2022 – IS HELL REAL?

Greetings Friends! Welcome to the year 2022! I confess that my blog title may seem melodramatic and overdone, but will become self-explanatory subsequently. Entering the New Year we look back over the past one with profound but deliberative reflection. It was a trying year in every way to be sure. Humanity continues to grapple with a global Covid-19 pandemic that is sweeping the earth. As of this writing, the W.H.O. (World Health Organization) has reported a death toll of approximately 5.5 million lives from the dreaded disease, with 284 million confirmed cases in 222 countries and territories and counting. (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-toll/)

Indian Panorama What should humans learn from Covid-19 to avoid bigger  problems in the future? - Indian Panorama
The Covid 19 Pandemic

Aside from the worldwide pandemic, humanity had many other equally broad but urgent issues to deal with such as global warming, climate change and loss of biodiversity, population growth, rising food security and malnutrition, decline in natural resource particularly clean water, the refugee crisis, chemical pollution, eradicating different forms of poverty, weapons of mass destruction, the advent of powerful and uncontrolled new technology, political and national and global failure to understand and act preventatively on these risks. I could go on and on, but suffice to touch upon the few pressing ones outlined above.

Low water levels and dry land was recorded at Storm King Dam near Stanthorpe, Queensland. The dam’s water level was at 25%. DAN PELED/AAP

In this post I would like to draw a parallel between what humanity is undergoing with these urgent issues to the subject of ‘hell.’ What has ‘hell’ to do with it, or with anything for that matter, you may ask. Fair enough, bear with me and I will make the connection obvious enough. The subject of ‘hell’ has been debated over the centuries by philosophers, theologians, and experts on the subject. The aim of this post is not to add to that debate, or to discuss the pros and cons of the different historical perspectives on the topic, vital and volatile as they may be, to the different proponents on the subject. The aim of this post is to take a view of ‘hell’ from the lens of the myriads of pressing issues humanity faces, our moral obligation to them, and how the meaning of ‘hell’ that mankind is experiencing through the many issues humanity is facing today, the here and now, rather than today’s popular meaning of ‘hell’ as a fiery place of suffering in the afterlife, or proponents of adversarial perspectives on the matter.

What I am about to share is scripturally-based, and for all intents and purposes, may illuminate the basis of the foundational understanding of the subject of ‘hell’ itself. For without a doubt the very basis of the concept of ‘hell’ has always had its beginning with a mighty angelic being named Lucifer who metamorphose into Satan because of his revolt against his Creator God. And that is where we begin with my post. Angels are personal spirit beings who have intelligence, emotions, and self-will. (Jude 6) They are ministering spirits sent to serve those who are to inherit salvation. (Heb.1:14)  

(However, before I get into my post, you may be interested in reading about the subject of hell from a historical perspective, you can read an article with a balanced view at this site: https://www.gci.org/articles/the-battle-over-hell/).

California Wildfires Precipitated by Climate Change

Now, to get to my post. In Ezekiel 28:11-19 God gave us a view of ‘hell fire.’ You can say this is the birth place on the subject. The context of this phrase was taken from the passage leading up to Lucifer’s (an angelic being) reasons for his revolt against God and His sovereignty as Creator and eternal Sustainer of life, both spiritual and physical. God actually created a powerful, intelligent, and beautiful angelic being, named Lucifer. He was a mighty angel of God. He was created with exceptional wisdom and as such was called the “Shining Star of the Dawn” (Isa.14:12).

File:Paradise Lost 12.jpg
Lucifer’s Fall, From John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”

In Ezekiel 28, V.18, we read the following, where the passage addresses the King of Tyre, “You defiled your sanctuaries with your many sins and your dishonest trade. So, I brought fire out from within you, and it consumed you.” I emphasize the words, “I brought fire out from within you, and it consumed you.” This is the first mention of a ‘consuming fire’ as it relates to Satan, the fallen angelic being. Although the text was addressed to the King of Tyre, from the descriptions given, it is obvious that no human is addressed. This is speaking of Lucifer as the principal recipient and beneficiary of the message.

Through the Bible, Lucifer or Satan, usually presents himself as speaking through another person, in this case, the King of Tyre. In another instance which we will read, he spoke through the King of Babylon. In the Garden of Eden, he spoke to Adam and Eve through a serpent. Today, he speaks to us “as an angel of light,” but in fact he is the embodiment of darkness. (2 Cor.11:14; Col.1:13) Paul tells us about Satan’s dark world, “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; Act.26:18).

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The Refugee Crisis

Something had occurred that changed Lucifer. Something happened so he ceased to be the “Shining Star of the Dawn.” Something drastic took a complete wrong turn which metamorphosed him into God’s adversary. The passage explains, “You (Lucifer) were blameless in all you did from the day you were created until the day evil was found in you … and you sinned” (Ezek.28:15). The passage actually quotes Lucifer’s conceited aims, “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So, I threw you to the earth” (Ezek.28:17).

Lucifer, through his pride, beauty, wisdom, and splendor, allowed his pride to get away and get the better of him. All the spectacularly magnificent things created in him by God led him to irrational pride, and this brought about his rebellion and downfall. God told him, “You sinned. So, I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub” (Ezek.28:16).

“I brought fire out from within you, and it consumed you.”

In expelling Lucifer from God’s holy presence because of his revolt, God changed him in spirit and he metamorphosed into Satan the Devil, God’s adversary. (1 Pet.5:8) In Revelation, he is called the “accuser of our brethren” (Rev.12:10). For all God’s people he is now our adversary and accuser before God. Now, we see that Satan was actually the influencer and mover behind the King of Tyre in his rule and domain in history. (Read Ezek.28:1-10).

In another passage in Isaiah, it records the actual revolt and rebellion of Lucifer. In that instance, Satan (formerly Lucifer) spoke through the King of Babylon. Lucifer’s rebellion and treasonous act against God is recorded in this way,

“How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the North. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14).

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Poverty and Malnutrition

Take note of Lucifer’s repeated “I will’s” in the above passage. He could accept God as the supreme Creator, or he could choose to be god unto himself. But he chose to be a god blinded by his absurd desire to be Creator and revolt against Almighty God. His repeated “I will’s” show that he chose to defy God and declared himself to be a god and be creator.  Now let us read the passage from Ezekiel, which I quoted partly earlier, but this gives a parallel account of the fall of Lucifer:

“You were in Eden, the garden of God. … I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian. “You had access to the holy mountain of God and walked among the stones of fire. “You were blameless in all you did from the day you were created until the day evil was found in you. … and you sinned. “I banished you in disgrace from the mountain of God. “I expelled you, O mighty guardian, from your place among the stones of fire. “Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. “So I threw you to the ground “By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. “So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, “And I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. “All the nations who knew you are appalled at you;you have come to a horrible end and will be no more’” (Ezekiel 28:13-19).

From Lucifer to Satan

From the above, you will have noticed that I have quoted biblical texts about Lucifer’s revolt and subsequent metamorphosing into the evil one, Satan. I did that to show that ‘hell’ or ‘hell fire’ was first uttered against the fallen angel, Lucifer, for his revolt against God, and God said, “So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you” (Ezek.28:18). Paul affirms as to the source of this ‘consuming fire’ which is reserved for those who are opposed to God’s sovereignty over all of creation, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire” (Heb.12:28-29)

Moses had warned the people of Israel before entering the Promised Land about observing God’s commands and not deviate from them so that they will prosper and be blessed in the land they will possess. (Deut.4:1-2, 9, 25-26) For if they rebelled and disobeyed God they will face hardship, suffering, and failure, “for the Lord your God is a consuming fire” (Deut.4:24). The ‘consuming fire’ will come as consequence of their actions against God (Love), as it did with Lucifer. Subsequently, many years and equally many kings and rulers, Israel was carried away as a slave nation again for their revolt against God their Maker.

Yes, Lucifer (Satan) was warned of a ‘consuming fire’ from within for revolting against the Creator, just as ancient Israel was warned. Jerusalem was burnt to the ground by the Babylonians more than 2600 years ago. (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4739152/The-Babylonians-DID-burn-Jerusalem.html; also Jer.52:12-14) Without a doubt, a ‘consuming fire’ did destroy the kings of Tyre and Babylon and their physical empire and dominion are a matter of historical records. This is what the end of any human kingdom or dominion looks like that become unwitting partners of Satan’s unseen but dark spiritual dominion. They ended up in utter ruin. The birth of the concept of hell fire had always begun with the rebellion of Lucifer and his angelic beings. (Rev.12:4) In other words, ‘hell’ could not exist without Satan.

We see in the beginning of Ezekiel’s passage that Lucifer dwelt in Eden as did Adam and Eve, mankind’s first parents. (Gen.2:8, 15) Our first parents must have observed the splendor and wisdom God placed in Lucifer, perhaps unaware of his corruption by rebellion, and his masquerade of hiding behind the appearance of an ‘angel of light’ in the form of a serpent that was known for its craftiness and cunning. (2 Cor.11:14; Gen.3:1-4) Eve’s weakness was she envied Lucifer’s (now Satan’s corrupt) wisdom. Eve wanted what Lucifer (Satan) had, and he lied about the forbidden fruit as “desirable for gaining wisdom so she took some and ate it.” (Gen.3:6). She was deceived into thinking the forbidden fruit was her answer in her search for wisdom. Eve shared Satan’s exchange with Adam, and he consentingly ate the forbidden fruit.

Through Adam and Eve, all humanity was bequeathed the ‘fallen Adamic humanity.’ A humanity that has lost its way because it followed Satan into his domain of darkness. (Col.1:13; Eph.6:12) They had forsaken the Creator’s way of Love they were created to become. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:16) This way of Love was depicted in our parents through the Tree of Life, which they had partaken of and related with God in Love. (Gen.2:9; 3:24)

Let us be cognizant of this reality that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was not ‘evil’ or ‘sinful’ of itself. It was planted by God in Eden, Adam and Eve’s garden home. (Gen.2:15) It was God’s gift to teach our parents knowledge of good from evil. Recall, they wre created adults, they were never babies, had no childhood, they never grew up as teens or young grownups. The tree of life, also planted by God, taught them God’s Love and spiritual principles and promises. One was human and the other divine.

Depiction of The Tree of Life, And The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

However, for that brief period of time God tested them. (Psa.66:10; Gen.22:1; Deut.8:2) They were forbidden to go near the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, let alone touch it. (Gen.3:3) God tested them to see if they will rely upon their knowledge acquired from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil whereby human wisdom is apprehended, or upon God’s sovereign Word (Truth/Love) from the tree of life. They were not restricted in any way from eating from it, or any other tree in the Garden, with the exception of one. (Gen.2:16-17) It was a matter of choice, it was a matter of freedom. And we know how Satan exploited the situation and deceived our first parents.

