IS RACISM REAL? BY KIANG P LEE

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus” (Gal.3:28, ESV).

Greetings once more my Friends! By now, most of you have heard of the name of George Floyd. I am not going to rehash his sad and utterly tragic death. (If you wish, you can go to the following Youtube link and see the story for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWQ6_BQii_U. Today, I will share the topic of racism with you. Since, the subject is topical and current, I thought it would be relevant to share God’s perspective about racism.

blue yellow and black graffiti on wall
Street Art Memorialize George Floyd

Following the appalling death of George Floyd at the hands of the Police, a huge protest march emerged all over US cities, and internationally in other cities of the world like London, Paris, and many more. Leading the charge in this protest against racism was the Black Lives Matter movement. Black Lives Matter is an organized movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality against Afro-American people. (Wikipedia)

Black Lives Matter Protest Tapestries
Peaceful Protest, A Right of The People Under The U.S. Constitution (Unsplash)
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Read More Placard Slogans Below…

From the outset, let me quote the words of the Bible so that we are clear on what it says about this affliction of racism, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus” (Gal.3:28, ESV). That statement is so overarching against racism, inequality, and discrimination that we often miss the point it attempts to address. Basically, what it is saying is racism does not exist, for God sees every human person of whatever background, color, religion, or ethnicity as ONE HUMANITY. The Bible makes very clear that this plague of racism is not real by saying, “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Act.17:26). That’s to say, the one blood which flows in our veins and produce human life does not determine our racial differences, instead, it determines our one common human species. Your blood gives life (‘lifeism’) not racism. (Lev.17:11)

The United Nations in a statement asserted that all humans belong to the same species and that “race” is not a biological reality but a myth. This was a summary of the findings of an international panel of anthropologists, geneticists, sociologists, and psychologists. You can read that report which appeared in the Newsweek magazine at: https://www.newsweek.com/there-no-such-thing-race-283123. So where did racism come from? Where did it originate?  

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Slavery – The Bedrock Upon Which Racism Grew and Thrive. This Led People to Mistakenly Assume the Superiority of Certain Color Above Another. Hence, Slavery is the Birthplace of the Curse of Racism

The belief in human races, carrying along with it the prejudice and hatred of “racism,” is so embedded in our culture and has been an integral part of our worldview for so long that many of us assume that it just must be true. Racism not real but is an invention of the fallen human mind, and is not of God. God is Love, and is the Creator of human variation and color. God is diverse in His Triune Being (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), so everything He created is a simulation of Himself in His Tri-Personal Being. By the same measure, everything He continues to do has diversity reflecting His trinitarian nature. The magnificent creation all around us trumpets this beautiful truth of diversity we cannot refute. Mankind is no different. Just as there are three distinct Persons in the Godhead united in Love, He has also made variation in humans to reflect His own Triune image. (Gen.1:26-27). God showed us once for all He is against slavery and racism when the Bible recorded the story of God freeing Israel from slavery in Egypt. (Exo.1:1-13:6)

Is it possible God created variation in the human species so we will learn to accept the variation of His one divine Triune nature in the Person of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? Appreciation and acceptance of our differences essentially begins in the family unit. It is in such family environment where we first encounter and learn to respect human uniqueness in personalities and responsibilities. After Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He commissioned His disciples to ‘baptize’ – it means to ‘induct’ humans into the communal family life (a relationship of Love) of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:18-20). That’s to say, humanity consist of one species in the likeness of God in His one (united) Triune ‘Love Species.’ (1 John 4:8)

people holding brown wooden signage during daytime
Peaceful Protest, A Right Afforded Under The U.S. Constitution (Unsplash)

There are many issues that evoke human prejudice in humans, but chief among them is the curse of racism, inequality, and discrimination. As I said, it has become so ingrained in our worldview that we look at it as normal and even true. May be now is a good time as ever to change our views and attitudes on the subject, and embrace the divine message of oneness and unity, with prejudice toward none. The parting message Jesus gave His followers was one of Love. He said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have Loved you, so you must Love one another” (John 13:34). Love must become the cornerstone of our relationship within the human species. The Bible gives a peek into God’s divine Love, and its power, “Above all, Love each other deeply, because Love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Pet.4:8). Yes, Love carries the power to appreciate and respect all our differences and and uniqueness.

Author Jon Tal Murphree gives a succinct depiction of how this divine Love is supposed to influence us just as it does in the divine pattern within the Tri-Personal nature of God, “Each Person of the Trinity transposes Himself into the others without confusing His own personality with the others…the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other.” (Pg.29, ‘The Trinity and Human Personality’). Humans were created to exist in like fashion as the divine, and I emphasize the words, “They exist in and through each other,” to mean that as humans we are given to enjoy a relationship of oneness of “being” in each other as God does in His triunity, describing unity of species through the divine Love…regardless of whatever purported myriads of division we wish to conjure up like racism. (Gen.1:26-27)

Love is Meaningless Without Freedom (Wiki Commons)

The definition of Love is freedom, likewise freedom is defined as finding genuine Love. This is the manner in which God has existed from eternity, and He made us in His Tri-Personal image to prepare us for eternity in Love and freedom in His Love-nature and Being. God wants us to get along with one another for eternity – in Love and in freedom. God has given us the vision to look into His divine nature and teach us how to assume and take on His unified Love-nature and image in the manner we live our own human lives today.

Freedom comes with the responsibility to Love so that whatever circumstance will always work out to produce a peaceful outcome. For people, the Bible upholds the principle of respect for authority and this goes with peaceful protest, should we be persuaded to carry out our constitutional obligation for whatever reason and purpose. (Rom.13:1) The Bible states, “All authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God” (Rom.13:1). When non-violent protest and violent acts face up to each other, non-violent protests always wins out. Peaceful protest acts as a means of conciliation which protects people from all forms of violence which destroys lives and property. Without the governing authority we would slide into anarchy which generically serves the enemy of all humanity. We are to “Overcome evil with good, and not be overcome by evil” (Rom.12:21).

The Bible speaks of a time in future when people from every nation and color will come together and seek God’s way of Love, “People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of Jacob’s God. There He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths” (Mic.4:2).

woman in black tank top holding white and black banner
Freedom Comes With The Responsibility To Love

Here are examples of placards at the recent people’s Protest against racism, brutality, and for freedom. We can see that the undercurrent of the slogans on the placards is a cry for freedom:-

Racism is a Disease, Not a Color + My Skin Is Not a Sin + I’m Not Black But I’ll Stand With You + Break This Generational Curse + For Our Children’s Future -BLM End Brutality + Don’t Shoot It’s Not A Gun, I’m Just Black + We’re Not Trying To Start A Race War We’re Trying To End One + I Can’t Breathe + It Could Have Been My Son + All Lives Can’t Matter Until Black Lives Matter + The Most Violent Element In Society Is Ignorance + I Should Be Writing My College Essay Not My Will + When Injustice Becomes Law Resistance Becomes Duty + We Are For Rights Not Riots + Am I Next? + Silence Is Not An Option + No Justice No Peace + Together We Will Defeat Racism +

Of course, God knows that as humans we will face this seeming impenetrable racial hurdle because we have been conditioned to live in sin, not His Love. God created variation and color in our humanity, man created racism. One is based upon reality, while the other is fabricated and artificial. Racism is sin for the very reason it is not grounded in the eternal truth of God’s reality. Hence, racism blinds us to the uniqueness and commonality in God’s likeness that uplifts us more than our differences. God sacrificed His one and only Son, Jesus, to rescue humanity from sin and all things delusionary, divisive, and transient which can never exist in His eternal realm and dominion. Racism originates in humans because of the sin-condition which has invaded and taken over our humanity since Eden. The sin-condition under which we exist began with the fall of Adam and Eve at the hands of the devil in Eden and has continued since. (Gen.3:1-6)

But in His unfathomable Love God finds the answers to restore humanity to His Love. Jesus came to usher in a spiritual rebirth so humanity can have lives where Love becomes our predominant nature. John tells us this, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (the evil one, Satan)” (1 John 4:4, italics for emphasis). The devil is the author and instigator of racism in humans. Let us be absolutely clear what we are up against, Paul lays it out, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph.6:12). Yes, the crafty evil enemy has pitted us against each other with the aim of destroying humanity, but he has failed miserably, because God sent His Son, so that through Him He fulfills His promise “to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8; John 16:11; 1 John 3:5). We live with the assurance of God’s promise to protect us from Satan, “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thess.3:3).

Jesus explains how a person is reincarnated from one life into the next, from one old life into the new, from the former world of sin into God’s world of Love. He said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7b; also read V.3-8). Peter tells us, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God (Jesus)” (1 Pet.1:23). This reincarnation process enables one to undergo a spiritual death and rebirth into a totally new person in Christ’s now-glorified divine/human Person. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). The term to “bear much fruit” relates to the divine way of life where the ‘fruits of the Spirit’ defines everything we do. (You can read about the Love-fruits at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and 1 Cor.13)

Jesus calls people to a changed life, He said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). We were born of the flesh with its self-centered way of life, conditioned by sin through Adam. Now, Jesus calls us to undergo a new birth in the Spirit in God’s other-centered Triune way of life, conditioned by the Spirit (Love). (John 3:8; Rom.5:5) Paul says, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor.1:9). God our Father has called us to live the reborn Triune Life* through His Son thus forsaking the “solitary life” in the fallen self from Adam. Yes, humanity is being called to forsake the fallen ‘solitary life’ where we do what seems right in our own eyes, and turn to God and live the collaborative Loving ‘Triune Life’* in Christ. (You may read what being spiritually regenerated through the new birth means at: http://bulamanriver.net/17978)

Unless humans are empowered by the divine nature of Love, we cannot defeat racism. We can install all kinds of man-made programs, which can go only so far, but they are essentially superficial and shallow for they don’t reach down to the primordial level of the human heart where meaningful change unfolds. Humanity was created in God’s Love-likeness. (Gen.1:26-27). Deep in a person’s heart of hearts he/she cannot deny this primordial truth. Jesus gave us a picture of our embryonic self, fashioned in God’s Love-nature when He said, “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luk.17:21, NLT). You and I were created to be a temple for the Spirit’s (Love) dwelling. Without the Love the Spirit engenders in us, we will experience an empty life that’s unfulfilled, hollow, and disastrously leave humans open to the devil’s evil manipulation. 

No description word freedom inside, ... | Stock vector | Colourbox
Love Has An Identical Twin, So to Speak... Freedom! Freedom Is A Divine Gift, And Is The Flip Side Of God’s Love

Before returning to His Father in heaven, Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. (Act.1:4-5; Luk.24:49) What was that promise? It was the gift of the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit was poured out upon them at Pentecost, the disciples and followers were filled with the power of God’s Love, and they performed many acts of wonder like being miraculously speaking in the foreign languages of many people gathered in Jerusalem from far-flung parts of the known world during the harvest season. (Act.2:1-4) Paul said this, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). Here is God’s answer to racism – the power of the Holy Spirit to change and fill the human heart with God’s Love. Paul goes further and explains how the Spirit relates with each human, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (individually and collectively) (1 Cor.3:16). Paul further asked, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit?” (1 Cor.6:19). If you had not known or doubted, then now you know the astounding truth. Without God’s Love we will continue to live in our fallen state of existence (sin) from which the scourge of racism is born and takes root.

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Abraham Lincoln and The Emancipation Document Which Ended Slavery And Brought Freedom

The Southern Poverty Law Center says that in 2019 they tracked 940 hate groups across the United States. All are biased towards others for reasons of race, faith, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, etc. How does humanity defeat racism, or for that matter other hate philosophies? The Bible reveals a vital resource which is part of God’s Love. I have explained the divine Love earlier. We saw how God gives a person the Spirit to enter the human heart and make a person God’s Love temple. (1 Cor.3:16). The presence of the Spirit is what empower humans with God’s Love. (Rom.5:5) The Spirit is not just some incomprehensible sentiment or sensation. The Bible reveals He is the “living waters” which flows in the heart of humans. (John 7:37-39) ‘Water’ is the metaphor for the Spirit’s activity. What does water do? It cleanses, rejuvenates, renews, and to use the given biblical term, sanctifies humans before God. (1 Pet.1:2; Rom.15:16) Humanity is being sanctified by the Spirit and through Jesus’ High Priestly Office presented to God the Father holy and blessed.

However, how exactly does this work of sanctification through reconciliation is accomplished in the lives of humans before Jesus so the Father may dispense His blessing upon us? It depends upon the particular issue a person may be facing at the time. It can be a pressing need, a clear and present danger, and in this instance, with racism, or more rightly ‘human variation.’ God has equipped us with the fruit of the Spirit’s Love to bring to bear upon what we may consider our external difference and how to face it objectively and Lovingly. The fruits of Love are laid out in 1 Corinthians 13.

God’s Holy Spirit Personifies Love & Freedom in Humanity (Rom.5:5)

On human variation and color, or as it has come to been disparagingly called, racism, God has given humanity the ‘ministry of reconciliation’ as the fruit to help us in our human journey on this earth. The Bible presents this vital fruit in this way, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 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” (2 Cor.5:17-19). This ‘ministry of reconciliation’ is the tool (fruit) of Love the Spirit uses which deals with human relationships as we encounter our different human variation, culture, and color. Earlier, we read Jesus’ parting command to His disciples and friends to, “Love one another” (John 13:34). Love and its fruits does not just happen, it has to be cultivated, preserved, and kept alive. This is no different with the ‘ministry of reconciliation.’ It has to be cultivated and perfected. (You can read about the Love-fruits at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199).

Just as God’s fullness in His Triune Love cannot be fully known apart from the unique variation in His Tri-Personal Godhead, mankind cannot come around to fully grasp the true depth of our humanity without appreciating our variation and extending the Loving hand to remain united in Love. Our uniqueness in our different variation, color, and uplifting culture was intended to magnify and enhance our universal humanity, not devalue it. When we would have allowed the kaleidoscope of our common humanity to shine through our experiences and appreciate each of our uniqueness and effort and contribution, and realize our differences will enhance and complete us individually and collectively, we could not say we have begun to take this journey of true humans that our Creator desires for each of us to take in life and ultimately lead us to Him in His Tri-Personal Godhead. As the Bible says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Pro.14:34). Love is all our universal destiny, it is what will define us and our variation and the color of our skin is intended to magnify our humanity. Universally, we are all equals under God, just as God is equal in His Tri-Personal Being and Godhead.

God Sacrificed His Son In Order to Save Humanity from Destruction (John 3:16)

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt.5:9). A peacemaker is a conciliator, a pacifier, a mediator and adjudicator. He or she is applying the tool of reconciliation. Metaphorically, God saw the virus (sin) of racism in humans and applied the tool of reconciliation by surrendering His Son for us. Listen to what compelled God to act, “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). Yes, it is His Love that motivated Him to act. Throughout the Bible, God our Father, speaks eloquently of His tender mercies for humanity and its effect upon us, here’s one, “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace” (Luk. 1:78-79). Yes, He touches us with His light through His Son and leads us in the ‘path of peace.’ And so we are blessed of the Father when it comes to our relationship with all humanity in their diversity, for God has gifted humanity with His Love through His Spirit to become His ‘peacemaker’ children. (Rom.5:5; 1 John 4:16)

Martin Luther King Memorial, Washington DC. Civil Rights Leader Who Led Protest Against Racism, Inequality, and Discrimination. (Wiki Commons).

Martine Luther King, the great civil rights leader, said in his famed “I Have A Dream Speech”: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” (https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/) God’s nature and character is Love. (1 John 4:8) He created humanity so we will universally live by His Love-image. In the end, it is God’s Love that draws us to become better humans for each other and bring unity to make us all equal in one whole humanity.

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 – into the glorious humanity that Christ is preparing as the holy temple for God’s dwelling:

man in gray t-shirt holding black and white welcome to the beach signage

Prayer: “Almighty God, Father of all humanity, forgive me of all my sins and particularly where we have not held each other in equal and Loving regard and respect. Forgive me for any and all racist inclination of my heart. I receive Your Son, Jesus, as my personal Savior from my sins. 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. Bring healing to our nation and the whole world. 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 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 and your Loved ones always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you in God’s Promises possible as you live the Triune Life.* Be strong in the Lord’s joy, and Love Him completely.

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 10:34-35Psa.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). 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.

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THE SAVING LIVING FAITH OF JESUS, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings again Friends! Faith is the very lifeblood of the Christian life. As a verb and doing word, a human being’s spiritual life rises and falls on the proper understanding and application of faith. What is the purpose of faith in the life of the human believer in Jesus? Faith is about manifesting a person’s status and reality in God’s spiritual realm and how he/she interacts with the divine will in life. We are mortal humans, and God is spirit. What happens when God reaches out from His spiritual realm to offer you His Love, and you wish to respond and reach out to His offer of grace, how do you get in touch, and what do you do? Yes, how do you make contact with God in His spiritual realm?

The Insurmountable Chasm Between the Mortal World and God’s Divine Realm

Realize there is an insurmountable chasm that exist between our mortal human world and God’s divine realm. What can we do to bridge this gap? The answer is revealed in the Bible. The message of the Bible is for all humanity. It is a gross misunderstanding to say the Bible is for “Christians” only. The Bible consist of God’s message of hope and Love for every human who draws breathe given from one divine Source regardless of who we are – the Creator God. So, in this post, we will discuss the subject of the only vehicle given from the Bible by which humans make contact with the divine – faith!

The Bible reveals to us about the important and only vehicle by which humans may navigate the impenetrable divide between mortal humans and the all-powerful unseen Godly realm. That vehicle is called by the name: faith! Yes, faith is the bridge upon which we travel to cross over from our mortal realm into the spiritual realm of God. There is the human faith, and there is the spiritual faith. Both are used differently. The human faith is exercised through the five human senses of hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch. The spiritual faith is explained this way, “For we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor.5:7). In other words, the human faith (sight, etc.) is powerless to transport us into God’s realm, it requires a more powerful faith that’s unseen and spiritual. Paul told the Corinthians, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor.4:18).

Faith is The Vehicle Which Transports Mortal Humans into God’s Presence

The Bible goes further, “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 humans of the reality of God’s existence – (“anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists”). Faith also assures humans of God’s care and concern for human well-being – (“He rewards those who earnestly seek Him”). Most importantly, this awesome faith creates a Loving relationship with God – (“It’s impossible to please God apart from faith”).    

The Bible explains how this enabling faith acts as a bridge into the unseen spirit realm of God, “Faith is the evidence of things we cannot see” (Heb.11:1). What we cannot see is spiritual and cannot be detected by the five physical senses. There are physical things that are unseen but detectable by the senses, like the wind, gravity, human thoughts, etc. But the divine realm where God dwells is totally different. This is the realm of the Creator of all things known and unknown, of things seen and unseen, who holds all power and who chose to have a relationship with humankind whom He created in His image and likeness. (Gen.1:26-27; John 15:16)

Paul speaks of the different species the Creator made and how humans were set apart from other species. He said, “Just as there are different kinds of seeds, there are different kinds of bodies—humans, animals, birds, fish—each unprecedented in its form…The (human) body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body” (1 Cor.15:39-44). Paul makes us see how God created and differentiated the human species from the rest of creation, with the ultimate destiny of human immortality, as mankind’s lot and destiny. (Gen.3:17; 1 Cor.15:54) And for this reason, humanity is given the gift of faith, the vehicle of faith, to enter into the God’s realm and presence to worship and engender a relationship of Love that’s uniquely exclusive to Him in His Triune Being in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (2 Cor.13:14; Matt.28:19). This is the Promise of God, “And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life” (1 John 2:25, NKJV).

Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity.TMatt.28:19

Humans can only enter into a Loving relationship with the Triune God when they can prove the reality of His existence, and that His care and Love is equally real. So, God has left humans with many Promises as proof of His grace and care. The Bible states unequivocally, “God can be trusted to keep His Promise” (Heb.10:23, NLT). (I will delve deeper into God’s Promises in another aspect of faith later in this post). What pleases God is when humans rely upon Him for their well-being, both spiritual and physical. Peter said this, “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 Pet.1:4). All of that begins with faith, for without faith we left with doubt.

Doubt creates disbelief, rift and confusion, and is the opposite of faith. It is the destructive fire which burns and destroys the bridge of faith which provides access into the divine realm. James tell us this, “When you ask, you must believe (have faith) and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do” (Jam.1:6-8). This is the ploy of the evil one, he seeks to create a divided loyalty in the heart of humans, so we will lose our way into the divine realm.

James informs us what to do when we are faced with a crossroad between faith and doubt in life, “If you need wisdom (to help make right decisions), ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver (doubt).” (Jam.1:5-6, NLT, italics mine). Yes, we require divine wisdom. The Bible says, “The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength” (1 Cor.1:25; also, Zech.4:6). You and I must believe Him in His reality as the all-powerful God, and not some figment of the imagination. So, we see how faith explains He is a caring God. The bridge which gives access to all His Promises is the bridge of faith. Faith gives us that sure hope in God’s many Promises for us. (2 Pet.1:4; 3:13)

Directory, Away, Wisdom, Education
God Supplies Wisdom to Build Faith (pixabay)

To enter God’s realm and most especially His presence, there are three profound determinants to keep in mind. First, God is eternally holy in His Being, therefore, nothing short of His like supreme holiness can appear before Him. (Isa.6:3) Second, humanity is required to be clothed in God’s Love, the essence of His holiness, to enter into His holy and Loving presence. (1 John 4:8) Third, since humans don’t have the prerequisite holiness to come before God, there is the absolute necessity for an intermediary to step into the place of fallen humanity to bridge this impassable holiness chasm which exist between fallen mortal man and the holy God. (1 Tim.2:5; Act.4:12)

From the foregoing, we will proceed through the three ascents depicting life in the Triune Life* of God of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19) That’s to say, the three ascents show humans are inducted into the life of Love in the Father, Son, and Spirit. For that is what “baptizing them (believers) in the name of the Triune God” means, “to be inducted into the life of God in His whole Being” (Matt.28:19). Only through His Triune Being, and no other way, can humans be made to enter His holy presence. Before we get into the ascents, let me add a word about holiness. God is utterly holy in His Being. Sometimes we imagine this to be something that’s untouchable and unreachable, that His holiness is beyond humanity and we can never attain such a state of existence. Nothing could be further from the truth. Granted, mankind has lived a fallen state of existence since Adam’s fall, but that is only temporary, and He has given His Son who saved us for His holy purpose. (John 3:16) Yes, God created humanity for this very holy destiny we are privileged to have with Him in His family. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 Cor.3:17, ESV; Eph.3:17-19)

He revealed His holy act for sinful mankind by giving His Son to die for and save us. The Bible says, “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). They key word in that passage is Love. Love, not only reveals God is holy, but makes us comprehend His holiness on the human level. God, to exist in holiness, means He is totally Loving in His nature. God’s holiness is immeasurable because His Love is unfathomable. (1 John 4:8Psa.111:9) Being holy means making right choices through the power of His Love. Holy (Love) means to shun evil and embrace the good through the fruits of Love. (1 Cor.13) It means making the necessary change from what is wrong (sin) to what is good (holy). In His holiness and Love, God reached out and touched sinful humanity to save us from rebellion and evil and restore us to His holiness and Love.

We see the three ascents through His Trinitarian life unfolding in the life of humans as follows:

Ascent 1: Holy Spirit – Sin Defeated. The third Person of the Triune Godhead is called Holy Spirit because He enters human life to defeat sin and darkness and sanctify and make humans holy in Christ so that a person can appear before the Father holy.

‘Pure Water’ – Symbol for The Holy Spirit’s Cleansing Power

Ascent 2: Jesus – The Savior and Mediator, the Light of God. Before the Holy Spirit can be given to enter human life, the person must first be cleansed of all sin, for sin and holiness are incompatible and can never coexist. So, the Mediator Jesus was sent by the Father to enter our human existence, live the perfect sinless human life, and die the sacrificial death to become the complete human Savior to release humanity from the bondage of sin and rebellion. (John 3:16: Rom.5:8) Jesus did not remain dead upon His cross. He was buried and on the third day was resurrected and appeared to the disciples and others for forty days. Then He ascended to heaven where He was seated at the right hand of God the Father as humanity’s High Priest, for the purpose of forever mediating on behalf of fallen humanity. (Matt.28:5-6; Heb.4:14-16)

Cross, Christ, Faith, God, Jesus, Clouds
Jesus – Savior of the World and Mankind (Pixabay)

Ascent 3: God The Father – The Gift of New Life through and In His Holy Presence. Paul tells us the all-important role of Jesus as our human High Priest before the Father in heaven, “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. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.” (1 Cor.1:30-31) I emphasize the words, “He made us pure and holy” to stress the vital cleansing role of Jesus as our Savior and High Priest who seats at the Father’s right hand today. Later Paul said, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Cor.5:21). Yes, Jesus is the intermediary that humanity needed to keep us in God’s holy presence forever.

The Holy Creator God, Father of Mankind (Wiki Commons)

There is another vital picture of the Father’s role which makes all the difference, and that is, in His holy glorious presence everything is renewed and becomes new. His light and glory brings about renewal and rebirth upon all life and everything He touches. And even humans that enter the Father’s presence through Christ is restored and regenerated through the light of His holy renewing energy and presence. The Father’s place is the place of healing and miracles where humanity is cured from all sickness and disease both spiritual and physical. The Bible states, “He (God) does great things that we cannot understand and miracles that we cannot count” (Job 5:9; also Act.10:38; Psa.119:50; Jam.5:15).

Therefore, in the Father’s presence the old fallen self from Adam is forever cast-off and abandoned through repentance for the new person that you are in His Son. Paul affirms this wonderful truth, saying, “God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who Love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in Him” (Rom.8:29-30). This miraculous act of regenerating humanity through His Son is absolutely crucial concerning how we enter into God’s holy presence.

Jesus’ Personal Faith – Bridge Into the Presence of the Holy Creator God (Wiki Commons)

Humans enter God’s holy presence through and in the glorified body of His Son as High Priest. Listen to what Scriptures tell us, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water (Spirit)” (Heb.10:19-22, italics for emphasis).

Yes, each of our place in God’s presence was initiated by Jesus Himself when He took our fallen humanity upon Himself as the Immanuel, rescued it by living the perfect human life, then sacrificing Himself for our redemption, and after His resurrection from the dead, ascended and took our now glorified humanity in Himself to heaven and into the Father’s holy presence where Jesus is seated at the His right hand. Humans are not only saved from our Adamic sin-condition by Jesus, but He also glorified our humanity with immortality in Himself by His resurrection and ascension became the first human to receive immortality so we may follow in His footsteps. (Rom.8:29) There is no other way for humans to enter God’s spiritual realm and the Father’s holy presence other than through His Son who has introduced and glorified our humanity by His life, death, resurrection, and ascension to His High Priesthood. (Act.10:38; John 3:16; 11:25-26; Act.1:9-11; Heb.4:14-16)

Since Jesus is constantly mediating in His High Priestly role for humanity’s right standing with God, the Father fulfills His promise of giving mankind the gift of the Holy Spirit. (John 14:26) The Spirit is the God’s power to personify the new glorified life of Jesus in humans. The Spirit is the cleansing power of God that renews and regenerate humans. (Tit.3:5-6) Jesus informs us in John of the role of the Spirit, “He (Spirit) will bring Me glory by telling you whatever He receives from Me. All that belongs to the Father is Mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever He receives from Me’” (John 16:14-15). Note, how God acts in unison as One Tri-Personal God.

In one of the most profound and life-altering passage Paul was inspired to write, he said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal.2:20a). In that brief but powerful statement, Paul reveals the secret of living the Christian life. Christianity is a life of reliving the death and new life (resurrection) in Christ. So, in the Father’s glorious presence, humans undergo this deathlike experience of disrobing the sin-conditioned old self from Adam, and stepping into the new life of being robed in the glorified life of His Son, Jesus. (Rom.8:29) Paul tell us how this rebirth takes place, “We know that our old self was crucified with Him (Jesus) so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin, because anyone who has died has been set free from sin” (Rom.6:6-7, italics mine).

Thus, renewal and transformation emerges and springs from the Father’s holy majestic presence. Yes, that is what happens in the Father’s holy presence – the spiritual death and rebirth of humanity. A complete renewal takes place in the life of humans because the glorified life of Christ now resides in the believer. It’s helpful to recollect that at the last supper before His death, Jesus initiated the communion event of partaking of the bread and wine. These two elements were emblems representing Jesus’ body and blood, or the new life we have in Him, and that He now, symbolically in flesh and blood, walks in and through us. (1 Cor.11:23-26)

“I Have Been Crucified With Christ..And Christ Lives in Me” – Gal.2:20. (Wiki Commons)

John speaks of this rebirth event when he quoted Jesus as saying, “No one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5). Note again, no one can enter the spiritual realm of God’s kingdom unless they are reborn by taking on Christ’s very life through the Spirit’s power, in the Father’s holy presence. Yes, every human who appears before God must undergo a rebirth from his/her sin-conditioned self and made to enter into a holy union with Christ’s glorious life who has already taken our humanity in God’s holy presence at His own resurrection, ascension, and High Priestly office. This is the only way a human is made to enter into the presence of our holy and Loving God. (1 John 4:8; Psa.99:3; Lev.19:2)

Through Jesus’ mediation as High Priest, the Father fulfills His promise and sends the Holy Spirit to regenerate humanity. The Spirit is God’s power that personifies the new life of the glorified holy Jesus in humans. Jesus informs us in John the role of the Spirit, “He (Spirit) will bring Me glory by telling you whatever He receives from Me. All that belongs to the Father is Mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever He receives from Me’” (John 16:14-15). The Spirit is the power who initiates the rebirth into the new life in Jesus.

Recall, we are covering the topic of faith as the bridge into the sanctity of God’s presence. Nothing we have discussed above happens without faith. Beginning with life in the Triune Being of God, nothing spiritual becomes our reality in the human sense without faith – but not any faith, just the Personal living faith of Jesus, as we shall see. We have seen that only through the vehicle of God’s Tri-Personal Being in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (3 Ascents), can humanity be brought into His holy presence, specifically, through the Person of Jesus as the world’s Savior. Yes, it is Jesus’ personal living faith that brings us into the presence of God. Note what Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ (Ascent 2, above): 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).

Yes, “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.” There is no other way to come before the presence of the holy God except through the faith of Jesus. The glorious life of Jesus as our human High Priest and the living faith of Jesus are one and the same. As High Priest He supplies His extra ordinary faith to trust in His mediation to infuse the power in doing the divine will. Paul told the Ephesians, “I pray that Christ will make His home in your hearts through faith” (Eph.3:17). God’s relationship with sinful humans is constantly mediated in the life of His Son as our High Priest.

