessing: Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you and your loved ones this Easter season and always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life”*. In closing, pray for God’s intervention with regard to the pandemic that is sweeping this world. Finally, may you always find strength in the Lord’s Joy.

Farewell for now,

Kiang,  (Your Servant and Friend in Christ)   

Special Note to our Readers: Kindly support our work, buy one or more Easter Mugs. You may go to our store, “BulaMugsGifts,” at: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/BulaMugsGifts_ Thank you all for your inestimable support.                                           

*Triune Life: “Triune Life” speaks of the process of theosis or deification of humanity. What is theosis or deification? “It refers to apotheosis, meaning “making divine.” Theosis or deification is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God (as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church).” (Wikipedia.org) The belief in the process of ‘deification’ is understood in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, when He said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If He called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside (cannot be broken)” (John 10:34-35; Psa.82:6). (You can read about the Triune Life at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and other posts)

The Resurrection to Immortality and Deification of Humanity Created In God’s Image (Wiki Commons)

I have written about this subject of ‘deification’ in my blogs under the theme ‘substitution’ and ‘attribution’ (see, http://bulamanriver.net/564), where I showed how Jesus came as God incarnate (Immanuel) to assume our sinful humanity in order to save mankind from sin and death for the express purpose of human deification. (Matt.1:23Rom.3:10-121823John 3:161 Cor.15:50-55Rom.8:29) Further, we read the following, “As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (‘illumination’ with the ‘vision’ of God). According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God’s uncreated energies.” (Wikipedia.org)

So, the “Triune Life” reveals the intersection of human life and activity and the uncreated divine energy flowing from the Tri-Personal Being of God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a way of life which explains that process of theosis whereby humans are transformed in body, mind, and spirit by the Love of God. God’s uncreated energy is His Love. So, the foundational tenet of the “Triune Life” is based upon the Love of God, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:816). Thereby, it can also be called aptly, the “Triune Love.”

Sculpture of Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity (Wiki Commons)

I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19) This is opposed to the one-dimensional human way of life influenced by the devil. We see God’s Tri-Personal Love move in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory, in this process of theosis which I have called the ‘three ascents.’ The three ascents are three steps which dovetails into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity – where God reveals the fullness of Himself to humanity, both individually and collectively. (2 Cor.13:141 Pet.1:1-2) That’s to say, the act of one is the act of all three, and the act of three is the act of one, making them unified with in Love. (Mar.12:29Deut.6:4)

Every aspect of human living follows this three-step format revealing the three-dimensional aspect of how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, directly and collectively involved in the life of human believers, individually and collectively to bring humanity to salvation. These three steps move in an ascending order, so I will call them ‘ascents.’ Each ‘ascent’ dovetails into the next and finally reveals the ‘manifestation’ of the topic, which we will call the fourth step, in this case, Love!

Hence, all my articles are framed within this three-step format, or ascents. The subject of the article dovetails into each ascent and spontaneously lead to the manifestation of the divine Love and reveals how humanity is enlightened by God, and cleansed in mind, body, and spirit. The ascents reveal three doors one must enter to attain the manifestation of God’s Love relationship with humanity. The ascents are not to be misconstrued as some ‘secret knowledge’ or mystical activity. Rather, each ascent represents the relationship of Love a human enjoys with the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, throughout a person’s life.

In fact, the ascents are actually three Love relationships the believer encounters with the Tri-Personal God. This three-way relationship is what I have called by the term, “Triune Life” or “Triune Love.” These ascents represent the movement of God’s Love in an inward, outward, and upward, trajectory to bring God’s enlightenment in a person. The fourth step reveals how the article is made to manifest in the life of the person, both individually and then collectively in humanity.

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5; Eph.3:16; Col2:2) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27).

The Bible states, “He (God) does great things that we cannot understand and miracles that we cannot count” (Job 5:937:5). If God acts in ways that cannot be fathomed and is beyond human comprehension, then the miraculous life where humans are privileged recipients, cannot be deciphered by the human mind to its grandest manifestation. But we understand its meaning through divine revelation in that God reveals Himself as Love, and His miraculous activities are enveloped in His Love. (Jer.29:11)

The three-dimensional Triune Life/Love is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life of the fallen humanity inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion. For additional information about the Triune Life: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.                                               

**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, you may obtain a copy of my book, “Bula” Man-River, from Amazon.com; xulonpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book stores. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.

Bulamanriver: Book Cover by Author

*Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664

All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you!


GOD’S LOVE IS THE HUMAN SPIRITUAL GRAVITY, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings once more Friends! The Bible says plainly without reservation or hyperbole, “God is Love” (1John 4:8, 16) God has eternally existed in Love, for God is Love. The divine Love, whether read as a noun and verb, describes God’s name, and how, what, and why, His activity is all about. Since God has eternally existed without beginning or end, then Love has likewise always existed without beginning nor end, He (Love) has always existed when nothing else was.

The flip side of God’s nature is freedom – that is where human free-will originate. You cannot have Love without freedom, nor freedom without Love.

“God Is Love” (Wiki Commons)

All the physical and material universe originate from God’s Love through His creative powers. So, Love has eternally existed for “God is Love.” On the other hand, rebellion from which evil, fear, and sin gives birth is the opposite of Love. Rebellion has a beginning, because it can never stem from God’s eternal Love. Anything that did not come from God is temporal in nature and cannot and will not be sustained for any length of time, whereas, God in His Love is timeless and eternal.

Freedom Wall Art - Photograph - It Was For Freedom by Gail Peck
Freedom, The Inverse of God’s Nature of Love (pixels)

The Bible tells us that all evil started with the archangel Lucifer’s rebellion against God. (Isa.14:12-14) So, rebellion and sin had a beginning – a starting point. Therefore, it has only one outcome – it will end in complete oblivion and demise for the simple fact it stands opposed to God’s immutable, unchanging, and eternal Love. Only Love (God) exists for eternity. (1 John 4:8, 16)

So, this is when rebellion and sin originate – with Lucifer uttering his self-centered and outlandish decision, “For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’” (Isa.14:13-14). Lucifer wanted to be God himself by unseating the Creator through an angelic rebellion. He convinced one third of the angels to follow his revolt. (Rev.12:9, 3-4).

Lucifer Cast from Heaven After His Rebellion (Wiki Commons)

But they were cast out from heaven and bound to this earth as their prison. (Rev.12:9) God created Lucifer an archangel and called him the “shining morning star, bringer of light.” (Isa.14:12-14; also Ezek. 28:13-17). How the created ever entertained the thought of deposing the Creator, is beyond logic and comprehension. How can anyone displace, what for eternity, has been the essence of life which fills all that is both seen and unseen. Yet, it happened, we can only make an unqualified guess about Lucifer’s choice.

Perhaps, he allowed his brightness to get the better of him, which scripture alluded to – Ezek.28:14-17. A timely lesson for us and all creation for that matter. So, we see rebellion, revolt, and evil has a beginning, On the other hand, Love does not – Love has always existed as God has always been for eternity. Lucifer became the devil, meaning adversary, after his sin of revolt against God. (Isa.14:12-14)

From the above we see can surmise that spiritual gravity can be categorized into two spiritual forces which is at work in the affairs of humanity and all of creation. The two forces are the spirit energy of God’s Love from which all grace and good originate; and the evil energy of rebellion and sin, which opposes and contradicts God’s Love, from which all evil and wickedness arise. We have established God is eternal and fills all eternity with His divine Love.

So, anything that exists in contradiction to and in violation of His infallible Love has to have a beginning, and is temporal and fleeting by nature. Nothing will challenge the all-embracing God who fills all of space and time, and the entire creation in matters seen and unseen, with and in His Love.

The Spiritual Gravity of God’s Love Is As True and Real As Physical Gravity (Wiki Commons)
Gravity Wall Art - Photograph - Sisyphus by Jeffrey Hummel
You Can Read Romans Chapters 5-7 To Learn More of God’s Love and How Sin’s Power Is Broken

These two forces are constantly and immutably spiritual, not physical. They are just as real as the unseen physical law of gravity. Although physical gravity is unseen, we believe it to be true because we can prove its reality, physically speaking. The two spiritual forces are real as physical gravitational force, however, the evidence and corroboration of its existence in reality does not work in exactly the same way as physical gravity.