God blesses us with the gift of freedom (free will), as such He tests us as He will do all His human children, beginning with Adam and Eve. But this is His promise, “No temptation (test) has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted (tested) beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted (test), He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Cor.10:13; Deut.8:5). God tests his human children out of His great Love for them. (Heb.12:6; Prov.3:11-12; Psa.94:12)

Today, we have our educational system which dessiminate and teach us all kinds of knowledge in whatever field of discipline we desire to pursue. Then, there is God’s eternal truth founded upon His sovereign Love and will. Today, we have access to knowledge as our first parents had access to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The question is, do we make gods of our know-hows, skills, talents, and human wisdom and intelligence, as Lucifer did? Do we allow human pride to dominate us to the extent that we imagine we can live autonomously from our Creator? That we do not need God or His Love in our lives? Or that we overlook and even ignore the most important knowledge humans can have and treasure in respect to our Maker’s purpose for creating humanity in the first place? (Gen.1:26-27; Eph.4:24; Col.3:10-15; 1 John 4:16)

When the second Adam (Jesus) came on the scene in God’s time, He taught us the right response to Satan’s temptation about intellect, success, pride, and autonomy. He repulsed and rejected Satan’s deceptive mantras, declaring sternly, “It is written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’” (Matt.4:7). An overpowering phrase which sums up God’s sovereignty that’s unanimous and unopposed and no gainsayers may contend nor contest. For no one living may take liberty to tempt God. (Deut.6:16; Psa.78:18) God’s Love and character is flawless beyond reproach, and to sow doubt by baiting is abhorrent and anathema to Him. (1 John 4:8) James tell us, “For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone” (Jam.1:13). God tests His human children, He never tempts them. (Heb.12:6) There is a difference between ‘test’ and ‘tempt.’ God ‘test’ his children out of His Love; the devil ‘tempts’ humans in order to lead them to rebellion, sin, and destruction. (1 Pet.5:8)

The manner in which Jesus responds to Satan ought always to be our response when Satan tempts humans to defy God’s truth for human knowledge or any form of pride-filled autonomy. By stating, “It is written…” Jesus taught us to choose God’s revelation by virture of His Loving principles and sure promises over autonomy from God through pride and self aggrandizement. And therein lies the crux of all human dilemma and mankind’s ills and troubles, and by extension having to experience the identical ‘consuming fire’ of the devil, or live in the Love and harmony of the Creator and “inherit all things” with Christ in God’s divine edict. (Rev.21:7) (Read my Blog about the Four Temptations of Jesus at: http://bulamanriver.net/20216)

Adam and Eve Banished From Eden by God’s Holy Angel for Following in The Footsteps of Lucifer (Satan)

Lucifer had freewill with which he could individually make choices. So did Adam and Eve and humanity descended from them. Freedom was God’s gift, and it came with the responsibility to show care and used for good (Love). (Gal.5:22; Psa.23:6) Paul said this about utilizung God’s Love and our Freedoms, “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). Lucifer could only come to the conclusion that God is Love and He was his omnipotent Creator by faith – the same for Adam and Eve and all humanity today.

Paul said, “As it is written: “The righteous will live by faith” (Rom.1:17; Hab.2:4) Faith is the lifeblood of our spirit life, like blood is to the human body. The Bible says the foundation of human existence is in the blood, likewise so is faith to spiritual life. (Lev.17:11) The Bible says pointedly, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Heb.11:6).

So, through faith Lucifer was given the freedom of choice and also for all humanity. Lucifer chose he would be god unto himself, so did our first parents after they followed him in their disobedience and rebellion. He had faith in himself through his revolt and sin. (read about the Living Faith of Jesus at: http://bulamanriver.net/21946) Today we have many people who don’t believe in God or in spiritual matters, and condemn those who do as showing ‘blind’ faith. They fail to realize that what they accuse others of, they themselves do likewise. There is no difference. They have faith in what they espouse apart from God’s revelation for humanity through his Word (Holy Bible), which we embrace. Their masquerade is known in the Bible as hypocrisy. (Luk.6:42; Rom.2:1, 5; Rom.10:3; Jam.2:19, 23). So, they live by their brand of human faith (autonomy from God), as we live by ours through divine revelation through Christ, the living Word. (John 1:1, 14) That is the unmistakeable difference.

So, because of his revolt against his Creator, Lucifer was no longer the “Shining One.” He was blinded by the splendor God created him and became. He doubted God and His supremacy in all creation and the universe. Now Satan’s dominion is ‘darkness.’ (Col.1:13) He is called the ‘accuser.’ (Rev.12:10) He is the devil, which means ‘adversary.’ (1 Pet.5:8, ESV)

“Without Faith It Is Impossible To Please God” (Heb.11:6)

Now, let us quickly revisit the message of the King of Tyre, and by extension principally to Satan in the passage in Ezekiel 28:18. We read that because of Lucifer’s sin of having faith in his revolt against God and be a god unto himseld, God has brought a fire from within him (Satan) to consume him, “You defiled your sanctuaries with your many sins and your dishonest trade. So, I brought fire out from within you, and it consumed you.” The King of Tyre is a type of fallen humanity resulting from Adam’s fall to sin in Eden and followed Satan down his destructive path.

This passage is speaking to both the physical King of Tyre, upon whom the prophecy was fulfilled who has long since passed and disappeared from history. But the prophecy was uttered upon Satan as well, but with a ‘consuming fire’ that is not physical for the devil is a fallen angelic being. The physical fire upon Tyre had done its work and is now recorded in the annals of history. But not so spiritual fire, which is perpetual and still ‘consuming.’

What is this ‘consuming fire’ spoken of here? The ‘consuming fire’ has to do with the many sins and dishonest trade. This is referring to the reign of physical King of Tyre, but also with Satan. With Lucifer (Satan) it refers primarily to his sin of rebellion and his deception of humanity, we read in Isaiah, “You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the North. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” And his “many other sins” emanating from his revolt against God, and all that his Creator stood for.

Everything else Satan may have influenced the Kings of Tyre and Babylon to do in their reign was peripheral to his revolt against his Creator. For Satan, because he is a fallen spirit angelic being, his revolting idea lives on because it is an unfulfilled desire of Satan, who possesses unending spirit life in his fallen angelic being. A discontented, frustrated, failed, and unhappy life is of itself a ‘consuming fire.’ And fallen mankind is no different, as we’ll see.

We have seen what this ‘consuming fire’ means to Satan, however, since the King of Tyre represents humanity, we also have a fire burning from within us on account of Adam’s fall at the hands of Satan. (Rom.5:12; Gen.3:1-6) Human beings are not composed of spirit as angelic beings like Lucifer (Satan). Humans are mortal and subject to emaciation and death. Even though humanity is physical and has a limited lifespan, he continues to exist in perpetuity through human procreation and posterity, and more importantly through the human spirit (mind). Thereby, in a manner of speaking, through the human mind we have an infinite (physical) lineage and thereby inherit the ‘consuming fire’ of Satan from within us as well. Through the fallen mind we perpetuate the ‘consuming fire.’

Through The Human Mind (Spirit) and Procreation Humanity Have An Infinite Lineage

What is that fire? The ‘consuming fire’ are all the issues mankind is faced with which we have covered anecdotally at the beginning of this post, and even more so as to the human sin-condition inherited through rebellion. The issues and problems mankind experienced have been sown in rebellion, incubated in sin, and passed down generationally while draped in the various human issues and problems at different epochs of human history down to our day. Whatever they were, they represent humanity’s ‘consuming fire.’ What humanity has done through the ages since Adam were established and done through the power of and within the dark domain of Satan, the devil, the ruler and god of this fallen world.

Paul said this, “The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor.4:4, italics mine; also, Act 26:18). By forsaking the divine Love of God through His Spirit, they have instead turned-on the  ‘consuming fire’ of rebellion and sin from within the humanity that is gripping and haunting us.

Lucifer chose to become autonomous from God, and continues to defy God to this day. His revolt changed him and he became Satan the devil (the ‘accuser’ and ‘adversary’). The heart of the test of Adam’s freewill was the same as that of Lucifer; it was just draped with a different attire. They both chose to be a god to themselves. This was a revolt against the Creator to see who will be God. The same freedom of choice afforded to both Lucifer and Adam, humanity faces today in the world we live where Satan tempts humans like he has from the start in Eden. So, because Satan is a spirit being in his fallen angelic being, his sin lives on, and his revolting sin lives on in him like an unquenchable and ‘consuming fire.’ God tells us that He is the “consuming fire” that destroy all evil. (Heb.12:29; Exo15:7)

As humans, we can choose to think, desire, and act against God’s Loving will. When that happens, which humans do in Satan’s world, it turns into and remain a ‘consuming fire’ in our hearts because everything which are done contrary and in revolt to God’s eternal truth in His Love will never be fulfilled. Anything which stands up to and against God’s (Love’s) will remain unfulfilled and destroyed in the ‘consuming fire.’ (Heb.12:29; Psa.97:3; Isa. 33:14)

Now, the King of Tyre was in actuality typifying fallen humanity. This connection is vital to understand and keep in mind. Paul said this about the Holy Scriptures, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope” (Rom.15:4). Humanity remains a fallen human species from Adam’s sin in Eden. In the same manner Satan’s sin and revolting spirit who was banished from God’s presence remains a ‘consuming fire,’ the same rebellious spirit lives on in the fallen human mind.

The human mind was created to enable humans learn to emulate God’s likeness, that is, to give humans the ability to have a relationship of Love with God and our fellow humans. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:7-12; Mar.12:30-31) John said, “Dear friends, since God so Loved us, we also ought to Love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we Love one another, God lives in us and His Love is made complete in us” (1 John 11-12). However, being his old spiritual revolting fallen angelic being that he is, Satan led mankind through Adam to follow his rebellious ways. So we read Paul, saying this, “Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other Person obeyed God (Jesus Christ), many will be made righteous” (Rom.5:19, NLT).  

We don’t seem to have answers for all the ills facing humanity today. Humanity is faced with issues that are global in nature and burns like a fire that is consuming us in its destructive path. We cannot resolve them even if we wanted to. We are chained in the devil’s prison for we have followed his revolting ways of sin. Satan’s strategy has always been to enlist mankind to join him – by tempting them to succumb to the same choice that he made – to blind them to love themselves and become autonomous from God, and defy the Creator, and suffer the consequences of rebellion: “fire coming out from within you, that consume you” (Ezek.28:18). Most human conflicts and warfare, including the recent first and second World Wars were mankind witnessing and experiencing the ‘consuming fire’ of Satan blazing and smoldering from within humanity.

Since Adam’s fall, he has succeeded in propping himself as a god to fallen humanity, albeit hiding behind idols we treasure as we saw in the case of the ancient kings of the empires of Tyre and Babylon, and even a crafty serpent to our first parents. (Gen.3:1) He started with Adam and Eve and succeeded, and that is how humanity was bequeathed with the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ where we are imprisoned in the sin-condition and rebellion of the evil one to this day. It is worth repeating Paul’s summation of the human condition, and ultimate salvation, “Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other Person (Jesus) obeyed God, many will be made righteous” (Rom.5:19, NLT).

Spirituality, Dreams and Prophecy: The Spiritual Meaning of the Serpent in  the Garden of Eden
Satan Speaking through a Wily Serpent as He did Through Ancient Kings Of Tyre and Babylon

What must humanity do? After the fall of Adam, God promised to send His Son, the second Adam, to enter and take our humanity unto Himself and become our Savior. Yes, Jesus Christ, the second Person of the trinitarian Godhead, was sent by the Father to save us from the sin-condition humans were consigned and imprisoned in by Satan. (Gen.3:15; Isa.7:14; John 3:16-17; Col.1:27; Eph.1:7; 18-23). The message of the Gospel from God is humanity must be reborn into a new species of human beings – from the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ of Adam held under Satan’s sway, to the ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus Christ, empowered in God’s Spirit and Love. (Rom.5:12; 5:1, 15; 5:5)

What do I mean by the terms ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ (of Adam), and the ‘Redeemed Immanuel humanity’ (of Jesus Christ)? After the fall of Adam in Eden, God uttered a prophetic statement which ushered in a new beginning for mankind unlike any seen or experienced in human history which would define human destiny.

God said to Satan who had precipitated the fall of Adam and Eve through deception and pretense, “So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this (deceived Eve to disobey and eat the forbidden fruit), I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Gen.3:14, 15, italics my emphasis). The Message Bible renders this verse as follows, “I’m declaring war between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers. He’ll wound your head, you’ll wound his heel.”

