WHO IS THE “BULAMANRIVER?” – BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings friends around the world.

I hope you found my last post beneficial to your faith and you have found the grace for living in your communion with others. If any of my post has benefited you in any way, I appreciate your comments. You can drop me a note, or, ask any question you might have. In this post, I would like to clarify any ambiguity on the metaphor I have used throughout my posts, namely, Bula man-river.*

First of all, who is the Bula man-river?* You are! The foundation of the life of the Bula man-river* is encapsulated in the words of Jesus when He said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as the scriptures has said, rivers of living waters will flow from within them. By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time, the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified” (John 7:37-39). This passage is the basis upon which the metaphor of the Bula man-river* stands. The same passage is the flag bearer for this blog site as you can see above. 

Secondly, the name also has its genesis in the miracle in which I came face-to-face with the Lord and His angels, when He saved me, my wife and two friends from certain death in the river called “Bulu.” You can read about this miracle in the introduction to my book.* If you believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and ongoing Mediator, and believe in the work of the Holy Spirit in your life to move you to do the will of God our Father, then you are a Bula man-river.* Bula man-river* is an authentic Christian and is the union of man with the Triune God – the Source of the miraculous life.

Why A River

The river may be the closest thing in nature to God’s own image of Love and giving. The waters of the river flows unabated every single day, never knowing any other way to live but to give, give, and give. For this very reason, the message of my Book, “Bula man-river,* The Miracle of Triune Living,” is that every believer is the Bula man-river* – for man is made in the likeness of God. (Gen.1:26-27) It conveys the life of the Trinitarian God flowing in him. Jesus made this clear when He said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” The Bible likens people to “waters” (Rev. 17:1, 15). You are this Bula man-river in Jesus, living in the power and inspiration of the Spirit. This abundance is not in you but flows through you like a river.

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Mountain Likens to God From Which Rivers of “Living Water” Flow to Men (Wiki Commons)

Man Is the Riverbed

Man is the riverbed. A riverbed is created and charted by God. The riverbed has a destiny preordained by God. A riverbed never changes its course but flows through and into its prescribed valleys and communities. God is the Creator of man and therefore the Creator of the riverbed, the man. The Holy Spirit is the “living waters” flowing in the riverbed. Consequently, the riverbed + “living waters” = the Bula man-river* in which the Triune God flows. The Spirit springs from God into our innermost being, and gives us life in His Love, hence, the name “Bula” or “life,” in the Fijian language. (John 7:38).

Thomas F. Torrance, a renowned Trinitarian theologian, says Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit mutually mediate and interpenetrate one another in all of God’s activity in man and creation (How to Read T.F. Torrance by Elmer M Colyer, p. 212). This mutual mediation is the activity of Jesus and the Spirit in the “living waters” which cover the riverbed (man). Its holistic output is what identifies the life of the Bula man-river*  (John 16:14-15, 8-11).

So a riverbed is not considered a river until its waters flow through it. The riverbed and the “living waters” mediate and interpenetrate one another to remake man into a Bula man-river.* However, keep in mind that different waters can flow in man. This is the picture of the Bula man-river;* he lives this three-dimensional life of the Triune God in him, as opposed to the one-dimensional solitary life in his fallen state of being.

Baptism Inaugurates Life of Bula man-river*

This new life of the Bula man-river is inaugurated through the ritual of “baptism.” Baptism signifies the death and burial of the old self, and the birth of man’s new identity in Christ’s own death, resurrection, and ascension. (Rom.6:4-7; Eph.2:6-7) He now lives in heaven in Christ. In the metaphor of the Bula man-river,* man is now the riverbed and the Spirit of “living waters” forever flows in him. He flows into the valleys which represent communities of people he or she comes in contact in life. God created us to become people who exist and live in communion to reflect His own Trinitarian nature. Without a life that’s lived in meaningful participation with one another, seeking our dreams, all interconnected in Christ, we will deteriorate and cease to live life meaningfully and enduringly. Our individual destiny is realized through the people in our prescribed valleys we flow through as Bula man-rivers.*

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The Peaceful Life-Giving Waters of a River is Metaphor for the Bulmanriver (Pic:Wiki Commons)

Bulu man-river

There is a spiritual river flowing in every person’s life. A river is a motif for life and how life is lived. A person can flow in one of the two rivers. One is the river that produces a life of fear, lack, and ultimately death. I call that “Bulu” or to ‘bury the dead’ in Fijian. The other river is one with “living waters” that produce Love and abundance. I call this “Bula,” another Fijian word, which means “life.” What the Lord gave me to see is that humans are really “Bula” or man-rivers* in God. Man is a repository of this spiritual river, hence the term “man-river” (John 7:38, 4:13-14).

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A Raging Destructive River is Depiction of the Bulu-manriver (Pic:Wiki Commons)

“Flush-Out”

So, the act of baptism is symbolic of a person’s conversion, and pictures the “flush-out” of the deathly waters of “Bulu,” and is replaced and substituted by the “living waters” of the Holy Spirit.