At the beginning of this post, I asked what ultimately is the purpose of faith in humanity – specifically, Jesus’ living faith? It’s purpose is to bring humanity to the place of sanctification where humans are made holy in the Father’s presence, as we have seen above. At another milestone in God’s appointed plan, He will bring all humanity to glorification by resurrecting mankind and be conferred the promise of immortality at His Son’s coming return to earth. (Act.1:10-11; Rev.19:11-16) The Bible Promises, “And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life” (1 John 2:25, NKJV).

The High Priest In Ancient Israel Serving in God’s Temple – A Copy of Jesus’ High Priestly Role Today Before God Mediating For Humanity In Heaven – Heb.4:14-16. (Wiki Commons)

Notice the mechanics of how the Father’s plan to make His children holy. Since Jesus has taken our place with and in Himself in heaven at the Father’s right hand, the Father took the vital step of sending the Holy Spirit to indwell and sanctify humanity and enable us to appear in God’s holy presence in Christ. Jesus said before His crucifixion, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate (Friend) to be with you forever…But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14:16, 26, italics my emphasis). Before His ascension to the Father’s right hand, Jesus reminded the disciples, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift (of the Holy Spirit) my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about” (Act.1:4, italics mine). With the gift of the Spirit, God now unites Himself in His whole Triune Being with humanity.

Then, when the day of Pentecost came, God poured the Holy Spirit upon those who were gathered as Jesus instructed. (Act.2:1-4) On that day, Peter was empowered by the Holy Spirit, spoke to the people and essentially gave them the divine mechanics by which humans are made holy, “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). So, what does “repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus” mean? To “repent” means to “change,” or take on the new life of Jesus – this is the act of the Father in the 3rd Ascent we saw above. And to be “baptized” in Christ is a ritual symbolizing death and rebirth, from rebellion to Love, from sin to holiness, from mortal to divine. (1 Cor.1:30-31) Here, we witness the depiction of the 3 Ascents (Love relationships) in the Father, Son, and Spirit, we have covered earlier taking place.

Baptism – Affirmation of Death and Rebirth in Christ (Wiki Commons)

This is how Paul explains what happens when humans undergo repentance and baptism. He told the Romans, “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. For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God” (Rom.6:3-10). Every word in this passage packs so much meaning and how it impacts humanity’s eternal future. I ask you to read it often in your spare time.

So, baptism is the believer’s affirmation to bury the sin-conditioned person from Adam’s fall in the watery grave of the baptismal waters. This baptismal affirmation is equivalent to dying with Christ upon His cross in spirit, as we read earlier of Paul’s words above, and to the Galatians. (Gal.2:20) Then, immediately upon rising from the watery grave, we are portrayed to have risen in Christ’s resurrection from the dead, and thereby embrace the new life we have in Christ in heaven and made holy in the Spirit’s power to appear before the Father.

We call to mind when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit descended from the Father upon Jesus, and this depicts the reality of our own baptism and how the Father extends the gift of the Spirit who spiritually transports humanity into Jesus’ holy presence as High Priest and the Father where mankind is embraced as God’s holy children. Also, we are reminded of what the Father did and said to Jesus at His baptism in the Jordan. The Father sent His Spirit, and says the words He would forever say to all humanity who follow Jesus by undergoing His baptism, “You are My Son, (‘children’ for all humanity) whom I love; with You I am well pleased”  (Mark.1:11; Luk.3:22). As children of God, we are always in God’s holy presence through His Son’s constant mediation, and made holy by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. This is the life we are all called to live – in holy union with the Triune God in the Father’s holy presence. (1 Cor.1:30-31)

Dove, Hand, Trust, God, Pray, Prayer
Dove-Symbol of the Holy Spirit And God’s Sanctifying Power in Humanity

From the above, we have seen how God has played a prominent and Fatherly role in saving humanity and laying out a hope and future, that in the words of the Bible holds out humanity’s eternal destiny, “It is written: ‘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). But God calls upon humanity to play a vital role in His plan for each of our lives. For such is the nature of God that His Love calls for a participatory life. The Triune Life* is the divine participatory life we are called to share with Him in Love. So, there is the vital collaborative union of the divine life and the mortal human life with each of our input in God’s grand design and purpose.

Therefore, we must ask, and deservedly so, what part does humanity play in God’s purpose for mankind, and in particular as it relates to you as a person that God Loves above Himself? (John 3:16) Up to this point, we have seen the predominant preponderance of the divine will and Love in the human condition. As Paul said perceptively, “But God showed His great Love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Rom.5:8). So, humanity would have been lost were it not for God’s Loving intervention. So, as fallen humans, we must justifiably ask what part do we play, if any, in God’s purpose for humanity? Our walk in this human life is the walk of Jesus in each of us in the Spirit’s power. (John 15:7) But what does that look like as we respond to God in the Love relationship within the 3 Ascents.

Recall, God’s Love calls for a participatory life, just as He is intrinsically participatory in His divine Triune Being in the Father, Son, and Spirit. This human participation with the divine life of God is the 4th Ascent representing the ‘manifestation of renewal’ arising from the three Ascents we have seen above, and in particular the 3rd Ascent in the extension of the Father’s gift of the Spirit upon humanity, in whose power human participation with the divine is made possible.

Ascent 4: Humanity – Rebirth and Renewal. There are three parts to humanity’s participation I will share. The first part of the 4th Ascent concerning human participation calls for our human faith. I said earlier that our human faith alone is inadequate to transport us spiritually into God’s spiritual realm. Be that as it may, our human faith is not entirely lacking or hopeless. As deficient as our human faith in spiritual matters, it is still relevant because God’s work of salvation in man cannot be done without human participation. Through God’s Tri-Personal nature as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit we saw in the 3 Ascents, He reveals Himself to be a Loving participatory God. So, the human faith enlists human participation within the Triune Life of God. That’s how He desires His Love to work with humans He made in His image. (Gen.1:26-27)

Each Person Has a Part to Play (4th Ascent) as God Unites Himself with Us Through the Love Relationships in The 3 Ascents (Wiki Commons)

So we use our limited human faith to believe and trust in the spiritually all-powerful faith of Jesus to change us in ways man’s faith can ever imagine or think of doing. This is what Paul 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, italics mine for emphasis). As Jesus’ faith grows in our hearts and minds, we’ll find our ‘faith-scale’ 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).

We live powerless lives when we rely solely on human faith, and many people have fallen into this trap, and deny the powerful Personal faith of Jesus, which comes through the Spirit’s energizing activity in humans. By not recognizing there are two faiths, just as there are two realities, the physical and the spiritual; there are two spirits, the fallen human spirit and God’s Holy Spirit. So, people have naturally stood upon and lived entirely through their inadequate human faith, and denied the Faith of Jesus. Both must compliment each other.

Just as the Bible says that “faith without works is dead,” it is just as true that, “works without faith is equally dead.” What do I mean? It means unless our works become the temple for Jesus’ living faith…unless Jesus’ faith become the power behind our works, all we do is just a hot air of human arrogance of meaningless bragging. The wise King Solomon affirms this, saying, “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity” (Eccl.1:2). In other words, human activity is completely meaningless and pointless unless we do with our lives what God guides us in His love to do with it. And He has given us His Son as our example. (Eccl.12:8, 13-14; John 13:15; 1 John 2:6)

When I deny the spiritual Personal faith of Jesus, then my work, which spring up and emerge completely out of my human faith, is just a smokescreen and distraction, despite the fact that it may appear ‘successful’ before the human eyes. (Psa.37:7) The Psalmist said, “You are my Lord; all the good things I have come from You” (Psa.16:2, GNT). Yes, apart from God we are bereft of His divine goodness without the powerful faith of Jesus. God blesses our lives with good when we are, “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of Faith” (Heb. 12:2, NASB)

James tells us, “Faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone” (Jam.2:17). It is also true in the reverse, “Works without faith is dead.” What do I mean? How is one different from the other? The difference is the living faith of Jesus. Our works must become the temple for the Jesus’ living faith. In other words, the mover of our works must be the living faith of Jesus. The faith that is ‘alone’ and dead is the human faith. (You can read more about “Jesus’ Faith” at: http://bulamanriver.net/2811)

The second part is the act of ‘repentance and baptism’ we have covered earlier. It depicts the ‘surrender’ of the fallen human will and spirit on our part whereby we crucify the false self upon Jesus’ cross, and receive Him, His new life in the Spirit, who now lives in and occupies the human heart. (Gal.2:20; 1 Cor.3:16) Freedom is intrinsic to the divine nature of God, and springs from and is part of His Triune Love. You cannot have Love without freedom, nor freedom without Love, for they are one and the same. Thus, human freewill is unified with and integrated into God’s Love.

Therefore, the act of surrender is given freely, just as the Father freely surrendered His only Son out of His Love to save humanity. (John 3:16) Hence, we are made to live the surrendered life. The positive expression of human life through personal freedoms was intended to manifest the unique personal gifts conferred by the Creator in each person at birth, which manifests our individual human freewill. (Matt.7:9-11) (You may read my post about divine freedom at: http://bulamanriver.net/16956)  

Religion, Meditation, Faith, Light
Meditating Upon The True Values In God’s Promises

The third part in our human participation (4th Ascent) has to do with the interaction with the Holy Spirit whose role is to empower and humanize Jesus’ glorified new life in humanity. (John 16:14-15) Here, humans utilize the tool of meditation and visualization principally upon the precious Promises God has given humanity out of His great Love for us. (2 Pet.1:4) The role of meditation and visualization relates to the Spirit’s occupation of our human hearts, who is depicted as a “Friend” (Advocate) and Helper in every human He indwells. (John 14:26; 1 Cor.3:16; John 16:14-15) The fallen human heart and spirit from Adam’s fall has been replaced by the Holy Spirit who now occupies the human heart and mind. (1 Cor.3:16; 6:19)

Meditation is really about mediation where a person seeks to solidify the divine mindset in one’s life through the Spirit’s help. The Spirit is our Friend. (John 14:26) As a Friend, how does the Spirit help, what exactly does He do? Paul makes an astounding statement in this regard, he said, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words” (Rom.8:26, NLT). Did you notice that? Mediation is the Spirit’s act of praying for us before the Father. He also gives us power to defeat our weakness.

Paul goes on to tell us about the outcome of the Spirit’s prayerful mediation on our behalf, “And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who Love God and are called according to His purpose for them. For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son” (Rom.8:27-29). God’s will and purposes for humanity are revealed in His Promises. (2 Pet.1:4)

Yes, the Father makes circumstances to work in our favor because of the Spirit’s prayerful mediation to fulfill His divine will in each of us. How awesome is that, where mostly we don’t know how to pray to the Father, our Friend Herald* steps into our place and prays for us. Herald lives in our hearts, so He knows everything about our lives, and how to present us before the Father. Through the Triune Life in the 3 Ascents, humans exists in the midst of God’s Loving power. The Psalmist said, “Because Your steadfast Love is better than life” (Psa.63:3, ESV). Yes, how do we value human life if it were not for God’s Loving kindness. (*Herald is the Spirit’s name I have given and call my personal Friend).

It is vital to understand why this tool is crucial to our spiritual life and the vitality of Christ’s personal faith in humanity. The tool of meditation reflects the divine providential means by which the Spirit enhances Jesus’ reality in the human heart and life. (Rom.8:9) We must recognize that as humans we grow up and quickly learn to shape and reinforce values and culture (personal and collective) through our human experiences and circumstances. Thereby, in our fallen humanity, coupled with the deception and sway of the devil, we naturally attach human values upon things that are worldly and ungodly. Many of these values were instilled by the enemy, the devil, through the world’s system. John affirmed this, saying, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, isn’t the Father’s, but is the world’s” (1 John 2:16). Note, how these worldly values were framed and planted into our lives – principally through the lust of the flesh and eyes, and the pride of life.

Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting our own way, wanting everything for ourselves, wanting to appear important—is all about self-worship which is instigated by the devil, and has nothing to do with the Father. It destroys our relationship with the Tri-Personal God, and countermands the divine participatory life we are given to share in the 3 Ascents we have covered above. John gives how our victory over the world comes about, “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith (in Christ’s Faith) (1 John 5:4; Rom.3:22, KJV; Italics mine for emphasis).

But through the second step of baptism we have surrendered and repented of the old fallen self and have changed the status quo so that we can now establish new values based upon God’s Promises made possible through Christ’s faith. However, we must be circumspect and careful about the values we allow to accept and influence us. We must now choose God’s values through His precious Promises for us, and not the worldly false values and culture that were disposed and abandoned at baptism (repentance and change). (2 Cor.6:17)

Nevertheless, we ought to be mindful about living circumspectly because the worldly values we once treasured does not just evaporate and disappear magically at baptism, granted that we are given the Spirit’s ‘first Love’ impetus at the time. (Rev.2:4, KJV) The years of practice and assimilation before conversion (baptism) have formed stubborn habits which can be difficult to eradicate at once. These fixed habits will take time and experience to remove, with the help of the Spirit who sanctifies us, while we shift our allegiance to the values that God calls upon us to uphold in His Promises in Christ. (2 Pet.1:4)

Trusting in God's Promise
Meditating Upon God’s Promises and Values

And meditation and visualization in the Spirit’s power is about establishing God’s values (Christ’s mindset), while uprooting and eradicating the false values we once upheld and possibly cherished. In biblical meditation, the meditator fills his/her mind with the purpose and dreams God desires to share with mankind through His Promises, and made possible in Christ and by His faith in the Spirit’s move. We articulate the Promises over in our hearts because they are true and point us to our destiny. Paul shows us the way to meditate, he said, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts (meditate) on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think (meditate) about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you” (Phi.4:8-9).

The honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable things are contained in God’s Promises, not in worldly things. One of the ways the Spirit sanctify us is by infusing us with the right mindset to “know thine enemy” and how he works through the false and futile values he promotes. (2 Cor.2:11; 4:4; 1 Pet.5:8) Paul goes further and speaks about destroying the false values that once influenced our decision-making, and recapturing the true values which define our true and glorious humanity in God’s Promises, saying, “We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ” (2 Cor.10:5). Yes, the ‘proud obstacles’ are the false values that once influenced our lives, must be ‘destroyed’ upon the cross of Jesus. As God has promised, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who Love Him” (1 Cor.2:9, NKJV).

Hence, it is important for humans to be well versed with God’s Promises, for all that God has prepared for humanity are revealed in His Promises, and more. It must be upon these Promises that we define our values in the new life on this earth which we have in Christ. You can read my post titled, “Standing On The Promises” to read more about God’s encouraging promises for humanity at: http://bulamanriver.net/15209. You can read about God’s Promises to protect us from Satan, at: http://bulamanriver.net/11339. For additional information on God’s many precious Promises you may visit the following web site: https://www.bibleinfo.com/en/topics/bible-promises. You can also explore YouTube sites which have videos and recordings where God’s promises are presented and spoken eloquently, like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imJZlhOsPKM .

It is upon these many sure Promises of God which form the basis of our true and lasting values. (2 Pet.1:4) We are to meditate upon these precious Promises to create a new mindset in Christ, and thereby replace the false values we once upheld. The human brain is regulated and directed by the subconscious mind which in turn directs the numerous conscious thoughts that enter the brain for processing and action. God’s Promise must take up its place in our subconscious mind to form and become the ‘sponsoring thought’ which acts as a filter in our thinking process, thus remove any opposing thought which confront God’s Love and purpose as reflected in His Promises. All our activities must be sponsored by the words of His Promises. In this process, we are immersed in the mind and Love of Christ. (2 Cor.10:5; 1 Cor.2:16)

So, where does faith play its part in this new foundational values of life? The living faith we have in Jesus must take possession of our lives and works “being fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises” (Romans 4:21). So, there we see the Love relationship we have with God in His Triune Being through the 3 Ascents, and our human response in the 4th Ascent, and how the Saving Living Faith of Jesus become reality in each of us as we live the surrendered life in Him.

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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.”

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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 and your Loved ones always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you in God’s Promises possible as you live the Triune Life.* Be strong in the Lord’s joy, and Love Him completely.

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)

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). 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

LOVING GOD ABSOLUTELY, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings once more, Friends! The most important command in the Bible is about the human Love for God. God gave humanity the most important command when Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mar.12:30). In the book of Exodus, God told Israel, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exo.20:3). In other words, we are to be Loving God unquestionably above all else. Let us get one thing straight right off the bat, without giving a second thought, in our fallen state of existence in sin, it is not possible for humans to keep this command. The Bible states, “Can anyone really say that his conscience is clear, that he has gotten rid of his sin?” (Pro.20:9, GNT). For emphasis, “No one in this world always does right” (Eccl.7:20, CEV)

Realizing we are living through unprecedented times when we are in the middle of Covid-19 pandemic, I am moved to share the title of this post with you, my readers far and wide. This is what God says about Love, “The LORD says, “I will rescue those who Love Me. I will protect those who trust in My Name. When they call on Me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them My salvation” (Psa.91:14-16, NLT).

(You may be interested to read my previous post titles that are relevant to our disconcerting times on the ‘3 Genesis Mandates,’ and the ‘spiritual virus,’ at http://bulamanriver.net/21174 and http://bulamanriver.net/21006).

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“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Unsplash)

Paul said this about all mankind, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23). The “glory of God” simply means who and what God is in His holy divine Being of Love. (Luk.1:49) God’s holiness is immeasurable because His Love is unfathomable. (1 John 4:8; Psa.111:9) So, if in our depraved state of existence, we fall short of His glory and Love, how can we possibly follow His Love command to “Love Him with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength?” We can live a pretentious or fake life, but God knows our motives and heart, saying, “But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve” (Jer.17:10, NLT).

Yes, why did God give mankind a command that humans could not possibly follow in the first instance? But that is exactly the point, the command was given to be followed, or else why would God command it? Or is it possible that God was echoing a harmonious relationship which once existed with humanity. Yes, why would God issue the Love commandment which once was? Now, that is the million dollar question. The answer can be found by unraveling and understanding the rationale behind the Love command. Yes, God in His Love, will remain an eternal mystery we will never get to the bottom of or fully comprehend. Our minds will never be able to contain God. We can know Him only to the degree He chooses to reveal Himself, or He remains forever unknowable. (Eph.5:32-33; Psa.145:3; 1 Tim.3:16, ESV; 1 Cor.2:7)

This revelation of Himself to humanity God has already done by giving His Son, Jesus, to be our human Savior. (Heb.1:1-3; John 3:16) The Bible tell us this, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His Being” (Heb.1:3). Yes, Love (God) requires untethering to comprehend His mind-blowing beauty. In fact, much of creation is wrapped in mystery, so much so that people like scientists delight in discovering them. And there are countless matters that remain mysteries waiting to be laid bare for its splendor and gravitas. The human mind, for example, remains a mystery that continues to baffle scientists for its complexities. Both the complex human mind and our equally complex and unknown universe are physical creations God has filled with Himself in His awe-inspiring Love and mystery. (Isa.66:1-2)

Both, the mind and the universe, are replicas of one another in their infinite mystery as God Himself will remain a mystery to His creation. The seemingly ‘chaotic’ universe with its constellations, solar system, star system, meteorites and meteor showers, shooting and exploding stars, in their awesome beauty and grandeur, live in ‘orderly’ governance through the mantle of God’s presence and mystery. (Jer.23:24; Heb.4:13) Love as an exercise of the mind and comes through a decision-making process, not something hard, fast, and inflexible. Love can be lived selfishly or unselfishly, inwardly or outwardly, and we are given the freedom to choose. Life beckons to us to ‘choose’ for all have the gift of divine freedom as the intrinsic makeup of His Love. (see Blog Post “Freedom“ at http://bulamanriver.net/10980) The devil has always had a counterfeit to God’s Love in order to deceive humans – fear, self-centeredness, and rebellion. In all His creation, God has given humanity a peek into the mystery of His Love and why we are to share in and Love Him absolutely.

“God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them” 1 John 4:16. (Wiki Commons)

Firstly, we have to grasp the full story of mankind as a species upon this earth. When this command was first given at Sinai, historically, humanity was a third of the way into the story of humanity’s sojourn on earth. So, it is fair to ask, what was man’s journey from the beginning, what happened, and what led to the giving of the Love command at the hand of Moses. The truth is the human species, through Adam and Eve, had once lived in perfect harmony with their Creator in the paradisal garden of Eden He planted for them. So, God knew what He was talking about when He gave the Love command. Humans have lived that perfect life once before, but Adam and Eve were the only known humans to have experienced such a life. After their rebellion and sin for eating the forbidden fruit at the hands of Satan, the perfect Love union with God was broken. (Gen.3:1-6) Our first parents were banished from Eden and God’s presence. (Gen.3:23-24)

To fully understand the rationale for God’s Love command, there are three realities which forms the essential mindset. It shapes our conviction about God’s primordial Being and nature from which He imagines, acts, and deals with His creation, and from which He cannot shrink away or falter because they are inherent in His divine nature as God. It is from this God-reality that His command sprung to create the human species in His own likeness, and all creation. These three realities about God has remained unchanged and constant from eternity and explained briefly below, with a comprehensive ‘explanatory note’ for each at the end of article. The three divine realities, briefly, are:

Vintage Wtlb Love Art Print
“If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not Love, I am nothing” (1 Cor.13). 
  1. God is the uncreated divine Creator who has existed for eternity without beginning nor end, in absolute power. See Explanatory Note: (a) below.
  2. God’s motivation for all He does is inspired by His Love. Without Love, nothing would exist. The supreme holiness of God cannot be plumbed apart from His absolute and immeasurable Love. See Explanatory Note: (b) below.
  3. God’s Love stems from His divine Triune Being of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Love is never ‘solitary.’ Love is communal as God is plural in His divine Being. See Explanatory Note: (c) below.

It is from the reality and His divine qualities we see above that the following momentous words were uttered by God when He created humanity, “Let us (Father, Son, and Spirit) make mankind in our image, in our likeness” (Gen.1:26, italics mine). It is upon the foundation of these three realities that we attempt to find the rationale for God’s command to “Love Him with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and with all our mind” (Luk.10:7). How do we transpose the Love command across from the divine so mortal humans can internalize it? Recall, this is not an impossible feat, for humanity has lived it once before because he was created for this very purpose. (Gen.1:26-27)

Since humanity was created in God’s likeness, therefore, the three qualities/realities reveal and establish the image commonality between God and mortal humans. That’s to say, when God created humanity in His own likeness, He forever predestined humanity to reflect His own divine realities and qualities. Although humanity lives a fallen state of existence from Adam’s sin, this is only temporary and not permanent, however, his primordial essence with the divine will never be erased or eradicated. Jesus affirmed this truth, saying, “Nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luk.17:21). There’s a two-pronged meaning here. First, it refers to Jesus who was in their midst, and about Christ’s Person who has taken up residence in the heart of humans. Yes, deep down in the wellspring of the human heart we can never escape the reality of who we are in our primordial essence mirroring God’s image in Christ. (Gen.1:26-27; Rom.8:29) Jesus came and saved humanity by removing the cover of sin and rebellion which has blinded humans to their true potential and destiny. (John 3:16, 36; 6:47)

From Adam’s fall, humanity was led to live a lower level of existence from His higher divine purpose and attribute. Mankind was led down the crude path of rebellion against God and His way of life of Love, grace and generosity. They followed Satan’s way of rebellion, fear, self-centeredness, deceit, greed, lust and sin. So, upon reflection, God was reiterating a harmonious episode in human history when God once lived in perfect Love with mankind which was not an impossible dream for humans. It was God’s purpose for creating humanity from the start. In fact, God created a celestial Edenic environment which made it possible for humans to live at a higher level of existence infused by and in God’s Love. By repeating the Love command, He was essentially reminding humanity of the purpose for their creation and what is possible, not impossible. (Gen.1:26-27) Despite humanity’s fall from grace, God’s plan for creating humans in His image will not be impeded but will ultimately prevail. (Hab.2:14)

God created other species, but none was made in God’s likeness. Animals were given instincts which regulated their behavior in a fixed intractable manner as divinely preordained. Fashioned after the divine, humans have a mind with the gift of freedom to choose one way or the other. Since the first divine reality reveals God has everlasting life, thereby, humanity’s destiny is to attain immortality. Paul said, “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality” (1 Cor.15:50-55).

In Eden, God denied our first parents the gift of immortality because of their rebellion and sin. (Gen.3:22) But God had to reset His original plan for humanity by surrendering His Son, so humanity may be saved from sin and death through rebirth by His Spirit (Love) to receive the gift of immortality. (John 3:16-17; John 3:5-7; Rom.8:11) This rescue plan of God speaks of the process of human deification of mankind who was made mortal from the earth in the beginning, “For dust you are and to dust you will return” (Gen.3:17). (To read more on human deification, see “Triune Life” in the appendix below).

“God Is Love” 1 John 4:8. (Wiki Commons)

So, let us be clear on a vital point about God’s Love command. The command to Love God is not about some unique ability humans alone can do for God. God is deficient in nothing, and to imagine humanity holds something that God lacks is nothing short of sacrilegious. Often, we hear people say they want to do something for God as if he/she is doing God a favor. But God lacks nothing, He needs no favors from us. In truth, the Bible says that no one can do anything unless he/she is “given” to do it. Jesus said, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven” (John 3:27; Jam.1:17; Rom.10:14-15). The Jews had boasted of their special status because of their genealogy to the patriarch Abraham, but Jesus said, “And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham” (Matt.3:9). So, humans have nothing of any substance to give to God. But God possesses everything humanity needs. The truth about God’s sufficiency is one of consummate wholeness in His Triune Being that He lacks nothing, nor is He in need of anything. He is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), and omnipresent (ever-present). (Isa.46:9-10; Dan.4:35; Jer.23:23-24) God is Creator and Sustainer of all creation, of both things seen and unseen. If He does not need our love to exist, so why did He command that we Love Him unquestionably? Now, we are unraveling the rationale for His command.

As Creator, God is also Enabler. He is the enabling Father, for Paul said, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose” (Phil.2:13; Luk.11:2). Humans lack the depth and vision to even realize that God’s presence and reality is only a thought away from them. No one can think thoughts without the divine will. So, this raises the human need to be responsible for them (thoughts) before God. (2 Cor.10:5) No thought is hidden from Him. (Psa.139:2; Heb.4:13; Rev.2:23) The human capacity to think, decide, and act upon one’s thoughts, is the property and attribute of the divine realm. French philosopher René Descartes says aptly, “As I think, so I am.” The dismal lack of appreciation in this basic fact of our divinely yoked human persona, shows how distant we have drifted from our primordial Godlike origin since the fall of Adam.

Therefore, the Love command must begin with God who alone can enable humans in His divine ways and will. Humans must not be presumptuous as to imagine he/she holds some tangible resource God needs and cannot do without. Mankind is part of the created, God is the uncreated, how can we imagine we have something apart from what God Himself first conferred upon humans to begin with. Everything about human makeup including intellect, abilities, governance, human resource and power, was endowed by the Creator. Besides, as humans we must understand our position in our fallen condition from Adam’s first sin and the enemy’s resulting beguiling sin-condition under which he has held humanity spellbound and trapped.

So, emotionally and motivationally, we cannot Love God genuinely within our fallen humanity, even if we tried, to say nothing of our human, self-centered, pretentious, and powerless love. What is seen and practiced in human experience that is called love, is self-righteous love. It is love based upon man’s expression in his fallen state of existence which began from the fall of Adam with the evil influence of the devil himself. The enemy’s work is to proffer and advance a counterfeit to God’s Love: fear! Humanity has been led by fear, torment, and rebellion since Adam’s fall. The Bible provides the only answer, “There is no fear in Love. But perfect Love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in Love” (1 John 4:18). Yes, the truth is we lack the divine Love to be able to have a lasting Loving relationship with God. God has a plan to bring man back to his rightful inheritance in creation and His Love.

Paul said, “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money,… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God… For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim.3:2, EST; 2 Tim.3:4; Phi.2:21). So, we are left to wait upon God to enable and bring His Love to us. (Psa.27:14; 25:3) So, for humanity the Love command in Luke is predicated upon God’s enabling humans through the intermediary step of sacrificing His Son who came to rescue and restitute humanity from his fallen sin-condition, and then be given to walk in the newness of Christ’s life in the Spirit’s power – only then can mankind is made to take ownership of the Love command and relate fittingly with God.

Therefore, God’s work of restitution started by giving up His only Son to enter our fallen human condition, to save and restitute mankind for the sake of God’s Love. Through Jesus’ mediatory work as Savior, the gift of God’s Spirit is made available to empower humanity with the Love to follow God’s Love-command. (John 16:7) Paul enlightens us, “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, NLT). So, the rationale for the Love command continues to unfold.

Peaceful Journey - White Dove Peace Art Art Print
The Dove, Symbol of the Holy Spirit who Is the Personification Of God’s Love in Humans (Pixels)

Jesus made reference to this act of Love by God when He said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If He called them gods to whom the Word of God came—Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:34-35). By saying, “You are gods,” Jesus was reaffirming God’s utterance at creation when He said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness” (Gen.1:26). A human is a god because he/she was created in God’s image, and the Bible affirms that Jesus is the one true image of God, and humanity is being conformed to the “image of His Son” (Rom.8:29). Jesus, as God incarnate, is the prophesied Immanuel who entered and took our fallen humanity and glorified it in Himself through His sinless life, sacrificial death, glorious resurrection and ascension. (Matt.1:21-23; Act.26:22-23; Isa.7:14; John 3:16-17)

Through Jesus, God rescues humanity from sin and rebellion, and all the evil proclivities of the human heart that was inherited from Satan through Adam’s fall. Through Jesus, God makes His Holy Spirit of Love available to humans. The Spirit represent God’s divine favor which enables us to Love Him genuinely, thus fulfilling the first Love commandment. The Spirit is the personification of God’s Love and grace in humanity. (Rom.5:5) And the Spirit comes as consequence of Jesus’ mediation as Savior. Peter told the people on that memorable Pentecost day, “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; John 16:7). Humans cannot come to know Jesus truly, and fittingly on a personal level without the Holy Spirit, for both are united and one with the Father in the Triune Godhead. (see explanatory note ‘c’ below; and, 2 Cor.13:14) Thereby, through the Spirit, humans are given the Love and power to follow the divine Love command. There is no other way humans is made to Love God than through His own divine Triune Being.

To Love God in whose likeness humans were framed, is to Love oneself authentically in one’s primordial being mirroring God’s image in His divine attributes. Because of the human image commonality with the divine, Loving God first becomes the only way for humanity to express Love for oneself. The Bible states, “No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it” (Eph.5:29). We have heard experts tell us that we must Love ourselves first before we can Love others appropriately. And that is true, but the method is questionable and dubious, because the true way of Loving yourself authentically is to Love God first and absolutely. The Love command was God’s way of enabling humans to Love themselves justly, not selfishly. We cannot genuinely Love our fellow humans without Loving ourselves honorably by first Loving God absolutely. If you are given a command to Love Someone who is the reflection of yourself in every way, doesn’t that make it easier to Love that Someone? Of course! That is the premise and rationale from which God gives us His command to Love Him unquestionably.