This is the first prophecy of the coming of Christ, the Messiah and Savior. Not only is this a prophecy of His birth, but it is a prophecy of His work. By saying, “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel,” God is predicting the defeat of Satan by the coming of Christ, our Redeemer. God is drawing the battle lines between Himself and Satan. God draws a distinction between “your seed” (Satan’s seed) which is the ‘fallen Adamic humanity,’ and “her Seed” (Jesus) refers to the ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’ – the incarnation of Christ. (You may read my post on the topic of Incarnation at:  http://bulamanriver.net/18857)  

The famed theologian 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. He was the Immanuel or “God with us” (Matt.1:23).

From the above, we see there are only two forms of humans created in God’s likeness that has ever existed and walked upon this earth. (Gen.1:26-27; Luk.1:26-31; 1 Cor.15:45) Both originate from the Creator. We are all God’s creation through the first Adam and the second Adam, Jesus. Paul said, “The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person. But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor.15:45; Act.17:28;)

The first Adam was created from the dust of the earth, perfect and sinless until his fall at the hands of the devil. (Gen.3:1-24) The second Adam resulted from the incarnation of Jesus Christ when God the Father gave us His Son as Savior. The Gospel of Matthew recites the prophecy of Isaiah, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”)” Matthew adds, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins” (Matt.1:23, 21; Isa.7:14)

Through the first Adam’s sin, mankind was consigned to a life of spiritual imprisonment under the rebellious sin-condition of the devil. Humanity was cut off from access to God and His Spirit (Tree of Life) because of sin. (Gen.3:24) Through Adam’s fall the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ came to be which is fashioned in the devil’s likeness. Then there is the second new humanity Jesus brought from God the Father. God used the prophet Isaiah to announce His coming in the beautiful prophecy, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:22-23, KJV). Thus, the new humanity of Jesus is referred to the ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’ fashioned after Jesus’ image. (1 Cor.15:45; Rom.8:29)

So, Jesus was the second human creation after Adam, but being fully human and fully God, or “Immanuel” meaning, “God with us.” (Isa7:14; Matt.1:23; 1 Cor.15:45) All humanity descended from the first Adam, and now God calls upon humans to adopt the gift of His Son’s ‘Immanuel (God with us) humanity’ through whom eternal life is conferred upon humanity. (John 3:16-17) Therefore, the title “Immanuel” denotes the difference between Jesus’ new redeemed humanity and Adam’s fallen corrupt and sin-conditioned humanity.

Through Jesus’ physical mother, Mary, God assimilated Himself with and in mankind through His Son, and conversely Christ forever joins humans with God forever. However, there is a proviso, from our human/mortal focal point, this process of exchanged life (rebirth/new birth) cannot be done arbitrarily. A person has to choose for herself/himself. Individually and separately, a person has to make a choise of wanting to become part of the new human species God is preparing for His eternal Kingdom – the ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus. Peter made this abundantly clear on the Day of Pentecost when God sent His Spirit, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 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.2:37-38). ‘Repent’ symbolize change, and ‘baptize’ is metaphor for rebirth.

Paul wrote to Timothy and said, “He (God the Father) has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim.1:9-10).

The New Birth – Baptism, An Outward Sign of Inward Reality. Matt.28:18-19; Rom.6:3-7

What we have read above from Paul’s words is God’s call upon humans to live in true Freedom in His Son’s ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’ through Jesus’ role as Savior and eternal Mediator. Freedom (free will) is divine and part of God’s eternal nature. Freedom is the flip side of God’s Love nature. God is not Love without Freedom, nor is He Freedom without Love. John tells us, “God is Love.” (1 John 4:8). To the Galatians, Paul said, “It is for Freedom that Christ has set you Free” (Gal.5:1). You cannot have Love without Freedom, nor Freedom without Love – they are one and the same quality within the one divine nature of God. God is Free, the embodiment of it, and wants nothing less for His saved children. To exist without sin in holiness is to live in true Freedom. (Gal.5:1; John 8:32) John’s Gospel tell us this, “So if the Son sets you Free, you will be Free indeed” (John 8:36, emphasis mine).

The Bible quotes God as saying, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts…My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace” (Isa.55:8-9, 11-12). God inherently expresses genuine Freedom through the celestial Love which opens pathways in the mindscape of thoughts, concepts, and perceptions rooted in the divine, which is unknown and beyond the capacity of our ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ to comprehend, much less live by.

In this physical life we define human freedoms in many ways like economic and financial freedoms, emotional freedom, women’s rights, political freedom, civil liberties, freedom from all forms of tyranny, fundamental rights, freedom of speech, religion, and assembly, etc. There is only one true Freedom which brings genuine capacity and wholeness to the human persona which is modelled in Christ’s likeness. (Rom.8:29; John 8:36). In a nutshell, humanity’s destiny is to become a species in the Creator God’s likeness and live in true Freedom. (Gen.1:26-27; Gal.5:1; John 8:36)

Kygo - Freedom (Lyrics) ft. Zak Abel - YouTube
Freedom, Flipside of God’s Divine Nature of Love

But how does a person Freely choose God’s Love, and become children of the divine? Jesus explains how a human being is given a rebirth into the new human species…the ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus. Jesus said, “Unless you are born again (given/anointed in spiritual rebirth), you cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3, NLT, brackets my emphasis). To be born again is to experience the new birth in the power of the Holy Spirit. The ritual of ‘baptism’ is the outward physical representation of this new rebirth taking place inwardly…in the heart and mind of saved humans. (read.. Rom.6:3-7). Jesus’ departing commission to His disciples was, “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” (Matt.28:18-19). Yes, Jesus emphasized the importance of this new birth humans must undergo through baptism, and clearly gave it to His disciples as a prime mission.

Listen, Jesus goes on to say, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again” (John 3:5-7). Paul said, Jesus is the second Adam, “The first man Adam became a living being. But the last Adam, that is Christ – is a life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor.15:45, NLT).

Light, Peace, Hope, Pentecost, Sunbeam
The Holy Spirit Is The Power of God That Gives Birth To The Spiritual Life In Jesus’ New “Redeemed Immanuel Humanity”

When we receive Jesus as personal Savior, we receive Him in His resurrected form and stature through the life-giving Holy Spirit. Thereby, Paul said this about the believer’s reality in Christ, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:6). Paul added, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Cor.3:16). Yes, saved humanity through Jesus in the Spirit’s power have been made to appear before the Almighty’s very Seat of Mercy to humbly offer our worship, gratitude, petitions, and praise. (Heb.4:14-16; Col.1:27) Paul said, “So then, it does not depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy” (Rom.9:16).

What is the mercy seat? | Bibleinfo.com
43 Mercy Seat ideas | mercy seat, bible history, the tabernacle
The “Mercy Seat” Upon The Ark of The Covenant Depicted in Ancient Israel

Jesus said this about the Spirit’s activity in humans, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from Me what He will make known to you” (John 16:13-15). So, we see from Jesus’ words how the Tri-Personal God (Trinity) is at work in human life through the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! (Matt.28:18-19)

From the above account of the new birth humans can receive (freely and voluntarily) we see that through Jesus’ physical mother, Mary, God assimilated Himself in mankind through His Son, and conversely Christ forever joins mankind to God, and ultimately for eternity when He glorified His (and our) humanity in His (Christ’s) own resurrection from death to immortal life.

By assimilating Himself and becoming Immanuel (human/divine – “God with us”), Jesus subjected Himself to all the power and sway of our corrupt sinful nature while remaining perfect and sinless. (Heb.2:14; Rom.8:3-4) Hence, through His ‘new Immanuel humanity’ He redeemed mankind from the sin-condition of the devil by living the perfect life and finally dying as our sinless sacrifice upon His cross. Paul said, “He (Jesus) canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross” (Col.2:14). Further Paul affirms, “God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (1 Cor.5:21). All this make up a life of faith in the Creator God’s plan of rescuing humanity through and in His unfathomable Love.

“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me” Gal.2:20

What must happen to our ‘fallen Adamic humanity’? Paul answers emphatically, “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, KJB). By saying, “I am crucified with Christ:” Paul explains what happened to our ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ – Jesus took it to Calvary and crucified it upon His cross once for all, so we can be redeemed from the burden of its curse. Paul affirmed the removal of the curse telling the Romans, “We know that our old self (fallen Adamic humanity) was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Rom.6:6).

As Paul continues saying, “nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me,” he is speaking of Christ our Mediator living in us through His resurrected life in the Spirit’s power, His ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity.’ This verse (Gal.2:20) speaks eloquently of the process of the spiritual rebirth. Then Paul goes on, “And the life I now live in the body, I live by the faith of the Son of God,” he explains that the conviction by which you and I live from here on is empowered by Jesus’ very Personal faith (not our limited human faith) in the power of the Spirit.

(This verse in Galatians 2:20 has properly translated the phrase, “the faith of Jesus” taken from the King James Version, not “faith in Jesus” like other modern versions. When the preposition “of” is used, it speaks in the possessive case of Jesus’ own Personal faith external from us; and when “in” is used (incorrectly) it speaks of the weakness of the internal ‘human faith’ in Jesus, which is inadequate and unworkable in the spiritual realm. We cannot have “faith in Jesus” without the “faith of Jesus.” You may want to read my blog about faith at: http://bulamanriver.net/21946)  

The Faith Of Jesus

Paul reciting an Old Testament passage says this about faith, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back” (Heb.10:38). Together with Paul’s assertion in Galatians 2:20, we understand that when faith is spoken of it refers to Jesus’ spiritual and powerful living faith. Let us not shrink back from receiving and relying upon Jesus’ living, Personal, faith for He is our hope to glory.

Jesus, by doing all of God’s work as shown by Paul above, opened the door to the new species of ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’ that mankind can now receive and adopt through Jesus’ Personal living faith that’s now joined to the divine nature of God in Christ. (Heb.2:17; 4:15) It was God’s way of restituting humanity from Satan’s plan of taking mankind down his path of revolt, rebellion, and the sin of being gods unto themselves. Paul speaks of our new ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus in this fashion, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new (redeemed) life has begun!” (2 Cor.5:17, italics mine, NLT). A life of such deep conviction without exception requires the living Personal faith of Jesus.

Jesus’ victory over sin and Satan generates a condition of righteousness in the believer (right standing with God) through His ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity.’ (Matt.4:1-11; Gen.3:6, 11) We must not overlook nor bypass the wondrous truth of Jesus’ High Priesthood today. Jesus is humanity’s High Priest who Mediates for us day and night before the Father’s presence so we may be recipients of God’s interrupted grace from His glorious throne. The Bible tells us, “Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. (Heb.4:14). (You may read my post, “Born For His Highly Priestly Role And Function” at: http://bulamanriver.net/11230).

The ‘fallen Adamic humanity lives in spiritual darkness, while the second, the ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’ walks in God’s light.  (Matt.4:16) Jesus went about in the Spirit’s power doing all manner of good and performed many miracles to alleviate the people’s suffering. (Act.10:38) One produces sin and death, and the other brings life, healing and immortality. (John 11:25; 14:6; Rom.6:23)

Through Jesus’ ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’ He lived a perfect life on earth, and offered Himself as the only worthy sacrifice upon Calvary for all human sins and transgressions. God raised Him from the dead and He lives today as mankind’s High Priest in heaven clothed in both human/divine form and stature, forever mediating for mankind in God’s presence in the heavenly temple of Himself, and in the earthly temple of the heart of saved humanity…”Christ in us, the hope of glory” (1 Cor.3:16; 6:19; Col.1:27).

The purpose of the second ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus is to substitute for the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ of Adam so humanity may be given to enter God’s holy presence. Jesus did not come to save us in our old corrupt, depraved, and ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ that was sired by the devil. The prophet Jeremiah said our ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ is “beyond cure.” (Jer.17:9) He came to nail it on His cross, and give us a new birth through His resurrection into the new ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity.’ Paul makes this clear, “God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col.1:27). Yes, it is only through Christ that mankind is made holy and enter the presence of Almighty God.