These two spiritual gravitational forces (Love/sin, holy/evil, grace/fear, other-centered/self-centered) affect humans indirectly through the laws that govern its function. That’s to say, as true as the two spiritual gravitational forces are, it is vital to realize that its function in human life is determined through the choice people make as it concerns the laws which govern its function. In other words, God’s Love and its counterpart fear, are the gravitational forces in the spiritual environment (eternity).

Just as we compensate everything we do to counterweigh and neutralize the negative effect of the gravitational energy of our physical environment, like creating a chair to break our fall, so must we do likewise with the spiritual gravity that is regulated by human choice of the two opposing laws which govern spiritual gravity. Here’s the difference, we don’t learn to live within the two spiritual gravitational energies, as we do within our physical gravity, because the spiritual gravitational outcome and effect does not immediately penalize us as physical gravity does.

Hence, the Bible tells us this, “When evil people are not punished right away, (like physical gravity) it makes others want to do evil, too” (Eccl.8:11, italics mine). The spiritual gravity works in a roundabout manner, but is just as real as physical gravity.

What are the laws that govern the function of the two spiritual gravitational forces? The laws are, 1) the law of God’s Love; and 2) the law of rebellion, fear and sin generated by the devil, which oppose God’s divine Love . These two laws are real and affect and touch all human actions and relationships and the world around us. Anyone who breaks or keeps them will be either blessed or cursed depending upon their response to them. Through them, we live in freedom, or in we live bondage. By them we receive true life and grow and discover our true self and destiny, or we live in darkness with our false self that will end in torment and death. (Eph.4:22-24)

Paul clarified these two laws this way, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Rom.8:2, NASB). This passage identifies the two laws which govern the human spiritual gravity, under the terms, “The law of the Spirit of life.” The second is “the law of sin and death.”

White Dove Canvas Prints
The Dove, Symbol of God’s Love – “The Law of The Spirit” (Wiki Commons)

What is “the law of Spirit and life?” It is the law of God’s divine Love. Paul explains for us the different shades or fruits of God’s Love in the Bible. The word ‘fruits’ simply means a person’s ‘actions.’ Paul gives us an inventory of the Love-fruits in his letter to the Corinthians. Here is a summary of  God’s Love-fruits: *patience, *kindness, *contentedness, *the fruit of being modest and unboastful, *humility, *the fruit of honor, *the fruit of unselfishness, *the fruit of calmness and dignity, *the fruit of forgiveness and compassion, *the fruit of delighting in good and shunning evil, *the fruit of tolerance, *the fruit of responsibility, *the fruit of enduring hope, *the fruit of steadfast perseverance, *joy, *peace, *goodness, *faith, *gentleness, *self-control, *the fruit of zeal and spiritual fervor, *The fruit of gratitude and thankfulness, *the fruit of friendship, *the fruit of sharing and generosity, *the fruit of prayerfulness, *the fruit of hospitality, etc. (1 Cor.13; also Gal.5:22-23Rom.12:9-21)

These Love-fruits reveal the holy Love-emotions of the Tri-Personal Being of God, and how the Father, Son, and Spirit have eternally existed in their relationship with each other from eternity. I encourage you to visit my post titled, “Our Human Response In The Triune Life – LOVE!” at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199.

God’s Love-Fruits Are For Human Fellowship and Relationship (Wiki Commons)

Then Paul says clearly Gods’ Love is deposited in humans through the Holy Spirit, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). Paul explains we exist in Love through the fruits (acts) of Love we read in the Bible which expounds to us the various tones of expression of our Love for each other, just as God does in His Tri-Personal Being. (Read 1 Cor.13)

He explains what we are to do with His Love, “Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to Love one another. If you Love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law (spiritual gravity). For the commandments say, ‘You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.’ These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to others, so Love fulfills the requirements of God’s law” (Rom.13:8-10, NLB; Rom.7:12, italics mine).

So, “the law of the Spirit and life” basically means to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” To come to this blessed place, there’s a vital prerequisite, “The law of the Spirit and life” refers to the good news of the gospel and the new life of faith in Christ that we can live through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. (John 3:16; Rom.5:5) Humans cannot live this divine Love-inspired and Love-led life without Jesus who was and is responsible for the investiture of God’s Spirit (Love) in a person’s life. (John 16:7; Rom.5:5; Act.2:38) That’s to say the Holy Spirit can only be realized with the Messiah’s coming to first cleanse and reconcile humanity to God.

Serpent, Symbol for the Devil -“The Law of Sin and Death” (Wiki Commons)

What is “the law of sin and death?” We turn to Paul’s writings again, “You also have died to the law (of sin and death) through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law (spiritual gravity of of sin and death), having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit (and life) and not in the old way of the written code.” (Rom.7:4-6, ESV; also Gal.2:20; italics mine).

Think of everything which opposes the fruits of God’s Love as listed above, and you will see and understand “the law of sin and death.” You can read the list of God’s Love-fruits and its opposing fear-fruits (sin) of the devil. Just as freedom is the flipside of Love, fear is the flipside of sin. Read the opposing fruits of Love and fear (sin), at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199. Scroll down the article to paragraph titled, ‘To Be or Not To Be.’

Humans are all gifted differently, so these fruits and characteristic of the Spirit does not mean He is legalistic and hard and fast. But though He is constant in His Love, He is very much dynamic and personalizing as He relates to each of us according to our gifting in Love. Our individual responsiveness and move to His Love will be what makes all the difference.

Through Christ’s mediation as humanity’s Savior and High Priest, we become the righteousness of God through the Spirit living within us who empowers us for a life of holy Love. (2 Cor.5:21) Anything that promotes a way of life against God’s Love is defined as the opposing gravitational energy of the “law of sin and death.”

Jesus Christ, Messiah and Savior of Humanity From Sin and Death (Wiki Commons)

So, we see the two opposing laws which govern human spiritual gravity explained from Scripture above. They are both real, tangible, and consequential, like physical gravity. The only difference between the physical and spiritual gravity is the cause and effect dynamic which plays out based upon the interplay of human choice. Whereas physical gravity is immediately punishing if we’re foolish to break it, spiritual gravity is affected in a roundabout manner through the human choice of the two terminal spiritual gravitational laws. As I said earlier, spiritual gravity will break a person as surely if we recklessly break physical gravity.  

I hope that using the metaphor and analogy of physical gravity to explain the reality of God’s spiritual gravity of Love and life, we can understand His Love is true and real, just as surely as sin and death is opposed to the divine Love. Think of the force of gravity in our physical environment, as the counterpart to God’s Love as the gravitational energy in His spiritual environment (eternity).

In other words, what gravity is to our physical realm, Love is to our spiritual environment. When evildoers break the spiritual Love-gravity it hurts them, just as surely as breaking physical gravity hurts anyone who breaks it. We see this happening all over the world today before our very eyes. This spiritual gravity (Love) is real. It’s not a mere empty metaphor. Everything we do is connected and carries implied and conditional (good or evil) consequences based upon our interaction with the gravitational forces governing our lives .

All the suffering, pain, sorrows, man’s inhumanity to man, we witness in the world today is the result of man defying the spiritual gravity of God’s Love which we all inhabit. If you like, we’re all inhabitants of God’s country called Love, and governed by its laws. The Bible calls this divine sphere God’s Kingdom, of which we are all citizens since humanity was created in God’s image and made to be His offspring. (Phi.3:20; John 14:2; Gen.1:26-27)

Crown Of Thorns Wall Art - Painting - Crown of Thorns Glass Mosaic by Mia Tavonatti
Jesus Took All Our Human Evil, Sin, Pain, Suffering, and Death to His Cross in Our Place as Substitute To Free Us From The Penalty Of the Spiritual Gravity Of Sin and Death (1 Pet.2:24; Isa.53:4; Pixels)

Evil is confined to this earth and nowhere else in the universe because of man’s fall to evil at the hands of the devil. (Gen.3) The Bible show this earth will be consumed by fire and brimstone to destroy all semblance evil and usher in a new earth and heavens, where God dwells with His then immortal children upon earth. (2 Pet.3:10; Rev.21:1-5)

But more so for Love, because Love exists in all of space and time and the universe, and is the spiritual gravitational energy governing human relationships. Love is the Triune template of the Tri-Personal God in whom all of life derive and secure its existence into perpetuity

Here’s the difference, we don’t learn to live within Love’s spiritual gravity, as we do within our physical gravity, because the spiritual gravitational force (Love) does not immediately penalize us like physical gravity. The Bible tells us this, “Because the sentence against evil deeds is so long in coming, people in general think they can get by with murder” (Eccl.8:11, MSG) You see, all our acts are interrelated like God in His Triunity, is interconnected in ONE God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Jesus prayed to His and our Father about this unity, “I pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are one—as You are in Me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in Us so that the world will believe You sent Me. I have given them the glory You gave Me, so they may be one as We are one. I am in them and You are in Me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that You sent Me and that You love them as much as You love Me” (John 17:21-23).