So, it would make every sense to say, the more we Love God in the Spirit’s power, the more we love ourselves ethically and honorably. By giving us the command to Love Him absolutely, He was setting His sight upon us, not Him. God lacks nothing. He is infinitely generous, and wants nothing less for mankind. The Love command was God’s way of enabling humans to Love themselves impartially by not loving egotistically. When we Love God absolutely, He Loves us completely, and infuses us with His unspeakable joy. Joy comes from a place of discovery of a person’s true celestial identity with and in the divine. That my friends, was and is the only rationale for the Love command.

Renowned theologian Thomas F. Torrance said this about God’s Love, “For in refusing to spare His Son whom He delivered up for us all, God has revealed that He Loves us more than He Loves Himself.” (The Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons, by T. F. Torrance). Can you imagine a God who Loves you more than He Loves Himself? We have read about pagan gods that demanded human sacrifice from hapless worshipers, and other forms of carnage against humanity like wars, bloodshed, and genocide. These are redundant lackeys from the dark world of evil, inwardly driven and inordinately self-absorbed. (Duet.12:31; Lev.18:21) But we serve the true Creator God who has never stopped Loving mankind, and would not spare any pains to prove His Love for us. And I ask, how much would it take to Love Someone with such an outgoing disposition for humanity and for you personally? I leave that question for you to contemplate and meditate upon. His undying Love was upon us, and He could not give a greater command to prove His Love for us above Himself!

It would not be in keeping with our primordial essence to regard the Love command purely from a humanistic self-centered posture of ‘us verses them’ as if God is trying to extort every ounce of loyalty from humans. That is furthermost from God’s mind for we have seen He is entirely self-sufficient in His Triune Being, and has no need whatsoever from us. (Deut.10:14; Job 41:11; Psa.50:12) Humans have been brought up with the self-centered mindset because they live and have been motivated by the spirit of fear and sin in this world that has been largely influenced by the devil. Rather, the Love-command is founded upon the essence of the primordial commonality of the divine and mortal humanity, so when the Love command becomes a Love relationship life becomes a joy to live, not a burden. The Love command is a burden only to those who imagine it as a legalistic demand from God. This is not about obedience through legalism, but loyalty through Love in all its wonder and mystery. And ultimately it is about you as a person who is lovably treasured in the eyes of God. (Psa.17:8; Eph.2:4; John 3:16; Gen.1:26-27) The divine Love energy is manifested in human form, and inevitably breaks through and overcomes every barrier and whatever adversity and ushers in the mystery of divine unity in the Love of the Triune Being of God and with our fellow humans. (Matt.22:37-40) Hopefully, our eyes are opening up to the rationale for the Love command.

The Art Print featuring the painting The Death Of Jesus by Tissot
Self-Sacrifice – A Love Above Self (Pixels)

God, being Himself of the very substance of Love, knows no other way to relate with humanity but in Love. John was inspired to write, “And so we know and rely on the Love God has for us. God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16). The Bible proclaims, “The people I treasure most are the humble–they depend only on Me (Love) and who fear and obey Me (Love)” (Isa.66:2, italics my emphasis). That’s to say, God is seeking a Love relationship with humanity He made in His image. (1 John 4:8) In the passage prior to this verse, God says He is not seeking a material temple building from us (something we imagine we can give and do God a favor), but instead He seeks a living temple of the human heart which is built upon the human free will where we choose to Love Him unquestionably. (Isa.66:1-2; also Isa.57:15-16; 1 Cor.3:16) This Love relationship is a matter of the human will given out of freedom, faith, trust, joy and Love. (Heb.11:6; Prov.3:5-6; Psa.37:3-6; Isa.66:2)

If God’s Love is so overpoweringly selfless, then our rationale must also delve into the very essence of God’s Love – the very substance of which He is composed in His divine nature. (1 John 4:8) Remember, we are dealing with the substance of the divine that has existed eternally without a beginning, and will continue with no end. So, to know God truly is to know the power of His Love. Love is never self-centered or self-indulgent, but is forever moving in an outgoing and other-centered motion. In short, Love is the only substance that is inherently miraculous rebounding and automatically accelerating outwards and brings overflowing life and vibrancy to all living things. Conversely, fear and rebellion recede and disintegrate inwards and bring corruption, ugliness, pain, and death. These are the two forces which God in His sovereign rule makes allowance for in the universe. But God assures us His Love will triumph over destruction and death, saying through Paul, “But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rom.5:20).

Just as the two forces exist in our physical world, so in the spiritual realm, with God’s Love energy functioning as the overarching mantle which brings equilibrium in all creation. God’s Love is expressed in humanity through Jesus who is our High Priest who holds all power and authority. Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me” (Matt.28:18). Paul said that God “Raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now He is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made Him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is His body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself” (Eph.1:19-23).

For how else can we explain the complexities of all life forms upon earth, and the limitless universe with its even more complex existence. It can only be explained because God in His outgoing Loving Presence radiate and give off the energy and substance of life which fills and cover the whole universe like a mantle. The prophet Jeremiah said this, “Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” says the LORD” (Jer.23:24). Another translation renders this, “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.” Yes, God’s very substance is the essence of life in His Love which fills everything everywhere, including our very person as human beings. (read Psa.139) And to imagine that God our Father created us – you and I – to reflect Him in His eternal Love, is truly an astounding and sobering thought to even ponder.

Adam and Eve Banished From Eden (Wiki Commons)

Therefore, it is not farfetched that in relation to the human experience, His selfless Love would rebound miraculously like a boomerang, so that the more we Love God the more He Loves us – for we are all one Being through His divine likeness. The more God Loves us, the more we Love God. In our image commonality, the more we Love God the more we Love ourselves and all humanity appropriately and selflessly. The Bible gives us a peek into this Love-miracle which moves in the life of humans, saying, “He who waters others, will himself be watered” (Pro.11:25, NASB). This speaks of a generosity that comes through self-sacrifice, a vital fruit of Love. Yes, God’s Love is intuitively miraculous that it rebounds subliminally and blesses those who are exercised by it. Jesus attest to the same miraculous action in God’s Love, this time as it relates to a vital fruit of God’s Love: mercy: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matt.5:7; 1 Cor.13:1, 4). The Bible speaks about abundance, “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then He will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine” (Pro.3:9-10). Once again the grace of honor and generosity is emphasized here, not materialism and greed.

Concerning human destiny and immortality, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me has eternal life” (John 6:47, KJV). Further, He said the person who receives Him “has crossed from death to life” (John 5:24). Through faith in Jesus, humans receive God’s Love and answers the eternal question of ‘divine image’ uttered at creation. (John 3:16; Gen.1:26-27; Rom.8:29) Jesus is the personfication of God’s Love in mankind who miraculously deify humans with the gift of immortality which He initiated by His own human resurrection and ascension. Paul said, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Phi.4:13).

Let’s be mindful how Jesus framed the Love command. Contingent upon the command to Love God absolutely, Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luk.10:27). In other words, we cannot genuinely Love our fellow humans without Loving ourselves honorably by first Loving God absolutely. Yes, God’s Love miraculously rebounds and makes our relationships with other humans grow and flourish in His divine purpose. This is the way to Love our fellow humans unselfishly and truly wholeheartedly. Any other way is pretentious and hollow. John tells us this, “Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16). Yes, in that powerful and compelling scripture we see the rationale for God’s Love command. What we see here is the temple existence where God and humanity live for eternity in Love.

Jesus Inaugurated Human Immortality Through His Own Resurrection (Wiki Commons)

The Spirit makes it possible for humans to Love God unquestionably and makes the divine realities our own as we pursue and live by His Love-likeness in our mortal and subsequent immortal life. God promises to protect those who Love Him faithfully, saying, “The LORD says, “I will rescue those who Love Me. I will protect those who trust in My Name. When they call on Me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them My salvation” (Psa.91:14-16, NLT). Jesus promised, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27, NLT).

Humanity’s final destiny is immortality in Jesus’ image. (Rom.8:29) John says this to us, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2; Rom.8:29; 1 Cor.13:12) Humanity will finally be made a people of one substance of Love with the Triune God in Christ, with identical spiritual attributes in the Father.

Mankind will become the temple of Love for the living God to dwell, and vice versa – humanity will find their true home in God (Love). (1 John 4:16) Peter said this of humanity’s oneness with God in Christ, “You are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple” (1 Pet.2:5). Humanity will be given dominion over the earth with Jesus forever. (Rev.22:5; Gen.1:26-29) In God’s future millennial dominion over earth, mortal humans will come to God’s temple to worship and learn about God and the true destiny of humans, and will reign in Love over all the dominions of earth with Christ forever. (Rev. 20:6). The Bible gives us this prophecy about that future time, “Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isa.2:3; Rev.20:6). What a glorious future awaits humanity.

Universe Wall Art - Photograph - Earth Sunrise Deep Space by Johan Swanepoel
“Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord. (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. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven at His Father’s side 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 this prayer 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 temple for God’s dwelling:

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

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.”

Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s 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.

(Explanatory Notes:

  • (a) The first reality is the deity of God who is Creator and lives in absolute power and rules His creation with Love and wisdom. (Isa.46:9) He is eternal without beginning of days, nor end. The Bible says, “From everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psa.90:2). Yes, God’s primordial divine existence reflects His ultimate reality. He is the Originator of the vast universe, the earth, and all forms of life, be it spiritual, physical, material, and the source of humanity’s purpose and ultimate immortality. Since God is the Creator, then He is the uncreated eternal Being. He has always existed Personifying all the qualities of His Godness through His Love. That is the first aspect of God’s reality – He is the uncreated Creator who is Spirit and has always existed from eternally in absolute power, without beginning and without end.
  • (b) The second reality of existence is the answer to the question – what was God’s motivation behind His creative works and all creation? Whatever God’s motivation reveals will reveal His underlying divine nature. That is, He becomes what He is by nature. Therefore, His creation, in whatever form, is motivated by who He is in His divine nature. Thus, all of creation is the reflection of His divine attributes. God reveals Himself as a God who is Love in His divine nature, and because Love motivates all He does and creates, God is a “giver” not “taker.” God is generous, not greedy. God is other-centered, not self-centered. Therefore, God is the “Giver of life” (Psa.104:30;1 John 4:8, 16; Psa.103:17) God is inter-mutual in His Triune Being, never autonomous. His supreme holiness cannot be plumbed apart from His absolute and immeasurable Love. The second reality is God’s motivation as Creator is His holy divine nature of Love, that is, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8).
  • (c) The third reality is to answer as to why God’s nature and motivation is Love in the first place? The answer is because God has revealed Himself not as a ‘solitary’ God, but a Trinity. By revealing His trinitarian Being He reveals Himself in the three hypostasis of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit existing in their Love for and in Each other. (Eph.4:4-6; Jud.1:20-21; Matt.28:18-20) Thus, God’s motivation of Love can exist only because of God’s plural nature in three Persons of the Trinity sharing their existence of Love with and in Each Other. Love cannot survive in a being who is “solitary.” Love is communal as God is plural. God created humans to have Love relationships similar to the relationships that exist for eternity within the Triune Being of God. When God created humanity, He said, “Let Us (Father, Son, and Spirit) make mankind in Our image, in Our likeness” (Gen.1:26). Existing in three hypostases, they are united in Love so the act of one is the act of three, and the act of three is the act of one. The third reality is God exists in His Tri-Personal Being in the Father, Son, and Spirit, who exist in one substance of Love, thus, making Love their underlying motivation, and everything else they do as acts of holiness within the Triune Godhead.)

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. Be strong in the Lord’s joy, and Love Him completely.

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)

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 Ttinity (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. 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 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.

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LIVING THE THREE 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 resources. 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. These freedoms are protected in universal charters supported mainly by the United Nations and other institutions. Dominion means the human identity that’s distinct to a nation, tribe, ethnicity, culture, language, etc. It is usually geographical. Physical resources means the material riches, tangible or otherwise, that’s particular to a dominion and enjoyed by its people.

No matter who we are, or whatever our nationality or color, wherever we live, these three attributes defines our commonality as humans. Without any one of these three attributes humans cease to enjoy having a substantive and meaningful existence as humans. 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 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.

The history of mankind has shown how peoples have disregarded these God-conferred attributes, sadly, to humanity’s detriment and untold suffering. 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. When God created humans, He not only gave us free-will to choose, but supplied us His nature of Love to guide our liberties so we will not misuse much less abuse our prerogatives. God did this so humanity will show respect and honor for each other in these three attributes that God has so richly blessed peoples the world over. In short, God wanted humans to Love others as they Love themselves. (Gal.5:14) If everyone did that, individually and collectively, the ‘golden rule’ would form the cornerstone of our relationships: “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).

But humanity has disregarded their Maker’s Love and rebelled against His Loving will. Of all species created by God, only humans are given the mind with the freedom to choose 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. Of all species, only humans have lived in rebellion to his Maker. Why is this?  This can be explained through the three mandates given to humanity at creation.

Icon of The Trinity by Rublev (Wiki Commons)

In the beginning when creating humans, God gave mankind three mandates to live by which would guide them in their relationship with God and with other humans and the world around them. The three mandates are found in the Book of Genesis which records human creation. They are: 1. the ‘Triune Love mandate,’ 2. the ‘dominion mandate,’ and 3. the ‘helper mandate,’ Let me expound on each in relation to three ascents (steps), depicting God’s Tri-Personal Being in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, with each dovetailing into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity. (Matt.28:18-20) Through the ascents we can understand the dynamic of the human spirit in relation to God’s Spirit, where humanity has gone astray, and make the necessary changes in relationship with His Maker and his fellow humans.

Ascent 1: Triune Love Mandate – The Father: The first ascent is centered in God the Father. The “Triune Love Mandate” speaks of the purpose of human creation in relation to mankind’s primordial nature at creation. 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).

So, God created humans in His image. 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!

“God Is Love” (Wiki Commons)

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) 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).

To ‘baptize’ means to ‘induct’ into the life of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, or in short, the Trinity. Recall what God said at creation, He said, “Let Us…Our image…Our likeness.” This highlights the plurality of God’s Trinitarian divine nature. 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 God, but Is the Triune Godhead in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He is not three Gods, but One God. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

Besides fulfilling His mission as mankind’s Savior and Redeemer, Jesus came to reveal the true nature of God, that God is His Father, and He is His Son. He told the disciples at the last supper before His death upon His cross, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going” (John 14:1-4).

The disciples were puzzled, so Thomas asked, “Lord, we don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the way?” (John 14:5). Then Jesus replied, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you really know Me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him” (John 14:6-7). The disciples were even more perplexed now, primarily because of the novelty of Jesus’ teaching of God the Father, as their view of God was derived from and grounded in Judaism. God the Father is a central tenet of Christian theology. The Jewish concept of God is that God is non-corporeal, transcendent and immanent, the ultimate source of love, and a metaphorical “Father.” Jesus taught that God is the real and true Father of mankind, not a metaphorical Father. So Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” (John 14:8).

Jesus reply was one of the most important He ever made in revealing the Father to the disciples and His followers, “Don’t you know Me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 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. Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it” (John 14:9-14).

Here, Jesus was revealing the Triune nature of God, “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 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. Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me” (John 14:9-11). Jesus cannot be separated from the Father because they consist in one substance of Love, One Godhead with the Spirit. When He taught the disciples to pray, He opened His prayer with the words, “Our Father…” (Matt.6:9). Today, as believers we take God as our Father for granted, but it was not so in the time of Jesus where people live under the teaching of the Jewish leaders.

Then, at the point of death when the Jewish council charged Jesus with blasphemy for claiming to be the Son of God, He was unjustly sentenced to death. In a prior encounter with the Jewish leaders about this touchy subject, Jesus told them, “Do you say of Him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe Me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me and I am in the Father” (John 10:36-38). Even then, He maintained His mission to proclaim the truth of the Fatherhood of God in His Triune existence.

The members of the Jewish Sanhedrin were looking for any reason to put Jesus to death. They did not believe Jesus’ claim of being the Son of God as consisting of one Godhead, but their disbelief did not mean Jesus made an untrue statement. He was asked a direct question, and He gave a forthright answer. Even at His last moments of death, He prayed for His tormentors, saying, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” He continued, “Father, why have You forsaken Me?” Then finally, He called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit. When He had said this, He breathed His last” (John 19:30; Luk.23:46). Until His final breadth, Jesus never shrunk from His commitment to declare God as His Father, and our Father. (Matt.26:63-66; John 20:17)

Author Jon Tal Murphree gives us a profound description on how the divine nature of the Triune God in the three Persons exists in the divine pattern of the Triune Life, “Each Person of the Trinity transposes Himself into the others without confusing His own personality with the Others…. the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other.” (Pg.29, “The Trinity and Human Personality”). Murphree gave us a succinct explanation of God’s Triune nature, “the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other” showing God is indivisibly One in His Triune Nature.

Yet, Each Person of the Trinity is distinctly gifted and free Person manifesting unique Love-tasks that are special to Each Person within the Godhead. They live freely as Personalities , or as theologians would precisely render as hypostasis, but united in One Godhead. And herein we discover the origin of human freedom – the cradle of human freedom springs from the very divine nature of the Godhead consisting in three free Persons. It is also from the Godhead that multitude of human gifts and talents spring forth to emphasize our human freedoms, imitating the different Personalities of the Tri-Personal Being of God.

So, we see God’s divine nature of Love as having a flip side – freedom! Therefore, freedom and Love are flip sides of the same divine nature of God. Within their collective freedom are three gifted Personalities. So, our freedoms come with the responsibility to Love God and our fellow humans through our divinely-conferred gifts. For the two characteristics, Love and Freedom, are indivisibly one! There is no Love without freedom, and no freedom without Love, for they are one and the same. The Bible says, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through Love serve one another” (Gal.5:13; 2 Cor.3:17).

Word freedom. From the old dictionary, a close up
Freedom – The Flip Side Of God’s Divine Love-Nature (Stockvault)

The heart of the Triune Love Mandate speaks of the message of the deification of mankind. What does that mean? You may read my appendix below under the heading Triune Life* for a complete commentary on what ‘deification’ mean. In a nutshell, the Bible tells us this about deification, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality” (1 Cor.15:51-53; 1 Thess.4:16-18). Yes, mankind’s ultimate destiny is to be made immortal (deified) conforming to the image of Jesus who took our fallen humanity, saved and immortalized (restituted) and presented it before the Father. (Rom.8:29-30; Act.3:19-21, KJV)

Humanity become God’s children because we have a God who is a Loving Father, and Jesus is God’s Spokesman, our Loving Savior and elder Brother, while the Spirit is our Loving Friend and Helper who enters human life to manifest God’s Love, freedom, and power. (John 20:17; John 3:16; Rom.5:5) They act indivisibly as One Triune God. Paul’s parting benediction upon the Corinthian church was, “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).

I have dwelt on the topic of God’s divine nature at some length for a vitally noble and consequential reason. That is, our concept of God is pivotal to our spiritual health, besides our physical well-being, I might add, and ultimately for humanity’s eternal destiny. Can we profess to believe in and follow the teachings of the Bible, while our concept of God’s nature is incorrect and unquestionably misleading? This is fundamentally important because the right concept of God and His divine nature will shape everything we read and understand about Him in the Bible. All our assumptions and conceptions are faulty if our concept of Him is equally flawed from the start. It is from this conceptual foundation of God’s true nature that we form every aspect of our understanding of the Bible and its teaching, and our eternal destiny.

The Bible says, “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known” (John 1:18). Many times, humans and believers present a concept of God sitting solitarily and remotely alone on His throne, passing judgment and exercising control over our lives. Jesus corrected that image and showed God to be a relational Being who is our Loving Father in His Trinitarian nature. In His Love for mankind, He did not spare His Son, but gave Him up for our salvation. That is the kind of God we are talking about. He never stops Loving mankind, and would not spare any pains to prove His Love for us.

The Bible makes a plea for our understanding as to the greatness of God’s Love for each one of us personally, saying, “That Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s Love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His Love is. May you experience the Love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God” (Eph.3:17-19). How awesome and how personal to each of us the Father’s Love is!

“God Is Love” 1 John 4:8 (Wiki Commons)

The proper concept of God as the Loving Triune God stands in contrast to the view of the ‘solitary’ God. This solitary life of fallen humanity was inherited from Satan resulting from Adam’s rebellion and sin in Eden. From that time forth, humanity’s journey throughout the earth and his relationship with fellow humans and especially with God has been dictated and crafted in his ‘solitary’ mindset, philosophy, and resulting self-centered way of life. This is exactly the opposite from the ‘trinitarian’ perspective that is based upon God’s Triune Love and outgoing way of life. (You may want to read my blog on “Loving God First” at: http://bulamanriver.net/11833 and http://bulamanriver.net/12043 )

I wish to share a parable given by Jesus, which I would like to apply here. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven (God) is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” (Matt.13:44, italics mine). The kingdom of heaven is essentially about God, and if it is, then it begins with the true concept of God. That “treasure” is our knowledge and understanding of God as revealed in the Bible. Therefore, our concept of God is a “treasure” which we ought to be willing to pay whatever price to procure. For it is from this wellspring that all things relating to God and His purpose blossom and grow spiritually for humanity. And our collective responsibility in the areas of our human freedom, dominion, and indigenous resource, will be generated by the influence of His divine Triune Love.  

Ascent 2: Dominion Mandate – Jesus Christ: The second ascent is centered in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The “dominion 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 Psalmist repeats humanity’s dominion, “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 over God’s creation and by extension earth’s other resources.  

Ambitious people have driven themselves to great lengths motivated by the “dominion mandate” to do great things upon this earth. (Gen. 1:2628Ps. 8:6-8). Whether they are all good and done in the service of all, or for human harm, is the burning question. In the exercise of human dominion upon earth, we do so under God, for He is Creator. 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 such. (1 Pet.4:10). If we were to let history be the judge, we will have to say that much harm than good has flowed under the river of time in our human history. The history of humanity concerning the God-given dominion of people has been one where people’s freedoms have been trampled on with impunity. Thus, we are reminded of God’s Love which can never be divorced from His freedom which cannot be applied without the other for they are one and the same.

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 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’s dominion. 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 is facing serious environmental issues which threaten life as we know it upon this earth. Issues like the choking pollution of our air, water, oceans and land, of climate change, deforestation of the tropical rain forest, the melting of the polar ice-caps and rising sea levels, the loss of earth’s biodiversity, to name a few. Mankind has obviously not done a good job of maintain and keeping our only collective dominion and home – this earth.  

File:As08-16-2593.jpg
Earth, the Blue Marble, Given for Mankind’s Dominion Under Christ (By NASA, Photo of Earth From Apollo 8)

In the final analysis, God has determined that dominion of this earth has been given to the human who will do what is necessary to save it from destruction – 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. (Rev.11:18) Today, Jesus sits glorified at the Father’s right hand in heaven as mankind’s Savior and Mediator. (Mar.16:19; Heb.10:12; Psa.110:1) At the climax of human dominion and civilization in the Book of Revelation, 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).

There is an all-important proviso we must not omit to take away as it relates to our fellow humans and how we are to relate with each other concerning the dominion mandate. The dominion mandate was given with a stipulation we may have overlooked and ignored to our detriment and harm. The dominion mandate covers God’s created species and resources, however, humanity is never mentioned in the context of this mandate. The text we read above is crystal clear on this point. That means, there is a separate mandate concerning how we relate with our fellow humans.

What then should govern human to human relationship. Paul gives us a peek which we will cover in depth later in the helper mandate. He told the Romans, “Owe no man anything, except the debt of Love” (Rom. 13:8; Gal. 6:2, KJV). 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. We must be willing to do the same for each other.

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

Therefore, humans are subjects of God’s dominion (kingdom) under Christ, not man’s self-driven, self-imposed, solitary, dominion. 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 mandate when we try to include humans when there is no mention of humans in the dominion mandate.

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 mandate.”

Ascent 3: Helper Mandate – Holy Spirit: The third ascent is centered in the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Triune Godhead. What is the helper mandate? Like the previous two mandates, this third 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 mandate’ may be contrived and carried out. However, Adam was alone. Then God created the second human upon earth, and with that the helper mandate was born.This is how the 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).

In short, the helper mandate helps regulate the ‘dominion mandate’ where humans are prevented from exercising dominion over another human, but rather become “helpers” of one another in their God-given dominion upon earth.

Utilizing Our Gifts and Talents As Helpers (Wiki Commons)

Whenever we read the 23rd Psalm, we are reading the King Jesus’ philosophy of being a Helper in His rulership over His dominion. (Psa.23:1-6 – “The Lord id My Shepherd”) So, God is first a Helper and calls upon humanity to imitate His likeness. (Gen.1:26-27)

Even though this passage from Genesis concerning the “helper mandate” is often quoted on matrimonial occasions between a man and woman, nonetheless, it applies to every human being, regardless of who they are in relation to sex, race, language, nationality, culture, and whatever walk in life. Recall, that Eve was the only “next” human after Adam with whom the helper mandate can be applied. Be that as it may, it must be appreciated that it is from the foundation of families proceeding from the matrimonial bond of a man and a woman, that humans are raised from childhood to become “helpers” in the larger human society. But why was the helper mandate established first through the marriage union? Paul gives us insight and has this to say to husbands, “Husbands ought to Love their wives as their own bodies. He who Loves his wife Loves himself” (Eph.5:28). What was Paul saying? When God made Eve, He did not create her separately like He did with Adam directly from the soil of the earth, no. God took Eve from Adam’s side or rib. (Gen.2:18-23)

Thereby, all of humanity proceeded from Adam’s single creation through Eve. Therefore, by extension every human is indivisibly part of the greater humanity, and our own bodies proceed from the single creation of Adam. This shows that God created humanity to reflect Himself, where He is One in three hypostasis in the Father, Son and Spirit. Each reinforce the oneness or unity of God. Therefore, when we help other humans, we are in effect helping our self. 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 of our ‘hypostatic’ union consisting of one humanity from Adam, that the helper mandate springs forth. 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. 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.”

The Dove – Symbol of The Holy Spirit Who Empowers Humanity to Be Helpers (Wiki Commons)

What does the helper mandate call upon our common humanity to do? First, let us read how the Jesus Himself has showed us the example of the Helper. In line with the 23rd Psalm, Jesus told His listeners, “I am the good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd sacrifices His life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so, the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd; I know My own sheep, and they know Me, just as my Father knows Me and I know the Father.

“So, I sacrifice My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to My voice, and there will be one flock with one Shepherd. The Father Loves Me because I sacrifice My life so I may take it back again. No one can take My life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what My Father has commanded.” (John 10:11-18) So, the helper mandate is founded upon the principle of ‘self-sacrifice,’ and self-sacrifice is the heartbeat of the divine Love-nature of God. And the Son of God led the way by sacrificing Himself for our redemption.

How does God manifest Jesus’ helper mandate in humanity? Jesus gave the answer when He said to His disciples, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). What Jesus meant was the Helper was the Holy Spirit who would come and empower humanity to become true helpers in His mold. Jesus said, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you” (John13:15; also 1 Pet.2:21).

Jesus said humans must go through a rebirth in the Spirit to live the Triune Life and manifest the three mandates. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God” (experience the God-Life at the Triune level) (John 3:3, italics mine). For emphasis Jesus repeats Himself, “No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5). Paul said this of the Spirit, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5).

So, we see the Spirit is the very Personification of God’s divine nature (Love) and power in humans. It is He who liberates and enables the Helper Mandate in mankind. He also inspires the other two mandates in us. When Jesus said “If I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you,” it presumes specific events to take precedent like His sacrifice (death), resurrection, ascension, and office of our heavenly High Priest, which gives passage for the Helper (Spirit) to come and indwell humanity as God’s very temple. Paul uttered a profound statement about the Triune Life, when he said, “Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16; 6:19).  

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

The Spirit enters and live in the temple of saved humanity and empowers them with the fruits of Love. It is through the fruits of the Spirit that we make the helper mandate come to reality in humanity. What are these fruits? Paul teaches us by way of his letter to the Corinthians. We utilize the Love-fruits of the Spirit in the exercise of the helper mandate through our divinely-conferred talents and gifts each person is born with. Like Joseph of the Bible, our dreams (gift/calling/work) will always be consistent with God’s purpose for each of us. We perceive and achieve our dreams by living the Triune Life of God through the dynamic of the three mandates.

As we will see, God reveals to us clearly what Love means in the expression of its fruits, so we are without excuse. We see this revealed to us in 1 Corinthians 13.  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.5:22-23; Rom.12:9-21) You may go to: http://bulamanriver.net/9199 to find the Spirit’s Love-fruits and their antithesis to help us see at a glance the work of the Spirit as opposed to the fruits (works) of the enemy. Think about and meditate on these fruits and see how you and I can exercise the helper mandate through them.

Words To Live By Love Art Print
Love Is… (Pixels)

4th Ascent “Triune Life Mandate” – Humanity: the Triune Life Mandate is centered in humanity. It is where the three mandates and human life intersect. It is where the dynamic of human life and the spiritual energy of the Tri-Personal Being of God come together in the bond of Love, and so fulfill our responsibilities to the three attributes common to our humanity: to honor other humans because they are made in God’s Love-image, to respect their freedoms and rights, and to be faithful and honest stewards of the resources our Maker has blessed all peoples.

The three Love relationships we saw in the three mandates comes alive where God engages humanity and takes the human mind and spirit to new levels of creativity. In short, a person experiences what it means to be reborn in the power of the Spirit. The first manifestation is one of sheer joy which springs from engaging God in the fullness of His Love and we’re made to reach out to our fellow humans in the flow of Christ’s Love in the areas of people’s freedoms, dominion, and resources.

The 4th Ascent is about God bringing the three mandates which reflect the divine Love energies through the presence of the Spirit. (Rom.5:5) So, the Triune Life Mandate is the constant flow of the divine Love energy of God from the three Persons of the Godhead into humanity energizing us to find God’s will for our lives and making it a reality through the three mandates. In short, it is the miraculous life that is lived at the human level in the power of God’s Love to fulfill our responsibilities in the three attributes of freedom, dominion, and indigenous resource. This is the activity of deification even in our human fleshly existence. Paul explains it succinctly, “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image” (2 Cor.3:18; also 1 Cor. 13:12; Rom.8:29).