Hidden Truth
The Glorious Riches of God’s Mystery: Christ In You The Hope Of Glory

The Scriptures goes on, “Do not think about how to gratify the natural desires of the flesh, (‘fallen Adamic humanity’), but instead clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ” (‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’) (Rom.13:14, italics my emphasis). Jesus, the ‘Immanuel human,’ was given to mankind as a gift from God the Father. (John 3:16) The ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ was consigned to a life under the sin-condition where Satan and his demonic spirits continue to imprison fallen mankind in the devil’s ‘consuming fire.’ The ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus frees humans from incarceration of the enemy’s sin-condition and prison and brings true freedom in the righteousness of God.

Paul said emphatically, “God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (1 Cor. 5:21). Instead of the ‘consuming fire’ humanity will enter and inherit Paradise which was lost initially through Adam’s fall in Eden. John tells us more about our Paradisal environment, as we’ll see later.

Paul said this about the new reborn life, “You have taken off your old self (‘fallen Adamic humanity’) with its practices and have put on the new self, (‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’) which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Col.3:9-10, italics my emphasis; also Gen.1:26-27). Taking on Jesus’ ‘new redeemed Immanuel humanity’ is the essence of the New Covenant, listen to the language to the new covenant, “I will put a new Spirit (‘redeemed Immanuel human’) within you; and I will take the stony heart (‘fallen Adamic human’) out of their flesh, and I will give them a heart of flesh: that they may walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances, and do them: and they will be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezek.11:19-20, italics my emphasis; Heb.8:10). Now, in conclusion…

The Ending: The Bible reveals Satan’s end in this way, “And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, into which the beast and the false prophet had already been thrown. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev.20:10, BSB). Of course, among those punished are the incorrigible part of mankind of the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ who have stubbornly refused to accept God’s mercy and the gift of His Son as Savior. Yes, as we read from the start, the ‘consuming fire’ is real, but not for saved humanity. (John 3:16) The genesis of the concept of hell fire began with rebellious Lucifer and his fallen angelic beings. In other words, hell would not exist without Satan and his cohorts. (Rev.12:4)

The New Beginning – Future of Humanity: All of mankind who have received Jesus as Savior and given the rebirth through the Holy Spirit into the new human species of Christ’s ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity.’ (John 3:3, 5-7) Humanity is made God’s very children fashoined in His Love image, inheriting God’s eternal Kingdom. When all things will have been restituted to God’s eternal will and plan, we hear God utter the following words, “I am making everything new! Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children” (Rev.20:5-7).

John recorded his vision at this future glorious flashpoint in time, saying, he saw the new Paradise, “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Rev.21:1-4),

Jesus says to us, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else. So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom…Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” (Luk.12:31,32,34, NLT). The Bible promises, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory” (Rom.8:17).

As the newborn species of humanity we will never entertain any thought of living autonomously from God’s sovereign Love, for through Christ we have been made part of the very triune nature of God. Our human destiny is forever tied to His Word and sure promises. (2 Pet.1:4). Note the Scriptural reference regarding His promise, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” (Rom.8:17).

Heirs of God’s “Love Personality”

To become “heirs of God” is not identical with Lucifer’s (Satan’s) bizarre ‘take over’ scheme of revolting against his Creator. Rather to become “heirs of God” is to become heirs of who God is in His Love Personality, for “God is Love” by nature and personality. (1 John 4:8, 16; Gen.1:26-27). That is to say we become “Love Personality” as God is the supreme LOVE PERSONALITY in His Tri-Personal Being (Trinity). Through God’s Love Personality all creation is held together in harmony in the mantle of His power and Love, in all things both seen and unseen. To “share in His glory” means to share in His Triune Love Being by becoming “Love Personality” in our own right as the Bible affirms humanity was created in God’s Love image. (Gen.1:26-27; Psa.82:6; John 10:33-35)

The Book of Revelation tells us, “The one who overcomes will inherit all things, and I will be his God and he will be My son” (Rev.21:7). By saying, “the one who overcomes,” the statement beckons to our conscience about Lucifer’s and Adam’s original sin of revolting against the Creator and to never follow the path of autonomy from the Creator God, and the need to “overcome” such rebellious spirit which continues to abide in humans from the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ of our first parents. To “inherit all things” means the earth and all creation, coupled with becoming the very spiritual “Love Personality” of God’s likeness, and conferred immortality. (1 Cor.15:54)

Let me add that by inheriting the “Love Personality” (nature) of the divine means humanity can never rebel or revolt against God. How so? Simply because inheriting the divine nature of Love and Freedom means we are granted hypostatic union with God in Christ, so it is implausible to rebel, let alone implement. When we will become Love Personalities made immortal in the resurrection, we will intuitively and spontaneously, “Love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength” (Mar.12:30). God is not a inward looking or self-serving Being. That is how the fallen human mind think about this first commandment. “God is Love,” self-sufficient and self perpetuating, and needs nothing from us or for that matter His creation. He is the Uncreated and we are the created. The created needs its Creator, not the reverse. God created mankind to become Love as He Is, which means we will live at the level of consciousness of His divine Love existence. (1 John 4:16; Gen.1:26-27).

Understand, when we will have been resurrected and enter God’s spiritual realm, we will have been made immortal with Love Personalities like God. We now reflect God…He is our reality by nature and being. Therefore, to revolt against God would be suicidal…self-destructive. That was Lucifer’s choice. Paul said, “No one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church” (Eph.5:29). Rebeling against and harming onself is a self-destructive urge which we should naturally steer clear of whatever the circumstace…but God help us, how pernicious self-serving pride can blind and overtake us (as it did Lucifer), if we choose to go down that infernal path.

The Bible states “It is impossible for those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God and the power of the age to come, and who then turn away from God” (Heb.6:4-6). Further, the Scripture promises, “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, BSB). All of saved humanity will live harmoniouly in God’s Love in perpetual joy, and everlasting glory.

Yes, humanity will never be able to plumb the depth of God’s Love for His people. Further Paul encourages us, “That Christ (Redeemed Immanuel humanity) may dwell in your hearts through faith. 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” (Eph.3:17-19, italics my emphasis).

Paul gave us a practical example of how we are made to become one with God through His Love, saying, “Let patience (patience is a fruit of Love…1 Cor.13:4) have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (Jam.1:4). This ‘perfect work’ is a process happening across the broad spectrum of God’s Love-fruits Paul taught and revealed in 1 Corinthians 13. (Read all about the Spirit’s Love-Fruits at: http://bulamanriver.net/25496)

Patience – A Fruit of Love

The full act of God across the broad spectrum of His Love and Love-fruits reveals the act of perfection where Love is the power which has no want or lack but is complete in and of itself and fully self-functional while personally inter-dependent in God’s trinitarian likeness. The ‘Immanuel human’ will be deficient in nothing, but one with and undivided in the Creator God’s triunity. Without Love we are nothing, but with the triune Love we are all that we can be in God’s divine and eternal wellbeing for His beloved human children. (1 Cor.1:1) (Read my post, “Living God’s Love Day By Day” at: http://bulamanriver.net/16467)

Holistically, “inheriting all things” means essentially to receive eternal life as the most vital gift humans can receive from God the Father. (Rom.8:11) For without immortality all God’s promises are mere pipe dreams and illusions. The Bible states, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor.15:54-58).

Let us ask as we contemplate our human destiny, what more can a human being created in God’s image ask for it is “your Father’s great pleasure to give you the Kingdom” and to become heir of “all things” with His Son? (Luk.12:32; Matt.16:26)

Humanity is collectively accountable for the conditions we face in the world today, be it good or bad. Nothing happens in isolation, for what is happening on the other side of our earth impacts everyone. The Covid 19 Pandemic attest to that fact, and so does the climate crisis. As the year 2022 rolls in, perhaps the most pertinent question we ask ourselves is, are we prepared to let our better angels come through for us in the form of our true self in Jesus’ ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’? How wonderful to live life in such a exquisite new human reality with an equally creative and restorative consciousness greet the year for a better future for our loved ones, our neighbors, and all mankind?

Jesus gives us pertinent advice about how to live in this world, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes” (Matt.6:34, The Message).

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 is our hope and 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 Immnuel humanity made children of God forever.

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell for now!  

Kiang P. Lee  (Your Servant in Christ)

Appendix: *Triune Life”: Relationship with God has no meaning without Love. By its very nature, Love cannot endure in solitary existence. So, when God said “Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness…” He was revealing Himself as existing in His trinitarian existence. That is, His Tri-Personal Being as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Gen.1:26; Matt.28:19; John 14:10, 16; 16:7) The Hebrew word for ‘God’ in the creation account is “Elohim.” It describes God in His plurality, as the Trinity – the Tri-Personal Godhead, which other scriptures attests. (Matt.28:18-20; 1 Pet.1:2; 2 Thess.2:13; 2 Cor.13:14) So, God is Trinitarian in His Love nature. Love by its nature is relational as God is in His Tri-Personal Being. Hence, a human being was created a relational being.

Adam was solitary and incomplete until God made Eve. He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone (solitary). I will make a helper suitable for him” (Gen.2:18, italics mine). So, God gave Adam a family to raise composed of a father, mother, and offspring, to reflect Himself in His plural Being. The Bible states that the Church’s or humanity’s destiny is to marry Christ, the second Person of the Triune Godhead, in the new age to come which will be an everlasting relationship. (2 Cor.11:2; Eph.5:23-27, 32; Rev.19:7) The Bible is abundantly clear about God’s nature and declaration of Himself in His relational Triune Being from the past, the present, and the future. God has never lived as a solitary Being, but a Tri-Personal Being.

It’s noteworthy to understand that Eve was not created an individual creation from the dust of the earth as was Adam. She was not created apart from Adam as an individualized separate human being, instead, she was taken out from Adam’s side to show she was biologically one and indivisibly part of Adam. Eve was not detached (solitary) from Adam, but intrinsically inseparable from Adam’s innermost humanity. When Adam saw Eve, he said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man” (Gen.2:21-23) God created humanity to reflect Himself in His unified Tri-Personal Being (Trinity).

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

Each one of us was created as an indivisible relational human being incubated and given birth from Adam’s mold as one species, for God created humanity to reflect the eternal likeness in His triunity. We are born for relationships with the divine triune Love as our guiding principle. All this show that humans were created to be indivisibly one to reflect God’s Tri-Personal image of Oneness, not solitary separateness. When God sent Jesus His eternal Son, He became human in order to unify humanity spiritually to the Triune Being of God once for all time. Hence, when the prophet Isaiah proclaimed Jesus’ coming, He was given the prophetic name, Immanuel. (Isa.7:14) The name means “God with us” (Matt.1:23). Humanity is ‘organically’ one with the Triune God, just as humanity is one with Adam.

Most religions believe God as some solitary being. The true God is not solitary by any means, He is the Trinity in His Tri-Personal Being. God consist of three Persons in One divine triune Godhead. They exist in One “homoousion” meaning consisting in one substance, or “consubstantiality.” The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in One hypostatic union, One substance, like Eve was biologically part of and never physically separate, but of one substance from Adam. Likewise, humanity is made of one spiritual substance with the triune God through Jesus Christ who took our humanity upon Himself and joined it to the divine triune existence forever.

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

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

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

3-PILLAR PURPOSE OF CHRISTMAS

Greetings Friends everywhere! It is that time of year which believers with genuine hearts, apart from all the distractions, celebrate with true rejoicing hearts. It is a story which carries such deep spiritual meaning with equally transcendent impact beyond any story man could have written. Why, because the story of Christmas, or the birth of the Messiah, is God’s own story about mankind. It’s time we read the whole story as God tells us, and celebrate it as a gift from God as we enter this season of rejoicing.