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

On the physical level, we learn very quickly that we need hand rails to prevent a fall by the force of our physical gravity, but fail to equate breaking Love’s spiritual gravity with the same presence of mind and inherent urgency. So, we’re frivolous when it comes to evil, let alone investigate its causal outcome. Thus, we suffer all its problematic consequences of living a vicious cycle in this meaningless life-bubble ignorant of God’s Love-gravity. (Eccl.1:2) Why, because man does not understand what Love truly is and its reality and effect upon us.

I sincerely hope you will see the light of God’s Love as in the day of Jesus when the people saw Him as the Light of God’s very essence of Love. (Matt.4:16) The only reality in life is God’s Triune Love, and everything else is fleeting. Evil, like a meaningless bubble, pops and disappears in God’s sphere of Love. His Love surrounds and caresses us, and all we have to do is embrace Him. (Psa.139)

Peter said this, “By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him (Jesus), the one who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence. And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share His divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” (2 Peter 1:3–4).

Freedom Wall Art - Photograph - American Freedom Collection V8 by Lightboxjournal
Living the Believer’s Life is a Journey of Faith (pixels)

Petition: Friends, as I have closed my post in the past, I customarily give our readers the opportunity to give their lives to our Maker. I thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus who has enabled us to live the Triune Life* through the 3 Ascents. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven seated at His Father’s side, and ceaselessly mediating for us.

I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Him as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of living this glorious humanity made children of God forever. (1 Sam.16:7; Jer.17:10) You can privately and quietly pray the prayer below in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human being Christ died for, regardless of your background. All are inducted into the one mankind Jesus saved, not into any religion, religious sect or denomination – but into the glorious humanity that Christ is preparing as the holy temple for God’s dwelling:

Prayer: “Almighty God, Father of all humanity, forgive me of all my sins for I receive Your Son, Jesus, as my personal Savior. In Your incalculable grace, thank you for recuing me and my loved ones, and all humanity, from the enemy’s fearful and destructive waters, and bringing us home into the life-giving waters of your Ocean of Love. Grant Your promised celestial life in Your Son through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon us all so we may serve one another in your Love. May Your Love guide and protect me and my Loved ones always, and bring us all into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.”

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The Resurrection to Immortality and Deification of Humanity Created In God’s Image (Wiki Commons) Prayer is A Profound One-On-One Spiritual Love Dialogue Between a Person and God the Father in Heaven (Wiki Commons)

Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s holy, eternal Family. (1 Tim.6:19) Then keep in touch with God’s Word for you by reading and studying your Bible, and visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation – go to: http://bulamanriver.net. You can email me with your questions at – bulamanriver@gmail.com.

Blessing: Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you and your loved ones always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life”*. In closing, pray for God’s intervention with regard to the pandemic that is sweeping this world. Finally, find strength in the Lord’s Joy.

Farewell for now!

Kiang,  (Your Servant and Friend in Christ)                                                        

*Triune Life: “Triune Life” speaks of the process of theosis or deification of humanity. What is theosis or deification? “It refers to apotheosis, meaning “making divine.” Theosis or deification is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God (as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church).” (Wikipedia.org) The belief in the process of ‘deification’ is understood in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, when He said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If He called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside (cannot be broken)” (John 10:34-35; Psa.82:6). (You can read about the Triune Life at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and other posts)

The Resurrection to Immortality and Deification of Humanity Created In God’s Image (Wiki Commons)

I have written about this subject of ‘deification’ in my blogs under the theme ‘substitution’ and ‘attribution’ (see, http://bulamanriver.net/564), where I showed how Jesus came as God incarnate (Immanuel) to assume our sinful humanity in order to save mankind from sin and death for the express purpose of human deification. (Matt.1:23; Rom.3:10-12, 18, 23; John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:50-55; Rom.8:29) Further, we read the following, “As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (‘illumination’ with the ‘vision’ of God). According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God’s uncreated energies.” (Wikipedia.org)

So, the “Triune Life” reveals the intersection of human life and activity and the uncreated divine energy flowing from the Tri-Personal Being of God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a way of life which explains that process of theosis whereby humans are transformed in body, mind, and spirit by the Love of God. God’s uncreated energy is His Love. So, the foundational tenet of the “Triune Life” is based upon the Love of God, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Thereby, it can also be called aptly, the “Triune Love.”

Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity (Wiki Commons)

I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19) This is opposed to the one-dimensional human way of life influenced by the devil. We see God’s Tri-Personal Love move in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory, in this process of theosis which I have called the ‘three ascents.’ The three ascents are three steps which dovetails into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity – where God reveals the fullness of Himself to humanity, both individually and collectively. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2) That’s to say, the act of one is the act of all three, and the act of three is the act of one, making them unified with in Love. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

Every aspect of human living follows this three-step format revealing the three-dimensional aspect of how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, directly and collectively involved in the life of human believers, individually and collectively to bring humanity to salvation. These three steps move in an ascending order, so I will call them ‘ascents.’ Each ‘ascent’ dovetails into the next and finally reveals the ‘manifestation’ of the topic, which we will call the fourth step, in this case, Love!

Hence, all my articles are framed within this three-step format, or ascents. The subject of the article dovetails into each ascent and spontaneously lead to the manifestation of the divine Love and reveals how humanity is enlightened by God, and cleansed in mind, body, and spirit. The ascents reveal three doors one must enter to attain the manifestation of God’s Love relationship with humanity. The ascents are not to be misconstrued as some ‘secret knowledge’ or mystical activity. Rather, each ascent represents the relationship of Love a human enjoys with the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, throughout a person’s life.

In fact, the ascents are actually three Love relationships the believer encounters with the Tri-Personal God. This three-way relationship is what I have called by the term, “Triune Life” or “Triune Love.” These ascents represent the movement of God’s Love in an inward, outward, and upward, trajectory to bring God’s enlightenment in a person. The fourth step reveals how the article is made to manifest in the life of the person, both individually and then collectively in humanity.

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27).

The Bible states, “He (God) does great things that we cannot understand and miracles that we cannot count” (Job 5:9; 37:5). If God acts in ways that cannot be fathomed and is beyond human comprehension, then the miraculous life where humans are privileged recipients, cannot be deciphered by the human mind to its grandest manifestation. But we understand its meaning through divine revelation in that God reveals Himself as Love, and His miraculous activities are enveloped in His Love. (Jer.29:11)

The three-dimensional Triune Life/Love is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life of the fallen humanity inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion. For additional information about the Triune Life: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.                                              

**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, you may obtain a copy of my book, “Bula” Man-River, from Amazon.com; xulonpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book stores. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.

Bulamanrive: Book Cover by Author

*Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664

All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you

NEW YEAR 2021 – THE OFT-FORGOTTEN REASON FOR GOD SENDING HIS SON, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings Friends! I greet you with a promising and hopeful New Year 2021. The reason for optimism must already be obvious to many now that the vaccine to fight the Covid-19 virus is being rolled out as we speak.

The title of my post speaks of a ‘forgotten reason’ not because the reason is fundamentally unknown, but more out of the fact that it is not generally emphasized compared to other more common aspects of Jesus Christ’s role as Messiah. So, my post in no way minimizes Christ’s various attributes as humanity’s Savior and Mediator. I simply highlight and bring to the fore a vital role Jesus plays that helps us realize a hopeful future as we place our faith in Jesus’ implicative function and responsibility as humanity’s High Priest in heaven today.