The Triune Life Is The Expression of The Three Persons of the Trinity In Humanity (Wiki Commons)

Yes, fundamentally humanity’s conformity with the Triune God at the primordial level is only made possible by man’s compliance to the three mandates through a surrendered life to Jesus in the Spirit’s power and Love. But God has not left this awesome divine purpose in humans to do on his own. He understands our fallen state of being which came through Adam and Eve’s rebellion from the start is an insurmountable hurdle to mankind. He knows that in our deceived and sinful state, we are blindly led by Satan who stands as the barrier between man and God. Satan introduced rebellion and brought fear and sin as a way of life. This has blinded humanity to the Love of God hidden in the deep recess of their being. Jesus taught the disciples, “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luk.17:21). Yes, God had placed the reflection and image of His kingdom in mankind at creation, but Satan has blinded humanity through deception and sin starting with Adam. How can humanity defeat this crafty and evil unseen enemy? He has given that responsibility of bringing humanity from the path of destruction into true life to His Son, the second Adam, Jesus. (1 Cor. 15:45) You will read about Jesus’ role as Savior and Mediator of humanity, at: http://bulamanriver.net/15813.

Through Jesus, as the second Person of the Triune Godhead, He opens the way for the Holy Spirit, the third Person in the Godhead, to enter our fallen world saved by Jesus, to unite Himself with humanity and defeat Satan and fulfill the provisions of the three mandates as God had predestined for mankind from creation. Humans are now back on track to the path of becoming divine offspring of the Almighty. (You may read of humanity’s new birth in the Holy Spirit at: http://bulamanriver.net/10075)

On a human personal level, the Helper Mandate becomes the dominant feature of the Triune Life we live in the 4th Ascent. The preliminary Triune Love and Dominion Mandates are preparatory steps which energizes the Helper Mandate in humanity. Jesus reiterated man’s helper mandate when He said we are to “Love our neighbors as we Love ourselves” (Mark 12:31). Paul does the same and encouraged the Corinthians, saying we are “helpers of your joy” (2 Cor. 1:24, KJV). He goes on to say, “Owe no man anything, except the debt of Love” (Rom. 13:8Gal. 6:2, KJV).  

When humanity has fundamentally conformed himself to God’s primordial Triune Love nature through the three mandates, humans can now rule all creation under Christ as God would have him.

Having said all of the above, let me conclude with the following. The most basic and pivotal knowledge a person must have is to understand God is Trinitarian. The mention of the name of God, must always convey His Loving Tri-Personal Being in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is from this vantage point that we see God, out of Love and sheer generosity of His divine Triune Being chose to reproduce Himself by creating a species who can freely choose to follow His outgoing way of Love, joy, and generosity. Thus, all our human interaction with others will find their just and proper place as it concerns people’s freedom, dominion, and their indigenous resources. We continue to live by and are sustained by His Triune Love image when Jesus instructed the disciples before He ascended back to His Father in heaven, to induct humanity in the life of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:18-20)

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. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven at His Father’s side 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 this prayer 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 temple for God’s dwelling:

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

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.”

Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s eternal Family. (1 Tim.6:19) Then keep in touch with God’s Word for you by 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 and your Loved ones 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 take the place of sinful humanity to save mankind from sin and death for the express purpose of deification. (Matt.1:23; Rom.3:10-12, 18, 23; John 3:16) 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 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. 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 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 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 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


SPIRITUAL CORONAVIRUS IS REAL TOO, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings Friends everywhere! Today the whole world is held in a grip of fear by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. This is not the first pandemic to grip the world, there have been various pandemics in the past. See chart below:

The History of Pandemics by Death Toll
As humans have spread across the world, so have infectious diseases. Even in this modern era, outbreaks are nearly constant, though not every outbreak reaches pandemic level as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has. Today’s visualization outlines some of history’s most deadly pandemics, from the Antonine Plague to the current COVID-19 event.

Physical virus which brings on sickness and death has a spiritual counterpart. The spiritual virus is called, sin. Just as the current Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) originate from a non-human source reportedly in China, so did the spiritual virus of sin. It started with the devil who has no affinity with humanity but is an evil spirit who seeks to destroy mankind. (1 Pet.5:8) However, God allows certain events to linger within His sovereign will. And we pray He will open our eyes to His will – both individually and collectively. God’s purpose in humanity will prevail. One of God’s purpose for creating humanity is that we become “helpers” of one another. Jesus, God’s very Son and the second Adam, came and showed humanity the way. The first Adam had taken mankind astray by following Satan in Eden. How can humanity defeat this crafty and evil unseen enemy who infect us with sin with the equally unseen Coronavirus? (Gen.3:1-7, 11, 23-24; 1 Cor.15:45; Rom.5:18-19) Humanity was created in God’s image and Love-likeness. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:8) Anything, whether it is physical or spiritual, which seeks to destroy humanity finds its source in the enemy of humanity, the devil. Both the physical and spiritual viruses are related. The physical cannot be divorced from the spiritual.

The cure for the spiritual virus of sin is God’s Love. The divine Love is the vaccines that cures humanity. God’s Love is expressed in humanity through God’s Son whom He surrendered to become our Savior. (John 3:16-17) Jesus walked this earth and cured every form of sickness and disease to show God’s Love for humanity. All diseases begin with sin, or can be traced back to sin. The Bible states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23). That’s to say, humanity is infected with the spiritual virus (sin) without exception. But we have been cured when God surrendered His Son, who is the spiritual vaccine for the spiritual virus. Humans are cured by placing their faith in the cure God has provided in His Son. The Bible says this about Jesus, “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about Him spread all over Syria, and people brought to Him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and He healed them” (Matt.4:23-24; Act.10:38; Isa.53:4-5).

The cure for the physical Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) is the vaccine that is yet to be discovered. God’s miraculous Love move humans to find the antidote to defeat this virus. Its discovery will be an act of Love by those who are called to make the invention as they are inspired by God through His Spirit (Love). (Rom.5:5) Today, on an individual person to person basis, we are called upon to Love our fellow humans through measures we take to help contain this virus.

Experts say that unlike previous pandemics the contagious nature of the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) has not only spread widely and rapidly but has upended every aspect of people’s lives in ways large and small. So much so, that the term “social distancing” has become a byword in the effort to limit the spread of the virus. The term means: children are no longer attending school; people are working from home where possible; others are no longer able to work where businesses has been severely affected, like the travel and associated industry; social and public gathering is limited or discouraged altogether, this includes closure of bars and restaurants, including sports stadiums and entertainment events. Travel by planes and other public forms of transportation has more or less ceased altogether through travel bans. In drastic situations, “lock-downs” (confinement) of towns and cities have become a necessary inconvenience for millions. The economic impact is immense, so much so that a recession seems inevitable.

God’s nature is Love, and thereby “social distancing” indirectly maligns and is an affront to His communal trinitarian Love-nature. (1 John 4:8; 1 Cor.13) Thereby, we pray for God’s intervention in this dire and urgent life and death situation. Author Jon Tal Murphree gives us in succinct and profound description on how the divine nature of Triune God in the three Persons exists in the divine pattern of the Triune Life, “Each Person of the Trinity transposes Himself into the others without confusing His own personality with the Others…the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other.” (Pg.29, “The Trinity and Human Personality”). So, God is not about “social distancing” and isolation, but is about union, oneness, interdependence and relationships. Humans were created to become one inseparable humanity, like God is three Persons but indivisibly One God. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

Notwithstanding the negative effect of social distancing, we can do things so we are not isolated from each by any means. We can stay connected through constant communication by phone, through Skype and Facebook, and other means. We must pray the evil curse of this Coronavirus will be stopped at its tracks so we may live as people created in God’s image and Love-likeness. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 Tim.6:19) Living in harmony with the divine will has always been the Creator’s intention for every human. It is about how we use our freedoms which He freely confers upon humanity. God created mankind to be “helpers” of one another. I encourage you to read about the “helper mandate” God gave humanity at the time of human creation, at: http://bulamanriver.net/8208  

This current pandemic calls upon humanity to make an inner examination of itself as to whether it has the wherewithal to combat this insidious menace of a virus pandemic. We must not look inward but outward to help our fellow-humans beat this deadly weapon of this unseen enemy. Only God’s Love will help us overcome this pandemic. If the current pandemic is a metaphor for spiritual pandemic, then only God our Maker can save us. And He did save humanity by sending His Son to die for us, thus, saving humanity from the spiritual pandemic. But not only spiritually, but also physically in our bodies. God created humanity to be His temple and He will save us. Paul said, “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God (Love) lives in you?” ( 1 Cor.3:16). When Jesus walked this earth, He healed people (human body) of all kinds of sickness and disease. (Act.10:38; Matt.4:23-24)

God Gave His Son Jesus To Save Humanity and His Spirit As The Vaccine To Cure the Spiritual Coronavirus

Here is the Love-promise from God regarding pestilences like the virus, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely, He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday” (Psa.91:1-6). Let us ceaselessly pray for God’s intervention and salvation.

Deliverance, both physical and spiritual, come to mankind through Jesus, who took our humanity in Himself and joined it to the divine — “Immanuel/God with us” — Isa.7:14; Matt.1:22-23. The Bible reveals how He delivered us, “Surely He (Jesus) took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed” (Isa.53:4-5). Yes, it was the act of Love where Jesus gave Himself up to be our Savior is what cured both the spiritual and physical virus. The same will be repeated today when we won’t allow fear but Love to influence and control our lives. Fear and sin (virus) are synonymous.

We must pay attention to the guidance given by the local authorities and each do our part. (Rom.13:1) Love is about realizing our dependence upon each other for the common and greater good. On the other hand, we can still have negative relationships with others where sin (virus) through selfishness and egotism moves our thoughts and actions, instead of Love. Paul’s prayer reveals the human destiny to conform to the image of His Son, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in Love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the Love of Christ, and to know this Love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Love)” (Eph.3:17-19; 1 John 4:8). You may read my post titled, “Living God’s Love Day-By-Day” at: http://bulamanriver.net/16467.

Petition: Friends, as I have closed my post in the past, I customarily give our readers the opportunity of calling upon them 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. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven at His Father’s side 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 life for humanity. You can privately and quietly pray this prayer in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human being Christ died for, not into any religious sect or denomination, but into the glorious humanity that Christ is preparing as the temple for God’s dwelling:

“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.”

Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s eternal Family. (1 Tim.6:19) Then keep in touch with God’s Word for you by visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation. Or 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 Love. 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 take the place of sinful humanity to save mankind from sin and death. (Matt.1:23; Rom.3:10-12, 18, 23; John 3:16) Further, we read, “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 activity and the uncreated energy emanating from the Tri-Personal Being of God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a way of life which explains that process 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. 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 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)

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).

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 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 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.

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Living The ‘Celestial Life’ In Christ, By Kiang P Lee

Greetings again Friends around the world!

The previous two posts I have shared with you were written with the intention of helping you visualize life and preempt challenging life experiences, so you can face the year 2020 victoriously with the right mindset as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. And that means for all humanity, not just so-called Christians, because Jesus is the embodiment of the new humanity God created and gave for mankind to adopt. You can read and review them at http://bulamanriver.net/19496 (January), and http://bulamanriver.net/20216 (February).

Jesus came to die to save all of humanity regardless of color, nationality, ethnicity, or station in life, and deliver us from the spirit of rebellion and sin that the first Adam bequeathed upon mankind. Jesus is the second Adam. The first Adam who followed the devil has been crucified upon Jesus’ cross and no longer lives. (1 Cor.15:47) Paul spoke about how humans go through the process of adopting the redeemed humanity of Jesus Christ in his letter to the Galatians. (Gal.2:20) I shall continue along this grounding theme as we approach the season of Passover when we will commemorate the death Jesus as mankind’s Savior.

The Heavens, Reflection of the Celestial (Wiki Commons)

This month I will touch on a title and topic I have been moved in my spirit to share with you, entitled: The Celestial Life! What is the celestial life? It can mean many things, and they are all good. There is nothing wrong or negative about living the celestial life. In its simplest form, it means to live a life that is ‘hidden in Christ.’ Paul explains it this way, “Your real life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Col.3:3). Jesus is the embodiment of the new glorified and sinless humanity God has given mankind to adopt to take the place of the fallen Adamic humanity from the first Adam.

Before uttering this statement about our human reality, Paul gave a proviso which leads to this wonderful truth in the Scripture we quoted. The full verse states, “For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col.3:3). “For you have died to this life” – what does that mean? It means the first fallen Adam from whom all humanity have descended, and from whom rebellion and sin has persisted under the sway of the devil, has been put to death upon Jesus’ cross, and God has given mankind a new birth through His Spirit into the new glorified humanity of His Son. Jesus took out humanity upon Himself as Immanuel (“God with us”) to save, glorify, and bring humanity to immortality in God’s presence. (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23)

Paul explains the beautiful truth to the Galatians like this, “My old self (rebellious humanity from fallen Adam) has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So, I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who Loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20, italics mine. NLT). Paul says that as you are being “hid (covered) in Christ,” you have been “made complete.” Again, we turn to Paul, “You have been made complete in Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority” (Col.2:10, BSP). So, the “celestial life” is about humanity “hidden in Christ” and thereby “made complete in Him.”

The Two Trees of Eden, Two Ways of Life, Two Adams

What does all this mean? The word celestial means heavenly, supernatural, miraculous, and simply Godlike. I will be sharing Scriptures to prove this celestial life is not false and/or made-up, but is true and reflects our reality today as we walk this human life. The apostle John wrote these inspiring words which forms the basis of the celestial life, “Just as Jesus is, so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:17, KJV). Let’s expound this passage deeper. The phrase, “Just as Jesus is” speaks volumes about who Jesus is as humanity’s Savior. First, it speaks of Jesus’ glorious life in heaven today where He is seated at the Father’s right hand. (Eph.1:20) That is where He is. The phrase also refers to who He is, and what He is. Jesus is God’s Son, Savior, and High Priest who forever mediates on humanity’s behalf. Jesus took our humanity by becoming the Immanuel, glorified it with immortality in Himself, and brought mankind into the presence of God for the Father to Love and caress as offspring.

Therefore, humanity today has been made like Christ is in His glorified state. His glorious life in heaven is the reality of our own existence today upon this earth. The Bible explains this principle of substitution, “For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters (humanity)” ((Rom.8:29, my emphasis). Jesus stands as the firstborn in line of the new human species God gave mankind through His Son. The Bible goes on, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Cor.5:21, NLT) Paul informed the Romans, “He (Jesus) was handed over to die because of our sins, and He was raised to life to make us right with God” (Rom.4:25).

That’s to say, we are also glorified just as He is. That is the basis of the celestial life we are privilege to have with and in Him upon this earth. Paul seals the truth about this celestial life when he said, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:6). Yes, you and I and all humanity were all resurrected with Him and made to seat today with Jesus in heaven forever beholding the face of the Father. This is the new reality for humanity that the Father and Son had in mind at the beginning of human creation. (Read about the Overarching Principle Of Imputing Christ’s Mediation Upon Humanity, at: http://bulamanriver.net/12351; and, http://bulamanriver.net/564)

“As Jesus Is, So Also Are We In This World” (1 John 4:17, ESV). The Resurrected Jesus, and Ascension To Heaven as High Priest Before the Father in Heaven, and Mediates for Humanity Today (Wiki Commons)

Let us now see how the Trinitarian God of the Father, Son, and Spirit, relate and interact with humanity to bring and make the celestial life possible in human life. As my readers will recall, I have called this life a three-step process or the three ascents. Each ascent dovetails into the next showing how God in His Triune Being blesses humanity and brings about the celestial life. They reflect the inward, outward, and upward, Love activity of God in humans. The first ascent starts with the Spirit (inward). Then the Spirit takes us into the second ascent where Jesus stands (outward), who in turn brings us before the Father in the third ascent (upward). There is the fourth ascent which comes into play in humans as a person freely chooses to participate in God’s Trinitarian Love through the preceding three ascents. An ascent is a step that takes a person progressively up and culminates with the Father and the Triune Godhead in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory. No ascent works independently by itself but are inter-related so that the act of one is the act all, just as God is of one substance in His Trinitarian Being. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

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The Three Ascents Shows the Three-Fold Relationship Humans Experience with The Father, Son, and Spirit (Wiki Commons)

In the celestial life, these are the ascents and what they represent. Let us begin…

Ascent 1 – Work of the Holy Spirit – Defeating Rebellion. The first ascent in the Holy Spirit is aptly labeled ‘defeating rebellion.’ It reveals the work of the Spirit who defeats the spirit of rebellion of the devil and introduces God’s Love in human life. In the Scriptures we read, “God’s Love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). It reflects God’s inward Love activity in humans. The celestial life is one where a person is covered in God’s Love like a cocoon where rebellion is non-existent. However, humans are still mortal and descended from fallen Adam accompanied by the rebellious spirit. But we will see how God takes care of rebellion as we progress through the ascents.

Paul reveals what happens when the Spirit is made to enter humanity and human life. “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.6:19-20, ESV). Here we see God revealing that the human mind and body is literally the temple where God lives. If human life (mind, body, spirit) is God’s temple, then it is the temple of Love, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8).

“God Is Love” The “Celestial Life” Is Lived In God’s Love. “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” – Rom.5:5. (Wiki Commons)

The account of ancient Israel reveals to us how God instructed them to build a grand temple in Jerusalem. King Solomon did not spare any expense to make the temple the crowning jewel of edifices in Israel, where the people worshiped. That was the physical temple and God’s purpose was to convey a spiritual message about the true spiritual temple He desired. Temples are still physical structures, so we read this, “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says: “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?’” (Act.7:48-50).

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The ‘Afflicted Life’ of the Devil, Energized by Fear and Rebellion, As Compared to The ‘Celestial Life’ in Christ Inspired By The Holy Spirit Of Love. (Wiki Commons)

In a manner of speaking, God is here contrasting the physical temple humans would like to build against His physical temple of the infinite universe He has created. Think of our Milky Way, and the vast expense of the universe with its magnificent planetary systems and beyond, both known and not yet known to man. God asks if humanity can build a temple more grand than the limitless universe in which He dwells and has made the earth His footstool? We pause with bowed heads, dumbfounded and silent. Yet, God admits that there is something that is uniquely more amazing to Him. He said, “But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at My word” (Isa.66:2). The writer of the Book of Acts was quoting from the prophet Isaiah, where I have just quoted the complete text. (Isa.66:1-2) Yes, God thinks highly of a person who responds to His Love with an equally Loving participation by freely choosing His will for him/her. God is Love, so His will for humanity is always anchored in His unfailing Love. (1 John 4:8)

God does not dwell in buildings and temples made with hands, or any physical creation. Ancient pagan religions have worshiped the sun and moon as gods. The temple God seeks and desires is a building made of the heart of humanity which rejects rebellion against Him, and freely submits to His Loving will. Peter knew this and said this about humanity, “You are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple” (1 Pet.2:5). God made humans to become part of His image – that is, to join Him in His divine Love existence forever. (Gen.1:26-27) It is the temple of mankind where the human heart and will is freely given to God in Loving relationship. And Christ is the cornerstone of this human habitation and building made immortal who makes God’s divine temple possible and complete in Himself. (1 Pet.2:4-7)

There is a prophecy from the prophet Malachi which makes reference to this human temple in a futuristic sense: “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to His Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies”. (Mal.3:1, NLT). (You can read in-depth the details of the human temple at:  http://bulamanriver.net/11230; and, http://bulamanriver.net/10700 )

Depiction of Temple Built By King Solomon

There is an important proviso given by Paul in the above passage we read from Corinthians. It says, “For God bought you with a high price” (1 Cor.6:20). Here, Irenaeus explains a vital caveat that this was not something done by violent or unjust means where a ransom or compensation was paid to the devil, no. Rather, the redemption was the mighty and intervention of God on our behalf, rescuing us from the tyranny of Satan and delivering us from the thraldom of evil and death through the blood of Christ in atoning expiation of guilt in the reconciliation and justification of the sinner.” (“The Trinitarian Faith,” Pg.173) Jesus’ saving act was complete, and so was the devil’s defeat.

What is the end-result? Peter said, “And you are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple” (1 Pet.2:5). So, “Your human body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,” is correlated to the “high price” God paid to make you and humanity His temple. What is that “high price?” The Bible speaks of a song that will be sung in future whose lyrics goes like this, “And they sang a new song: “Worthy are You to take the scroll and open its seals, because You were slain, and by Your blood You purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev.5:9). Yes, the high purchase price God paid in full was the very life of His Son Jesus, when Jesus sacrificed Himself upon His cross for our forgiveness and redemption. So, the Holy Spirit that brings the celestial life was purchased through Jesus’ work of Deliverer. That brings us to the second ascent.

Ascent 2 – Jesus Christ’s Work of Deliverance – The Purchase Price for The Holy Spirit. Remember how the trinitarian God works: “The act of One is the act of Three, and the act of Three is the act of One.” (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4) No One operates in isolation from the other. They cannot work without the other, for They act out of one existence, one Love, and One God, revealing one outcome and manifestation. (Eph.4:4-6; Mar.12:29) With that in mind, we read the words of Jesus concerning the Spirit. He told the disciples, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper (Spirit) will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7, ESV). So, Jesus reflects God’s outward Love activity in humans by giving Him to save humanity. Here we witness how the Spirit’s work and Jesus’ work complement each other, so there is no disunity but oneness.

It is vital to cast our minds back to Adam and Eve in Eden when separation with the divine celestial life first occurred, making it necessary for the Spirit to reenter human life and bring the celestial life back again. With that separation, the celestial life was lost until Jesus came to restore it. Recall, what was recorded, “So the LORD God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and He sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. After sending them out, 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 (Spirit)” (Gen.3:23-24).

Adam and Eve Banished from Eden and the Tree of Life (Wiki Commons)

So, the Spirit cannot enter humanity and bring the celestial life until humans were redeemed and declared sinless through Jesus’ sacrifice and atonement. Only then, can the Holy Spirit enter human life and indwell mankind and make the human temple holy for God. Thus, Jesus’ work is one of deliverance where mankind is rescued from sin and rebellion. Hence, the celestial life where rebellion is replaced by holiness, where the spirit of rebellion is displaced by the Spirit of Love, cannot begin before Jesus’ ongoing work of absolving humans of sin and rebellion. Now the Holy Spirit can enter and declare mankind as the temple suitable for the the Father and Son to dwell and find rest. This bring us to the third ascent.

“For God bought you with a high price” (1 Cor.6:20). “By Your Blood You Purchased for God Those From Every Tribe and Tongue and People and Nation” (Rev.5:9). (Wiki Commons)

Ascent 3 – The Father Finds Rest in His True Temple. Here, we see Jesus’ work of mediating for humanity has brought rest to the Father and the Godhead. This reflects God’s upward Love activity where God brings humans in union with Him through His Son. The rest means God has found His temple of humanity He created in His likeness in which to dwell in peace, and humanity has found peace with God. (Gen.1:26-27)

In all this, we see how the activity of the Trinity complement each other. The Spirit can only indwell the temple of humanity and make humans vessels of divine Love through Jesus as Savior who has declared mankind redeemed and holy, and the Father makes everything possible by giving up His Son to take unto Himself our fallen humanity and glorify it for all eternity. With the presence of the Father, Son, and Spirit, filling the temple of humanity made ready and holy, the temple (humanity) is filled with divine Love, God finds rest in His Son’s redeemed humanity, and humanity finds rest in God’s Love. This amounts to the celestial life that have existed and will exist into eternity. Now, we step into the fourth ascent…

Ascent 4 – The Celestial Life in The Human Temple. For humanity, the celestial life can be said to be celestial only because of the unbroken activity of Love of the three Persons of the Trinitarian God. The three Love relationship is seen in the three ascents we have covered above. The fourth ascent is about God bringing the celestial life to humanity. So, the celestial life is the constant flow of the divine Love-energy and life from the three Persons of the Trinitarian Godhead.

In order to live the celestial life, a human must always exist in a spiritually unblemished state of being. Remember, the celestial life means a person or persons exists in the presence of the God who is holy and sinless. Sinful and rebellious humans cannot be a dwelling place for God. Adam and Eve were banished from Eden because of it. (Gen.3:1-11) Jesus says humans must become reborn humanity. (John 3:3-7) What makes humanity a dwelling place for God is the divine Love-energy that is constantly flowing in the relationship with the three Persons of the Godhead through the three ascents. (2 Cor.13:14) This is the character of the celestial life humans are given to live by.

The True Temple of God is Humanity Living the Celestial Life in God’s Love-Likeness (Wiki Commons)

As humans, we find it hard to believe that a human being can have such a perfect existence before God. However, it must be understood from the outset that this is God’s doing, not any human effort. (Mar.10:27) The main reason for human unbelief is because we are still living under the performance-based mindset of the legalistic old covenant. People are taught erroneously that to exist in God’s presence, one has to be perfect through obedience to all the laws or commandments. However, the life of ancient Israel as a nation has proven once and for all that the best of humans cannot keep God’s laws perfectly. Besides, it must be clear to us that our obedience, even if it were ever possible to attain, does not and cannot save us. The law, though perfect, defines sin when transgressed, and condemns us. No human is perfect, for the Bibles states, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23, ESV). The law cannot save, it condemns us. Perfection before God comes only through His Son, Jesus. (1 Tim.2:5)

The Bible reveals only one way whereby humans are saved – through Jesus. That does not invalidate observance and following God’s commandment, which is fine. It is the question of the difference between legalism and faith. (Rom.7:16) Let’s be clear, since the law defines sin when broken, therefore, it holds the power to condemn, but only Jesus can overcome sin’s power and saved humanity. (Rom.3:23; John 3:16-17) Paul tells us, “But God demonstrates His own Love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!” (Rom.5:8-9). As for ancient Israel, ultimately Israel as a nation was driven away from their homeland as slaves of the enemy nations around them. The law had no power to save them, but instead became the cause for their downfall and subsequent bondage. (Mar.7:6; Jer.11:8,; 13:10)

After Israel was driven from their homeland, God rescinded the Old Covenant, and introduced the New Covenant through His Son. (Heb.8:8-12, 13; 9:15; Jer.31:31-34) Whereas the Old Covenant was sealed in the blood of animals, the New Covenant was ratified in the blood of Jesus, the Son of God, and Savior of mankind. (Matt.26:28; Heb.13:20) There is another vital distinguishing difference between the two covenants. The Bible can become dangerously legalistic and impersonal if we allow it to be. In the final analysis, knowledge is not merely about one’s intellectual capacity, or some assumed legal standard of right and wrong through the law. But true knowledge is a person, and the proclamation and utterances of that person. The Bible reveals Jesus as the “Word of God,” God’s Spokesman. (Rev.19:13; John 1:1, 14). “The Word,” or the Person of Jesus, is God’s Spokesman who speaks true knowledge in contrast with false knowledge. In literal form, the “Word” is the Bible. So, true knowledge is not some legalistic standards, but the Person of Jesus as the Spokesman of God from whom truth proceed through His utterances, and with whom humans can cultivate a Love relationship in the Spirit’s power.

brown cross ornament

The Old Covenant was based upon the law, while the New Covenant was and is based upon faith. What is the difference between law and faith? Knowledge, including Bible knowledge can become harmfully legalistic where one’s value is judged by one’s relationship with the law, rather than a personal relationship with Jesus, the Personified Word of God, through faith. It’s a behavior-based (legalistic) life verses a faith-based (Love) life-relationship. When life become strictly legalistic, a person’s value is esteemed by his/her standing with the law, without exceptions. Legalism requires strict adherence to the law. It’s a life that’s impossible to attain for the Bible states that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23).

In other words, the law defines sin and humanity has broken the law without exception. The national life of ancient Israel is proof that no human is perfect. What mankind needs is a Savior. Faith means to believe in the Messiah God the Father has provided so that though we may fall short, and we will, He has provided an eternal Mediator in His Son, who is constantly mediating as humanity’s High Priest in heaven for mankind’s absolution in order that we may remain in right standing with God. (2 Cor.5:21; Rom.1:17) (You can read more about Jesus’ High Priestly Office in Heaven today, in my post titled, “Living the Surrendered Life Day-By-Day,” at: http://bulamanriver.net/17978)

However, God’s grace in Jesus does not give humanity the license to disregard, much less, disobey the law, not in the least. Paul said the law is good. (Rom.7:16). Rather, it is about understanding that while the law condemns (legalism/fear), Jesus saves us (faith/Love). Paul explains it this way, “So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith” (Gal.3:24). The law defines sin, but the law cannot save us from sin, no matter how much we try to obey it. The law holds humanity in condemnation. (Rom.3:23) Only faith in the saving work of Christ saves. (read Rom.7:7-25; Col.1:22-23) Paul goes on to say, “Christ is the end of the Law, to bring righteousness to everyone who believes” (Rom.10:4). Christ is the mitigating intermediary who unifies the obligation under the Old and New Covenants into one concentric circle.

“The Righteous Shall Live By Faith” – Hab.2:4; Rom.1:17. (Wiki Commons)

We often overlook to the point of forgetting that the one sole purpose of the Bible, both in the old and new testaments, was to point humanity to the Messiah God would send and has provided for humanity’s salvation. It is worthy of note to realize that even though Israel’s religious and national life was governed by the Old Covenant through its many ritualistic formats, virtually every ritual they observed was a picture of and foreshadowed God’s promise of the Messiah. (Isa.9:6; 11:1-2; Mic.5:2; John 3:16-17) The Passover, the Day of Atonement, and the ritualistic sacrifices, were pictures of Christ coming work as Messiah to Israel and the whole world. (Heb.10:4-10)

Too many people are living life based upon their current circumstance – whether adverse or otherwise. They are buffeted about by the trials of life until they face the next hostile episode and so forth. When circumstances and the trials of life dictate how we value human life, that is legalism arising from a behavior-based conviction and philosophy to life, rather than a faith-based value infrastructure. Paul said, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who Love God and are called according to His purpose for them” (Rom.8:28, NLT). That means no matter what the manner of circumstance, everything has a divine purpose and is meant for our good, not evil. The only way to hold such a positive universal perspective to our circumstances is through the living faith of Jesus that is energized by the Spirit. (Read more about “Jesus Living Faith” at: http://bulamanriver.net/2811)

God’s plan for humans He created in His likeness is a life of eternal Love and joy! Paul speaks to Timothy about “a life that is truly life” (1 Tim.6:19). Our heavenly Father makes that beautiful life possible when He gave His Son so that Jesus may bring humanity to live the celestial life, where all human circumstances are in God’s control which He miraculously work out for human good. (Rom.8:28-30) The verse which keeps us grounded in God’s grace says simply, “You have been made complete in Jesus” (Col.2:10). If “we are complete in Jesus,” then it is true that, “Just as Jesus is, so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:17, Berean Literal Bible). Such is the celestial life we are privileged to have in Christ by faith.