I will share the three reasons and purposes of Christmas, so that by the end of this post, you will be left without any shadow of doubt or misgivings about Christmas and God’s own story about humanity. Let me itemize the three-pillar purpose so we will know the story of Christmas from Scriptures.

  • God gave His only Son Jesus to rescue humans from the sin-condition mankind was consigned and confined to because of our first parent’s (Adam and Eve) disobedience and fall to Satan’s devious and scheming temptation in Eden. (Gen.2:15-17; 3:1-6, 11)
Jesus, The Promised Messiah, “Immanuel” (“God With Us”)
  • God gave His Son so He will restore to humanity the “Love Personality” He had created Adam and mankind to become but failed. Instead, Adam bequeathed fallen humanity with the “sin personality” through rebellion. This is also the ‘rebellious personality’ of the evil one, Satan. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:16; Rom.8:29; Jud.1:6) John tells us this wonderful truth, “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). (You may read more on the topic of “Love Personality” at: http://bulamanriver.net/27435)
Ideogram Designs (23x31) Love is Patient Love is Kind 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Vinyl Wall Decal Decor Quotes Sayings Inspirational Wall Art
The “Love Personality” Shown With The Spirit’s Love-Fruits (1 Cor.13)
  • God gave His Son so that through Him human immortality through the power of the Holy Spirit is made reality. Immortality is the heritage of humanity as the supreme gift from God our Father. (John 3:36; 6:40; 3:16-17; Rom.8:11)  
Ascension 11, 12 x 15 Fine Art Print by Danny Hahlbohm - FramedArt.com

Jesus’ Own Resurrection and Ascension Brought Immortality for Mankind

The account of Jesus birth was recorded in the Gospel of Luke in this way, “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to his own town to register.  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 

“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 

Nativity Collage - The Macneil Studio Canvas Wall Art Print ( style > decorative > holiday dÉcor > christmas art > religious christmas art > nativity

“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”  So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” (Luke 2:1-20) This is the most beautiful and inspiring part of God’s story about man. For in it we witness the humblest manner God chose for His Son to enter our human world through the virgin Mary, in a manger, in the little town called Bethlehem.

Jesus, The “Immanuel” (“God With Us”)

Following the three steps shown above outlining the reasons for Christmas, let me now expound upon each of them, and see from the Scriptures how God, as our everlasting Father, saved humanity and brought mankind to Himself as His immortal children.

First, How God Save Mankind: Let’s answer how Jesus rescued humanity from the sin-conditioned humans were consigned to live through the fallen Adamic humanity inherited from our first parents? There is only one way, Jesus as the Second Person of the eternal Tri-Personal God (Trinity), came by being born a human, lived a sinless and perfect life, defeating Satan in the temptations to acquit and exonerate humanity from Adam’s sin in Eden. (Matt.4:1-12; Gen.2:16-17; 3:1-6) Then Jesus went on to redeem mankind of all sins through His sacrifice upon His cross, thus freeing humans from the fallen sin-condition inherited from Adam once for all time. (1 John 1:7; 2 Cor.5:21, NLT; Heb.10:10, NLT)

No Greater Love (John 3:16)

Second, How God Restores Humanity Into His “Love Personality” (Gen.1:26-27): Before His death, Jesus promised to send a Friend and Helper in the Person of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Tri-Personal God (Trinity), to be with mankind forever. (John 16:7; 14:26; Luk.24:49) Now, Jesus having removed once for all time the sin-condition humanity was held in prison from Adam’s fall through His redemptive sacrifice, God the Father sent the Holy Spirit upon mankind on Pentecost. (Act.2:1-4)

The Holy Spirit is the power and personification of the divine “Love Personality” in humanity, displacing and replacing the “fear personality” of the fallen ‘Adamic humanity.’ The devil is the author and power of the “fear personality” emerging from the sin-condition he had imprisoned humanity since Adam’s fall in Eden.

Paul said of the Spirit, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).  

The Holy Spirit Is The Power and Personality of God’s Love in Humans

Thirdly, How God Grants the Gift of Immortality to Humans: As “Immanuel” Jesus was human as well as divine, thereby through His resurrection, humanity was raised with Him, and thus mankind became a perfect sinless species forever mirroring and reflecting God’s likeness in “Love Personality” of Christ through the Spirit. (Gen.1:26-27; Eph.2:6; 1 John 4:16; 2 Cor.5:21) This was God’s plan all along when He gave His Son for us, so we can be saved and made immortal children of God. When Jesus took our humanity, He was named and became the Immanuel (“God with us”), or God in human flesh. (Isa.7:14: Matt.1:23) Thus, as God’s Son and the Immanuel, death could not hold Him in the grave, He was resurrected from the death to eternal life and so did humanity, from the sin-condition to the eternal Love-condition. (Act.2:24)

The Resurrection of Jesus Paved The Way For Human Immortality

So there, as briefly and comprehensively as I could, I have shared from Scriptures the 3 pillars of the purpose of Christmas. They tell us why God the Father gave Jesus His Son to be born a human and rescue fallen humanity from sin and perdition, to restore us to His Love, and confer the gift of immortality in order to make humanity His everlasting children. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 Cor.15:42-45; 1 John 4:16; Rom.8:29, CEV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zazzle - Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Holiday Greetings Classic Round...

Farewell for now!

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant in Christ)

*Triune Life”: Relationship with God has no meaning without Love. By its very nature, Love cannot endure in solitary existence. So, when God said “Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness…” He was revealing Himself as existing in His trinitarian existence. That is, His Tri-Personal Being as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Gen.1:26Matt.28:19John 14:101616:7) The Hebrew word for ‘God’ in the creation account is “Elohim.” It describes God as a Trinity – the Tri-Personal Godhead, which other scriptures attests. (Matt.28:18-201 Pet.1:22 Thess.2:132 Cor.13:14) So, God is Trinitarian in His Love nature. Love by its nature is relational as God is in His Tri-Personal Being. Hence, a human being was created a relational being.

Adam was solitary and incomplete until God made Eve. He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone (solitary). I will make a helper suitable for him” (Gen.2:18, italics mine). So, God gave Adam a family to raise composed of a father, mother, and offspring, to reflect Himself in His plural Being. The Bible states that the Church’s or humanity’s destiny is to marry Christ, the second Person of the Triune Godhead, in the new age to come which will be an everlasting relationship. (2 Cor.11:2Eph.5:23-2732Rev.19:7) The Bible is abundantly clear about God’s nature and declaration of Himself in His relational Triune Being from the past, the present, and the future. God has never lived as a solitary Being, but a Tri-Personal Being.

It’s noteworthy to understand that Eve was not created an individual creation from the dust of the earth as was Adam. She was not created apart from Adam as an individualized separate human being, instead, she was taken out from Adam’s side to show she was biologically one and indivisibly part of Adam. Eve was not detached (solitary) from Adam, but intrinsically inseparable from Adam’s innermost humanity. When Adam saw Eve, he said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man” (Gen.2:21-23).

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

Each one of us was created as an indivisible relational human being incubated and given birth from Adam’s mold as one species, for God created humanity to reflect the eternal likeness in His unified and one triunity. We are born for relationships with the divine triune Love as our guiding principle. All this show that humans were created to be indivisibly one to reflect God’s Tri-Personal image of Oneness, not solitary separateness. When God sent Jesus His eternal Son, He became human in order to unify humanity spiritually to the Triune Being of God once for all time. Hence, when the prophet Isaiah proclaimed Jesus’ coming, He was given the prophetic name, Immanuel. (Isa.7:14) The name means “God with us” (Matt.1:23). Humanity is ‘organically’ one with the Triune God, just as all humanity is one with and in Adam.

Most religions believe God as some solitary being. The true God is not solitary by any means, He is the Trinity in His Tri-Personal Being. God consist of three Persons in One divine triune Godhead. They exist in One “homoousion” meaning consisting in one substance, or “consubstantiality.” The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in One hypostatic union, One substance, like Eve was biologically part of and never physically separate from, but of one substance from Adam, so was all of mankind. Likewise, through Jesus, humanity is made of one spiritual substance with the triune God through Jesus who took our humanity upon Himself and joined us to the divine triune existence forever.

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. Humans speak of freedom, as if they know whereof they speak. Freedom is something which can never be gained through the self-centered ‘solitary life’ humans promote for themselves under the influence of the devil. True freedom can only be reached through true Love, for Love and freedom are opposite sides of God’s divine nature. You cannot gain freedom without Love, neither can Love be experienced without freedom. Freedom begins with a life of liberation from sin and taking upon ourselves the “Love Personality” of the divine. (Gal.5:1; Rom.3:24; 1 John 4:16)

For additional information about the Triune Life: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.    

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

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

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

THANKSGIVING 2021

Greetings Friends the world over! This is the time for Thanksgiving in America. Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, November 25, 2021.

Thanksgiving is the essence of goodness, decency, and equity in the human spirit which stands inviolate and knows no borders. It is the epitome for nobility and charity which grounds us to our commonality as people of all language, color, ethnicity, and nationality, making us humans made in the Creator’s likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) Sometimes gratitude does not come easily for some because of our biases and prejudices. Each day we must fight the dark side of our natures to remind us of our humanity with two simple words, “Thank You!”

To say “thank you” is to express the dignity and decency of our 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.

The Scriptures tell us, “Thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live” (1 Thess.5:18). Yes, God want us to live with thankful hearts He has given, so let us not deny our common heritage in this beautiful act of gratitude to each other, especially at this time. There is no place for hatred or malice in the thankful heart for the light of God through His all-embracing Love shines through and breaks through all forms of darkness.

A Happy Thanksgiving All!

Connecticut Stores Opened and Closed on Thanksgiving Day 2021

Personal Blessing: Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Farewell for now!

Kiang P Lee
Your Servant in Christ

GIFTS ARE MAGNETS FOR THE “LOVE PERSONALITY”

Greeting Friends the world over! What is the “Love Personality?” It is the human personality that has been redeemed from the “fear personality” we inherited from Adam’s fall in Eden. A human being becomes a “Love Personality” just as God is the supreme Love Personality Himself in His Triune Being as Creator. We will delve into the human personality of Love or fear as we see this played out in the parable of the bags of gold in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 25. This is Jesus’ teaching about the “Kingdom of God” as the chapter opens with the words, “The kingdom of heaven will be like…” then He proceeded to give three parables, and one of them is about the ‘bags of gold.’ I will ask you to read the parable in Matthew 25:14-30. (please click on the Bible reference passage to read the text)

The “Love Personality”

Biblical teaching about gold goes much farther than just the idea of gold being a precious metal that can be traded in the stock market or exchange hands for goods and services, for example. Gold is a precious metal that has fascinated people since the beginning of time. In the Bible gold played an important part in the construction of God’s temple. The ark of the covenant which contained the tablets of the commandments, and represented the very mercy seat of God was overlaid with gold. Many of the temple utensils were made of or overlaid with gold, as well as part of the temple structure itself (Exod. 25:11-39; 1 Kings 6:20-35). Looking into the future, Scripture shows a city of pure gold that will come down from God in heaven. (Rev 21:18, 21)

The use of gold as an image of value and permanence in God’s temple and the heavenly city of the future symbolized the value the believer placed on this precious metal and its association with the God we worship. There is nothing evil about gold or the many precious metal and stones. What is evil is the false value we place upon them through idolism and false worship. God alone, the Creator of gold and all precious stones, is worthy of our worship.