The ‘forgotten reason’ I am inspired and ecstatic to share with you for the New Year is God’s ‘principle of imputing’ Christ’s role of Messiah upon humanity to save us from pain, misfortune, misery, and ultimate death, regardless of our backgrounds and many differences. What do I mean by the ‘principle of imputation.’ It is the same if I used the term, ‘attribution.’ It basically means to substitute for another.

The Scriptures express this all-important ‘principle of imputation’ as follows, “If one man’s sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss of separation from God, just think what God’s gift poured through one man, Jesus Christ, will do! There’s no comparison between that death-dealing sin and this generous, life-giving gift” (Rom.5:16, MSG). By saying “one man’s sin,” Paul refers to Adam’s fall to sin at the hands of the evil one in Eden . (Gen.3:1-6)

So, Paul tells us that if Adam’s sin can and has consigned humanity to the sin-condition of the devil and thus separation from God, how much more will God’s grace save us by giving His Son Jesus as the Messiah to save and unite us once more to His Love. (John 3:16) The Bible is emphatic, “So, if death got the upper hand through one man’s wrongdoing, imagine the breathtaking triumphant life the one man Jesus Christ provides?” (Rom.5:17).

Jesus Christ – The Substitutionary Atonement (Wiki Commons)

What is God doing here? Through His unfathomable Love and grace, He is imputing His Son’s now glorious life through His imputative role and function of Messiah and High Priest upon all of humanity so we can be forever reconciled to our perfect and holy God. So, all the words of these verses in Romans 5 essentially speaks of the ‘principle of imputation and substitution.’ They tell us how God attributes the work of His Son as Messiah upon humanity to pluck us out of the devil’s jaws of death, and give us true life in His Son.

In a nutshell: the ‘principle of imputation’ means just as one person (Adam) did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person (Jesus, the Second Adam) did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, Jesus got us into life! That is the essence of the ‘principle of imputation.’ God gave His Son to ‘substitute’ for humanity and save us. (Rom.5:18-21; 1 Cor.15:45; Rom.5:14)

But how does God do it all and make this ‘principle of imputation’ work for all humanity? If we go back a few verses in Romans 5, we will see Paul explains the first step, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did” (Rom.5:12-14, italics mine/added; Gen.3:1-6, 11).

Cross, Christ, Faith, God, Jesus, Clouds
The Act of One Is The Act of Three, and The Act of Three is The Act of One

So, all of humanity have the death penalty passed upon them through the trespass of the one man (Adam). (Rom.5:17) No one has been spared from this Adamic death penalty. The Bible states further, “There is no one righteous, not even one…there is no one who seeks God” (Rom.3:10-11)

God pronounced the death penalty upon Adam only after he sinned, saying, “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Gen.3:19). Then God continued to say, “The man (Adam) has become like one of Us… Lest he reach out his hand and take also from the Tree of Life, and eat, and live forever…” (Gen.3:22).

The above passage of Scripture appears to convey that Adam was created with a form of human immortality so he could commune with the divine in Eden, hence, he was created in God’s eternal image. (Gen1:26-27) One of God’s prime and basic makeup and likeness is He occupies everlasting life in Himself. (Isa.40:28; John 10:28; Psa.90:2) Everlasting life is a gift only the perfect God can confer upon humans. Human immortality and the divine holiness are mutually inclusive and goes hand in hand. One cannot do without the other.

So, our first parents would have lived and communed with God in timeless and faithful existence. No one knows how long our first parents remained faithful to God’s Love, since eternity is not measured by time as we know it. They lived for a very long while within the confines of God’s divine Love energy up until the moment of their change resulting from their disobedience and fall into sin. (Gen.3:1-6)

It was not possible for God to create Adam and contrive the curse of death as part of his destiny. Even Satan, humanity’s arch enemy, was created perfect as “Morning Star” until he chose to rebelled against God, and became the devil, the father of evil in the world. (Isa.14:12-14; John8:44; 1 John 3:8) So, Adam was destined to live forever in God’s divine realm and kingdom. (John 3:16; Rev.21:3; Ezek.37:27) Jesus said this about the future of redeemed humanity, “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt.25:34).

Death is anathema to God, and represents everything that is totally foreign, offensive, and reprehensible to Him. God is life, and embodies life in all its eternal beauty, splendor, and glory. Therefore, it was impossible for God to incriminate Himself by framing the death penalty upon Adam and his descendants, not by any stretch of the imagination. (2 Cor.5:1; Rom.6:9; Heb.2:14)

By virtue of His divine nature, God can give Adam only that which He embodies – life and Love. Death through sin was not an option for God. (Rom.6:23) For death is non-existent in His divine realm. He created Adam in His likeness to reflect immortal life in His divine kingdom. (Gen.1:26-27) Be that as it may, God tested Adam and warned him of the consequences of his actions. (Gen.2:16-17; Rom.6:16)

Adam and Eve in the eden — Stock Photo
Adam and Eve Lived the Divine Celestial Life in Eden

Adam had brought death upon himself and humanity because of His sin. (Gen.3:1-6; 2:16-17) Paul tells us where death originate from, and what keeps death alive and going, he said, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23).

Consider, if you remove the sin-condition that has gripped humanity since the fall of Adam, then you stop the death-march humanity has undergone and is undergoing. It was for this very purpose that God gave up His Son for us, so by imputing Christ’s perfect sacrifice upon humanity, we are thereby declared sinless and death has no power over us. Sin’s death-power is forever broken in Jesus Christ. (Rom.6:4, 9) Instead, we receive God’s grace with the gift of immortality. (John 3:16; 1 Cor.1:30; Rom.8:11; Rom.6:23)

Paul said this about Jesus and His imputative role of Messiah and High Priest over our lives, “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin” (1 Cor.1:30). Yes, through God’s unfathomable Love, He stands ready to give humanity the gift of immortality and break the power of death over us as He stated from the beginning and promises through His Covenant. (John 3:16; Rom.6:4, 9, NKJV; John 11:25-26; 1 Cor.15:55-57)

Ponder for a moment, how else could Adam and Eve commune with the divine life in Eden, for the Bible states that God told Moses, “For no one (fallen humans) can see Me and live.” (Exo.33:20). Except that Adam and Eve existed in a form of human immortality prior to their sin of disobeying God. The Tree of Life, which represented the Holy Spirit, most likely had sustained our first parents in their celestial life and Love relationship they were privileged to enjoy with the divine God in Eden.

Death entered the human story and became part of the human experience primarily and solely through Adam’s sin, granted that he was influenced and tempted by the evil one. (Gen.3:1-6Rom.5:126:23) After sin entered Adam’s life, his life changed structurally to a physical form of chemical existence which inevitably meant that he was subject to bodily corruption and untimely and ultimate death. This is the spiritual reality of sin and its consequence – “when sin has run its course, it gives birth to death” (Jam.1:15, AMP).

Adam and Eve Banished from Eden for Their Disobedience (Wiki Commons)

That explains why God declared to Adam and Eve after they sinned, “You are (now) dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen.3:19). Adam and Eve could no longer appear before God for they were spiritually ‘naked,’ meaning, they stood condemned and deprived of life and were clothed in death due to sin. (Gen.3:11; Exo.33:20)

Think about how Jesus was able to restore the many sick people who came to Him for healing – the blind, the deaf, the leper, the lame and disabled, even the dead. (Matt.15:30-31; Luk.7:11-17; John 11:43-44) It was done because He was the ‘light of life’ who personified immortality who placed a temporary halt on the ‘march of death’ that was and is gripping humanity as validated by the physical afflictions and many health issues of the people Jesus had restored. Matthew spoke about Jesus’ eternal heritage as prophesied by Isaiah, “The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Matt.4:16; Isa.9:2).