Hence, humans ought to be constantly living and activating the three ascents in Loving relationship, being mediated for by Jesus so the Spirit and God’s Love may fill the human temple where God and mankind dwell in unity and find rest. Whether the person has received Jesus as Savior and become God’s temple at this moment in time, or has been for a longer period, the activation of the three ascents in human life is a constant relationship that makes the celestial life possible and ongoing.

Regardless if a person is new or a veteran believer, no one is perfect. So, in order for the temple to remain holy for God’s dwelling and rest, constant mediation is taking place through the work of Jesus and the Spirit who resides in the human temple so it remains the spiritual unblemished celestial life. (1 Cor. 1:30) Living the celestial life is the only reason and purpose for Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, and High Priesthood in heaven today. (Col.1:22-23) And the ultimate answer to the celestial life is the humanity’s resurrection to immortality at Jesus’ return in future.

architectural photography of buildings interior
The 3 Ascents Reveal the 3-Step Love Relationship With God Humans Experience In the 4th Ascent (Pic: Unsplash)

Petition: Friends, Humanity was created and is called today to live the celestial life in Jesus. I thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest 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 celestial life for humanity. You can privately and quietly pray this prayer in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human Christ died for, not as a member of any religious sect or denomination:

“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.”

Welcome to the Celestial Life of Love in God’s eternal Triune Being and Family. Then keep in touch with God’s word for you by visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation. Or you can email me with your question at the address shown below.

The Final Answer to the Celestial Life is The Human Resurrection to Immortality – 1 Cor.15:50-58. (Wiki Commons)

I will close with the passage I began with concerning the foundation of the celestial life, “Just as Jesus is, so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:17, BLB). If you have any thoughts and observation you wish to share, please don’t hesitate to write to me in the space provided below, or email me on 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 always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the Triune Love. Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Farewell for now,

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant In Christ)

*Triune Life or Triune Love: The “Triune Life” is a way of life. Its foundational tenet is based upon the Love of God, because Love is the nature of God. (1 John 4:8; Rom.5:5) 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. In the three-dimensional life, the human experience of God’s Love is always moving in an inward, outward, and upward motion (3 ascents) where all the three Persons of the Godhead are in relational oneness with humanity. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2)

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 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. You can read more at: 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.

THE FOUR TEMPTATIONS, HOW TO OVERCOME AND LIVE VICTORIOUSLY IN CHRIST, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings Friends! In my New Year Post, I spent some time going over the beautiful harmonious life Adam and Eve had in celestial Eden, the garden Paradise God planted for our first parents. We saw Adam and Eve were the only humans who ever lived and experienced firsthand the life God wanted for mankind to have with human immortality and a Love relationship with God. It was a life God wanted all humans to have with Him. Yet, all that was destroyed in one crucial moment of temptation when they allowed Satan to convince them to sin against God.

They were given specific instruction by God about not touching, much less eat, the fruit of a certain tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The instruction was simple and uncomplicated. But the devil twisted God’s instruction and lied to them. (Gen.2:17; 3:4) Jesus told the Jews of His day concerning the devil, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me!” (John 8:44-45).

So, for that brief moment they believed Satan’s lies over God’s Word for them. It was a moment of weakness. Through their disobedience, sin entered human life. Our first parents were banished from Paradise because they could not live in the spirit of rebellion and sin in God’s presence. The Love relationship they had with God died the instant sin entered their lives. (Gen.2:17) With regard to their physical mortal life, death was not so immediate, rather death came sufferably slower through a way of life inspired by rebellion and fear, which led to sin, emptiness, and ultimately death. (Gen.2:17)

For such was the legacy Adam had left for humanity, and thus we are consigned to the reality of this human life of facing the devil’s temptation every day of our lives. Temptation comes in all shapes and sizes, and in every way, shape, and form. Lamentably, this burden has placed a weak and unprepared mankind to figure out and overcome the devil’s temptation which has been slowly but surely destroying mankind. History has shown humanity’s utter and dismal failure at facing man’s eternal foe. But our Loving God has not left us to the mercy of the enemy, instead, after our first parent’s fall, God promised to send a second Adam to put right the wrong the first Adam had done. The decree uttered upon humanity, “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return,” had an expiry date as soon as the Messiah would appear to redeem mankind and bring immortality. (Gen.3:19; John 6:40; 3:16)

Adam and Eve Banished from Celestial Eden for Sin (Wiki Commons)

In His infinite Love, God promised humanity He would send the second Adam, His Son Jesus, to rescue humanity by defeating Satan through the temptations the first Adam had failed to do, and ultimately through His sacrificial death upon His cross to absolve mankind from the sin-condition and death, and bring the gift of immortality from our Father. From this, we see the reality of what it took to save humanity – it had to take the life of God’s very Son to enter our rebellion-conditioned and sin-filled humanity to save us from the devil’s temptation, and ultimately die upon His cross as our Savior.

This work of reconciliation resulted initially from Adam’s failure to defeat the temptations of the evil one. So, for humanity, we see a future which was forever changed in Eden after the fall of our first parents. But more strikingly, it had to take the life of the second Person of the Godhead, God’s very Son, to enter our sin-filled world in order to redeem us from the spirit of rebellion, once for all. So, the imperative is upon us to understand the enemy’s ploys to tempt humans so the curse of sin is stopped at its heels through Christ. And Paul makes this a priority in human life when He said, “So that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes” (2 Cor.2:11). Paul was speaking in the past tense to mean humans are no longer like the first Adam, but the second Adam has brought the light that rescues humanity. Paul was speaking in the context of forgiveness in the sense that with pardon comes a life where we’re not being outwitted much less vanquished by the enemy, but by being fully aware of his devices so humanity will always seek redemption and make good what the enemy had done in Eden.

Jesus the Messiah, Sent to Redeem and Restore Humanity (Wiki Commons)

But here is the most vital truth of Jesus’ work: Jesus has defeated Satan on behalf of humanity when He faced him in His own temptations. (Matt.4:1-11) By defeating Satan He has defeated him for humanity. What does that mean? Paul said it like this, “For if, by the trespass of the one man (Adam), 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. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous” (Rom.5:17-19). This speaks of the principle of attribution.

What does attribution mean? It means to impute one’s act upon another. It means someone’s act is superimposed over another so there is interactive accountability one for another. Just as Adam’s sin brought upon humanity the rebellious spirit, sin, and death, so Jesus, the second Adam, ushered God’s Spirit of Love, true life, and immortality. We cannot escape this principle of imputation because it is automatic. We can better understand this principle through the creation of Eve, the second human. Eve was not separately created from the earth as Adam was. She was taken from Adam’s side (rib), to show humanity is indivisibly united and one, not separate. Hence, the act of one is always the act of the other through oneness in the original creation of Adam. This thought was clearly in Paul’s mind when he said, “He who Loves his wife Loves himself” (Eph.5:28). It is about the oneness of human personhood that’s united by Love. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4) This is based upon the Trinitarian principle of God who created humanity in His likeness indivisible from His one Triune Being. (Gen.1:26-27; Matt.28:18-19) Just as Eve was taken out of Adam and is part of God’s inseparable humanity, all people are descended from them and therefore live by the attributing principle showing unity and oneness through their deed.

Therefore, through this attributing principle, which states, “For just as through the disobedience of the one man (first Adam) the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man (second Adam) the many will be made righteous” (Rom.5:19), God has imputed Christ’s victory upon us, so that His victory over Satan becomes humanity’s victory as well. Jesus told the disciples, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the (Satan’s) world” (John 16:33, italics mine). The victorious life in Christ means the righteous, sinless, conquering, life He lived when He was in His Immanuel divine/human form, which He continues to now live in the life of the believer through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23) Jesus’ victorious life is superimposed over humanity. This is no different with His death upon the cross – God has attributed Jesus’ sacrificial death upon mankind so all humans are already saved from sin and redeemed. All that remains is for each person to receive God’s grace through faith and trust in Jesus as personal Savior.

Living the Victorious Life in Christ

There is another aspect of the principle of attribution we must understand – personal responsibility. God spoke to the prophet about the duty of His servants and the people. He said, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from Me. When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself. Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.” (Ezek.3:17-21).

So, although Adam’s sin is imputed upon mankind automatically because of our human indivisibility in him, so Christ’s saving work does the same. (Rom.5:19) Thereby, each of us have a personal responsibility to adopt Jesus’ new humanity or reject Him. To receive Jesus means to warn about, and turn away from sin, so that we can withdraw ourselves from the cycle of rebellion and turn to the circle of God’s Love. In this way, we are imputing Christ’s work of reconciliation and victory through us. (2 Cor.5:18) Through Jesus, God brings humanity a full circle to the original imputation God had created humanity to represent – in His image and Love-likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) (You can read more on this principle of attribution at: http://bulamanriver.net/12351).

The principle of attribution conveys the truth that we cannot defeat Satan on our own, except through Jesus. Where the first Adam failed, the second Adam succeeded. There are other considerations, the enemy is not human, but the old evil spirit who has been tempting humans since Adam, and chose to be God’s adversary from the start, Satan. (Isa.14:12-14) Paul explains what we are up against, when He explained Satan’s world to the Ephesians, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Eph.6:12). We can defeat this unseen enemy and his equally invisible cohorts only through Jesus’ own personal victory. In other words, we can defeat the devil, because Jesus has already done so for humanity, and continues to do so again in us through the power of God’s Spirit is us. (Rom.5:5; 1 Cor. 3:16)

The Holy Spirit Is God’s Love Who Empowers Humanity to Defeat Satan’s Rebellion (Wiki Commons)

Today, we will get to see four areas of life Jesus has revealed to us through the way He was tempted by Satan and see where the devil seeks to get into our minds and our lives and deceive and tempt us to rebel and sin against God. The devil’s plan is to keep the cycle of rebellion and sin going for as long as he can. God’s plan through Jesus is to end it, and bring all humanity into His circle of Love. Satan had succeeded with Adam and Eve, but he failed miserably in his wicked attempts with Jesus. We have much to learn from Jesus’ own experience in His four temptations.

In every age and time humanity has been asked to make a choice between two broad paths in life that is represented by the two trees and the two Adams: that of bondage or freedom. Bondage leads humans to a way of life based upon ‘self-centeredness’ which brings on distress and disillusionment in life. Ultimately it weakens us and we suffer a life of defeat. True, there may be seemingly sporadic worldly “successes,” but they are really illusions, not realities in truth. Its entire philosophy is founded upon the spirit of rebellion and opposition to God from the devil. Freedom means exactly the opposite. Its leads a person to a way of life based upon ‘other-centeredness’ through God’s Spirit of Love. So that instead of a life of disillusionment and failure, we experience life as our Creator intended for humanity made in His image to have that’s full of triumph and jubilation, of accomplishment and exuberance, and eternal joy.

This  goes back to Adam when he had to choose for humanity between bondage and freedom. He chose bondage. And ever since man’s struggle has been to attain that illusive freedom that seem to escape them. However, we somehow apprehend it in our present incarcerated circumstance, because the enemy has given us his version of success which are not real but are illusions. And because they are really many forms of bondage, not freedom, for we find no fulfilment in them. It seems like humanity is forever in a state of bondage, and freedom is just a pipe dream. After struggling and overcoming one form of bondage, like a stump of a tree that’s not fully destroyed, it sprouts again and again with its insidious fruits abounding and rearing its ugly repressive head ready to trap unwary humans.

The reason for this is made clear by Jesus Christ, He explains it metaphorically, “A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So, every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions” (Matt.7:17-20, NLT). Apparently, it seems like Jesus was taking us back in time to the very beginning, where the problem between bondage and freedom started with our first parents and the two trees in Eden for they represent freedom and bondage. The “Tree of Life” symbolize freedom. The “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” symbolize bondage. (Gen.2:9)

The Two Trees of Celestial Eden (Yahoo.com)

We know the story, Adam was banished from Eden because he chose to eat from the tree which portray a way of life of bondage. Eden represented the presence of God and both trees existed in Eden, meaning, nothing happens outside of God’s sovereignty. The “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” was not corrupting of itself. It symbolized knowledge that’s necessary for humanity to make wise decisions where they understand the difference between good and evil. God used it to teach our first parents. However, in this particular instance, God used this tree as a prop to prove our first parent’s faithfulness to His purpose for them. Their unfaithfulness did not put a stop to the human thirst for knowledge. What we must realize is there is a difference between human knowledge and intellect and God’s truths as represented in the “Tree of Life” and generated through God’s Spirit. As Jesus said, “A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.” Paul explains that on one hand human knowledge vainly puffs humans up, while God’s truths Lovingly builds us up. (1 Cor.8:1) Wisdom is recognizing the difference between the two trees, and applying oneself wisely.  

pathway in the middle of piled books
True Knowledge or False Knowledge – Which?

 The Bible chronicles our human past. After eating the forbidden fruit, God asked our first parents, “Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’ After He drove the man out, He placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the Tree of Life” (Gen.3:11-13; 24; 6). So, the road to true freedom through the Tree of Life was cut off because of human rebellion and sin. The two trees are metaphors of two ways of life placed before humanity to choose. Satan tempted Adam and he fell to his temptation. Then Jesus, the second Adam, was similarly confronted by Satan through His temptation. (Matt.4:1-11; 1 Cor.15:45) In the four temptations Jesus reveals how He was confronted by Satan in the Judean wilderness, and by extension taught humanity the layout of the enemy’s schemes to keep humanity under his deception and in the bondage of sin.

Adam and Eve Leaving Eden (Yahoo.com)

Before we go into the temptations of Jesus, we must begin with God’s word of encouragement for us – we can overcome the enemy’s temptation because Jesus has already done it for us – not because we can do it on our own. The first thing we learn about ourselves and the devil’s lies and temptations is that Jesus came to expose the enemy’s schemes so we won’t have to be ignorant of his deceptions, and “not be ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor.2:11, KJV). The four temptations tell us the four areas of life which the devil will tempt humanity as he did with Jesus. They are, 1) sustenance, 2) reliance, 3) materialism, lastly 4) power and influence. What we will go through is no different from what Jesus experienced, except contextually, of course. Also, Jesus was perfect and sinless originating from God’s eternal Triune Being who became the Immanuel human (God in human flesh), whereas we are children of Adam’s fallen humanity who carry his harmful baggage. We have acquired this self-centered way of life with many bad and selfish habits through the temptations of the devil. Even though Jesus has defeated Satan for humanity, it does not abrogate by any measure the human responsibility we touched upon earlier in Ezekiel. We take responsibility to reshape our lives and allow Jesus’ to relive His victorious life in us by defeating the devil’s four temptations through the Spirit’s power. (Read more about the two human forms given to mankind at: http://bulamanriver.net/9718, and at http://bulamanriver.net/19496).

An often-overlooked point of Jesus’ temptation was that He would not confront the devil until He was empowered with the Holy Spirit at His baptism in the Jordan river. (Mar.1:9-11) Though Jesus was fully God, He was also fully human, and His humanity needed the Spirit’s power and influence. (Act.10:38) This was to show us that as humans we too cannot overcome the enemy’s wiles without the Spirit’s divine power, miracles, and inspiration. Jesus also lives and walks in us by a rebirth into His new ‘Immanuel humanity.’ Recall, it was the Spirit who led Jesus into the wilderness of Judea to face the devil, not before then, so it is with us. (Mar.1:12-13) Hence, Jesus told the disciples “Wait for the promise of the Father to send the Holy Spirit” (Luk.24:49). Only Jesus’ return to the Father would make that event happen, for He said, “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). Jesus reinstated the gift of the Spirit upon humanity from the Father ever since Adam and Eve were forbidden access to the ‘Tree of Life’ (Spirit) in Eden. (Gen.3:13)

Baptism of Jesus and Reintroduction of the Holy Spirit: “I baptize you with water, but He (Jesus) will Baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mar.1:8)
(Yahoo.com)

Jesus brought the Spirit back when the Father poured Him upon all humanity on Pentecost. (Matt.3:16-17; Act.2:1-4) Why is this important? Because Satan is the evil spirit, and God’s Spirit is the Holy Spirit. The Bible says Satan is “your enemy the devil who prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet.5:8). Satan’s weapons are fear and rebellion – both leads humans to sin and death. A human’s weapon is the Holy Spirit who brings Love, power, the miraculous life, and immortality. The Spirit is the power who manifests Jesus new humanity and leads a person in the way of Love. (Rom.5:5)

adult lion on grass field
“Your enemy the devil who prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” – 1 Pet.5:8. (Wiki Commons)

Let’s begin… 1 Sustenance: What does sustenance mean in relation to Satan’s temptation? In Jesus’ first temptation, He had fasted for forty days for spiritual strength. Satan knew Jesus had divine power, so he tempted Jesus to use His power to turn stones into bread and satisfy His famished body after having fasted for forty days. (Matt.4:1-4) The temptation had both physical and spiritual aspects wrapped into one. Satan said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread” (Matt.4:3). Jesus replied, saying, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt.4:4). Jesus recognized both the physical and spiritual aspects of His battle with the devil. In other words, every human is a mortal being and also a spiritual person who was created in God’s spiritual Love-image. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:8) Both the physical person and the spiritual person must be fed and sustained in different ways. The physical person is fed through food and drink, and the spiritual person is fed through God’s Word and His Love. There is a balancing act to be lived out, we are not to feed one while ignoring the other.

“If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread” (Matt.4:3) (Yahoo.com)

Jesus made this abundantly clear when He taught the people of His day, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet, I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans 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 your as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt.6:25-34).

Here, Jesus explains what our priority should be, He said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. For your heavenly Father knows that you need them” (V.33, 32). Yes, the sustenance of the spiritual person takes priority over physical sustenance. And this is what Jesus said was the vital point concerning life and the way it ought to be lived. Jesus had been fasting to feed the spiritual person, while the devil was tempting Jesus to switch His priority by taking care of the physical need above His spiritual sustenance. How do we prioritize our lives before God? It is not wrong to look after our physical bodies through proper nourishment, but Jesus is asking us to evaluate our priorities because Satan will tempt us to reverse our priorities and wrap our lives in material preferences and trappings for the physical life over the spiritual life. Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever (attain immortality)” (John 6:51, also John 11:25). Jesus, the Personified Word of God, is the spiritual food that feeds the spiritual person.

God’s ultimate plan for humanity is to give us the gift of immortality so we will become His Loving children forever. As immortal humans in God’s Kingdom physical food will not sustain us. Our spiritual bodies will be sustained by the spiritual food of God’s Love. The Bible states, “And so we know and rely on the Love God has for us. God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16). God’s Love is His eternal Word of truth which is food for immortal humans. This is the only way by which humanity can and will be sustained forever. The Bible also reveals that God’s Word is Personified in His Son, Jesus, hence through Him we have access to the divine Triune Life who has glorified our humanity forever in Himself. (John 1:1)

God’s Word Is Spiritual Food That Feeds The Spiritual Man. Jesus Is The Personified Word of God – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1. (Pic: Gutenberg Bible, Wiki Commons)

If we feed on Jesus for our sustenance, then His Word will come true, for He said, “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” (John 6:54-55). Jesus was not talking about cannibalism by any stretch of the imagination, but He was speaking metaphorically about adopting His new spiritual humanity…it is spiritual flesh and blood that requires spiritual food which His new humanity feeds upon. (You may read my post about Jesus’ new humanity at: http://bulamanriver.net/19496) Further, Jesus said, “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:39-40).

So, the Father’s purpose is to bring humanity to immortality, and the devil’s ploy is to try his utmost to stop it through death. And the way in which the Father will do this is to sustain us well every day with and through His Son. Hence, the devil will emphasize the physical matter to blind our eyes to the spiritual food of Jesus as the personified and literal (Bible) Word of God which truly saves. (You may read my article, title, “Study to Show Yourself Approved,” at: http://bulamanriver.net/9482).

Jesus, The “Personified” Word of God, Teaching His Followers (Wiki Commons)

2 Reliance: What does reliance mean in terms of the temptation of Satan? Let us see how Satan tempted Jesus in this area of life. “Then the devil took Him to the holy city and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command His angels concerning You, and they will lift You a up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone’” (Matt.4:5-6). Just like the first temptation about sustenance, the temptation had both the physical and spiritual aspects wrapped in one.

“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command His angels concerning You, and they will lift You a up in their hands” (Yahoo.com)

As we see from the context, the temptation revolves around a vital promise the devil quoted to Jesus which God gives humanity, beginning with Jesus. Reliance is about dependence upon God and His promises for us, that is the spiritual aspect of this temptation. Then there is the physical aspect of human self-reliance and doing what seems right in our own eyes. Reliance is about a way of life of inter-dependence with the divine as opposed to independence in yourself under the devil’s sway.

But in this case, Jesus was well versed with God’s promise, that is why the devil quoted it to Him. However, there was no physical way of saving Himself by jumping off the highest point of the temple. There was no modern-day contraption that He could use to ensure a soft landing. So, what was the temptation about? It was about deliberately placing Himself in danger without cause to test God at His promise. And there is a specific command to not do such a thing. The Bibles states, “You shall not put the LORD your God to the test” (Deut.6:16). To do that would mean, a person is tempting God instead of wholeheartedly trusting and believing His promises.

Humans are God’s creation and He may from time to time test us, as He justifiably should, for humans remain fallen and susceptible to rebellion since Adam’s fall. However, humanity is commanded to never put God to the test for His Word is sure like a rock that can never be moved. There is a difference between ‘test’ and ‘tempt.’ We must remember God tempts no one. James tell us, “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone” (Jam.1:13). Rather, our first parents were living in the dynamic of God’s Love and a relationship that is motivated and wrapped in His Love. Love is real and alive when it is made to grow and flourish. Love is eternal and can never stagnate, nor be inoperative and unfulfilled. With humans, Love is made to flourish through free choice and the testing of a person’s free-will.

Jesus saw Satan’s ploy, and responded appropriately, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’” (V.7). We ought to take note of how Jesus defeats the devil – He quotes God’s Word. Jesus’ spiritual sword was God’s Word which He wielded to defend Himself and apply offensive tactics to defeat Satan’s temptation. (Eph.6:17) We do likewise to defend ourselves and overcome the devil’s wiles and deception.

So, we have read the specific command given to humans to not test God at His word and promise. (Deut.6:16). We simply trust His Word in childlike faith. Scripture tell us, “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). Further, James tell us the following about faith, “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do” (Jam.1:6-8). Yes, whatever God has promised in His Word is true and sure and can be forever relied upon. (You can read more on, “Jesus Faith” at: http://bulamanriver.net/2811)

However, most humans are not well versed with God’s Word like Jesus was to be tempted by the devil in the way He was. Most of humanity are hugely unaware of God’s promises for them. So, the devil will use their ignorance to tempt them. Does that ring true for any of us? We ought to be well-versed with God’s Word and promises for us. Our salvation depends upon it. Just as assistance and pointer, I would refer you to the following website to get acquainted with God’s promises: http://scripturepromises.com/. I do not sponsor this site nor do I benefit from what they do. I merely use it as a reference point for you to further explore God’s Word and discover God’s precious promises for you and your loved ones in your studies. Peter tells us the following, “He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Pet.1:4).

You see, through God’s promises He joins Himself to us – “partakers of His divine nature.” The question is, are we joined to Him through His promises? That happens when we know and understand His promises, and live by them. We saw in the first point of sustenance that God’s Word is what sustains the spiritual person. And God’s promises are part of His Word.

So, the second temptation we will face in the world of Satan concerns reliance upon God’s promises, and desisting from doing things that seems right in our own eyes. Proverbs tell us this, “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death” (Pro.14:12, NLT). Humanity desperately needs all the promises of God. Without them we are in constant danger of spiritual and physical exposure. In most cases for humanity, this is the way Satan tempts humans to sin on this second point – through ignorance and self-reliance instead of looking to God’s Word and promises for guidance and support. And of course, as we get to be more versed with God’s promises, remember the command to never put God to the test by trying Him on His promises. Just believe and trust His Word wholeheartedly.

(You can read more on this vital topic by going to my post, “Standing On The Promises” at: http://bulamanriver.net/15209)

3 Materialism: What does materialism mean when it comes to Satan tempting humans to sin? Let’s learn from Jesus’ own encounter with this aspect of the devil’s temptation. We will pick up the account from the Message translation, “For the third test, the Devil took Him to the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth’s kingdoms, how glorious they all were. Then he said, “They’re yours—lock, stock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they’re yours.”  Jesus’ refusal was curt: “Beat it, Satan!” He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God, and only Him. Serve Him with absolute single-heartedness” (Matt.4:8-10). From the account, we can see there are two obvious temptations here that can befall man: materialism and power. They both go hand in hand. Because of the diverse application of each we will deal with them separately. We will deal with materialism in the third temptation, and power and influence in the fourth temptation.

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Temptation of Jesus, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” (Wiki Commons)

What is materialism? As a form of temptation, materialism has a broader across-the-board effect upon humanity. It affects people in all societies and economic strata. Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luk.12:15). Greed and avarice can be manifested in the broad spectrum of human relationship as it concerns material concerns. Materialism is idolatry and goes against one of God’s commands. (Exo.20:3-6) Idolatry means to worship material things which people assign higher value than their worship of God. Our lives can become totally wrapped up in the material life and its net effect is we render God’s Word and promises ineffectual due to our reliance upon them through the fallen self who worships material things. Our lives are dictated by them and become literal gods.

Basically, that is what materialism does – we turn on the ‘self-reliance switch’ and turn off the ‘God-reliance switch.’ Self-reliance becomes self-worship inspired by Satan. In ‘self-reliance’ we falsely assume this is ‘my doing,’ ‘my way,’ ‘my dreams,’ imagining you are the master of your own destiny. Little do we realize that inadvertently Satan is actually the one who is worshiped. Unwittingly, humans have become mere puppets he controls in his evil schemes. (Rev.12:9; 2 Cor.11:14) We turn off the ‘God-reliance switch’ along with His promises. (Pro.14:12; Rom.6:21) Our possessions has taken a higher meaning than our relationship with God and His promises. (You can read more about “The Trues Self and False Self” at: http://bulamanriver.net/7523).

Material prosperity is not evil of itself. God blesses humanity in this physical life. All the beautiful creation we see around us reveal His generosity. However, Jesus contextualizes this temptation in that the human life and God’s material blessing comes within the framework of the greater spiritual treasure of His Kingdom we ought to pursue first. He 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).

Note, there is material wealth and spiritual wealth. God is not denouncing material wealth, He is against the worship of material stuff as a false god. That is what materialism means. God created all wealth and all the riches of this world belongs to Him, and confers them upon us as stewards, not heirs of them – not yet! (see Rom.8:17-39) He declares, “The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty” (Hag.2:8, also read Psa.24:1; Psa.50:10-11).

In other words, the material and physical are not true riches, but merely shadows, figures, of the real spiritual treasures which are eternal and will never fade away. It is a matter of prioritizing their value in the way we live. You may read the Parable of The Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21. Thereby, we must not live foolishly as to give ourselves to material riches at the expense of His Kingdom’s riches. The priority is to seek the true Kingdom wealth first, then the genuine physical wealth will follow automatically without asking. (Matt.6:33) When humans are blessed by God, the material things brings true freedom and joy because they are interwoven with our eternal destiny rather than being end in themselves. On the other hand, Satan uses material things to enslave humans through idolatry.

Jesus answer to this temptation must ring audibly and clearly in our minds, “Worship the Lord your God, and only Him. Serve Him with absolute single-heartedness.”

4 Power & Influence: What is the temptation of power and influence which Satan tries to inflict upon humanity? Satan tempted Jesus by “Pointing out all the earth’s kingdoms, how glorious they all were.” Then he said, “They’re yours—lock, stock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they’re yours” (Matt.4:8-9, MSG). Mattthew Henry is his commentary 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, even in human talents like music and athletic prowess, in the occult, satanism and mystical affiliations, the accumulation of money and possessions, in personal dreams and projects, etc. Materialism aside, this is about have the power and influence to control others and desired outcomes. It is about acknowledging and bowing to the spirit of competition and domination. In the beginning, God gave humanity dominion over the earth to administer in Love. (Gen.1:26; Psa.8:3-9) But Satan has turned dominion into domination. Since worldly power comes from the devil, then it is about worshiping Satan.

Aerial View Of City Buildings At Night
Temptation of Jesus, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” (Wiki Commons)

When power, in whatever form or appearance, is idolized and worshiped, be it personal or collective, then Satan is its prime motivator. Christ rejected this proposal with abhorrence and declared, “Away from Me, Satan!” From this fourth temptation, we see the ultimate purpose of his deception, he is seeking to be worshiped. Self-worship is devil-worship. People may imagine their own ideas, but ignore who is behind the scenes, and it is the devil as instigator who is actually worshiped. And that can never happen because there is only One who is worthy of worship – God Almighty! Jesus answers perfectly when He answers Satan, “For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”  

The Scriptures tells us plainly the truth about power, “Once God has spoken; Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God” (Psa.62:11, NASB). The Bible explains how this divine power can be made to inhabit human life. Jesus said, “All authority (power) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me” (Matt.28:18). The divine power of God is channeled to mankind only through Jesus who took our humanity into Himself (Immanuel) and glorified it in the Triune Godhead of the Father, Son, and Spirit. The power Satan exercises in this fallen world is given under God’s suffrage until His divine purpose is completed. (Rom.13:1-2; John 19:11) Satan was allowed to create a worldly system that’s based on lies, and deception, but they are really illusions. Beginning with Adam, he has created pseudo and artificial power bases which has no basis in reality to God’s sovereign power by which He creates and sustains the universe and all in it, both in the spiritual and physical realms.

Humanly speaking, all of creation from which we see power manifested ultimately finds its source in God, not Satan. The enemy possesses no power to create nor is he given free hand to do with humanity as he pleases, or else we would have been destroyed long ago. His power is given under constraint and under proviso. It is one where he deceives, lies, and masquerades illusions for realities in order to keep humanity blinded to the truth. In other words, God limits all his evil intents and actions for His own divine purposes. If Satan’s power is artificial and temporary, why do we invest our lives and souls upon something that’s fabricated and based upon lies and deception? Jesus said, “What profit will a person have if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life (soul)?” (Mar.8:36, ISV). That is the question that stares us in the face and demands a just answer.

Yes, that is the end-result – it’s nothing more than a mirage and has no power in reality, and anyone who bets his life on it will lose it. The “whole world” means the devil’s world. Though worldly power may seem real in the physical sense, we are reminded by Elijah about where the true power base lies, he said, “Don’t be afraid. We have more forces on our side than they have on theirs” (2 King 6:16, GWT).