The “Fear Personality”

So, we see in Jesus’ parable likens God to “a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey” (Matt.25:14-15). The servants refer to all humanity who can be said to be grouped into three categories commensurate with the varied gifts that God their Creator has placed in them. There are two key takeaways to draw from the parable: the bags of gold, and the servant’s ability.

What is the gold in the parable? What does it represent? The parable states it represents God’s wealth. Then what is God’s wealth? It is God’s Love! Wealth is who God is in Himself, so God’s Love is His wealth and riches, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). God is wealth and riches who is Love in Himself. Of course, for He is Creator of all wealth and riches, both material and spiritual, seen and unseen. The true riches will always be defined through the Creator, not the created. (2 Cor.4:18) God is not made of Love, He is Love. God is Love and Love is God, there is no distinction, they are one and the same. In the Father’s great Love for humanity, He spared not His Son but gave Him for our redemption to secure our future in His eternal Kingdom.

FreeBibleimages :: The parable of the talents of gold :: A parable about  three servants left to invest their master's money (Matthew 25:14-30)
Jesus’ Parable of The talents of Gold

God has promised His human children to inherit all things and share in His glory. And Paul tells us this, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” (Rom.8:17). To become heirs of God is to become heirs of who He is, for God is Love. That is to say we become “Love Personality” as God is the supreme Love Personality in His Triune Being as Creator. To “share in His glory” means to share in His Love Being by becoming “Love Personality” in our own right as the Bible affirms humanity was created in God’s Love image, which is the likeness of spiritual gold – His Love! (Gen.1:26-27) Paul said this about Jesus, “Who (Jesus), being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God” (Phil.2:6, NKJV) To be “equal with God” is identify with Him in His “Love Personality.” The Book of Revelation tells us, “The one who overcomes will inherit all things, and I will be his God and he will be My son” (Rev.21:7). To inherit ‘all things’ is to inherit who God is as Creator of “all things.” That is, to become “Love Personalities” as God is Love in Himself.

Gold – Metaphor for God’s Love

The second key to the parable is the servant’s ability, each servant was given different amounts of gold, commensurate with, or “according to his ability.” ‘Ability’ represents the person’s gift and talent conferred by the Creator at birth. Gifts spring from the depth of God’s Love for humanity. So, each of our gifts and talents reflect and represent His infinite Love. Our innumerable and varied talents express the depth and immensity of God’s Love. Paul said this about the magnificence of God’s Love, “That you understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His Love is” (Eph.3:18). So, the parable speaks of the servants utilizing their ability (gifts) to grow and multiply God’s Love (spiritual gold) in their lives and become wealthy by growing the master’s wealth. Ultimately humans become “Love Personalities” themselves. So, humanity gave birth out of God’s Love and is given His wealth (gold/Love) with which to utilize and trade.

That is the vital point to keep in mind from this story. The gift is constant, and the Master’s wealth is subject to change through ascending and descending fluctuations. According to the parable, human gifts are constant and unchanging, for one’s responsibility is measured by one’s “ability.” Human gifts and talents are conferred upon conception in the womb, as the Bible asserts, “For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psa.139:13-14) Job said this about humans, “Didn’t He (God) who made me in the womb make him? Didn’t One (God) fashion us in the womb?” (Job 31:15; also Psa.119:73; Job 10:8; Jer.1:5).

Human Gifts and Talents Divinely Conferred By God the Creator

With God having fashioned all mankind with gifts from the womb, our talents becomes a magnet in human life. So, the gift is constant and reflects God’s Love and wealth in each person. Peter said, “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another” (1 Pet.4:10). Whatever that gift, the Creator wants each person to use it for His divine purpose, and that purpose is none other than in service of His Love. (1 John 4:16) So, we can become successful at what we do in life through our individual talent, but if we fail at Love, then the Bible says “we are nothing” (1 Cor.13:2).

The responsibility for each person was commensurate with his/her ability, nothing more, nothing less. The Bible states, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven” (John 3:27). This is true with human gifts and talents as with everything in life. Paul said, “It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Phil.2:13). The Bible warns us about not being presumptuous and conceited about ourselves and our capabilities. Paul points out, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you” (Rom.12:3). By saying, “In accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you,” this speaks of human gifts and talents. We must guard against being presumptuous but be realistic with ourselves and humble in disposition.

A Person Can Be Gifted at Pottery, a Builder, a Scientist, a Dentist, a Teacher, a Parent, Plumber, Architect, etc.

Nobody was given more than he or she can handle according to the inborn and natural ability conferred by the Creator God in every human being. Neither was a person given less than the person can handle. God is just and fair in all He does especially in His relationship with His human children. Paul said this, “We have different gifts according to the grace given us. If one’s gift is prophecy (teaching), let him use it in proportion to his faith” (Rom.12:6). God promises, “No test that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; He’ll always be there to help you come through it” (1 Cor.10:13, MSG). Yes, our hope and future rests upon His unfathomable and incomprehensible Love. (John 3:16)

However, what is subject to change and fluctuation is the wealth, the Master’s wealth, gold, depending upon the application of the gift itself upon the situation and circumstance by which Love is made to grow and mature or retrogress and decline. And the person’s ‘Love bank’ (Love Personality) is ever growing to a whole person fashioned in Christ’s image. (Rom.8:29) The application of the gift is the servant’s responsibility with the help of the Holy Spirit. (John 14:26; 16:12-14) Here is the crux of the parable, change and fluctuation can be subject to increase or decrease in the ‘Love bank’ equilibrium as determined by how the gift is utilized and what it is used for. The gift is the trading platform in the ‘spiritual marketplace’ where the currency of Love is traded for spiritual goods and services.

According to the parable, there are three categories of people. The first servant represent people God has conferred the greater ability and talent than the second category. And the second group was more talented than the third category. The gifts are allotted and dispersed by determination of the Creator. In fact, the Bible says that we “may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col.2:2-3). So, the Father has determined that all human gifts and talents are reposed in and spawned from His Son, the second Person in the triune Godhead, for all our gifting spring from the divine “mystery hidden in Him carrying all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” The “treasures of wisdom and treasures” speaks of human gifts and talents.

Whatever the gift or talent does not make a person inferior or superior in God’s sight. What matters is we are using it as a platform for God’s Love and promoting good deeds and works. (Eph.2:10) We read Jesus said, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven” (John 3:27). No one can produce more than his/her gift would allow, whatever “is given them from above.”

Hopefully, we’ll not use that as an excuse for not doing our utmost best with our gift, both quantitatively and qualitatively. On the other hand, we can fizzle and fail by not utilizing our gifts to its uttermost, or doing nothing at all for Love’s sake, as the servant who was given one bag of gold. (Matt.25:24-25)

That is the message of the parable. It is not identifying a person’s gift exactly, but how God confer gifts in human beings into three categories. A person can be a plumber, an engineer, a doctor a gardener, an architect, a builder, a marine biologist or fisherman, a basketball player or botanist, a soccer player, or whatever the gift. One may be able to do the same work at a higher quality and quantity than the next person, depending on their mindset, conviction, and industry. They are all important to, and Loved by God who conferred the gifts. But the cardinal sin of the parable is to turn the platform of your gift utilizing the currency of fear (fool’s gold), and instead burying the bag of gold (God’s Love).

The first servant was given five bags of gold. What would be the benefit of giving a person fifty bags of gold if he/she possesses no corresponding ability to properly handle it? The first servant with five bags of gold had multiplied the Master’s wealth by 100%, and brought back ten bags of gold. His “Love Personality” (Love bank) has increased to the maximum degree his/her gift would tolerate in relation to the application of the gift. So did the next person with different but equally appropriate ability than the first servant was given two bags of gold and also multiplied the Master’s gold by 100% and returned four bags of gold (Love).

Both servants had utilized the platform of their gift to multiply God’s Love (gold) to the fullest possible extent. Take a moment to think about God’s command for humanity to, “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). We wonder sometimes if God is preoccupied in self-glory to give such a command? But not so, for this is the purpose of human life – to become “Love Personalities” as He is the the supreme “Love Personality” Himself. (1 John 4:8; 1 Cor.8:3) The command was a revelation about human destiny. Thereby, by commanding humans to Love Him absolutely without reservation, God had us in mind, not Him. God is Love and selfless in His Tri-Personal Being. The deeper we Love Him the greater His Love for us, and in the process we reflect and become like Him…we become “Love Personalities” being disrobed from the fallen “fear personality” inherited from Adam. (Rom.8:29)

However, the third servant who was given one bag of gold did differently from the previous two and instead of trading with his Master’s gold for gain, he did nothing but buried his one bag of gold in the ground somewhere. He gained nothing for he never did make a trade in order to multiply the Master’s wealth. Instead, he/she used the gift as their platform to promote fear (fool’s gold) and ignored God’s Love (true gold) entirely.

What Will You Do With The Master’s Wealth?

Upon his return, the Master enquired of the servants as to His investment He had entrusted with them. The first two of the servants who had made a hundred percent increase with the Master’s wealth were apprised and the Master was happy with their performance, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matt.25:21, 23). However, the third servant category returned his one bag of gold and said, “Here is what belongs to you” (Matt.25:25). The Master was not happy, and said, “‘You wicked, lazy servant! Take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags” (Matt.25:26, 28).

Your Talent Is God’s Love-Gift to You and Your Gift Is Your Act of Love to God and Your Fellow Humans

A person may be a gifted wood carver, or architect who designs award-winning structures. These are physical manifestations of the person’s gift, however, there is the spiritual aspect of each and every gift and talent. It is this spiritual manifestation is where the wealth of God’s kingdom is to be found and made to multiply and increase. This is what the Master is looking out to see in His relationship with humans, and how each of us have performed. The Bible says it this way, “The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam.16:7). Paul said, “For God does not show favoritism” (Rom.2:11). In the final analysis we are told to “remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant” (Deut.8:18; Prov.10:22). Yes, life is about trading with our gifts and talents to enrich and increase spiritual wealth in the human life and that of the Master and by extension humanity as a whole will become enriched and refined in character and being, in the process.

The material manifestation of your gift is a given, however, not so the spiritual manifestation. This is where the rubber meets the road…the heart, the motive which triggers human activity for the true wealth (Love/gold) which counts. This is why humans are blessed with gifts and talents in the first place, it’s always asking why am I doing this, what am I doing it for? This is the main point of the parable. You may be very good with your gift physically and materially, but that is not the meaning of the parable. It was about what your gift produced spiritually. The Bible states that without Love, “I am nothing” (1 Cor.13:2). So, for every activity we do with our gifts, there is a material manifestation and there is a spiritual manifestation. If we place the spiritual deeds first, then the material will fall into its proper place. (Matt.6:33)

Can we see that gifts are conferred foremost for the purpose of building spiritual wealth? Apparently, the third servant who was given one bag of gold did not appreciate this all-important aspect of his/her life. The first and second servant did. Recall, they were all given the same quality of gold, not necessarily quantity. We have seen that gold is the metaphor for divine Love, His wealth. God’s Love is one, same, and whole, thereby, it is never measured by degree. (Heb.13:8; Mal.3:6; Jam.1:17) God’s Love is not measured by carats, as in 10 carats, 24 carats, 40 carats, or whatever measurement humans have assigned to this precious metal. God’s Love is immeasurable and there is no way of determining the quality of His Love for its sublimity and richness.

The only difference is the quantity which is given to humans is “in accordance with the gift (faith) God has distributed to each of you.” Our perspective of God’s Love is that it is given by measure though its quality is unquestionable. The role of humans is to multiply what they are given commensurate with human gifts. Only Jesus possessed Love “without measure” for He was God in human flesh. (John 3:34; Isa.7:14)

Whatever measure of spiritual gold we are given from the Master’s storehouse, God’s Love is infinite, unfathomable, and beyond comprehension. There is no height by which it can be measured. There is no depth that can fathom it. There is no width, length, or breath by which it can be quantified nor qualified. It is indeterminable and limitless. However, the gold’s increase or decrease is determined by the application of human gifts. The Bible tells us this about human gifts and talents, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all” (1 Cor.12:4, NLT). We are reminded to, “Remember the LORD your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill His covenant” (Deut.8:18, NLT).