Life and death are forces from two diametrically opposing worlds, the same as, Love and sin, good and evil. They both can never be harmonized, much less coexist, but rather they spurn and repel each other. Hence, unequivocally our fallen sin-conditioned humanity cannot appear before God or we’ll be vaporized on account of sin and death, just as Moses was warned plainly. (Exo.33:20) God is the very fountain and sole expression of life in all its eternal glory and mystery. (Isa.40:28; 57:15) Through Jesus mankind is recued from death and restored to God and life for eternity. (John 3:16; 1 Cor.3:16; Rom.8:11; 1 Cor.15:54-58)

In essence, it was not until sin first entered and changed Adam into his purely fleshly existence, that time as we understand it begun. The countdown to death was underway for our first parents and by extension all humanity. (Gen.3:19; Rom.5:12, 17) We are now approximately six thousand years removed from the point when sin and death first entered Adam’s life since the dawn of his purely fleshly existence. It was the end result of Adam’s disobedience, but God created humans to reflect His own divine likeness to manifest Love and life, not death. (Gen.1:26-27; Deut.30:19: Gen.2:17; John 3:16)

The Three Steps/Ascents: There are three steps or ascents a human has to navigate and straddle to depict the Love relationship of the Tri-Personal God of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, so humans can be restored to God. As Jesus instructed His disciples, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt.28:18-20)

Later Paul uttered this benediction to Christians this way, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God (Father), and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor.13:14). This depicts what I call the Triune Life* (see appendix below).

Essentially, humans are inducted (baptized) into the life of the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Spirit. (Matt.28:18-20) This three-step process guides humanity into the fourth step (ascent) of entering into the New Covenant with the Triune God. The Covenant is a promise from God to save humanity from the sin-mantle humanity has been garbed in since Adam’s fall through His Son, as John states, “For God so Loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This is the New Covenant as specified in the Book of Hebrews. (Heb.8:7-13) There are three steps in order to enter into the New Covenant of God with humanity.

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A Covenant Is a Promise Made Between Two Parties and Ratified for Authenticity (WikinCommons)

I will call this 3-step process the ‘covenant triad.’ The three steps which I call ascents, depicts the relationship of Love humans enter with the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. (1 Pet.:12, NLT; 2 Thess.2:13) Here are the three steps or ascents which begins with God giving His Holy Spirit to humans to guide us to His Son, and Jesus in turn presents us to the Father as redeemed humanity. I have identified the three steps as it relates to the ‘principle of imputation,’ as: *Departure, *the Blood of Ratification, *Offspring. There’s the fourth ascent which relates to human participation and manifestation, I call, *the Covenant with humanity. Let’s begin…

Ascent 1: God the Holy Spirit – Departure. Let us start with the Spirit depicting God’s Love relationship in the area of departure. What does this ascent mean, what does departure mean? It means in order for a human to enter into a covenant with the holy God, he/she needs the Holy Spirit. Human beings must leave behind his/her former self that was fathered in sin through and from Adam’s fall in Eden. (Gen.3:1-6)

Humanity inherited the rebellious spirit to sin from Adam’s fall, and consequently the ensuing punishment of death. Paul tell us this, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (Rom.5:12, NLB).

Dove, Symbol of The Holy Spirit (Wiki Commons)

The Spirit gives humans the power of God’s Love to guide them in a life of Love, as Paul told the Romans, “For we know how dearly God Loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His Love” (Rom.5:5; also 1 Cor.13:2). The Bible says, “If I do not have Love, I am nothing” (1 Cor.13:2).

If the Spirit is the manifestation of God’s holy Love in humans, then sin is the corruptive spirit of rebellion we inherited from Adam, and passed to humanity from the devil. God exists in all the mystery of His holy Love we will never ever know or comprehend for mankind still exists in his fallen state of alienation from Him.

But the two spirits, Love and rebellion (life and death), cannot co-exist for they are contrarian and repel each other – one has to replace the other. God deposits His divine Love and life in humans through the presence of the Spirit to replace the evil spirit of rebellion, sin, and death that comes from the devil himself.

The prophet Amos asked this poignant but consequential question, “Can two walk together without agreeing to meet?” (Amos 3:3) No, two people cannot walk hand in hand if they aren’t going to the same place. Joshua famously said, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord,” when he told the tribes of Israel and their elders to choose between serving God or serving the false gods of the nations around them. (Josh.24:15)  

The Spirit is the power of God’s Love that help humans choose to walk together with God in His Loving Covenant, and forsake the rebellious spirit which gives birth to sin in human life. This is what departure mean – it is replicated after ancient Israel’s departure from Egypt for the Promise Land by the power of God, and depicts a life of departing from and leaving behind the life of slavery and bondage to sin of this fallen world, and partnering with God in the life of Love and uprightness. (2 Cor.6:17)

But let us not get ahead of ourselves. We must ask the one all-important question relevant to this first ascent, how can the Spirit be made to come and enter our sin-conditioned human life and unveil and demonstrate God’s power in His Love when we exist in diametrically opposing spirit (state) of existence?

As humans we are clothed in sin, rebellion, and death since Adam’s fall, and God is the absolute expression of life, and magnificently holy in His celestial Love from eternity. (Rom.5:19) Our answer must take us to the primordial and mandatory 2nd ascent in Jesus Christ.

The Act of One Is The Act of Three, and The Act of Three Is The Act of One. (Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity, Wiki Commons)

(Remember the mode of activity of God’s Love in His Tri-Personal Being: the act of One is the act of Three, and the act of Three is the act of One. A solitary act does not exist within the Tri-Personal Being of God. Jesus said, “I can do nothing on My own but say only what the Father taught Me…Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? The words I say to you I do not speak on My own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing His work” (John 8:28; 14:10)).

Ascent 2: God the Son, Jesus Christ – The Blood of Ratification. The Scriptures tell us that the New Covenant from God was ratified in Jesus’ blood. (Heb.9:14-15) What does that mean? If you read God’s own words of the Covenant in the Book of Hebrews, it quotes God as saying, “But this is the New Covenant I will make… I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins” (Heb.8:10, 12). In other words, to rescue humanity from death, and give us life – eternal life. (John 3:16) You may read the full text of the Covenant in Hebrews 8:7-13.

So, God’s Covenant promise to mankind is He will establish a way to bring mankind that was separated from Him as a result of sin and our ongoing death march, by forgiving human rebellion and death and erase it forever. (1 Cor.15:53-56)

To do this, God the Father carries out His Covenant promise by giving His only Son Jesus to become human like us, and die as the only perfect sacrifice to atone for us by taking our place, so that we may escape the death penalty and be made right and unified with God’s holy Love for all eternity. (John 3:16)

God’s very divine nature exudes life in the truest sense because He has eternally existed with no beginning, and those who walk with Him must have the identical immortal life too, hence, humanity must be rescued from the penalty of everlasting death and given immortal life through Christ’s mediatory and implicative role of Savior. (John 3:16; also Psa.90:2; Heb.7:3)

Thereby, the Covenant is ratified in Jesus’ blood (life) when He was crucified as Savior to redeem humanity. (Heb.9:14-15; read 9:11-22; also, Lev.17:11). Paul said, “Everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (Heb.9:22; Lev.17:11). Through eternal forgiveness in Christ, humanity is saved from everlasting death.

“For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (Heb.9:22). (WikiCommons)

Hence, we read Paul’s words to the Corinthians where he said, “God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor.5:21; also read Gal.3:13; Rom.8:3). Here, we read the ‘principle of imputation and substitution’ clearly mentioned: God made His Son to be sin for us, that in Him we can be made right with God.

Consequently, since the nature of the Spirit is one of holiness (Holy Spirit), so He cannot enter human life while the condition of sin through the rebellious spirit persists in the human heart and mind. In other words, Love and rebellion cannot coexist for they oppose and repudiate each other. The rebellious spirit which breeds sin and brings death must first be removed and replaced with the Holy Spirit of Love before human life can be made right with God. (Rom.5:5)

John the Baptist was sent by God to prepare and introduce Jesus to the world. John said this about Jesus, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes One who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matt.3:11; John 1:22-23).

Yes, Jesus is the anointed One who was crucified for our cleansing and sanctification, and thereby give passage for the Holy Spirit to enter and empower human life with God’s Love and divine life, we saw in the 1st Ascent. (John 16:7; Rom.5:5) Scripture tells us, “God is Love, and whoever abides in Love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16).

Afterwards, we read Jesus’ own words concerning the gift of the Spirit, “But I tell you I am going to do what is best for you. This is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you” (John 16:7, CEV). Jesus’ words were uttered shortly before His death.