Consider the various world-ruling empires that have existed upon this earth which have eventually disappeared for one reason or other. There were world-dominant empires of Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Rome, Mongols, Caliphates, Spanish and British empires, and others. Why? Because it is power that exist in a vacuum (world) controlled by Satan. This applies to all kinds of power bases, not just political. Why not invest in the real thing, in true power? Why not invest in God’s world – the Kingdom of God of which Christ is King of kings, and Lord of lords. (Rev.19:16) To lose your true self to a power that cannot stand the test of time and reality (eternity) is nothing short of absurd and ludicrous. It ought not to be worthy of our consideration. It is a shameful proposition to even consider losing your divine destiny as a person made in the Creator’s image for a promise for empty power.

Here is a promise of God’s power He gives to support and defend us, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isa.41:10, ESV). Here’s another similar promise, “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me, declares the LORD” (Isa. 54:17). We saw the promise about angelic protection which Satan quoted to Jesus, “For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psa.91:11). Here’s an all-important one from Jesus Himself, “For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:40).

Yes, God gives us power, but it is all about vindicating His purpose in each of us. It usually starts small – overcoming the ‘false self’ (Adam’s fallen humanity), and living the ‘true self’ (Christ’s new glorified humanity) by means of the framework where life is lived overcoming the four temptations of the enemy. It is the expression of a Love relationship with our God and our heavenly Father. When we will have grown to genuinely live the “Triune Life,”* His power will manifest itself in our lives. For divine power proceeds forth from no other place than His Trinitarian Being. When we find our place in His Triune Being we will receive gifts with divine power in the Spirit to carry out His divine will for us in our walk of faith. (Eph.4:7-8)

The Scriptures utters God’s promise for those who wait upon Him, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor.2:9). Yes, it is beyond what our limited human mind can fathom, but in a restrained way, much like squinting in a fog and peering through a mist as Eugene Peterson states aptly, we are made to understand for the Spirit reveals to us the hidden things of God, “These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God” (1 Cor.2:9-10, ESV). This is the miraculous life believers are privileged to live supernaturally in the Spirit.

Jesus Defeats Satan for Humanity in the Temptation “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”   (Yahoo.com)

Conclusion: The enemy’s role in the four temptations follows on from his initial rebellion against God and His plan for humanity. (Isa.14:12-14) So he promotes his lies and create deceptions, sows schism and discord wherever he can in humanity to hinder and destroy the Love relationship with God, and if possible, to totally sever this Love relationship altogether. And these are four of his main arsenals with which he attacks us, and if possible, destroy our Love relationship with God our Father. But Satan will not succeed because God’s plan to create mankind in His Trinitarian image and likeness will never be thwarted. God created man to Love God above all else, and secondarily to Love his neighbor as he Loves himself. (Mar.12:29-31) Jesus said “there is no greater commandment than these” two, therefore, all of creation is merely the vehicle and means by which to accomplish that singular end. Everything in the created universe was never intended to be taken as end in themselves much less worshiped and idolized. That divine end is very simply to fulfill our purpose as humans of living life in God’s likeness and image of Love, for the Scriptures say, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8,16).

To find out more about the Victorious Life, you can go to: http://bulamanriver.net/7730

Petition: Friends, thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus’ new humanity the Father has given us to adopt. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest ceaselessly mediating for us. I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Jesus as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of a gloriously magnificent future for humanity. You can privately and quietly pray this prayer in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human Christ died for, not as a member of any religious sect or denomination:

“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 rebirth into Jesus’ Immanuel Humanity through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon me. May Your Love guide and protect me and my loved ones always, and bring us and all humanity into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.”

Welcome to the Life of Love in God’s eternal Triune Being and Family. Then keep in touch with God’s word for you by visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation. Or you can email me with your question at the address shown below.

If you have any thoughts and observation you wish to share, please don’t hesitate to write to me in the space provided below, or email me on bulamanriver@gmail.com

The Resurrection to Immortality-The Hope of Humanity. Jesus said, “For My Father’s Will Is That Everyone who Looks to the Son and Believes in Him Shall Have eternal Life, and I will Raise Them Up at The Last Day” (John 6:40) (Pic: Wiki Commons)

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 Love. Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Farewell for now,

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant In Christ)

*Triune Life or Triune Love: The “Triune Life” is a way of life. Its foundational tenet is based upon the Love of God, because Love is the nature of God. (1 John 4:8; Rom.5:5) 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. In the three-dimensional life, the human experience of God’s Love is always moving in an inward, outward, and upward motion where all the three Persons of the Godhead are in relational oneness with humanity. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2)

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 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. You can read more at: 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.

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU – NEW ‘IMMANUEL HUMANITY’

Greetings Friends! May I wish you all a very happy New Year, and my ardent hope is that you will have a truly extraordinary year 2020. If you are new to this blog site, I welcome you and hope your time with us will be a blessed and gratifying one.

May You Have A Happy and Blessed New Year

I am about to make a statement you may not have heard before, or hear anyone make claims to these words. There were only two humans that existed upon earth which the Creator gave mankind. Whether we realize it or not, humanity has been given to choose to exist upon this earth under one or the other of these two human forms for posterity, image proliferation, dominion, creativity, and legacy. (Gen.1:26-30) Humanity’s future as a civilization upon this earth made in the Creator’s image depends upon the choice we make.

God had a direct hand at creating only two humans for human image-proliferation and superior beinghood. By ‘image-proliferation’ means to exist in God’s Love-image as a way of life, and ‘superior beinghood’ conveys human longevity, dominion, and subsequent immortality. You can say that as we face the New Year, we have a real choice to make. But let me present the two contrasting human forms so we are given a crystal clear picture as to the choice between them, and the challenge as to which to adopt and live by.

All Humanity Proceed from Two Humans – The First Adam and The Second Adam (1 Cor.15:45) (Wiki Commons)

This is what the Bible says regarding the two human forms, “So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we g bear the image of the heavenly man. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor.15:45-49; 21-22).

So, it is clear from Paul’s writing there are two Adams: the ‘first Adam,’ and the ‘last (or second) Adam’ (V.45). The first is the physical being, and the second is the life-giving Spirit (V.46). One is earthly and of the dust of the earth, and the second is the heavenly man (V.47-48). For ease of reference, we will call the first Adam, the ‘Adamic human,’ and the second Adam, we’ll call the ‘Immanuel human.’ The second Adam was given the title ‘Immanuel’ because it is the messianic title given to Jesus Christ by the prophet Isaiah, “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). Matthew translates the name to mean, “God with us” (Matt.1:23). Yes, Jesus Christ is the second Adam, the Immanuel who was prophesied to come.

Jesus, The Second Adam, Proceeded From the Trinitarian Godhead (Wiki Commons)

By identifying Jesus as the second Adam who is ‘heavenly’ or from heaven, the passage gives us the truth about His origin as the Son of God. (John 3:16) The second Adam came through the birth of Jesus by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, as announced to Joseph and Mary His human parents by an angel, “An angel of the Lord appeared to him (Joseph) in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit” (Matt.1:20). Jesus proceeded from God the Father in the Triune Godhead. The Gospel of 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). Jesus proceeded from the Being of the Triune Godhead. The opening words of John’s Gospel says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” (John 1:1-2). Here, the term, “Word,” is reference for Jesus. Jesus’ function in the Godhead is the ‘Spokesman,’ hence He is called, the ‘Word.’ We will see later how the three Persons of the Godhead function in unified Love to help humanity adopt the heavenly humanity of Jesus – His ‘Immanuel humanity.’

As for the first Adam, or the ‘Adamic human,’ we read in Genesis how he was created from the dust of the earth. (Gen.2:7) Then we read about how Eve was created from Adam’s rib, showing she was not separate from but inherently part of the original creation of one indivisible humanity through Adam, and through Eve. (1 Cor.11:12) We see Scripture reveal that mankind was fashioned no different from the divine Triune likeness of the Father, Son (Jesus), and Spirit existing in one indivisible Godhead. (Gen.1:26-27) Then we read about what happened to our first parents. They were tempted by Satan, and they chose to follow the devil’s way of rebellion and sin instead of God’s way of Love and uprightness.

The Genesis account of creation and our first parents was very brief and short on details. But we can make reliable conjectures based upon insinuative corroboration from other Bible passages, especially as it concerns the divine nature (Triune Love), science and intersecting historical records. For example, there was no record as to how long Adam and Eve remained faithful to God before their fall at the hands of the devil. It could have been a very, very, long period of time before their fall. So, the fall could not have happened immediately after their creation as many have believed. Our first parents were created complete in God’s Love-image. (Gen.1:26-27) And the awesome power of God’s Love in the celestial environment of Paradise in Eden had kept them faithful and true to God for a very long time, perhaps millions of years, meaning, they had a form of human immortality to reflect the Creator’s immortal image. (Gen.1:26-27)

By being sustained in a deathless existence or human immortality, time as we know it today was meaningless and inconsequential for our first parents. Peter attempted to get our limited physical minds visualize immortality, saying, “But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day” (2 Pet.3:8). John Tell us, “God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them. This is how Love is made complete among us ” (1 John 4:16-17). Or, whoever God Loves lives eternally, and whoever is eternal lives in God. This Love scenario in Eden proved that God’s Love is mightier than Satan’s rebellion which propagates sin and death. (Gen.1:26-27; 2 Pet.3:8; Rom.6:23) Love is eternal, while sin brings death. To think otherwise would make Satan mightier and leave humanity at the enemy’s merciless rebellious spirit, sin, and death. But nothing could be further from the truth, for Scriptures tell us, “There is none like You, O LORD. You are great, and Your name is mighty in power” (Jer.10:6, BSP) God declares, “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me” (Isa.46:9). All of life, whether we are talking about the spirit world of the unknown, the world of angels, the devil and evil spirits, or the physical world of humans, the universe and beyond, are entirely subject to the sovereignty of the Creator God Almighty in whom rests all power and majesty.

Eden was no small backyard garden. It was significantly larger by our standards today. It was sizeably substantial so as to keep the animals and birds Adam had named to wander and fly about freely in the wild. (Gen.2:19-20) The Garden of Eden Paradise may have existed in a protective cocoon, much like the earth’s invisible magnetic field protecting the planet from space radiation. The invisible cocoon kept Eden and all in it, our first parents, animal life, bird life, and various life forms, insulated and safe from the dangers outside the confines of Paradise (Eden). There are phenomenons that occur in the universe and the physical earth that defy rational explanation. So, the existence of the celestial Paradise of Eden planted by God is not far-fetched.

"God created the heavens and the earth. He created all the animals on the land and in the sea. He created the birds, the plants, the sun, and the moon. He created light and darkness. He created man, Adam. Adam named all the animals. Adam was alone. God realized that it was not good for Adam to be alone, so he created Eve. He fashioned her from a rib in the side of Adam. They lived in the Garden of Eden and were without sin. God told Adam and Eve that they could eat fruit from any tree in the garden but one. Satan took on the form of a serpent and convinced Eve to eat from the tree of forbidden fruit. She in turn, convinced Adam to do the same. Adam and Eve were immediately ashamed of their nakedness and their disobedience. They used leaves to cover themselves and hid from God.  Their disobedience angered and saddened God. He sacrificed an animal to cover their sin and their nakedness. He told them they would forever toil and experience pain and trouble, both them and their heirs. He condemned the serpent to always slither the earth on its belly and forever be at odds with humans.  He banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. The Bible Art Library is a collection of commissioned biblical paintings. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, under a work-for-hire contract, artist Jim Padgett created illustrations for 208 Bible stories encompassing the entire Bible from Genesis through Revelation. There are over 2200 high-quality, colorful, and authentic illustrations. The illustrations are high quality, biblically and culturally accurate, supporting the reality of the stories and bringing them to life. They can be used to enhance communication of Bible stories in printed, video, digital, and/or audio forms."
“So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals” – Gen.2:19-20.

When God warned our first parents before they sinned, saying, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die,” was insinuative corroboration that they lived and enjoyed a form of longevity bordering on human immortality, until sin brought on the death penalty. (Gen.2:17) The death penalty was immediate as it concerned their spiritual life – spiritual death means the cessation of the Love relationship Adam had with the divine after He and his wife Eve ate the forbidden fruit. (Gen.3:22; Rom.6:23; 6:16) Rebellion had displaced Love in their lives. Physically speaking, death was not immediate, rather the cessation of mortal life came through living the way of life of rebellion which led to sin, emptiness, and ultimately death. (Gen.2:17) The famed tagline, “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return,” was decreed only after Adam and Eve sinned, not before. (Gen.3:19) Spiritual death was most ominous for it depicts an emptiness describing the absence of the Spirit in human life. (Gen.3:22, 24) This was the purpose that Jesus, the second Adam, came to restore humanity into God’s presence, for sin had blocked the way to the Tree of Life (Spirit). (Rom.8:10-11; 5:17)

The Genesis account further implied humanity’s deathless existence in celestial Eden. When God said, “Then the Lord God said, “The man has become like one of us, since he knows good and evil. He must not reach out and take the fruit from the Tree of Life and eat. Then he would live forever.” So the Lord God sent the man out of the Garden of Eden to farm the ground from which the man had been formed. After He sent the man out, God placed angels and a flaming sword that turned in all directions east of the Garden of Eden. He placed them there to guard the way to the Tree of Life” (Gen.3:22-24).

When God said, “He (Adam) must not reach out and take the fruit from the Tree of Life and eat, then he would live forever” (V.22), validates the fact that our first parents subsisted in a deathless existence through the Spirit’s power (Tree of Life). As to how long the life of our first parents in celestial Eden prior to their death sentence on account of sin, was irrelevant because time is inconsequential as far as eternity and immortality is concerned. It was only as the result of sin entering human life that death became real, and God banished them from Eden. According to the Bible, Adam lived for 930 years. (Gen.5:5) That was the count of years since the death sentence was first decreed after they ate the forbidden fruit. (Gen.3:19) God had switched human immortality into a mortal form of immortality – through human procreation, so that death will not overwhelm nor destroy mankind as the enemy had envisioned. (Gen.3:16) Yet, death was not to be humanity’s final fate. (John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:53)

After evicting them from Paradise God halted and ensured the evil spirit of rebellion will never be immortalized and perpetuated in Eden by mankind. To immortalize rebellion and the sin-condition in humanity would have destroyed God’s purpose for creating mankind in His Love-image. (Gen.1:26-27) So, they were not permitted to live in their rebellion-conditioned, and sin-soiled, humanity in celestial Eden. By being ejected from Paradise’s celestial environment, humanity was now subject to the devil’s rebellious environment of sin and death outside Eden, awaiting the promise of the second Adam who would end human death and bring human immortality. (Rom.6:23; Gen.3:13,15; John 6:39-40; 3:16; 1 Cor.15:45-49)

Temptation by and large occurs in moments of weakness, and that is what happened to Adam and Eve. God’s primordial image is eternal life, and lives forever in eternity. Therefore, it was impossible for God to create our first parents and subject them to death – that would stand as an affront to Him and a contradiction to His divine eternal image He created humans to parallel and resemble. (Gen.1:26-27) Adam and Eve were created to live, not die! Death is synonymous with sin which spring and proceed from Satan. Paul informs us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23). Our first parents were created perfect in God’s eternal Love-image and thereby were bound to God’s immortal likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) It was not until Adam and Eve had allowed sin to enter their lives at their own choosing, and in doing so, death came into play and existed for the very first time for mankind. (Gen.3:1-6)

Their fall from grace severed the ongoing life and Love-relationship they had enjoyed with God. They were forbidden access to the Tree of Life which represented the Holy Spirit and the power and personification of God’s Love which inspired the Love relationship they had with God. (Gen.3:23-24; Rom.5:5) The countdown to utter emptiness and eventual death had begun. This is when the clock of time first begun its countdown for fallen humanity. Today, we are about six thousand years removed from Adam’s fatal decision to eat the forbidden fruit. Now, it remained for the second Adam to appear as God promised to rescue humanity by stopping the clock of time (death), and usher in the divine gift of immortality in God’s own divine will. Paul wrote, “For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies” (1 Cor.15:53, NLT; Gen.3:14-15; John 3:16; 6:40; 1 Cor.15:51-57; Gen.2:26-27).

Their banishment from Eden meant our first parents were to make a living outside the confines of Paradise in the Garden of Eden. They were denied access to the Tree of Life (Spirit/Love). This proved to be the most excruciating and crushing experience for them, since the Tree of Life (Spirit) was what empowered the divine Love and life which enabled them to relate with the Triune God in Love. Any semblance of the Love-relationship they had with God had disappeared because sin and rebellion had infiltrated and destroyed the perfect union of Love they had with God. The moment Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and sin entered their lives, their human immortality disappeared suddenly, and they assumed nothing more than their temporary human existence and mortality. It was said in the writing of sages that Adam was consumed with inconsolable grief for what they had done and all they had lost. What was sudden and immediate was humanity’s spiritual death God had warned Adam. (Gen.2:17) The Love-relationship they had with the divine Godhead had died in the moment of their sinning. The abandonment of this Love relationship through sin was what Adam mourned uppermost. Now, restitution must first be made, and sin and rebellion had to be removed and replaced with Love (Spirit/Tree of Life), hence, God promised restitution through His Son. (Gen.3:14-15; Rom.5:5, 8; 8:32)

From the aftermath of Adam’s fall, we have the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ who is now influenced and shaped in every way, shape, and form, by the devil who Adam chose to follow through sin and rebellion, outside of Eden. (Gen.3:1-12; Eph.2:1-3) Our first parents were deceived by a cunning and conniving enemy of God who wanted to destroy humanity through sin and death. (Gen.3:1; Eph.6:12-13; Rom.6:23) So, there we have the origin of the first Adam, the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ and death. But death was not going to be the final arbiter, it was not to be mankind’s fate, for God had switched human immortality into a mortal form of immortality – human procreation. Through procreation humanity is given the means by which to conquer the curse of death which lurks behind sin. In this way, God ensured His purpose in humanity will never be undermined or defeated by death. Today the human population worldwide is 7.8 billion as of January 2020. (https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/) Death had not exterminated mankind as the enemy had envisioned. God, in His Love, saved mankind by passing the death penalty upon His Son as Savior to bring the promise of Jesus’ new humanity and human immortality to both the living and the dead. (John 3:14-16; Gal.3:13; Rom.14:9) So, we read the following passage from the Book of Hebrews, “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could He (Jesus) 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 the fear of dying (death)” (Heb.2:14-15; 1 Cor.15:54-56).

Adam and Eve Banished From Eden, Gen.3:23-24. (Wiki Commons)

Now, let us see how Jesus, as God’s Spokesman (Word), introduced the heavenly man, the ‘Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus to mankind. Then we will go through the three-step process of the Ascents where we will cover the work of the Triune God in making mankind, ‘Immanuel humans,’ and bring human immortality. Jesus is the firstborn ‘Immanuel human,’ so Paul writes, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who Love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son (‘Immanuel human’), that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified” (Rom.8:28-30, italics mine). Yes, Jesus is the ‘firsborn’ ‘Immanuel human.’

The heavenly man informs us about the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Triune Godhead, who became the human Savior. Thomas F. Torrance (1913-2007) said, “Everything would be emptied of evangelical and saving import if Jesus Christ were not fully, completely, entirely man, as well as God” (The Trinitarian Faith, Pg.146). Yes, Jesus was fully God and fully human, a completely new human to appear upon earth. Before His crucifixion, Jesus said, “I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father” revealing His oneness with the Father in the Godhead. (John 16:28). The writer of Hebrews tell us this, “Since the children have flesh and blood, He (Jesus) too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For this reason, He had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Heb.2:14-18). Yes, Jesus is the Savior of mankind who appeared upon earth to proliferate His new humanity which humans can adopt through a new birth by and in the Spirit. (John 3:5-7; Rom.8:29)

How precious is the Father’s limitless grace and how magnanimous Jesus’ selfless sacrifice toward all of humanity, and the overarching Love and friendship of the Spirit. Then Paul tell us, “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body” (Col.2:9, NLT). Yes, Jesus is the firstborn heavenly man in whom we are called to give adherence in our lives as Paul continues, “For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And having called them, He gave them right standing with Himself. And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory” (Rom.8:29-30). Yes, humanity is called to follow Jesus by adopting His new ‘Immanuel humanity’ over the fallen ‘Adamic humanity.’

“For this is how God Loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NLT)

Let us now see Jesus’ testimony as to the manner in which a person transition from being a fallen ‘Adamic human’ and become the ‘Immanuel human.’ The night Jesus was taken to be crucified, He shared what is commonly called the Last Supper with His disciples. More than just a mere supper, Jesus was about to make an astounding revelation and inaugurate a powerful ritual concerning the new birth into His new ‘Immanuel Humanity.’ All of mankind has descended from the first fallen Adam and needs saving from the sin-condition by a rebirth through Jesus, the second Adam. (John 3:16-17; John 3:5-7; Act.2:38; John 6:53-58; Eph.2:15-16)

Last Supper, Wafers, Communion Wafers
“Take and eat; this is My Body…Then He took a cup drink from it, all of you. This is My Blood of the Covenant” (Matt.26:26-28).

He introduced a divinely ordained ceremony with two powerful emblems concerning the truth of the spiritual human rebirth into Jesus’ new humanity. Commonly called the Communion in the Christian community today, its traditionally known as the Last Supper. (Matt.26:17-18) The passage from Matthew gives us the original name of this ceremony – Passover. The first Passover was instituted long ago in Egypt when ancient Israel utilized the emblem of the lamb’s blood which they believed unleashed God’s power which freed Israel from Egyptian slavery. (Exo.12:1-13) The emblem of the lamb’s blood in the original Passover was prophetic and foretold the appearance of the Messiah as the “Lamb of God” to usher in the greater spiritual exodus of Israel and all humanity from the slavery of sin. John the Baptist introduced Jesus as “The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29; 1 Cor.5:7-8) Thereby, we see the material relevance of the Passover ceremony to the Christian faith concerning freedom and rebirth. (John 3:5-7) The Passover can be said to be the heartbeat of the Christian faith.

With regard to the emblem of the bread, the scriptures says, “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” (Matt.26:26). With respect to the emblem of the wine, the passage says, “Then He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “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.28:27-28). Earlier in His ministry, Jesus told His followers, “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” (John 6:53). Jesus was speaking metaphorically concerning His new ‘Immanuel humanity.’ (Isa.7:14) This is not a physical rebirth but spiritual one as Jesus explained to Nicodemus. (John 3:4-6) Paul said, “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor.15:45).

The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci (Pixabay)

The emblem of the bread represents Jesus’ body, and the emblem of the wine symbolize His blood. The two emblems add up to represent the whole new humanity of Jesus empowered by the Spirit. (Act.10:38) His incarnation as fully God and fully human reveals how humanity can adopt and receive in Him the new humanity filled with God’s Spirit. (Rom.8:9) Jesus continued in the passage quoted earlier, “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 6:54-57). Jesus is not talking of cannibalism by any means, He was speaking metaphorically about His new ‘Immanuel humanity.’ This is a spiritual body and blood. (Rom.8:29; 1Cor.15:45) So, whenever humans partake the emblems they are manifesting belief of conforming to the image of Jesus’ new glorious ‘Immanuel Humanity.’ (Rom.8:29; 1 Cor.15:49; Eph.1:5) Jesus said His followers we’re to keep this Passover ceremony which picture rebirth of the new humanity until His return to earth at His second coming. (Matt.26:29, ISV). In other words, humanity is called to adopt Jesus’ new humanity in this human earthly life until His return, when at the resurrection of the dead, mankind will be given to inherit everlasting life in a glorious immortal body like His. (Rom.8:11, 291 Cor.15:51-57; 1 Thess.4:13-18)

Let us now navigate the 3 Ascents which depict the Loving relationship of the Triune God in bringing humanity into the glorious new humanity Jesus brought from God the Father. The 1st Ascent show the human relationship with the Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. The 2nd Ascent depict our relationship with Jesus, the second Person of the Triune God. The 3rd Ascent portray the human relationship with the Father, the first Person in the Godhead. The three ascents open out to the 4th Ascent which unveils the manifestation of the Love of the Father, Son, and Spirit in personifying the ‘Immanuel humanity’ in mankind. The 3 Ascents reveal to humans the inward, outward, and upward acts of God’s Love in a person’s life.

Author Jon Tal Murphree gives us in succinct and profound detail how the divine nature of Triune God in the three Persons exists in the divine pattern of the Triune Life, “Each Person of the Trinity transposes Himself into the others without confusing His own personality with the Others…the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other.” (Pg,29, “The Trinity and Human Personality”). When humans live the Triune Love in the 3 Ascents, this identical divine pattern become our reality too. Humans do not exist as persons alongside each other with the three Persons of the Godhead, rather each exist in and through each other, so we become one in our union of Love, as the Triune Godhead is one in His Tri-unity. We saw this divine pattern in the creation of Eve where she was not separately created apart from Adam, but inherently part of him for she was taken out of him, both existing in one inseparable humanity. (1 Cor.11:12) We live by and exist in the divine indivisible Trinitarian principle which says, “The act of One is the act of Three, and the act of Three is the act of One.” Let’s begin our journey through the 3 Ascents

1st Ascent, Holy Spirit: Sin-Rebellion-Distress/Love-Uprightness-Harmony. In the 1st Ascent the Spirit gives humans the spiritual insight and vision to see the fallen ‘Adamic human’ who controls human life in the evil spirit of rebellion and sin. The Spirit is the Personification of God’s divine Love, and whenever He (Spirit) is present, rebellion flees from His presence. (Rom.5:5) Imagine a room that’s pitch dark, when light is switched on, darkness flees and gives way to light. This is identical with the work of the Spirit who brings the light of Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5). This is God’s inward act of Love toward humanity where His Spirit is active at sanctifying God’s will in a person’s life to adopt Jesus’ light through His new humanity. So, He (Spirit) gives us the insight to see the light of Jesus new, risen, ‘Immanuel human.’ By giving us the eyes to see, Herald (Spirit) also provides the strength to repent or the desire to change from the old self in the ‘Adamic human’ and leads us to Jesus and His new ‘Immanuel humanity.’

The Bible tells us what the Spirit does to humans, “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. (Rom.8:5-9). The above passage speaks of two kinds of mindset – ‘according to the flesh’ or carnal, and ‘according to the Spirit’ or Love. The former is reference to the ‘Adamic human’ (flesh/carnal), and the latter relates to the new ‘Immanuel human’ (Spirit/Love). Paul goes on, “If you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom.8:13).  

Dove, Hand, Trust, God, Pray, Prayer
“Wait for the Gift My Father Promised” Act.1:4. Dove, Symbol of the Holy Spirit of Love and Power from the Father. (unsplash)

So, we see that the presence of the Spirit (Love) gives the human mind the consciousness of the spirit of rebellion and sin. The Gospel of John makes this clear when Jesus said what the work of the Spirit entails, and when He (Spirit) comes, “He will convict the world of its sin” (John 16:8). Then Jesus explains what the true definition of sin, “The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in Me” (John 16:9). We may have heard people give us their version of what sin is, but here we have the Spirit’s explanation: it is the human rejection, either by ignorance and/or doubt and distrust to accept Jesus as the divine Messiah given by God to forgive all human sin, and through the new humanity of Jesus, defeat rebellion. So, the Spirit points humans to Jesus as Savior and Mediator.

A Sculptured Rendition of The Tree of Life (Wiki Commons)

Now that we understand the role of the Spirit in human life, Herald (Spirit) leads us to the 2nd Ascent…

2nd Ascent, Jesus Christ – Light-Immanuel Humanity: The role of the Spirit is to lead humans to a relationship with Jesus the Savior. Jesus is called the Light because He holds in Him the essence of the new ‘Immanuel humanity’ that shines and gives Light to this world that has been darkened by the first fallen Adam, the ‘Adamic human.’ He said, “I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). Jesus is God’s outward act of Love for mankind. Paul was inspired to write, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come (‘Immanuel humanity’): The old has gone (‘Adamic humanity’), the new is here! 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. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor.5:17-21, italics mine). So, we see here that after we are given and become Jesus’ Light in the world, we will naturally make and take our appeal to those who are still in darkness, and thereby become part of God’s work of reconciliation.

Cross, Sunset, Sunrise, Hill, Sky, Sun
Jesus’ Death was Not Solitary, But Trinitarian in the True Sense. (Pic: Pixabay)

There is one final step to take for humans to cross over from the world of darkness to the world of Light in Jesus. So, through Jesus’ death upon His cross, the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ has been put to death and never given any semblance of life so as to control human life with its spirit of rebellion and sin ever again. Jesus led the way by His incredible and monumental task when He took our sin-laden humanity and nailed it to His cross once for all through His own death. Peter was inspired to write, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree (Cross), so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God” (1 Pet.2:24; 3:18, MSG). Paul said, “He canceled the record of the charges (sin and rebellion) against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross” (Col.2:14, italics mine). So, through Jesus the fallen ‘Adamic human’ was put to death upon His cross once for all never again to control human life through rebellion and sin.

But Jesus did not just remain a dead Savior upon His cross. He was buried and was raised from the dead back to life by God the Father on the third day. (1 Cor.15:4; Matt.12:40; Hos.6:1-2) Through His own resurrection, He also resurrected humanity into His new humanity – the ‘Immanuel human.’ Just as Jesus had put the fallen humanity in the ‘Adamic human’ to death by nailing him upon His cross, He now resurrects humanity into the new ‘Immanuel humanity.’ Jesus’ sacrifice gives passage for humanity to come before the the Father in the 3rd Ascent.

3rd Ascent, God the Father – Death and Rebirth  The 3rd Ascent depict the human relationship with God the Father. This ascent of the Father is titled, ‘Death and Rebirth.’ What does that mean? Jesus had done His part in the ministry of reconciliation by putting to death the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ in Himself upon His cross. All the while the Spirit plays His role of enlightening the human mind to receive Jesus as Savior. Jesus was raised from the dead by the Father in the Spirit’s power, as we read Paul’s words, “He brought about in Christ, when He (Father) raised Him (Jesus) from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places” (Eph.1:20). Likewise, it is the Father who raises humans in His Son’s new humanity. This ascent reveals God’s upward act of Love for humanity of bringing people to Himself through the sacrificial work of His Son, and the Spirit’s inspiration.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul reveals how the Father uses the Spirit’s power to raise Jesus from the dead, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom8:11). Here, Paul is referring to the resurrection to the new ‘Immanuel humanity’ and the eventual resurrection to immortality at Christ’s return. To ‘give life to your mortal bodies through the Spirit’ means to be alive in the new humanity of Jesus.