So, the parable speaks of going out and utilizing your gift as the platform upon which to trade with the spiritual currency of Love in the ‘spiritual marketplace.’ And at the end of trading, we ought to show a balance sheet where you have increased the Master’s wealth (Love). This means the steady growth of God’s divine ‘Love bank balance’ (Love Personality) in the heart and mind of the servants (believers). But what exactly is this ‘Love currency’ or spiritual monetary value and system we utilize upon the platform of our talents and gifts?

How exactly do we use our gifts and talents with God’s ‘Love currency’ to trade within the ‘spiritual marketplace?’ Without knowledge and recognition of what the ‘Love currency’ is, how would we trade in the ‘spiritual marketplace?’ Let’s begin by asking what exactly is God’s ‘Love currency?’ Paul told the Romans, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). So, the Holy Spirit is the personification of God’s Love and ‘Love currency’ in humans. Paul said further, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16). So, humans were created to be the temple of God, the temple of His Love through the Holy Spirit. With that, each and every believer is given money (Love currency/Spirit), five, two, one, bags as the case may be, to trade in the ‘spiritual marketplace.’

What Are Spiritual Gifts? Understanding the Types and Discovering Yours
God’s Love Is His Gift to You to Trade Upon the Platform of Your Talent and Gift

Jesus revealed the work of the Spirit when He said, “When the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from Me what He will make known to you” (John 16:13-15). What this says is the Spirit is the face of the Son, just as Jesus is the face of the Father to humanity. (John 14:9; Matt.28:19)

God’s ‘Love currency’ are the fruits of the Spirit’s Love which Paul communicated to the Corinthian Christians. (1 Cor.13:1-13). Paul stated the ‘Love currency’ are actually the Love-fruits of the Holy Spirit, and Paul tell us what they are: *the fruit of patience, *the fruit of kindness, *the fruit of contentedness,  *the fruit of modesty (unboastful), *the fruit of humility, *the fruit of honor, *the fruit of unselfishness, *the fruit of calmness and dignity, *the fruit of forgiveness and compassion, *the fruit of delighting in good and shunning evil, *the fruit of tolerance, *the fruit of responsibility, *the fruit of enduring hope, *the fruit of steadfast perseverance, *the fruit of joy, *the fruit of peace, *the fruit of goodness, *the fruit of faith, *the fruit of gentleness, *the fruit of self-control, *the fruit of zeal and spiritual fervor, *the fruit of friendship, *the fruit of sharing and generosity, *the fruit of prayerfulness, *the fruit of hospitality, etc. (1 Cor.13; also Gal. 5:22-23; Rom. 12:9-21). What we see above in the Love-fruits represent the currency of Love through the Spirit’s presence in human life. Both Jesus and the Spirit co-exist in the heart of God’s children, for Paul said, “Christ lives in me;” and “You are God’s temple that God’s Spirit dwells in” (Gal.2:20; 1 Cor.3:16; Act.17:28).

Fruit of the Spirit Poster
The Currency of The Spirit’s Love-Fruits 1 Corinthians 13

Just as these are the Love-fruits of God’s Spirit, there are fruits of fear. The fear-fruits are the exact opposite to the Love-fruits shown above. Here are some examples of the fruits of fear shown bracketed in italic with the Love-fruits: Joy (depression/regret/sadness); Peace (hostility/tension/disorder); Patience (intolerance/irritability/impatience); Kindness (malice/violence/inhumanity); Goodness (evilness/immorality/selfishness); Gentleness (cruelty/harshness/ruthlessness); Self-Control (instability/rashness/self-indulgence); etc. Both Love and fear represent the spiritual currencies that are traded in the ‘spiritual marketplace.’

From the above, we see the currency of Love clearly stipulated. These Love-fruits spells out the ‘Love currency’ we utilize upon the platform of our gifts and talents whereby we trade and earn even more Love and ‘Love-fruits’ in the ‘spiritual marketplace.’ The end result is become the Love Personality in the true sense of the word as the Spirit remake us into Christ’s image, for He is the ultimate Love Personality in human form which God destined we are to emulate, and become ‘Love Personalities’ ourselves in Christ’s image. (Rom.8:28; 5:5; 1 John 4:16) Essentially, in the essence of playing and living the role of servants in the parable, Paul speaks of what we encounter with its end-result in this way, “As all of us reflect the Lord’s glory (Love Personality)… we are being changed into His image with ever-increasing glory (Love Personality). This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor.3:18).

In other words, we are in a ‘spiritual marketplace’ where we’re trading with God’s Love as currency or spiritual money, utilizing our talents to increase the divine Love currency who were entrusted with the Master’s gold (Love) treasures. And as we do, the end-result is the Master’s gold gradually become brighter and more beautiful spiritually as God enters our lives and we take on and become more and more like His Son – for Jesus Christ is the embodiment of God’s Love Personality to humanity unveiling the Father’s glory. (John 3:16; Rom.8:9)

What is this marketplace where we use God’s Love currency to trade upon the platform of each of our gifts and talents? The marketplace is where we live and encounter relationships first with God and through Jesus we relate with our fellow humans. Jesus gave us the most important roles we must play in life, with these words, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt.22:37-40). This is the ‘spiritual marketplace’ where we are cultivating a Love relationship first with God, and with our fellow humans in whatever life situation we encounter.

How do we use our gifts with the currency of God’s Love to trade in this ‘spiritual marketplace?’ Jesus utilized His exceptional miraculous gift as the platform which attracted people to come and hear the Gospel which God the Father gave His Son to announce to humanity. (John 3:16; Matt.4:17) The Bible tell us this about Jesus, how “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). What is that Gospel? It is the ‘good news’ about God’s Love, that’s it! And each of our gifts does the same thing, for we are now Christ’s ambassadors continuing His mission of spreading the Love of God. (Matt.28:20)

Many don’t realize this basic truth of the Bible that there are only two forms of humans that has ever existed and walked upon this earth. Both originate from the Creator God. All of humanity is essentially part of the entire human species of God’s children, and further defined by two ‘humanities’ (two humans), if you like. (Act.17:28)

A variety of fruit for delivery in a basket
Fruit Basket-Metaphor for God’s Love-Fruits, The Spiritual Love Currency We Read in 1 Corinthians 13.

At the beginning, the first human, Adam, was created from the dust of the earth, perfect and sinless until his fall at the hands of the devil in the Garden of Eden. (Gen.3:1-24) Thus, mankind was consigned to a life of spiritual imprisonment under the rebellious spirit in the sin-condition of the evil one. Humanity was cut-off from access to God through the Holy Spirit, as symbolized by the Tree of Life, because of sin. (Gen.3:24) Consequently, it is from fallen Adam that the spiritually imprisoned humanity descended through Mother Eve. This is our old fallen and corrupt humanity – from the fallen ‘Adamic humanity,’ mankind inherited the sin-condition with the ‘fear personality’ as opposed to the divine ‘Love Personality’ of God in Christ.

Then, there is the second new humanity resulting from the incarnation of Jesus, God’s only Son descending from God the Father. Jesus is also identified as the second Adam. (1 Cor.15:45-49) Through the prophet Isaiah God announced this wonderful message to mankind, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:22-23, KJV). This is the new humanity of Jesus, or His ‘Immanuel humanity,’ following His prophetic name announced by the prophet Isaiah. The prophetic name, Immanuel, means “God is with us,” and means Jesus is fully God and fully human. (Matt.1:23). God gave up His Son for us, and He has accepted Christ’s sacrifice for the human sin-condition as the absolute and final atonement for human corruption and evil for all times, thus making redemption for Adam’s sin. (John 3:16; Matt.20:19)

“For God So Loved The World That He Gave His Only Son”

Therefore, from the new ‘Immanuel (‘God is with us’) humanity’ of Jesus, humans can choose to adopt from God through Jesus Christ in the Spirit’s (Love) power. This change is a rebirth (born anew) into the ‘Love Personality’ of Jesus. Paul, while speaking about this new humanity, said, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves (to sin), so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit (Love) you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him (God) we cry, “Abba, Father” (Rom.8:15). The purpose of the second redeemed ‘Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus is to substitute for the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ of Adam, the father of the ‘fear personality.’ (You can read about this rebirth in my post titled, “The New Humanity of Jesus” at: http://bulamanriver.net/9718)

Jesus’ Immanuel (“God With Us”) Humanity

What is the fundamental difference between the two? There is the primary difference of origin. Though Adam came from God perfect and sinless by creation, the human sin-condition came about as a result of Adam and Eve falling at the hands of Satan’s temptation and sin. (Gen.2:15-17; 3:1-6) Thus, the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ with the ‘fear personality’ resulted from their rebellion. Through God’s promise, Jesus, the second Adam, by incarnation gave birth to the ‘Immanuel humanity’ and thereby imparted the ‘Love personality’ of God to humanity. Jesus’ messianic title, Immanuel (“God with us”), conveys the origin of the Son of God, fully God and fully human, originating from the one Triune Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (John 1:1; 14:16-17; Eph.4:4-6; 1 Pet.1:2; Matt.28:19; 1 Cor.15:45-49)

The two human forms devolve into two broad philosophies of life. One is self-centered, driven by the ‘fear personality’ inherited from our fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ and end with the sin-condition and death. (Rom.6:23) While the ‘Immanuel humanity’ is other-centered, driven by God’s ‘Love Personality’ through His Spirit we adopt through a spiritual rebirth, and ultimately, human immortality in Christ’s likeness. (John 3:16; Rom.8:11; 5:5; 1 Cor.15:45, 47-49; John 3:3-7) John said, “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).

The two broad philosophies of life reveal the undercurrent that governs the atmosphere and attitude of the ‘spiritual marketplace.’ There are only two spiritual currencies that are recognized and traded within it: Love and fear! They are the medium by which spiritual transactions are conducted and concluded. And every trade is carried out through the platform of the human gifts God has conferred upon humanity, utilizing either of the two currencies to exchange spiritual goods and services (works).

By extension, we must be cognizant of the fact that there are only two realities, just as in Jesus’ temptation there was physical/material bread, there is its counterpart of spiritual bread. (Matt.4:3-4) The spiritual currency of fear and Love, combined with the human talents God has conferred upon each of us, forms the basic ingredients which keep the ‘spiritual marketplace’ busy with spiritual transactions. Paul said, “You have taken off your old self (‘fallen Adamic humanity’) with its practices and have put on the new self, (‘Immanuel humanity’) which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Col.3:9-10, italics and bracket my emphasis)

Let us see an example of how the spiritual currency of Love and fear is used in the ‘spiritual marketplace.’ The gifts conferred upon humans enable us to live a life with purpose. The gift gives the person passion, meaning, and joy in life. The gift is divinely deposited in the person’s heart and mind. With that in mind, a person crafts a plan or design corresponding to the person’s talent. Let’s assume the gift of wood carving. There are two realities, the first is the word carver can carve an exquisite work of art using wood. First there is the physical/material manifestation of the gift. Then, second there is the spiritual manifestation, the spiritual reality. Recall, the spiritual manifestation consists of two realities and directions which drives a person’s gift – Love or fear.