What Jesus had just said follows logically in that sin and the rebellious spirit must first be taken away and removed from the human heart and mind by His atoning sacrifice, and only then can the Holy Spirit enter human life whereby humans can be united with God on ‘holy ground,’ so to speak. Paul tell us about our human journey, past, present, and future, “You were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor.6:11).

We see how the Spirit is made to come and enter the heart of humanity, and reside in the heart of mankind as the Spirit’s very temple for the purpose of sanctifying (make holy) the human life (temple) for God’s dwelling. (2 Thess.2:13; 1 Pet.1:2) Paul told the Corinthians, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Cor.3:16; 1 Pet.2:5).

After Jesus lived a perfect life by defeating the devil’s devious temptations, He went about doing good through the miraculous life He lived. (Matt.4:1-11; Act.10:38) Then He was falsely accused and put to death upon His cross for human redemption. (Matt.26:59; Eph.1:7) But God raised His Son from the dead. Death has no power to hold down a person who is perfect and without sin. (Act.2:24) Therefore, God raised Him and through His resurrection He gave our humanity immortality – He led the way as the first human to be given human immortality for all humanity to follow. (Rom.8:29; also, 1 Cor.15:49; Phi.3:21; 1 John 3:2)

And similarly, it is by the imputation of Jesus’ glorious life that humanity now takes refuge in His glorious perfection in heaven, and thereby God assents to raising mankind to immortality as He did with Jesus’ humanity. (Eph.2:6; Col.3:1; Rom.6:5) As to the human resurrection to immortality, Paul said this, “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you” (Rom.8:11; also 1 Cor.15:53-54). Yes, Christ imputed human immortality upon mankind through His own resurrection.

This is the essence and pinnacle of the ‘principle of imputation and substitution’ where humanity exists vicariously in the life of the glorified life of Christ in heaven, as Paul said, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:6; Rom.6:5).

After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples and, “On one occasion, while He was eating with them, He gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Act.1:4-5).

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 (Wiki Commons)

Then on the Day of Pentecost, the Book of Acts records the following, “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Act.2:1-4). The Spirit came and gave them supernatural power which Jesus had and performed His miracles. (John 14:12)

So, we see that Ascent 1 (Spirit) goes hand in hand with Ascent 2 (Jesus). We must remember the intrinsic symmetry of God’s Love in His Tri-Personal Being where they exist and work interdependently, and never independently. That is, their mode of operation will always be: the act of One is the act of all Three, and the act of Three is the act of One God.

Now, what does the role of Jesus and the Spirit do? Peter tells us this, “God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and His Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace” (1 Pet.1:2). That brings us the third ascent…

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.” Act.2:1-3.

Ascent 3: God the Father – Offspring. Having received the gifts of His Son as our Savior, and His Spirit (Love) as our Friend manifesting God’s power in us, humanity is presented to God the Father where He invokes His Fatherly blessing of declaring humanity His offspring for eternity. (Gal.3:26; 1 John 3:1; 1 Pet.1:2)

Remember, Jesus having ascended to heaven, He is made humanity’s High Priest and was seated at the Father’s right hand. (Heb.2:17-18; 4:14-16; 8:1-2) The Son is now presiding over humanity’s salvation in His role as humanity’s High Priest, mediating for all our human responses and presents us holy in the Spirit’s Love and keep us in right standing with the Father as children of God.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him” John 3:16-17 (Wiki Commons)

The Scriptures tell us this about Jesus’ role of High Priest in heaven today, “So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With His own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—He entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered Himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins” (Heb.9:11-12, 14-15).

So, in the Love relationship with the Triune God, the Spirit’s role is to sanctify humans by taking us to Jesus, humanity’s High Priest, who in turn has been eternally elected and ordained to stand in our place as mankind’s Savior and Mediator, who arbitrates for all our human responses, and reconciles us to the Father and made everlasting children. This is the Triune process by which humans are made to participate in the Covenant promise of God.

Whenever we pray the daily prayer Jesus taught His disciples, the so-called Lord’s Prayer, we are in fact reliving this ‘3-Ascent Triune Love relationship’ and thereby always stand as reborn and redeemed offspring and Loved by the Father. (Luk.11:1-4)

This is the eternal manifestation of God’s Triune Love that is ongoing and never ceases. That is why this Lord’s Prayer is prayed daily where we come before God in worship, desiring His Loving Trinitarian will in our lives, imploring His blessing for spiritual and physical sustenance, and petitioning forgiveness in Jesus, and invoking divine protection from the evil one and his cohorts. (Matt.6:9-13) Now, we are brought to the 4th Ascent…

Ascent 4, Humanity – Manifestation of the Covenant, Humanity Made Children of God. What does the 4th Ascent mean? It simply means that after undergoing the process of the Triune Love relationship with Jesus in the Spirit’s power and brought before the Father, as shown in the preceding 3 Ascents, the provisions of the New Covenant is now being manifested in human life.

Love Is The Divine Nature of God in Human Hearts and Minds (Wiki Commons)

Above all, the 4th Ascent show that to bring the Covenant promise to reality in mankind, there is a part that we as humans must play in it (individually and collectively). A Covenant is a promise or undertaking between two parties that’s ratified and sealed in Jesus’ blood. (Heb.9:14-15, 22) A Covenant is reciprocal by nature because it is an agreement based upon a promise made between two parties. God gave humans the gift of freedom so we may choose to enter into His Covenant of Love, as opposed to rebellion and sin. (Deut.30:19; 11:26-28)

In effect, the Covenant is not a one-way street, but works in a two-way street. There is the Promiser (One who gives the promise), and the promisee (one who receives the promise). God is the Promiser, and mankind is the promisee.

So now, let’s look at the 3 ascents where we have seen the Love of the Triune God, and ask what is each of our part in it:

1) Consider our Love participation with the Spirit in the 1st Ascent. After the Spirit was given on Pentecost, the Apostle Peter informs us of our role in this Love relationship with God through His Spirit, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Act.2:38-39).

Black electronic airport board realistic composition with departures time gates and flight directions illustration
The Spirit Gives the Power To Depart From the Life of Sin and Rebellion (freepik)

Recall that one of the provisions of the New Covenant is stated as follows, “I will imprint My Love (laws) upon their minds [even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding], and engrave My Love upon the tablets of their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Heb.8:10).

Yes, our part is stated in the meaning of this 1st day and ascent – where departure means we surrender to the Love-force of the Spirit who dwells in us as His temple and tabernacle. (1 Cor.3:16) There is the ‘greater and more perfect tabernacle’ of God in heaven, and on earth God’s tabernacle is the human heart, individually and collectively. (Heb.9:11; 1 Cor.3:16; 1 Pet.2:5)

Paul further declares our part who make up God’s temple on earth when he quotes God, saying, “Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you” (2 Cor.6:17). We do this with the help, and under the inspiration of, the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit gives humans the power to make this act of departure possible from the rebellious spirit and world, and turn to God and receive His Spirit of Love to live a life of harmony and symmetry with His Loving divine will instead.  

2) Now, let’s consider our Love participation with Jesus in the 2nd Ascent. I quote the immortal passage from John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son…Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever rejects the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:16-18, 36).

The 2nd Ascent Calls Upon Us to Exercise Belief and Faith In God’s Work of Rescuing Humanity from Rebellion and Death Through Jesus’ Atoning Sacrifice.

Yes, the 2nd Ascent calls upon us to simply believe – that is, to trust in God’s Love in the provision of His Son to save us and make us His everlasting children. (John 3:16; Gal.3:26; Rom.8:14) This will take the powerful living faith of Jesus. (Gal.2:20, KJV) As Mark’s Gospel says clearly, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Paul further affirms the necessity of faith, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Heb.11:6).

Notice, this faith is powerful because it convicts the human heart and mind of the reality of God’s existence, and thereby the reality of His Covenant promise. It provides the assurance in God’s word of crossing over from our mortal realm into the divine realm. But humans were not born with this powerful faith, it must to be given as a gift. Paul makes this abundantly clear, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph.2:8). Since the saving faith is a gift, then it must be Jesus’ Personal faith as other passages support. (Gal.2:20, KJV; Rom.3:22, KJV)

We turn to Paul once more who informs us about this gift of faith, and whose faith it is, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20, KJV, italics for emphasis). Note the words, “I live by the faith of the Son of God.” So, this speaks precisely of the living, powerful, Personal faith of Jesus. In other words, by imputing the very Personal faith of Jesus upon humanity, this is not speaking of our inadequate human faith, but Jesus’ own faith that is living and powerful and can move mountains. (Matt.17:20)

Make no mistake, we have our human faith. The human faith is purely physical and is activated by the five human senses of sight, smell, touch, hear, and taste. We may have heard people say – ‘I will not believe it until I see it with my own eyes,’ – is a classic example of human faith that’s activated by the human senses. Such a faith is inadequate and incapable of taking us into the divine realm of God, much less experience the reality of God’s Love in His Covenant promise.