How does the Father resurrect humanity into the new humanity of Jesus? Jesus answers that question by stating, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:5-7). John the Baptist told the people this about Jesus, “I baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mar.1:8). At His baptism in the Jordan River, Jesus was baptized for humanity setting the example of repentance and forgiveness with the Spirit descending upon Him showing how a person is reborn into the ‘Immanuel human.’ The Spirit enters human life and makes them temples of God. (Matt.3:16-17; Act.2:38; Eph.1:13-14; 1 Cor.3:16) In the final analysis, the ‘Immanuel human’ is a temple that God indwells through the Spirit. (1 Cor.3:16) Jesus told his followers, “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (Spirit) to you” (John 16:7; Mar.1:8). The act of ‘death and rebirth’ of humanity is done through the process of baptism. (Col.2:12-15)

When Peter preached his Pentecost message about the Messiah, Jesus, the people responded, “What shall we do?” (Act.2:37). Peter replied, “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). By stating, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” Peter advocates this process of ‘death and rebirth’ through repentance of the rebellious sinful life of the fallen ‘Adamic human,’ and receiving the Spirit by whose power the new humanity of Jesus, the ‘Immanuel human,’ is born and made to live in human life.

Baptism by Immersion is Personal Affirmation to Bury the Fallen ‘Adamic human’ in the Watery Grave of Baptism, and Experience the Rebirth in Christ’s New Humanity. John said, “I baptize you with water, but He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mar.1:18)

From the above, we see that the ceremony of baptism is the Father’s gift to humanity which delivers the reality of ‘death and rebirth.’ The ultimate process of baptism is the gift of rebirth into the life of the new humanity of Jesus – the ‘Immanuel human.’ What is baptism? Jesus explains its meaning when He commissioned His disciples to evangelize the world with the Gospel message. Jesus said to them, “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). When He said, “baptize humanity (all nations) into the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” thereby baptism is the point where humanity is inducted into the life of the Father, Son, and Spirit. This admission is made possible only after a person puts to death and bury the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ in the watery grave of baptism, and just as Jesus was resurrected by the Father, humans are raised out of the baptismal waters in the Spirit’s power into the Jesus’ ‘Immanuel humanity’ to live the Triune Life* in the Father, Son, and Spirit. (This is the mode by which I write my blogs on any subject: the 3 Ascents in the Father, Son, and Spirit).

To be “born again” means to bury in the watery grave of baptism the fallen old self inherited from the first Adam, and be given the new birth into the new self in the second Adam, the ‘Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus. This death and rebirth convey the essence of human reverse incarnation and is the heartbeat of the Christian faith. (Rom.12:2; 2 Cor.10:5, NASB) It is inaugurated through the gift of Baptism. Paul said, “You were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with Him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross” (Col.2:12-15, NLT).

We must remember the key words of this passage relating to the rebirth into freedom as ‘Immanuel humans’ promised by the Father, “He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities by His victory on His cross” once for all. (Eph.6:12) It means the power which energized the fallen ‘Adamic human’ through rebellion and sin and ruled over mankind since Adam’s fall has finally lost its power and authority over humanity forever through the Loving acts of the Triune God we witness in the 3 Ascents. Note how Paul greets the Christians in Corinth by establishing the Triune Life* as the basis of their relationship, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God (the Father), and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor.13:14).

God is Creator. In Baptism He Recreates Humans into The Likeness of His Son, Jesus. (Rom.8:29)

The Father’s role in the 3rd Ascent is to bring to reality the promise of human death and rebirth through the gift of baptism. This promise encapsulates the promise and purpose for Jesus to enter our sin-conditioned humanity through His incarnation as a baby in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago, and ultimately bring human immortality. (Matt.1:20; 1 Cor.15:50-54) Jesus said this about taking up and adopting His new humanity, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:44). It is true also about coming to the Father, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Having this sure and eternal promise from the Father, we now come to the 4th Ascent…

Salient Feature: Briefly, let me give the essence of relationship we have covered between the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit with humanity, before moving forward to the 4th Ascent. Essentially, humanity has received three gifts from the Triune God. The Spirit gives us the gift of miraculous insight so that humans can see the need to extricate themselves from the fallen ‘Adamis humanity’ and turn to Jesus. It is much like, and is a copy of, ancient Israel being miraculously rescued from Egyptian slavery. (Exo.6:6, 13:14) The second gift through Jesus is the gift of forgiveness and the new ‘Immanuel humanity.’ (2 Cor.5:17-21) The third gift from the Father is one of miraculous death and rebirth through Baptism so humanity can now walk and exist in Jesus’ new humanity empowered by the Spirit of God, and immortality at the resurrection of the dead. (Col.2:12-15; 1 Cor.15:53)

4th Ascent, Humanity – Living The ‘Immanuel Humanity’: The 4th Ascent reveals how Jesus new humanity is manifested in humans. Many don’t realize the depth of how humans are existentially redeemed and saved simply because they now live in Jesus’ new ‘Immanuel humanity.’ Paul said it like this, “God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Cor.5:21). Humans are now sealed in God’s unseen spiritual ocean of Love which gives them the enabling power to live as reborn humans so the negativity of sin propagated by satanic rebellion cannot affect them as Jesus always mediates for humanity in His High Priestly role in heaven today and forever. Scripture says, “Therefore, He (Jesus/High Priest) is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf” (Heb.7:25; 2:17-18; 4:14-16; 10:14). It is a life of grace, freedom, honor, and destiny in the Triune Love of God.

Because of Jesus’ mediation as High Priest, we are given to utilize our divinely conferred gifts as platforms for good toward all, while keeping us in the bond of His unfathomable Love. God is able to be all things to everyone through the collage of gifts He bestows upon humanity. Paul said this, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (gifts) (Eph.2:10, italics mine; Tit.2:14). He adds, “Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you” (1 Cor.14:1, MSG). All our gifts are woven into the tapestry of God’s Love, so that we are in touch with everything there is to know about God’s purpose for each of us as persons with unique gifts in Jesus’ ‘Immanuel humanity.’ (Read my post on Jesus’ parable about human gifts, titled, “Invest In Gold–True Gold!” at: http://bulamanriver.net/3145)

person using chisel while curving wood
person molding vase
We Use Our Varied Gifts to Serve One Another in Love. Read About The Fruits of Love With Which Humans Exercise Their Gifts: http://bulamanriver.net/9199 (Wiki Commons)

We have seen how God inaugurate the rebirth of humanity through baptism. The primary gifts humanity receives from the Father are the gifts of His Son and His Spirit – both are expressed in the ceremony of baptism through death (Jesus/cross) and rebirth (resurrection/Spirit). Gifts by way of talents grow out of these twin primary and Personal gifts of Jesus and the Spirit. Once more Paul explains to the Romans the rationale behind the new birth with baptism, “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. Since we have been united with Him in His death, we will also be raised to life as He was” (Rom.6:5-11, NLT). Paul says “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph.2:10). The Scripture speaks of Jesus life on earth in this way, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him” (Act.10:38; Rom.6:4). God handiwork is expressed through the talents He gives us to do good to all in our human relationships.

We utilize the Love-fruits of the Spirit in the exercise of the good works we do for others with our talents. God reveals to us clearly what Love means so we are without excuse. We see this revealed to us in 1 Corinthians 13.  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) You may go to: http://bulamanriver.net/9199 to find Love-fruits and their antithesis to help us see the work of the enemy.

This promise of death and rebirth through His Son was initiated by God the Father in the 3rd Ascent by the ritual of baptism by which to signify the death of the fallen humanity and rebirth of the new humanity. The Scripture tell us, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Gal.3:27). The Bibles goes on, “For you died to this life (‘Adamic humanity’), and your real life is hidden with Christ (‘Immanuel humanity’) in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory” (Col.3:3, NLT, italics mine). Paul reminds us of the most profound and sacred reality of the new birth when we are raised from our baptismal watery grave, “And God raised us up with Christ (in baptism) and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:6, italics mine). When Christ was raised from the dead, He subsequently ascended back to His Father in heaven. (Act.1:7-11) How amazingly wonderful to realize God has taken mankind unto Himself by seating us with Christ at His right hand in heaven where Jesus our High Priest forever mediates for humanity, the firstborn ‘Immanuel human’ both human and divine.

Photo Of Stream During Daytime
Humans Become Metaphorical Rivers with God’s Love Flowing Through Them to Water People with Their Gifts. Jesus said of ‘Immanuel Humans,’ “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive” (John 7:37-39; Rom.5:5). All Rivers Flow Out of The Mountain of God’s Divine Love-Being.

Now, through the new humanity of Jesus, humans are constantly reliving the Love activity of the Triune God through and in the 3 Ascents living as true ‘Immanuel humans.’ Recall how Paul blessed the Corinthians by committing them in the Triune Life, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God (the Father), and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor.13:14, italics mine). How awe inspiring to live with the consciousness that you are now living your truth as a person who stands free in your own right fashioned in the very image of the divine, with the destiny of living God’s Love-image for His grand designs of dominion over all creation through His Son and in the power of His Spirit. (Gen.1:26-27; 2 Cor.13:14) Yes, as part of God’s new glorified humanity, you and I can look forward to an awesome future in God’s universal kingdom. Jesus will welcome His followers with the words, “Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” (Matt.25:14).

Petition: Friends, thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus’ new humanity the Father has given us to adopt. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest ceaselessly mediating for us. I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Jesus as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of a gloriously magnificent future for humanity. You can privately and quietly pray this prayer in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human Christ died for, not as a member of any religious sect or denomination: “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 rebirth into Jesus’ Immanuel Humanity through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon me. May Your Love guide and protect me and my loved ones always, and bring us and all humanity into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.” Welcome to the Life of Love in God’s eternal Triune Being and Family. Then keep in touch with God’s word for you by visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation. Or you can email me with your question at the address shown below.

If you have any thoughts and observation you wish to share, please don’t hesitate to write to me in the space provided below, or email me on bulamanriver@gmail.com

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The Resurrection to Immortality – the Hope of Humanity. Jesus said, “For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:40). (Wiki Commons)

Blessing: We wish you all the most successful New Year and a life of destiny, and may you experience the new birth into Jesus’ new humanity, as He came to unite mankind into the divine life of God. 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 in Christ as you live the Triune Love of the Father. Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Farewell for now,

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant In Christ)

*Triune Life or Triune Love: The “Triune Life” is a way of life. Its foundational tenet is based upon the Love of God, because Love is the nature of God. (1 John 4:8Rom.5:5) 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. In the three-dimensional life, the human experience of God’s Love is always moving in an inward, outward, and upward motion where all the three Persons of the Godhead are in relational oneness with humanity. (2 Cor.13:141 Pet.1:1-2)

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 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. You can read more at: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.                                                                   

**BulamanriverTo 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.

"Bula" Man-River
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.

CHRISTMAS – THE STORY OF THE HUMAN “REVERSE INCARNATION,” BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings again, Friends around the World!

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 The Wise Men Guided to Bethlehem Bearing Gifts for the Baby Jesus,And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!” – Matt.2:9-10. (unsplash)

It is that time of year when we pause to reflect on the birth of Jesus, the Son of God, who entered our sin-conditioned humanity, and death-conditioned world, in order to save us and bring true life and immortality to humanity. (John 3:16-17) It is a spiritual process called, “Incarnation.” Today, I will discuss the term, “Reverse Incarnation.” First, let me explain what “Incarnation” mean. Literally, incarnation means “in-fleshing,” or the “taking on human flesh.” It means God came down and dwelt among humans by taking on human flesh. The incarnation is the central biblical teaching that God assumed the human fleshly form and became man in the form of Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinitarian God. That is the essence of the story of Christmas.

Christ was truly God and truly human. The divine and human natures of Jesus do not exist beside one another in an unconnected way but rather are joined in Him in a personal unity that has traditionally been referred to as the hypostatic union. The union of the two natures has not resulted in the diminishing of either, rather the identity of each have been preserved in the Person of Christ. (Eph.2:14-18) Thereby, all of humanity is identified in Christ and the divine life. Hence, Jesus messianic name, Immanuel, means “God with us,” or the Triune God has united Himself with humanity, and vice versa. In so doing, Jesus brought into being a new heritage in the nature of humans – the “Immanuel humanity” of Jesus. Paul expounds on the truth about Jesus’ new humanity, saying, “For He (Jesus) Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility” (Eph.2:14-18). Here, Paul uses the division of the Jew and Gentile as the difference between the old humanity of fallen Adam, and the glorified new humanity in the risen Christ. He said, “God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ…and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms” (Eph.2:4, 6). All humanity is made one new human species in Christ.

Christmas, Crib, Christ, Jesus, Birth
The Angel Announced to the Shepherds that were Keeping Their Flock of Sheep, “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” – Luk.2:10-12 (unsplash)

Therefore, the reverse incarnation is the incarnation of sinful humans into the image of Jesus’ divine/human form. If Jesus’ incarnation means “taking on human flesh” from His divine form and existence, then human reverse incarnation means “taking on the divine Spirit” from our human fleshly existence. Paul explains the human reverse incarnation in his letter to the Romans, “For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son (reverse incarnation), so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” Rom.8:29, CSB, italics mine). The Son stands as the firstborn in the line of humanity He restored to the new human species in Christ.

Yes, God predestined humanity to be conformed to the image of His Son. It is a process by which fallen humans take on the new nature of Christ, and by so doing attain the hypostatic union of the divine and the human flesh, and be preserved for human immortality which Jesus inaugurated in His own human resurrection to immortality, or as Paul affirmed, “Jesus might be the firstborn (of new humanity with inherent immortality) among many brothers and sisters” (Rom.8:29, italics mine). The reverse incarnation of humans is not possible without the primary and central incarnation of Jesus Himself that we read the Bible about Jesus’ birth, declaring, “So the Word (Jesus) became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing Love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (John 1:14, italics mine).

Thomas F. Torrance said, “Everything would be emptied of evangelical and saving import if Jesus Christ were not fully, completely, entirely man, as well as God” (The Trinitarian Faith, Pg.146). Yes, Jesus was fully God and fully human, a completely new human to appear upon earth. The writer of Hebrews tell us this, “Since the children have flesh and blood, He (Jesus) too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For this reason, He had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Heb.2:14-18). How precious is the Father’s grace and how magnanimous Jesus’ selfless sacrifice toward all humans. And that brings us to the wonderful story of the birth of Jesus, the season traditionally celebrated at this time of year called Christmas.  

Creation of Humanity Through the First Adam

God had created only two humans from whom all human families have descended. The first Adam and the second Adam. (1 Cor.15:45) The first Adam was created from the dust of the earth by God’s Spirit as recorded in the Book of Genesis, “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Gen.2:7). Eve was taken out from Adam’s side so all humanity flowed from the first Adam. (Gen.2:21-23) The second Adam came through the birth of Jesus by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, as announced to Joseph and Mary His human parents by an angel, “An angel of the Lord appeared to him (Joseph) in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit” (Matt.1:20). Jesus proceeded from God the Father and the Triune Godhead. He said, “I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I” (John 14:28; 10:29). This birth of Jesus is called the incarnation.

All humans are born into the sin-condition of the devil through the first Adam. For reference, we will call the first fallen Adam, the ‘Adamic human.’ When Jesus appeared as the second Adam, He appeared and came in His messianic nature called, Immanuel, which means, “God with us,” or the union of the divine and the human flesh or His incarnation. (Matt.1:23; Isa.7:14). We will name the second Adam, the ‘Immanuel human.’ Since Jesus appearance, humanity has taken on the manifestation of the ‘Immanuel human’ by faith. He made one new humanity in Himself. (Eph.2:15) The Immanuel humanity*** of Jesus reveals the primary stage of reverse incarnation a human undergoes upon earth, then culminates in the resurrection to immortality at Jesus’ second coming. (Read 1 Cor.15; esp. Vs: 50-58).

Paul said, “God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who Love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored (‘Immanuel human’)” (Rom.8:29). By saying, “The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored,” affirms Jesus was firstborn of the new humanity God created that is conformed to Jesus’ new ‘Immanuel humanity’ who carries the seed of immortality inherent in the person. The first ‘Adamic human’ carried the seed of death through the sin-condition of the devil.

This is the simple message of Christmas: whereas the first Adam gave us the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ and death through sin, Jesus came to bring mankind’s reverse incarnation into His ‘Immanuel humanity’*** so we can be saved in this earthly life, and be given human immortality like Him in the next life through Jesus’ resurrection and become part of God’s eternal offspring. The Scriptures affirms, “For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Rom.8:29). By saying, “chose them to be like His Son,” it affirms the rebirth into Jesus’ new ‘Immanuel humanity.’ Whereas humanity was on a one-trek path to death and oblivion through the first fallen Adam, now mankind can look forward in hope to the new purpose through the second Adam in Christ with eternal life as the promise of human destiny. Jesus took our humanity, cleanse and made it holy, and led the way to immortality through His own perfect life, His sacrificial death upon His cross, His human resurrection, and ascension to His High Priestly Office today. (Matt.28:2-7; John 3:16-17; Act.10:38; Heb.4:14-16) Satan will be put away and deceive and tempt humanity no more. (Rev.20:10)

This is the heart and core of the message of Christmas, and it is a message of hope and glory for all humanity regardless of our station in life. The message of Christmas of human reverse incarnation is not just for Christians, but for all humanity. The word ‘Christian’ ought not to elucidate an organized religion, rather, it simply means a ‘follower of Jesus Christ,’ which can apply to any human being regardless of our different backgrounds, origins, and history. One can be a Christian and not be part of an organized religion or denomination. Christianity is actually a personal relationship between a person and God through Jesus.

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The New Humanity God Created is Descended From the Second Adam, Jesus’ Lineage, The “Immanuel Human” (Wiki Commons)

The ultimate goal of the reverse incarnation is the gift of eternal life from God, 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 (immortality)” (John 3:16, italics mine). We have read Paul’s commentary in 1 Corinthians 15: “The perishable shall have put on the imperishable, and the mortal shall have put on immortality” (1 Cor.15:54, BLB). But how is the reverse incarnation made to happen and actually manifested in human beings? It begins on the human level, then progresses through a person’s human lifetime, before attaining the resurrection to immortality as its ultimate destiny. (John 3:16; 36; 11:25)

Jesus spoke about this reverse incarnation in the most solemn and seminal moment when He said, “You must be born again of the Spirit.” (John 3:5-8). Yes, reverse incarnation involves a ‘rebirth.’ It is not a physical rebirth but a spiritual one, as Jesus clarified Nicodemus’s question. (John 3:4-7) For it is the spiritual side of our humanity (Human mind) which controls the bodily functions. How wonderfully ironic that as we remember the birth of Jesus at Christmas, it actually pictures the rebirth of humans into Jesus’ new ‘Immanuel humanity’ in the reverse incarnation.

To be “born again” means to put to death the fallen old self that is inherited from the first Adam, the ‘Adamic humanity,’ and be give the new birth to the new self in the second Adam, the ‘Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus. This death and rebirth convey the essence of human reverse incarnation and takes place in the human mind. (Rom.12:2; 2 Cor.10:5, NASB) It is inaugurated through the ritual of baptism. Baptism is the induction ceremony that initiates the ‘reverse incarnation’ (new birth) of the Immanuel human. Paul said, “You were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with Him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities” (Col.2:12-15, NLT). The Father’s purpose was for Jesus to enter our sin-conditioned humanity was to rescue mankind from the sin-condition, and transform humans through the ‘reverse incarnation’ and make human immortality a reality. (1 Cor.15:50-54)

Let us now take the three-step process called the Ascents which we have used in previous posts, to depict the work of the Triune God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in this process of the reverse incarnation of humanity. The 1st Ascent relates to the work of God through His Spirit, called “Repentance.” The 2nd Ascent brings us to the work of the Son, called “Forgiveness, the Gospel of Jesus, the Messiah.” The 3rd Ascent is a person’s relationship with the Father is called “Faith in the Gospel.” The 4th Ascent is the manifestation of the Gospel, which is the “Reverse Incarnation of humans.” The word “Gospel” literally means “Good News.” The good news Jesus brought from the Father to humanity is God’s work of saving humanity by destroying the sin-condition in the ‘Adamic humanity’ (first Adam), and give humans new life in the Love-condition of the ‘Immanuel humanity’ through a rebirth of reverse incarnation in Christ (second Adam).

First Ascent, Repentance – Spirit.  The 1st Ascent reveals the human relationship with God through the Holy Spirit. The 1st Ascent speaks of Repentance. The Bible reveals the three-pronged role of the Spirit (John 16:7-15). The first one is the consciousness of sin in the world. With the consciousness of sin comes repentance or change. The Spirit leads humans to repentence. What does repentance and reverse incarnation have in common? In its simplest form, repentance means a person acknowledges his/her place in the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ from the first Adam who sinned in Eden. (Gen.3:1-6) Yes, humanity must repent of the sin-condition into which he was incarcerated by the evil one through Adam, and desires above all else to receive forgiveness through Jesus’ mediation. (Act.2:38) By receiving Jesus, a person receives the new nature of Jesus – the ‘Immanuel humanity’*** in the Spirit’s power. (***- read footnote)  

Dove, Hand, Trust, God, Pray, Prayer
“Wait for the Gift My Father Promised” Act.1:4. Dove, Symbol of the Holy Spirit of Love and Power from the Father. (unsplash)

So, repentance is about entering and becoming part of God’s ministry of reconciliation where humanity is reunited back to God from his/her fallen state of existence in the ‘Adamic humanity’ into the saved-condition in Jesus’ ‘Immanuel humanity.’*** We read Paul’s words concerning God’s ministry of reconciliation, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come (Immanuel humanity): The old has gone (Adamic humanity), the new is here! 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. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor.5:17-21, italics mine). The essence and heart of the ministry of reconciliation and thereby the reverse incarnation is stated clearly by John, “For God so Love the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believed in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). So, the work of the Spirit in the 1st Ascent is to lead humanity through repentance to Jesus in the 2nd Ascent where mankind obtains forgiveness, in order to receive the gift of immortality from the Father. (1 John 5:11-12; 3:36)

Salient feature: Here, we see the first step in the process of reverse incarnation through the three-pronged intercessory work of the Spirit of the conviction of sin and leading humans to repentance. Then follows the act of Love for God and humanity. The third is the judgment of the instigator of all sin, the devil. (John 16:8-11) Before His crucifixion, Jesus reminded the disciples of a vital promise from the Father, “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.24:49; also John 14:26). Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit as the “power from on high.” Jesus and the Spirit work hand-in-hand as one with the Father to bring salvation to humanity. It is the Spirit who leads humanity to repentance by leading us to our need for forgiveness and reconciliation through the Savior, Jesus.

Second Ascent: Forgiveness, Gospel (Good News) of The Messiah – Jesus. The second step in the human reverse incarnation is the relationship with Jesus whose work is to save humanity by cleansing humanity of all sin and saving us from the sin-condition through forgiveness and present mankind perfect to the Father. The essence of the good news or Gospel of the Messiah is revealed in the Person of Jesus Himself. He was tasked by His Father to bring to humanity God’s forgiveness through repentance (Ascent 1/Spirit). One of the most memorable passage of the Bible is, “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). Forgiveness is the state of absolution from the fallen sin-condition of humanity through the devil, and entering the saved risen Love-condition of Jesus’ new humanity through the Spirit.

In this passage we see the essence of the Christmas story, and the story of human reverse incarnation. The Gospel or Good News is none other than the Person of Jesus Christ Himself. He is the Good News of God the Father He gave mankind when He was born in Bethlehem. The Gospel of Jesus Christ IS the very Person of Jesus who gave Himself to humanity by conferring His new ‘Immanuel humanity’ we now take upon ourselves by a reverse incarnation through faith! This is a rebirth from the fallen humanity of Adam to the new risen humanity of Christ.

Jesus is the personification of the Good News to humanity as a whole. He is the prophesied Immanuel, the promised Messiah from God Almighty who came and lived a perfect life, died for mankind’s sins, was resurrected and ascended to His former glory, only this time glorifying our humanity in Himself, and was made mankind’s High Priest forever. (Isa.7:14; Act.10:38; Mar.16:6; Heb.2:17; 3:1) In John’s Gospel, Jesus revealed three life-saving truths the Spirit will bring to the human consciousness. (John 16:8-11) One of them reveals how humanity will be saved from the incarceration in the sin-condition the devil has imposed upon humanity, God’s arch enemy. Jesus said, “Concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me” (John 16:9, RSV). In other words, there is only one way of defeating sin and be rescued from the prison of the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’: to have faith in the Messiah God has provided for our forgiveness, the new ‘Immanuel humanity.’

Sin is not the human failure to be obedient to a set of laws and regulations, or any other definition of sin we may espouse. Rather, sin is simply the human denial, either by ignorance and/or rejection, of the Messiah God has mercifully provided for our forgiveness and sealed in the saved-condition in the Spirit’s Love. We can be obedient all we want humanly, but without Jesus’ work of mediation on our behalf, we remain unsaved still. The Spirit gives humans the power to obey Lovingly rather than legalistically. So, we see how faith becomes the centerpiece of God’s work in the reverse incarnation made possible through Jesus’ mediation as Savior and High Priest. Through Jesus we are given the divine life through the Spirit to empower us to do the will of God through Love (not the law). The ‘law’ is simply the limited legalistic expression of God’s Love. However, divine Love is manifested more deeply and intimately in the spiritual sense than the legalistic law ever could. As Paul said, “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace (Love). (Rom.6:14, NLT, italic mine). Humans encounter a relationship with the divine Godhead through Love, not the law. The law defines sin, and sin condemns. Sin can’t tell you how to live, only Love can do that. Paul says after all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer (old covenant/legalism). You’re living in the freedom of God’s Love (new covenant/grace). The difference between law and grace (Love) is like night from day.

Death of Jesus the Messiah, Savior and Mediator of Mankind in the Expression of the Father’s Love. (Wiki Commons)

Let’s get down to the brass tacks of why Jesus is the Personification of the Gospel, for He is the Gospel (good news) in reality. Our faith in the Good News (Gospel) affirms the following truths about Jesus:

• Unlike Adam who was created from the soil of the earth, Jesus was fully human and fully God who proceeded from the Trinitarian Being of God. (Gen.2:7; John 1:1-2; 14) There are only two humans God created: the first Adam (Adamic humanity), and the second Adam. (Immanuel humanity***) (1 Cor.15:45; Eph.2:13-18).

• By naming Jesus “Immanuel,” meaning “God with us,” God assimilated Himself with humanity through Mary, and equally unified humans with the Triune God. (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:18-23)

• Only Jesus’ birth ushered in the new “Immanuel (God with us) humanity” which substitutes the fallen, depraved “Adamic humanity” of Adam. (2 Cor.5:17-18; John 3:3) (You read about the “New Humanity of Jesus” at: http://bulamanriver.net/9718)

• Only Jesus, through His perfect sinless life, His death upon His cross, His resurrection and ascension back to the Father, and by taking up His role as humanity’s eternal High Priest in heaven, could give Himself as the means by which humans can put to death our ‘beyond cure’ corrupt “Adamic humanity.” (Jer.17:9; Mar.7:21-23; Heb.4:5) Humans will not become perfect after the new birth, we have residual weaknesses inherited from the Adamic humanity. But we have Jesus mediating for us in His High Priestly Office so we can “have the mind of Christ,” and be “clothed in Jesus’ (“Immanuel humanity)” for this is how God the Father “reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (1 Cor.2:16; Gal.3:27; Rom.3:14; 2 Cor.5:18). There is no other way to put the fallen Adamic corrupt humanity to death, and be given the new birth in His “Immanuel humanity” except through the Holy Spirit and His eternal mediation as humanity’s High Priest. (1 Cor.1:30; 2 Cor.5:21) Thus, God the Father imputes Jesus’ glorified life upon humanity making salvation possible by blessing and clothing mankind in Jesus’ glorified “Immanuel humanity.” (Read about Jesus’ High Priestly Role at: http://bulamanriver.net/11230)

Cross, Christ, Faith, God, Jesus, Clouds
Jesus’ Death was Not Solitary, But Trinitarian in Every Sense. (Pic: Pixabay)

• Only Jesus makes the new birth in the “Immanuel humanity” experience possible by sending the Holy Spirit to enter and make God’s temple out of human life. The Spirit sanctifies human believers by Personifying Jesus’ “Immanuel humanity” in place of the fallen corrupt “Adamic humanity” of Adam. (John 3:3-7; Act.2:38; 1 Cor.3:16; 2 Cor.6:16)

• Only through Jesus’ “Immanuel humanity” has mankind been finally given to stand in his/her own right to repent and be forgiven. It is impossible for the fallen “Adamic humanity” to repent on his/her won. (Jer.17:9; 30:15)

• Only Jesus can bring humans to immortality through the Spirit. (John 11:25; Rom.8:11)    

Third Ascent: Faith in the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ, the Messiah – Father.  The Third Ascent belongs to the Father, and represents the work of the Father in the Trinitarian Love activity. More than simply believing, Faith in the Gospel of Jesus means to take ownership of salvation afforded and set up in the Messiah God has provided to make possible the process of reverse incarnation. To take ownership of Jesus’ messiahship (Good News) and all that Jesus means to our human salvation as shown in detail above in the 2nd Ascent are realities in Jesus the Father has given humanity when He gave His Son for us. The role of the Father in the third ascent is to supply the ‘living faith of Jesus’ necessary to take ownership of Jesus’ work of Savior and Mediator in heaven today and the work of the Spirit in human life upon earth (repentance/Love, 1st Ascent). The famed passage from John, says, “…and whosoever believe in Him (Jesus) shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). All have been saved and waiting for Faith to step in to fully manifest and actualize human salvation in Jesus. The Bible speaks of the gift of Faith as worth its weight in gold. (1 Pet.1:7) So, we see two vital divine components that are compared to ‘gold’ – Faith and human gifting, as we’ll see ‘gifts’ expounded in the 4th ascent, and they are both bound to and proceed from God through Jesus. (Matt.25:14-30; 1 Pet.1:7)

Space, Galaxy, Universe, Planet, Cosmos
God Almighty the Creator, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” – Gen.1:1 (unsplash)

Let me extrapolate on the sin-condition of the arch enemy, Satan. Humanity exist today in the devil’s sin-condition in the world. The sooner we understand that, the truth about sin will become clearer to us. It is not possible for fallen humans (‘Adamic human’) to defeat sin and remain perfect in such an existence. How can sin defeat itself, as Jesus aptly said, “A house divided against itself will fall” (Luk.11:17). It is the “condition” that spawns the kind of action that “condition” will allow. The opposite of the sin-condition is God’s Love-condition. For example, the ocean is the “condition” which enables marine life to exist and live in the seven seas. No other species can exist in its oceanic environment. Neither the beasts of the forest, nor the birds of the air, except the fish of the sea, can live in such a watery condition and surrounding.