We saw that the path of Love is further dissected into two routes: Love for God first, and then our Love for our fellow humans. (Matt.22:37-40). So firstly, there must be an underlying commitment to use our gifts for spiritual reasons, for God’s purpose as we have seen analogized in the parable of the bags of gold. Peter said, “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another”
(1 Pet.4:10). And we ought to always display the enduring spirit of acknowledgement that our accomplishments, consistent with our gifts, are made possible only because the gifts conferred upon us by our Maker. This spontaneous and thankful attitude of mind ought to be instinctive and organic, as Paul said, “Be persistent in prayer; in every situation, be thankful to God” (1 Thess.5:17-18, AMP). The act of gratitude and acknowledging God’s provision is an expression of our Love for Him.

Why living in a poor country means you have bad food choices
The Spiritual Marketplace Where Love-Fruits Are Exchanged with People with Spiritual Goods and Services – Good Works!

When it comes to our relationship with fellow humans, we ask how does our gift interact with other people? Does Love inspire our actions or does fear lead the way? In the ‘spiritual marketplace’ what is the spiritual goods and services the spiritual currency of Love is being exchanged for? Paul answers this way, “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). Yes, we sow the seeds of Love, by using the currency of Love, with which to reap the harvest of “good works.” Recall, one of the many fruits of the Spirit is “goodness.”

All the fruits of Love shown in the Spirit’s Love-fruits produce one goal: “good works.” On the opposite pendulum, a person can use the currency of fear we saw above and produce “evil works.” This was no different from Jesus’ life which the Bible records as saying, “With the Holy Spirit and with power, Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Act.10:38; Matt.4:23). I emphasize the words, “doing good,” or “good works.” Peter said, “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another” (through “good works”) (1 Pet.4:10).

People have been known to “cash-in” on their talents. Is our relationship with people to get something out of them? Is that the motivation for our relationship with others as it intersects with our gifts? Does the wood carver create his/her piece of artwork purely for the sake of money, or other non-monetary rewards, for instance? People have charged exorbitant prices for their work (gift) than is justified. Our actions through our gifts must be filtered through God’s Love. (1 John 4:16)

People are known to be meanly transactional in their relationships with others, where in extending a helping hand they expect a premium in return, a ‘I scratch your back and you scratch mine’ mindset. However, Love is sacrificial in its outlook where our perspective is for the wellbeing of others. Love expects nothing in return, for Love is its own reward, for the Scripture tell us, “God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:168). To exist in the divine “Love Personality” of Christ is to be complete, lacking nothing.

money-changing-hands-e1477625146532 | James L'Etoile
Gifts can be Turned into Platforms for Self-centered Gains (Tit.1:11)

People can turn their talent into a self-centered ‘ATM money machine.’ I believe the servant who buried his/her Master’s one bag of gold (Love) was such a person who acted and utilized his/her gift purely for selfish reasons (fear) and using the platform of his/her gift to trade in the currency of fear for the self. People have used fear to get things done. Jesus told the unprofitable servant who buried his one bag of gold, “You should have put My money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest” (Matt.25:27).

In other words, the servant could have done the bare minimum and placed the bag of gold (Love) in a fixed term investment at a local bank. But instead he/she made a complete about turn and went to the the extent of exchanging the Master’s gold for ‘fool’s gold’ or fear, self-centeredness, and sin and acted foolishly. The Scripture says this about Lucifer’s original sin, “You defiled your sanctuaries (heart) with your many sins and your dishonest trade” (Ezek28:11-19, esp. V.18).

Am I saying it is wrong to charge for a service a person renders? No, the Bible says clearly, “The worker deserves his wages” (Luk.10:7). Again, “The laborer is worthy of his wages” (1 Tim.5:18). So, a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay is a biblically sound fiscal principle. And when done out of Love, we are shining the light of His glory.

So, it is the underlying motivation…that is the question. Is it done out of fear or Love? Our foundation must always be Love. As Paul told the Romans, “Do not owe anyone anything, except to Love one another, for the one who Loves another has fulfilled the law” (Rom.13:8). What “law”? The law of Love. We are to be under obligation to no one–the only obligation is to Love one another. Our goal is not to earn more physical wealth, but to multiply the spiritual wealth of the Master who has invested in us. Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt.6:19-2133).

As far as material wealth, God has promised to supply our needs and even desires with the understanding that we “seek His kingdom first” (Matt.6:33, 25-32; Psa.37:4). And God’s kingdom is about Love, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). The platform of your gift must be motivated by Love. We can work for an employer for a price (wage), but the underlying motive must be Love. What drives us is God’s Love, not fear. What is the content of the product we’re helping to produce? Does it promote Love or fear? Does it promote ‘good works’ or ‘evil deeds?’ That question ought to guide us philosophically.

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God’s Gift Inspired by His Love Produces “Good Works”

I have used the case of the wood carver above as an example from which you can extrapolate the principle onto your case individually as it relates to your gift and situation in life. When we use our gifts to dispense fear, negative fruits grows and proliferates and become stronger. The same works for Love. The dispenser of fear has magnified and intensified the currency (spirit) of fear in his/her life and in the lives of others. God wants His children to dispense Love and grow His Love everywhere. This is how we live in freedom day by day as God’s people and children.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell for now!

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant in Christ)

*Triune Life”: Relationship with God has no meaning without Love. By its very nature, Love cannot endure in solitary existence. So, when God said “Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness…” He was revealing Himself as existing in His trinitarian existence. That is, His Tri-Personal Being as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Gen.1:26; Matt.28:19; John 14:10, 16; 16:7) The Hebrew word for ‘God’ in the creation account is “Elohim.” It describes God as a Trinity – the Tri-Personal Godhead, which other scriptures attests. (Matt.28:18-20; 1 Pet.1:2; 2 Thess.2:13; 2 Cor.13:14) So, God is Trinitarian in His Love nature. Love by its nature is relational as God is in His Tri-Personal Being. Hence, a human being was created a relational being.

Adam was solitary and incomplete until God made Eve. He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone (solitary). I will make a helper suitable for him” (Gen.2:18, italics mine). So, God gave Adam a family to raise composed of a father, mother, and offspring, to reflect Himself in His plural Being. The Bible states that the Church’s or humanity’s destiny is to marry Christ, the second Person of the Triune Godhead, in the new age to come which will be an everlasting relationship. (2 Cor.11:2; Eph.5:23-27, 32; Rev.19:7) The Bible is abundantly clear about God’s nature and declaration of Himself in His relational Triune Being from the past, the present, and the future. God has never lived as a solitary Being, but a Tri-Personal Being.

It’s noteworthy to understand that Eve was not created an individual creation from the dust of the earth as was Adam. She was not created apart from Adam as an individualized separate human being, instead, she was taken out from Adam’s side to show she was biologically one and indivisibly part of Adam. Eve was not detached (solitary) from Adam, but intrinsically inseparable from Adam’s innermost humanity. When Adam saw Eve, he said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man” (Gen.2:21-23).

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

Each one of us was created as an indivisible relational human being incubated and given birth from Adam’s mold as one species, for God created humanity to reflect the eternal likeness in His triunity. We are born for relationships with the divine triune Love as our guiding principle. All this show that humans were created to be indivisibly one to reflect God’s Tri-Personal image of Oneness, not solitary separateness. When God sent Jesus His eternal Son, He became human in order to unify humanity spiritually to the Triune Being of God once for all time. Hence, when the prophet Isaiah proclaimed Jesus’ coming, He was given the prophetic name, Immanuel. (Isa.7:14) The name means “God with us” (Matt.1:23). Humanity is ‘organically’ one with the Triune God, just as humanity is one with Adam.

Most religions believe God as some solitary being. The true God is not solitary by any means, He is the Trinity in His Tri-Personal Being. God consist of three Persons in One divine triune Godhead. They exist in One “homoousion” meaning consisting in one substance, or “consubstantiality.” The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in One hypostatic union, One substance, like Eve was biologically part of and never physically separate, but of one substance from Adam. Likewise, humanity is made of one spiritual substance with the triune God through Jesus Christ who took our humanity upon Himself and joined it to the divine triune existence forever.

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Impatience is Self-Defeating Act That Ends In Failure

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

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

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

“Faith Produces Patience” (Jam.1:3)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Five Senses Driven By Sense of Desire Propels The Human Faith

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

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

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

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

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

But what exactly is this spiritual faith? Paul makes it plain, “Even the righteousness of God which is by the ‘faith of Jesus Christ’ to all and on all them that believe” (Rom.3:22, AKJV, emphasis added). Yes, the answer is plain to see, it is Jesus’ very own personal faith! Not our human faith, however, by saying “on all them that believe” at the end of the Verse, this faith refers to the human faith. In other words, we can believe in the “faith of Jesus” with our human faith, thus blending the two faiths into one in Christ. The Spiritual faith is the living, powerful, faith of the risen Jesus who is alive today as our High Priest in heaven mediating for us. So, we know where it originates from – from Jesus in heaven who now lives and walks in each of us. (2 Cor.6:16)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus revealed the true bread that actually satisfies our hunger, first spiritually and physically. He said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35, 48). He said further, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (John 6:51). If a person is sustained by spiritual bread (Jesus) that imparts immortality, then physical bread is irrelevant in the spiritual realm for it is of no consequence with the divine reality where abundance and bounty (spiritual and material) is the domain of the Creator.

The temptation was not about bread and stones, but it was about how and who will He promote utilizing His divine powers. It was about motive, not bread. Would Jesus obey Satan, as Adam did in Eden with the forbidden fruit, or rely upon His Father who promised to Love and sustain Him. There will be times the devil will tempt us to use our gifts and talents (divinely conferred upon us by our Maker) to do his bidding, and at such a time we apply the example of Jesus and realize this is not really about our gift, but about how and who will we promote utilizing our gift (motive)? Many have succumbed to the devil’s wiles and cunning and sacrificed their talents on the alter of self-righteousness and self-worship. No, human gifts were conferred with the divine intention to be uitilized on the alter of God’s Love, as we shall see. But we must not give in, but wait on God’s Word as it relates to our circumstances. Paul said this of Satan, “For we are familiar with his evil schemes” (2 Cor.2:11). Yes, through Jesus’ own example in His temptations we’re not oblivious to his devious ways.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When power is idolized, be it personal or shared, then Satan is worshipped and unwittingly people become his instruments for evil. Christ rejected this proposal with abhorrence and declared, “Away from Me, Satan!” The Bible promises, “If God is for us, who can be against us” (Rom.8:31). God has promised His human children all things, as the Scripture affirms, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory” (Rom.8:17; Gal.3:29; Eph.3:6).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell for now!

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant in Christ)

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

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

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rebellious Personality Began With Adam’s Fall in Eden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell for now!

Kiang, Your Servant in Christ

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

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

Reblev’s Icon of the Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mandate | Definitions & Meanings That Nobody Will Tell You.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell for now!

Kiang, (Your Servant in Christ)

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

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

Reblev’s Icon of the Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God Is Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Depiction of The Resurrection of Jesus

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Depiction of the The Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Laver Symbolizing Baptism of Jesus We Reflect and Replicate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell for now!

Kiang, (Your Servant in Christ)

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

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

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

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

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

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

PENTECOST AND “THE MIRACULOUS LIFE” BY KIANG P LEE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Angels to the Rescue

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

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

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

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

God is Love

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

“God Is Love” 1 John 4:8, (pexels)

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

The Person with the Lamp

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

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

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

Jesus Died To Make The Miraculous Life Possible for Humanity

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

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

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

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

This image has an empty alt attribute

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell for now!

Kiang, (Your Servant in Christ)

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

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

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

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

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

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

PENTECOST AND THE TEMPLE OF GOD, BY KIANG P LEE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sponsored image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God is Love

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

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

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

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

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The Cross, Symbol of Death and Rebirth In Christ – Gal.2:20; John 3:5. (Unsplash)

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

Farewell for now,

Kiang, (Your Servant in Christ)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bulamanriver: Book Cover by Author

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

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

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