Jesus’ faith is spiritual and powerful for it is out of the physical world of our human senses. Without Jesus’ own living faith humans can never experience the certainty of God’s reality in their lives. (You may read my post on this topic, titled, “The Saving Living Faith of Jesus,” at: http://bulamanriver.net/21946)

Again, Paul distinguishes the two faiths, which he makes clear in this passage to the Romans – “The righteousness of God which comes by the faith of Jesus to all and on all that believe (with their human faith).” (Rom.3:22, AKJV, italicized for emphasis). As Jesus’ Personal faith grows in our hearts and minds, we’ll see our human faith more distinctly with its shortcomings.

We’ll find the ‘faith-scale’ between the two faiths begin to tip in favor of the faith of Jesus – our limited human faith will have less and less of a role and impact in matters of both the mortal and the divine realms. As John said succinctly, “He must increase, and I must decrease” (John 3:30). Yes, we’ll see Jesus’ faith take more center stage in life, and the human faith have a lesser role and importance, but nonetheless necessary.

When the Scripture says, “The spiritual faith is explained this way, “For we live by faith, not by sight,” it is referencing the living Personal faith of Jesus, not our incompetent human faith which trust in the human senses. (2 Cor.5:7). However incompetent and unsuited in the spiritual realm the human faith may be, it is still very necessary and much needed because God’s work requires our human participation.

Humans utilize the human faith to believe in the faith of Jesus. Our human faith must walk hand-in-hand and in participation with Jesus’ living faith, whereby human faith now looks to the living faith of Jesus for empowerment and execution of God’s Love as it takes on a more central role in our lives.

Human faith alone stand solitary, powerless, and incomplete without the gift of Jesus’ Personal faith. The two faiths now becomes complimentary and harmonious rather than contrarian and conflictful. And this is what we are discussing in the 4th Ascent – our human participation through the merging of the two faiths to make real God’s Covenant promise. (Read more on this topic of faith at: http://bulamanriver.net/21946).

All we are called to do, and can do, is keep confessing our shortcomings as humans, and accepting in faith Jesus’ implicatory and mediatory role to stand in on our behalf whenever we fall short by showing disdain for and disrespect for God’s perfect holy Love.

3) Finally, let us see our participation of Love with the Father in the 3rd Ascent. The Father anoints humanity and make us His offspring through the Loving acts of the Son and the Spirit in the two prior ascents (steps). Consequently, in the prayer Jesus taught us to pray, He said we are to begin by addressing God as, “Our Father in heaven” – it means through Jesus we have been made His children in the Spirit’s presence and power. (Matt.6:9-13).

Scriptures show that both Jesus and the Spirit are prayerfully mediating for humanity before the Father unceasingly – this is their act of Love for each and every human which results in our being anointed divine children of God. (Rom.8:34; Rom.8:26-27) 

Paul wrote to the Roman Christians, and said, “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are Heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering” (Rom.8:15-17). Yes friends you have been made God’s eternal children. Be deeply and joyously thankful!

God’s Covenant Is His Promise to Make Us Children For Eternity Through The Gifts Of His Son and His Spirit.

In closing, let’s recap: since God is totally holy in His Love, and humans fall short with the required holiness to appear before God, therefore, there is the absolute necessity for an Intermediary to step into our place to bridge this impassable holiness chasm which exist between fallen mortal humans and the holy God. (1 Tim.2:5; Act.4:12)

This is the essence of the ‘principle of attribution and substitution’ we have covered today in this post. Paul stated, “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin” (1 Cor.1:30).

What a place for humanity to take their stand at the very threshold of eternity…before the Father, with Jesus by our side as our Mediator, and the Spirit (Love) as our constant Friend and Helper, anointed as Loving children of God forever. The essence of the 4th Ascent depicting human input with God’s Covenant promise is our participation in believing and receiving the Father’s grace through the imputation of His Son and in the Spirit’s power make divine children out of all humanity. (Rom.8:11) Yes, human immortality is made possible only through Jesus’ own resurrection.

Let’s together pray for all mankind in this most auspices destiny outlined in His Covenant and the Gospels. Let us be eternally thankful to Jesus for taking responsibility for our future in God’s spiritual Kingdom.

Petition: Friends, as I have closed my post in the past, I customarily give our readers the opportunity to give their lives to our Maker. I thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus who has enabled us to live the Triune Life* through the 3 Ascents. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven seated at His Father’s side, and ceaselessly mediating for us.

I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Him as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of living this glorious humanity made divine children forever reconciled to our perfect and holy God. (1 Sam.16:7; Jer.17:10) You can privately and quietly pray the prayer below in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human being Christ died for, regardless of your background. All are inducted into the one mankind Jesus saved, not into any religion, religious sect or denomination – but into the glorious humanity that Christ is preparing as the holy temple for God’s dwelling:

Prayer: “Almighty God, Father of all humanity, forgive me of all my sins for I receive Your Son, Jesus, as my personal Savior. In Your incalculable grace, thank you for recuing me and my loved ones, and all humanity, from the enemy’s fearful and destructive waters, and bringing us home into the life-giving waters of your Ocean of Love. Grant Your promised celestial life in Your Son through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon us all so we may serve one another in your Love. May Your Love guide and protect me and my Loved ones always, and bring us all into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1024px-Rubens_Praying_Hands.jpg
Prayer is A Profound One-On-One Spiritual Love Dialogue Between a Person and God the Father in Heaven (Wiki Commons)

Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s holy, eternal Family. (1 Tim.6:19) Then keep in touch with God’s Word for you by reading and studying your Bible, and visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation – go to: http://bulamanriver.net. You can email me with your questions at – bulamanriver@gmail.com.

Blessing: Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you and your loved ones always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life”*. In closing, pray for God’s intervention with regard to the pandemic that is sweeping this world. Finally, find strength in the Lord’s Joy.

Farewell for now!

Kiang,  (Your Servant and Friend in Christ)                                                         

*Triune Life: “Triune Life” speaks of the process of theosis or deification of humanity. What is theosis or deification? “It refers to apotheosis, meaning “making divine.” Theosis or deification is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God (as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church).” (Wikipedia.org) The belief in the process of ‘deification’ is understood in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, when He said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If He called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside (cannot be broken)” (John 10:34-35; Psa.82:6). (You can read about the Triune Life at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and other posts)

The Resurrection to Immortality and Deification of Humanity Created In God’s Image (Wiki Commons)

I have written about this subject of ‘deification’ in my blogs under the theme ‘substitution’ and ‘attribution’ (see, http://bulamanriver.net/564), where I showed how Jesus came as God incarnate (Immanuel) to assume our sinful humanity in order to save mankind from sin and death for the express purpose of human deification. (Matt.1:23; Rom.3:10-12, 18, 23; John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:50-55; Rom.8:29) Further, we read the following, “As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (‘illumination’ with the ‘vision’ of God). According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God’s uncreated energies.” (Wikipedia.org)

So, the “Triune Life” reveals the intersection of human life and activity and the uncreated divine energy flowing from the Tri-Personal Being of God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a way of life which explains that process of theosis whereby humans are transformed in body, mind, and spirit by the Love of God. God’s uncreated energy is His Love. So, the foundational tenet of the “Triune Life” is based upon the Love of God, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Thereby, it can also be called aptly, the “Triune Love.”

Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity (Wiki Commons)

I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19) This is opposed to the one-dimensional human way of life influenced by the devil. We see God’s Tri-Personal Love move in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory, in this process of theosis which I have called the ‘three ascents.’ The three ascents are three steps which dovetails into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity – where God reveals the fullness of Himself to humanity, both individually and collectively. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2) That’s to say, the act of one is the act of all three, and the act of three is the act of one, making them unified with in Love. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

Every aspect of human living follows this three-step format revealing the three-dimensional aspect of how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, directly and collectively involved in the life of human believers, individually and collectively to bring humanity to salvation. These three steps move in an ascending order, so I will call them ‘ascents.’ Each ‘ascent’ dovetails into the next and finally reveals the ‘manifestation’ of the topic, which we will call the fourth step, in this case, Love!

Hence, all my articles are framed within this three-step format, or ascents. The subject of the article dovetails into each ascent and spontaneously lead to the manifestation of the divine Love and reveals how humanity is enlightened by God, and cleansed in mind, body, and spirit. The ascents reveal three doors one must enter to attain the manifestation of God’s Love relationship with humanity. The ascents are not to be misconstrued as some ‘secret knowledge’ or mystical activity. Rather, each ascent represents the relationship of Love a human enjoys with the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, throughout a person’s life.

In fact, the ascents are actually three Love relationships the believer encounters with the Tri-Personal God. This three-way relationship is what I have called by the term, “Triune Life” or “Triune Love.” These ascents represent the movement of God’s Love in an inward, outward, and upward, trajectory to bring God’s enlightenment in a person. The fourth step reveals how the article is made to manifest in the life of the person, both individually and then collectively in humanity.

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27).

The Bible states, “He (God) does great things that we cannot understand and miracles that we cannot count” (Job 5:9; 37:5). If God acts in ways that cannot be fathomed and is beyond human comprehension, then the miraculous life where humans are privileged recipients, cannot be deciphered by the human mind to its grandest manifestation. But we understand its meaning through divine revelation in that God reveals Himself as Love, and His miraculous activities are enveloped in His Love. (Jer.29:11)

The three-dimensional Triune Life/Love is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life of the fallen humanity inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion. For additional information about the Triune Life: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.                                               

**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, you may obtain a copy of my book, “Bula” Man-River, from Amazon.com; xulonpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book stores. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.

Bulamanrive: Book Cover by Author

*Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664

All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you

CHRISTMAS 2020, BY KIANG P LEE

It is with an utterly heavy heart that I greet you this Christmas. We are presently living through the most urgent times for humanity because of the Covid-19 pandemic that is currently sweeping our world. Many, many, lives have been lost to this dreaded and terrible disease. I realize it is a tall order to ask for joy and be celebratory due to the devastating loss of life many have suffered and incurred in 2020.

Our hearts goes out to all the families that have lost loved ones as a result of this terrible plague, and “We mourn with those who mourn” as Love (God) would have us do. (Rom. 12:15; 1 John 4:8). I realize that so many of you have beautiful stories of loved ones and friends you would have liked to share in loving memory. I am heartfeltly sorry for your loss, we mourn with you. Their memories are precious, and as long as we serve a God who is our Loving Creator, they will never be forgotten. That is the good news about the message of Christmas – Christ came to save us…in the sense of our eternal restoration.

Adoration of the Baby Jesus By The Wise Men (Wiki Commons)

We are thankful to the Almighty for the vaccines that has been developed and is being rolled out as a potential cure and help blunt the progression of this cursed virus. The vaccine comes as a timely defensive buffer for the greater population worldwide.

With that, I would just like to add a word the Spirit has inspired me to share with you all. The Scriptures tell us not even a bird “falls to the ground without your Father knowing it” (Matt.10:29, NLT). If the life of birds are precious to God, then the life of humans are of far greater treasure to Him. This passage from Matthew continues to say that God “pays greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So, you’re worth more than a million birds” (Matt.10:29-31, MSG).

The Scriptures also tell us this, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all fall asleep (dead), but we shall all be changed. In an instant, in [the] twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must needs put on incorruptibility, and this mortal put on immortality… So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that your toil in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Cor.15:51-53, 58). Here we read about the utter depth of God’s Love in granting immortality to humanity so we may dwell with Him as our Father and with His Loving family forever.

Adoration of the Baby Jesus by The Shepherds (Wiki Commons)

With that message from God of a promising, hopeful, bright, and joy-filled future, I wish you all blessed peace this Christmas that only your heavenly Father can fill your hearts with. (You may want to read my article about Christmas, titled, “For Unto Us A Child Is Given” at: http://bulamanriver.net/9256).

Until we meet again, may the Lord grant you the courage and fortitude this Christmas to allow God to empower you with His celestial Joy. (Neh.8:10) 

Kiang (Your Servant in Christ)

*Triune Life: “Triune Life” speaks of the process of theosis or deification of humanity. What is theosis or deification? “It refers to apotheosis, meaning “making divine.” Theosis or deification is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God (as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church).” (Wikipedia.org) The belief in the process of ‘deification’ is understood in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, when He said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If He called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside (cannot be broken)” (John 10:34-35Psa.82:6). (You can read about the Triune Life at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and other posts)

The Resurrection to Immortality and Deification of Humanity Created In God’s Image (Wiki Commons)

I have written about this subject of ‘deification’ in my blogs under the theme ‘substitution’ and ‘attribution’ (see, http://bulamanriver.net/564), where I showed how Jesus came as God incarnate (Immanuel) to assume our sinful humanity in order to save mankind from sin and death for the express purpose of human deification. (Matt.1:23Rom.3:10-121823John 3:161 Cor.15:50-55Rom.8:29) Further, we read the following, “As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (‘illumination’ with the ‘vision’ of God). According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God’s uncreated energies.” (Wikipedia.org)

So, the “Triune Life” reveals the intersection of human life and activity and the uncreated divine energy flowing from the Tri-Personal Being of God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a way of life which explains that process of theosis whereby humans are transformed in body, mind, and spirit by the Love of God. God’s uncreated energy is His Love. So, the foundational tenet of the “Triune Life” is based upon the Love of God, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:816). Thereby, it can also be called aptly, the “Triune Love.”

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19) This is opposed to the one-dimensional human way of life influenced by the devil. We see God’s Tri-Personal Love move in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory, in this process of theosis which I have called the ‘three ascents.’ The three ascents are three steps which dovetails into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity – where God reveals the fullness of Himself to humanity, both individually and collectively. (2 Cor.13:141 Pet.1:1-2) That’s to say, the act of one is the act of all three, and the act of three is the act of one, making them unified in Love. (Mar.12:29Deut.6:4)

Every aspect of human living follows this three-step format revealing the three-dimensional aspect of how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, directly and collectively involved in the life of human believers, individually and collectively to bring humanity to salvation. These three steps move in an ascending order, so I will call them ‘ascents.’ Each ‘ascent’ dovetails into the next and finally reveals the ‘manifestation’ of the topic, which we will call the fourth step, in this case, Love!

Hence, all my articles are framed within this three-step format, or ascents. The subject of the article dovetails into each ascent and spontaneously lead to the manifestation of the divine Love and reveals how humanity is enlightened by God, and cleansed in mind, body, and spirit. The ascents reveal three doors one must enter to attain the manifestation of God’s Love relationship with humanity. The ascents are not to be misconstrued as some ‘secret knowledge’ or mystical activity. Rather, each ascent represents the relationship of Love a human enjoys with the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, throughout a person’s life. In fact, the ascents are actually three Love relationships the believer encounters with the Tri-Personal God. This three-way relationship is what I have called by the term, “Triune Life” or “Triune Love.” These ascents represent the movement of God’s Love in an inward, outward, and upward, trajectory to bring God’s enlightenment in a person. The fourth step reveals how the article is made to manifest in the life of the person, both individually and then collectively in humanity.

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27).

The Bible states, “He (God) does great things that we cannot understand and miracles that we cannot count” (Job 5:937:5). If God acts in ways that cannot be fathomed and is beyond human comprehension, then the miraculous life where humans are privileged recipients, cannot be deciphered by the human mind to its grandest manifestation. But we understand its meaning through divine revelation in that God reveals Himself as Love, and His miraculous activities are enveloped in His Love. (Jer.29:11)

The three-dimensional Triune Life/Love is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life of the fallen humanity inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion. For additional information about the Triune Life: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.                                                  

**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, you may obtain a copy of my book, “Bula” Man-River, from Amazon.com; xulonpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book stores. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.

Book Cover By Author P K Lee

Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664

All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you