Free Stock Photo of Trust Faith Indicates Believe In And Trustful
“Look to Jesus the Author and Finisher of your Faith” – Heb.12:2 (unsplash)

We realize sin and rebellion became part of humanity’s lot and way of life by default at Adam’s behest. (Gen.3:1-6) It is a way of life which breeds all kinds of negativism and evil in the world, springing from the very source of wickedness itself – the devil, Satan! (Ezek.28:11-19; Isa.14:12-14) Human history is littered with all forms of atrocities of man’s inhumanity to man where it embarrasses our sensibilities to even mention. No proper thinking human being goes out of his/her way to hurt himself/herself (commit sin deliberately). That is what sin does – sin is inflicting the slow but sure death upon oneself. (Gen.2:17) The Bible tells us, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom.3:23). To live in sin is to live in self-torture and self-denial where we suffer all kinds of stress, pain, trauma, tribulation, and eventually death. Disastrously, this has become a way of life. It seems like humans are ‘experts’ at getting himself/herself into harm’s way that we appear to be ‘programmed’ to live rebelliously in sin. Humanity is conditioned this way because we exist in the devil’s sin-condition through our fallen ‘Adamic humanity.’

Humans are in this never-ending logjam with sin, and the only way out is to have a permanent and ongoing Mediator and Savior. God knew this in advance, so when Adam fell He provided the way out through His Son, Jesus Christ; the second Adam. (John 3:16-18; 6:40; 1 Cor.15:47; Gen.3:14-15) Today, Jesus is humanity’s Savior and High Priest in heaven, seated at His Father’s right hand, doing exactly as the Father predestined for all of humanity: to permanently mediate for mankind so we may remain in right standing with the Father and the Triune God always and for eternity. Yes, God imputes His Son’s mediation upon humanity so we can experience the reverse incarnation in this life and take mankind into the next life of immortality with Him.  (Read about How God Imputes His Son’s Work to Save Fallen Humanity at: http://bulamanriver.net/564). There is one vital ingredient which comes with the ‘Immanuel human’ which makes this scenario a reality: the living “Faith of Jesus.” (Read about the ‘sin-condition’ and the ‘Love-condition’ explained in the Parable of the Ocean, at: http://bulamanriver.net/5437).

Free Stock Photo of Belief Shows Believe In Yourself And Hope
Underwater Photography of Coral Reefs
The “Love-Condition”/”Sin-Condition” Can be Compared to an Ocean in which Marine life is Likened to Believers Sustained by Its “Living Waters” or “Deathly Waters” Depending which ‘Humanity’ is in Control of the Person (Pexels.com) 

There is a faith that is entirely human and powerless in the spirit realm, however in this instance, we are speaking of the ‘Personal Faith of Jesus.’ Listen to how Paul explains the ‘Faith of Jesus.’: “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, italics for emphasis, KJV). In another passage Paul reminds us, “Even the righteousness of God which is by the faith of Jesus Christ to all and on all them that believe.” (Rom.3:22, italics for emphasis, AKJV) (You can read about “Jesus’ Personal Faith” at http://bulamanriver.net/2811)

The ‘Faith of Jesus’ is empowered by the presence of the Spirit in the human heart and mind. The human faith, on the other hand, is powered by the five physical senses and swayed by Satan, that is, of seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing, touching, and hearing. People will say, “I have to see, smell, taste, touch, or hear, in order to believe,” this is human faith. The human faith is unworkable in the spirit realm. When humans take up the new humanity of Jesus, they live the ‘miraculous life’ that is powered by the Spirit and God’s angelic realm, made reality by Jesus’ living faith. (Rom.8:26; 2 Tim.1:7; Psa.91:11) (You can read about my own personal miracle at: http://bulamanriver.net/2634)

Salient feature: There is always a battle under way between the human faith and Jesus’ Personal Faith. It is important to recognize the difference, and know what to do. Human faith is not entirely inadequate, when used properly, it is utilized to trust in Jesus’ living faith. God requires human participation in the work of reverse incarnation, so human faith is a person’s role in it by trusting in the true ‘Faith of Jesus.’ Sadly, too many of us are trying to follow Christ with the human faith alone and it is an impossible task. The ‘faith of Jesus’ is the personal gift from the Father in this 3rd Ascent. It is what empowers the life of the ‘Immanuel humanity’ who is the manifestation of the reverse incarnation. Hence, we read, “And it is impossible to please God without Faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him” (Heb.11:6).   

Free Stock Photo of Faith Word Indicates Believing Faithful And Believe Created by Stuart Miles
“I live by the faith of the Son of God, who Loved me, and gave Himself for me” -Gal.2:20. (stockvault)

Fourth Ascent: Reverse Incarnation, Humanity.  This Ascent reveals the human relationship with God. The 4th Ascent is about the reverse incarnation in humanity through the Triune Life*. Very simply the reverse incarnation is manifested in humans through the three relationships we have seen in the 3 Ascents above. The Spirit (1st Ascent) imparts knowledge and understanding of sin, inspires repentance and change by leading humans to the foot of the cross of Jesus (2nd Ascent) to obtain forgiveness. (John 3:16; John 16:7-15) The Father (3rd Ascent) reveals and confers the gift of the living ‘faith of Jesus’ for the purpose of activating the reverse incarnation. (Heb.4:2, 6; 11:6)

Adoración de los Reyes Magos, de Eugenio Cajés (Museo del Prado).jpg
“I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” – Luk.2:10-12. (Wiki Commons)

The story of Christmas carries this magnificent and beloved promise from the Father through His Son, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The 4-step process expounded in the Ascents above reveals what the story of Christmas means, and how its message is accomplished. Since the fall of Adam, humanity has lived under Satan’s rule and adopted his nature and his way of life which diametrically opposes God’s way of Love. Humanity, through deception and sin has existed in this satanic bubble (world) where the ego-centric self is the magnet to life and everything around him. Be that as it may, the enemy knows humanity can never detach himself from the underlying spark which connects mankind to his Creator by virtue of being created in God’s Triune Love-image. (Gen.1:26-27) No one can erase that divine connection, not even the enemy.

Yes, the ultimate purpose of Christmas is the Father’s Loving act of saving humanity from the devil through the act the reverse incarnation and thereby gifting humanity with immortality so mankind can live forever with Him, His Son Jesus, and the Spirit. Paul affirms this awesome promise where God is taking humanity to His desired conclusion, when he said, “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 (Immanuel humans). Therefore, His Son is the firstborn (into immortality) among many children” (Rom.8:29, italics mine, GWT). What a truly marvelous future humanity has in store, and to look forward to with hope.

Here is the beautiful truth about how Jesus’ ‘Immanuel humanity’ is manifested in humans, upon earth and into eternity. The Scriptures says this about Jesus, Paul writes to the Colossians, “I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ Himself. In Him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col.2:2-3). Yes, the knowledge of who you truly are in your personhood (wholeness as humans) as a divinely gifted human being is hidden in Jesus as you take on His new ‘Immanuel humanity.’ All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery of Christ in you – “the hope of glory,” as you live out as ‘Immanuel humans.’ (Col.1:27) Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world. He that follow Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12) The word “light” is symbolic of a person’s purpose in his/her gifting. To live a life without a purpose and destiny is to live in “darkness.” It is through the Light of Jesus (‘Immanuel humanity’) shining in our lives that we are made to see the “false-self” in the ‘Adamic humanity’ and given the light to see and receive the “true self” in Jesus’ ‘Immanuel humanity.’ Yes, we will live out who we are in our gifts, both now and into eternity. The Bible quotes Jesus saying, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each one according to what he has done” (Rev.22:12). Each person is the keeper and custodian of the gift conferred upon him/her by the Creator.

Consider, when Paul was inspired to write that humanity will be conformed to the image of God’s Son, Jesus, it primarily means we will take upon us all that He is in His Sonship so humans become God’s sons and daughters; His gifts and abilities so we can live with purpose in each of our talents; His generosity so humans are influenced and guided by His unfathomable Love; His powers through His Spirit so we are equipped and strengthened in this life and for eternity. That is what it means when Scripture says that “all our treasures (wholeness as persons) lie hidden in Him” (Col.2:2-3, italics mine; Rom.8:29). God has conferred total fullness of the “Immanuel humanity” in Christ, and a measure of that fullness is given by the grace of God to every human believer. As Paul wrote, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col.2:9). The first gift we receive from God is the gift of the Holy Spirit who was given on Pentecost and continues to empower humans today. (Act.2:1-4; 1:8) Jesus said the Spirit will manifest His gifts in humans, “The Spirit will take from what is Mine and disclose it to you” (John 16:15; Act.1:8).

Life and gifts (gold) comes fused together and are inseparable. No human can claim to be without a gift given him or her by the Creator. It is a matter of having the light of Jesus to see who we are and being true to ourselves. A gift is like a magnet. That’s to say, a person’s “life-gift” is the magnet in the person’s life. We have heard the adage, “Life is a gift.” Indeed, for the gift that comes with life is what makes life a gift. Think about this: A musician does not find his music, his music finds him. An author does not find his subject to write about, his subject finds him. An entrepreneur does not find his business niche, his niche finds him. In other words, in the life of the ‘Immanuel human’ the divinely conferred gift will manifest itself. Do we go around allowing various motivations to influence our actions that is not true to our gifts? When that happens, it is evidence of living in the sin-condition of the ‘Adamic humanity’ from the enemy. When we live in the Love-condition of the Spirit in Jesus’ new humanity, He gives us the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus (God’s Word) to guide us to our gifts. (John 1:1-3, 14) Hence, the ‘living faith of Jesus’ plays a vital role. When all is said and done, gifts are the manifestation of Jesus’ Himself in His fullness in each and every human. Paul tells us, “Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you” (1 Cor.14:1, MSG).

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Gold, a Metaphor for Gifts Conferred upon Humans by God as Jesus Affirms In His Parable in Matthew 25: 14-30 (Wiki Commons)

(Read my post on Jesus’ parable about human gifts, titled, “Invest In Gold–True Gold!” at: http://bulamanriver.net/3145)

Many people experience life as square-pegs-in-round-holes, or being misfits, because they are blind to and not living their ordained gifts. They live a life that is not true to themselves. To live a life without one’s true destiny is a life of abject failure – although one may have the impression of “success,” it is really a guise and hollow at its core where people find no true meaning and joy. What is your measure of “success?” Is it money, power, prestige and pride, material stuff? The parable of the gold Jesus gave to His hearers affirms that every person is born with a unique gift conferred upon him/her at birth for the purpose of living his/her purpose in life, be happy doing it, and bringing glory to God as a result. (Matt.25:14-30) You can read the story of Joseph in the Bible which provides an excellent template for how God endows humans with gifts as He gave Joseph his gift through his dream. (Gen.Chap:37; 39-47)

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Gold Coins – Metaphor for Human Gifts as Jesus taught in His Parable, Matthew 25:14-30 (Wiki Commons)

Just because gifts are from God does not mean that gifts ought to be ecclesiastical or religious in nature, which many have wrongly assumed. A person can be a plumber, or engineer, a doctor or gardener, an architect or builder, a marine biologist or fisherman, a scientist or truck driver, or whatever the gift. Gifts evolve as the Spirit supplies the faith. Peter was a fisherman. Jesus turned his gift to become a fisher of men instead of fish. God has blessed each and every one of His children with variety of gifts, from being a home-maker to a business executive, from a painter to a programmer, from an pilot to a sailor, from and student to a teacher, God made us all beautiful in our diversity. We are all cut out to be something unique before the Creator, however small it may seem, they all fit into a larger scheme of things that may not be evident immediately. To live with a defined purpose through our gifts is to live a life of freedom and joy. Jesus supplies the faith which gives us eyes to see our purpose in the bigger scheme of things in God’s grand plan for each and every person.

And here is the purpose about the diverse gifts given to us all. God gave them to be used to build bridges of Love with God first on a personal level, and with our fellow humans. (Mar.12:30-31) Yes, we are bridge-builders! Whatever the gift, it is given as platforms to build bridges and proclaim this wonderful message of God’s Love incarnated in His Son and manifested in humans through His new humanity. We are given the platform of our gifts to proclaim His Love in the service of humanity. For example, we are not all experts at fixing a leaking roof, so we turn to a roofer or handyman to do the work for us. An electrician helps out with issues that has to do with problems of electrical power which we may know nothing about. We turn to a teacher to educate us about a subject we would like to be more proficient at. No one could enlighten our knowledge about plants better than a botanist. There are countless things in life we will discover, sooner rather than later, that we need people who are experts in their field (gifted) who can lend a helping hand. That is how God created humans to live and care for one another utilizing their respective gifts in Love, just as God does in His Triune Being.

Some may be tempted to despise and have little respect for what they possess and do. But however small it may seem, it contributes to a larger picture we must always visualize and not be blind to. The Bible warns us about a negative attitude towards our God-given talents, when God asked, “Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings? They’ll change their tune when they see Zerubbabel setting the last stone in place!” (Zech.4:8-10, MSG). Yes, your gift may seem like a “small and insignificant thing,” but all out gifts are like the “last stone” that makes the capstone (finishing stone) of God’s temple possible. Peter said that your are all “living stones” being built into a spiritual house for God’s dwelling. (1 Pet.2:5)

Your gift is like the rudder of a ship, it may seem small compared to the size of a ship, but it is not insignificant by any measure for it turns the huge vessel in the direction the pilot chooses, even in the face of strong winds. We must never look down upon what is divinely endowed in us. Every gift is sacredly conferred, as Paul said of Christ, “Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift” (Eph.4:8, MSG). But this is the person who will be scorned and shamed, the one who lives ignorant of his/her purpose – like a rudderless vessel he/she will be buffeted about by every wind that blows and travels aimlessly in all directions. For surely, that ship will end as a wreckage and headed nowhere.

But here is the main takeaway concerning human gifts: sadly, humans have traded their gifts for money, selfish gain, and for self-centered reasons, whereas, God intended His gifts to be utilized for Love, and to promote His Love-nature in human relationships. (Read the fruits of God’s Love explained at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199) Am I saying we ought to provide services through our gifts without gratuity and generous response for services rendered? No, the Scripture says, “Don’t muzzle a working ox, (i.e.) a worker deserves his pay” (1 Tim.5:18, italics mine). It is really a matter of perspective, what is our primary motivation? Is it expressly for monetary and/or forms of unethical gain? Greed is insidious and possesses the cunning and subtlety which quietly takes over and turn our lives for the worse. Our primary motivation is of utmost importance, for that is what drives our thoughts and actions. God wants each of us to utilize our gifts for Love first, above and before all else. He created humans to be reflections of His Love-image. (Gen.1:26-27)

When money becomes our sole objective we turn our gifts into a mercenary tool that breeds greed and covetousness, rather than a tool for God’s Love to promote generosity and goodwill. Don’t allow your gift to become an object for inward and selfish gain and allow fear to rule your life. When we let His Love guide us, we will know how to use our gifts properly and wisely. We are admonished not to let greed become our motivation, as Paul told Timothy, “not greedy for dishonest gain” (1 Tim.3:8). On the other hand, Jesus admonishes us, “Seek the Kingdom of God (Love) above all else, and live righteously (as ‘Immanuel humans’), and He will give you everything you need” (Mat..6:33, NLT, italics mine).

God is able to be all things to everyone through the numerous collage of gifts He confers upon humanity revealing the greatness of His majesty. All our gifts are woven into the tapestry of God’s Love-Being, so that we are in touch with everything there is to know about God’s purpose for each of us as persons with unique gifts. Then we will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ and walking in His ‘Immanuel humanity.’ As John said, “God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16).

Peter said “You are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple” (1 Pet.2:5). That is how important you are to God for you are in His service, you are part of His temple. Paul said, “Surely you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you! God will destroy anyone who destroys God’s temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you yourselves are His temple” (1 Cor.3:16-17). He said, you are “God’s own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God who called you out of darkness (fallen ‘Adamic humanity’) into His own marvelous light (‘Immanuel humanity’)” (1 Pet.2:9, italics mine). What a privilege to live out our lives in service to the Creator’s grand purpose for humanity.

Again, when considering human gifts, reflect on the metaphor of God’s Love with the ocean’s reef system teeming with all kinds of marine life, I shared earlier. When people are reborn ‘Immanuel humans’ they are wrapped up and sealed in God’s unseen spiritual ocean of Love which gives them the enabling power to live as reborn humans so the negativity that sin propagates cannot touch them as Jesus always mediates for humanity in heaven: “Therefore He (Jesus) is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf” (Heb.7:25; 2:17-18; 4:14-16; 10:14). Because of Jesus’ mediation we utilize our gifts as platforms for good and keeps us in the bond of His unfathomable Love. Paul said this, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph.2:10; Tit.2:14).

Shoal of Fish
Humanity is Sealed in the Love-Condition in The Spirit’s Ocean of God’s Enabling Love Which Gives Humans Power to Use Their Gifts for God’s Kingdom above all else, and Live Righteously. He will Give All That’s Needed for Life – Matt.6:33. (Pexels)

Petition: Friends, thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus’ birth, His life, death, resurrection, and High Priesthood, with you today. I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Jesus as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of a gloriously magnificent future for humanity. You can privately and quietly pray this prayer in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human Christ died for, not as a member of any religious sect or denomination: “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 rebirth into Jesus’ Immanuel Humanity through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon me. May Your Love guide and protect me and my loved ones always, and bring us and all humanity into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.” Welcome to the Life of Love in God’s eternal Triune Being and Family.

Photo Of Stream During Daytime
All Rivers Flow from the Mountain of God’s Presence. Rivers symbolically Represent Humans, With the Living Waters of The Spirit Flowing to the People That Live in the Valley to Water, Feed, and Replenish With Their Gifts. (See John 7:37-39) (Pexels)

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write to me in the space provided below, or email me on bulamanriver@gmail.com

Blessing: We wish you all a joyous Christmas, and may you experience the new birth into Jesus’ new humanity, as He came to unite mankind into the divine life of God by His birth. 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 in Christ as you live the Triune Love of the Father. Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant In Christ)

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*Triune Life or Triune Love: The “Triune Life” is a way of life. Its foundational tenet is based upon the Love of God, because Love is the nature of God. (1 John 4:8; Rom.5:5) 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. In the three-dimensional life, the human experience of God’s Love is always moving in an inward, outward, and upward motion where all the three Persons of the Godhead are in relational oneness with humanity. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2)

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 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. You can read more at: 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.

"Bula" Man-River
Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

***Immanuel Humanity: There were only two humans that God had a direct hand at creating for human procreation and posterity upon earth – the first Adam and the second Adam, Jesus. (1 Cor.15:22, 45-47; Eph.2:14-16; Gen.1:27; 2:7; Luk.1:26-35) Eve was taken from Adam’s rib so all humanity flow from the first Adam. (Gen.2:21-23) Jesus is the firstborn Immanuel Human (the second Adam). The Immanuel Human was introduced to mankind through Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension. Paul makes the truth of Jesus’ new ‘Immanuel humanity’ quite clear, “For He (Jesus) Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility” (Eph.2:14-18). Here, Paul uses the division of the Jew and Gentile as analogous of the difference between the old humanity of fallen Adam, and the glorified new humanity in the risen Christ.

The night Jesus was taken to be crucified, He shared what is commonly called the Last Supper with His disciples. More than just a mere supper, Jesus was about to make an astounding revelation and inaugurate a powerful ritual concerning the new birth into His new Immanuel Humanity. All of mankind has descended from the first fallen Adam and needs saving from the sin-condition by a rebirth through Jesus, the second Adam. (John 3:16-17; John 3:5-7; Act.2:38; John 6:53-58; Eph.2:15-16)

Last Supper, Wafers, Communion Wafers
“Take and eat; this is My Body.. Then He took a cup drink from it, all of you. This is My Blood of the Covenant” (Matt.26:26-28).

He introduced a divinely ordained ritual with two powerful emblems concerning the truth of the spiritual human rebirth. Commonly called the Communion in the Christian community today, the ritual consists of the two emblems of the bread and wine. In regard to the bread, the scriptures says, “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” (Matt.26:26). With respect to the wine, the passage says, “Then He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “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.28:27-28). Earlier in His ministry, Jesus told His followers, “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” (John 6:53). Jesus was speaking metaphorically concerning His new Immanuel Humanity. (Isa.7:14) This is not a physical rebirth but spiritual one as Jesus explained to Nicodemus. (John 3:4-6) Paul said, “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor.15:45).

The Last Supper, Leonardo Da Vinci
The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci (Pixabay)

The bread represents Jesus’ body, and the wine symbolize His blood. The two emblems adds up to the whole new humanity of Jesus. Jesus continued in the passage quoted earlier, “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 6:54-57). So, whenever humans take the emblems they are manifesting belief of conforming to the image of Jesus’ new glorious Immanuel Humanity. (Rom.8:29; Eph.1:5) Jesus said His followers were to keep this ritual until His return to earth at His second coming. (Matt.26:29, ISV). In other words, humanity is called to adopt Jesus’ new humanity in this human earthly life until His return, when at the resurrection of the dead mankind will be given to inherit everlasting life in a glorious immortal body like His. (Rom.8:29; 1 Cor.15; 1 Thess.4:13-18)

Cross, Sunset, Sunrise, Hill, Sky, Sun
Jesus’ Death was Not Solitary, But Trinitarian in the True Sense. (Pic: Pixabay)

Jesus unmistakably reveals that being baptized into God’s Spirit is what gives birth into Jesus’ new humanity, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:5-7). John the Baptist told the people this about Jesus, “I baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mar.1:8). At His baptism in the Jordan River, Jesus was setting the example of repentance and forgiveness with the Spirit descending upon Him showing how a person is reborn into the Immanuel human. (Matt.3:16-17; Act.2:38; Eph.1:13-14) Jesus told his followers, “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (Spirit) to you” (John 16:7).

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1024px-Fountain_of_Eternal_Life_%2825631163902%29.jpg
The Resurrection to Immortality – The Ultimate Destiny of the Immanuel Human (Wiki Commons)

Humans will not become perfect at once after the new birth, mankind possesses residual weaknesses inherited from the Adamic humanity. But we have Jesus mediating for us in His High Priestly Office so we can “have the mind of Christ,” and be “clothed in Jesus” (‘Immanuel humanity’). This is the manner by which God the Father “reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (1 Cor.2:16Gal.3:27Rom.3:142 Cor.5:18).

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.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING – CALL TO THE JOYOUS LIFE, BY KIANG P LEE

 “Always be Full of Joy in the Lord. I say it again–Be Thankful!” Phil.4:4

yellow flowers decor

Greetings Friends! To be Thankful is the essence of the human spirit which stands infallible and knows no borders. It is the spirit which undergirds human existence and relationships. It is the epitome for good in all people. Sometimes gratitude does not come easily because of our biases and prejudices. To say “thank you” is to express the dignity and decency of our common humanity replicated in the Creator’s likeness. “Thank you,” (English) “Danke” (German), “Mahalo” (Hawaiian), “Merci” (French), “xiexie” (Chinese), “Terima Kasih” (Malay), “Takk” (Norwegian), “Kamasahamnida” (Korean), “Paldies” (Latvian), “Gracias” (Spanish), “Spasibo” (Russian), “Dhayavad” (Hindi), “Dziekuje,” (Polish), “Obrigado” (Portuguese), “Vinaka” (Fijian), and hundreds and thousands of languages and dialects all speak the language of this larger-than-life divine attribute. Let’s find reason to be “Thankful” today.

This year Thanksgiving Day falls on Thursday, November 28, 2019.

“The First Thanksgiving” by Jean Leon Jerome Ferris (Wiki Commons)  

Joy and gratitude go hand in hand. They are both human emotions that only humans created in God’s image can respond to, live by, and appreciate. We experience joy because humans are made in God’s likeness. (Gen.1:26-27; Neh.8:10) Yes, the Bible states, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh.8:10). The Bible states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy” (among) others. (Gal.5:22)  Joy is a shared fruit, it can only be experienced in a communal setting, that is one of the basis how we explain God is Tri-Personal (three in one), and not solitary as many believe. God is three Persons unified in One Triune Godhead. When you examine every one of the fruits of Love in the Holy Spirit, you will find one common denominator – they can only be lived out through a shared communal experience. I take you to 1 Corinthians 13 and other passages –

Selective Focus Photography of Joy Free Standing Letters With Lights
“The Joy of The Lord Shall Be Your Strength” – Neh.8:10 (Pexels)
File:"Rest and be Thankful" bench - geograph.org.uk - 116817.jpg
“Rest and Be Thankful” Bench at Gortin Glens Forest Park, UK (Wiki Commons)

The fruits of Love are: *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.13Gal.5:22-23Rom.12:9-2)

All these fruits spell one common attribute, they can only be shared in a communal setting and thereby God reveals Himself in all His Trinitarian Love and glory. These Love-fruits speaks volumes and gives us a peek into the different tones of God’s Love. They are not rules or codes to live by as legalistic requirements. Rather they tell us who God is, and how God in His Tri-Personal Being as Father, Son, and Spirit have lived in One unified shared Love-experience from eternity. That was and continues to be His purpose for creating humanity. And God desires to share His “Triune Love”* with humanity. They reveal the holy emotions of the Triune God. These are not human emotions, they reveal the divine emotions of God. And high on top of the list is joy and thankfulness.

Celebration, Christmas, Decorate
“Joy” – A Divine Fruit and Attribute (pixabay)

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we understand that thankfulness is a fruit which springs from God’s Love nature, and it can be experienced only in a mutually co-dependent setting as He is the same in His Tri-Personal Godhead as Father, Son, and Spirit. Thankfulness springs from joy, for without it we can’t experience gratitude genuinely and completely.

I referred to human joy earlier. They remind us that humanity is intrinsically part of God’s Love image, but we are not entirely like Him because we live as fallen humans. Hence, human joy is predisposed to fade away and not last. But there’s a divine joy that humans can receive which brings sustained emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. It is a joy that brings lasting happiness, inner peace, a state of grace, and all things good in life. For it is the Spirit who gives us the power of this divine joy to rejoice despite the circumstances and environment which depresses people to no end. The Spirit is the deposit of God’s Love and its fruits in humans.(Rom.5:5)

Recall, man once lived in complete joy with his Maker, but the enemy took that away and severed that Loving relationship. (Gen.3) Through Adam’s fall at the hands of the devil, that fullness of life in God’s presence was taken from humans. But Jesus restored it by reconciling alienated man back to God. (John 3:16-171 Cor.1:30, NLT) Now we have this God-given ability to experience and share this beautiful fruit of joy which springs from God Himself through His Spirit.

Float with “Horn Of Plenty” in the Theme of Gratefulness (Wiki Commons)

Peter outlines how this is made possible in humans, “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). Genuine thankfulness can only spring from a joyful heart where the Spirit is made to indwell human life. (1 Cor. 3:166:19)

The only thing that can steal our joy is sin, just as it did with Adam and Eve. Therefore, when we follow God’s Love, joy is multiplied spontaneously and we become more gratuitous in our hearts because we are genetically wired to the Triune God as part of His Love-kind and likeness. Because we live in Satan’s world which promotes depression and misery through sin, we get affected by it because of our fallen nature environmentally and through association. God knows this. So, He made a way of escape through His Son to forgive past, present, and future transgressions. Jesus died for us on the cross not only for past sins, but also for present and future transgressions through His High Priestly role today. Since Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He ascended back to His Father to continue to mediate for mankind as High Priest. (You can read more about this aspect of human restoration by clicking, http://bulamanriver.net/17978. Also, http://bulamanriver.net/15813, and http://bulamanriver.net/11230).

God lives in joy and thankfulness and shares His way of life with us through His Son. Jesus’ role as man’s High Priest in heaven today makes our spiritual wholeness possible, and shows us we are brought into divine completeness with the Father always. There is every reason to rejoice and be filled with joy when we realize the enemy has no power over us through sin, but we exist in the Spirit in righteous living: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom.14:17). 

The Trinitarian Love and Life of God Where Eternal Joy and Gratitude is a Way of Life (Wiki Commons)

Probably one of the shortest verses of the Bible says simply, “Rejoice always!” because God is that way Himself. (1 Thess.5:16) When we are filled with joy we are thankful. Paul’s encouraging word to us is, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit (Love)” (1 Thess.5:16-19). Joy, prayer, and thanksgiving should characterize the life of humans. We are warned to not quench Love, for these are the fruits of “Love deposited in our hearts through the Spirit” (Rom.5:5).  

The original pilgrims had come to a new world we have come to call America today. They escaped Europe to seek freedom from religious and political persecution and repression. Since the arrival of the pilgrims, people have never ceased to come to America’s shores escaping tyranny of all forms and seeking the freedom the new world offered. Today America is known as the melting pot of diverse cultures and peoples. And whether we realize it or not, we are all on the same pilgrimage of our own in the pursuit of our freedoms, but a different kind of voyage. There is one word which defines the freedom the original pilgrims sought and the freedom we seek today. That word is joy! To live in a world free from persecutions where one can live in personal freedoms and the right to choose one’s beliefs whether religious, political, etc. To have the freedom to live and do as one sees fit for his/her loved ones is the basis of happiness and well-being. Our pilgrimage today seeks a freedom from all kinds of personal, societal, and other forms of bondage which has been brought to bear upon us because of sin. Like the pilgrims of old, removing ourselves from this persecution and prison of sin will bring us joy, meaning, and the human divine destiny. For no matter where we live, if we are still bound up in the sin-condition of the devil, we are not free, but tormented still. Freedom from sin is true freedom and joy and every reason for humanity to celebrate and be thankful. Only Jesus brings humanity true freedom, as Paul affirms, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal.5:1). (To read more about truly ‘living free’ go to: http://bulamanriver.net/16956)

The Landing of The Pilgrims Escaping Persecution and Thankful for Freedom in the New World (Wiki Commons)
The Statue of Liberty in New York. America Stands for Freedom and Hope in the World (Wiki Commons)

Thanksgiving Day always bring immense joy and gratitude to families gathered for turkey dinner, especially if we have family members we have not met or seen for some time. Family fellowship and bonding is about one of the highest human joys that can be experienced. So, let us be truly thankful this Thanksgiving season for each other and always aware that gratitude has been made possible because we have been given the privilege to live in a place of joy in the “Triune Love”* with the Father, Jesus, and the Spirit.”

Love, Text, Valentines, Word, Heart
God’s Love-Nature, The Source of Joy and Thankfullness (Pixabay)

May you all have a happy and joyous Thanksgiving celebration with those you love and cherish.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to write to me in the space provided below, or email me on bulamanriver@gmail.com

Thanks, Friend, Card, Friendship, Word

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 this Thanksgiving and 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.

Kiang (Your Servant in Christ)                             

*Triune Life or Triune Love: The “Triune Life” is a way of life. Its foundational tenet is based upon the Love of God, because Love is the nature of God. (1 John 4:8; Rom.5:5) 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. In the three-dimensional life, the human experience of God’s Love is always moving in an inward, outward, and upward motion where all the three Persons of the Godhead are in relational oneness with humanity. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2)

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 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. You can read more at: 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.

"Bula" Man-River
Bulamanriver Book Cover

Mission Statement: Read the Triune Life 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.