Your Middle Name

With the “flush-out” of the deathly waters of “Bulu,” the Bula man-river* is now the conduit and repository for the very Love and power of God from which miracles proceed. Man doesn’t naturally possess this Love, but it comes to us by the power of the Spirit (Rom. 5:5). Look at Bula man-river* as your middle name. It’s going to be the name through which He conveys upon us all His blessings. And His blessings are His miracles. The prophet said poignantly, “My people have committed two sins; they have forsaken me, the spring of living waters, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water” (Jer. 2:13, emphasis added). The cistern is the riverbed (man). We can’t chart the riverbed’s course, or “dig our own cisterns” – God does that for man. A river has a prescribed pathway with relational gifts, for the assigned purpose of watering the valleys and communities.

Your Life’s Gifts Magnetizes to You

In every human, life and gifts comes fused together and are inseparable. This is especially true for the Bula man-river* who has the gift of the Spirit flowing in him or her. Therefore, a person’s “life-gift” or dream is always magnetizing to him or her. That’s to say, the “life-gift” a person is endowed with by the Creator, is the magnet in a person’s life. We have heard the adage, “Life is a gift.” Indeed, for the gift that comes with life is what makes life a gift. A musician does not find his music, his music finds him. An author does not find his subject to write about, his subject finds him. An entrepreneur does not find his niche, his niche finds him. We are all free to accept the prompts of our calling or to reject them. We either flow with our gift or swim against it. Too many live lives like ‘square pegs in round holes,’ which brings on all kinds of psychological and physical side-effects. Every prompt from the heart of our “life-gift” is a jigsaw piece that fits into a picture of your destiny that’s constantly magnetizing to you. Whoever a person is and becomes is only as authentic as the gift that defines him or her. Talent, purpose, dream, call it what you will, is what gives man purpose; without it, life is meaningless. There’s only one genuine and legitimate life God gives us, and through which He communicates Himself to us – our “life-gift” or purpose in life. God gave Joseph his dream, and throughout his life it was the means by which God communicated His purpose for him. (Gen.37:5-7; 45:7-8) The Triune life of the Bula man-river* is the medium through which God manifest His destiny to us. Our purpose is founded upon Christ, “the author and finisher of our faith,” who is the “storehouse of all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom” (Heb. 12:2; Col. 2:3, emphasis added).

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A Potter in Bangalore India Possesses The Gift of Making Clay Vessels (Pic: Wiki Commons)

The River Never Knows How to Stop Giving

Think about this: the waters of the river flows in its never-ending giving pathway, and knows no other way to live… but to give. What the person gives has to do with the giftedness he has been endowed with from the Creator. The river courses through the valleys and communities making them rich and fertile. At no time does the river stop giving of itself for the good of others. That is the picture of the life of Jesus Christ. He is the One whose life courses through and gives life to the Bula man-river,* bringing abundance which flows in the river. This river imagery cannot be a picture of man. Man doesn’t know how to Love and give in this way (Rom. 8:31-32, 35, 38-39). If anything, man is the antithesis of this graceful flow of the river which frees him (Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:10-18).

Only Jesus can amplify the work of the Trinitarian God in man through the Spirit who connects God to man, and from man back to God. We must take loving responsibility for the gifts we have been endowed with, and let its energy invigorate us to embrace the people in our valleys in the Spirit’s Love. This is the very essence of the life of the Bula man-river.* For the Bula man-river,* the valleys represent the community of people you come in contact with daily. There is your family valley. Then there is your church valley. There is your neighbor/community/village valley. Furthermore, you have a work or occupation valley. Then there is the national valley, and so forth. Each of these valleys requires different responses from you.

Collective Destiny: The Ocean

The purpose of our calling is to testify to this miraculous life of the Bula man-river* we have in Christ. The river flows to all humanity. The living waters that flow in our riverbed are common to us all. The waters originate from the same source – the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13-14). These “living waters” (Spirit) hold all the Bula man-river’s* talents and abilities, just as a river holds all the good that gives generously to enrich the valleys and communities. As important as our individual destinies are, they are powerless in themselves. There has to be a unifying center that brings us all together into a cohesive unit. That center is Jesus Christ. The ultimate destination of rivers is the vast ocean where all rivers gather. So every single Bula man-river* flows and ends in this center, this ocean.

Jesus is the ‘Ocean!’

The Ocean is Jesus Christ! He is the magnetizing center which draws us together into a unifying whole. We’re not separate unrelated misfits doing our own thing. In our everyday life, as we search and live our destinies as Bula man-rivers,* we realize our talents and abilities are not an end in themselves. This is what God’s Trinitarianism means – everything is interconnected and unified, just as God is in His Triunity. We are all connected. How we all come together is God’s undertaking, not ours. It’s a mystery to us, but not with God. Like a jig-saw puzzle (mystery), we are all pieces of the puzzle which contributes ultimately to the unifying picture of His Triune Being in Christ we will become. (1 Pet.2:5-6; Eph. 2:19-22) Yes, just like a jig-saw puzzle, we have seen the end from the beginning, as the picture on the puzzle box tell us. We know our end is to be a dwelling place for the Triune God, and vice versa, we are to dwell and exist in His Triune Being through Christ. (Rom.8:29; Rev.21:3) The “flush-out” brings “living waters” with which we water people on our journey to the Ocean each day. Then the waters return to the mountain of God, and He ‘rains’ His Love upon us which flows in the Bula man-river* as “living waters” all over again in its endless cycle of Love and giving. (Prov. 11:25, NKJV).

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The Vast Ocean – Depiction of God Where All Rivers Flow and Find Rest (Wiki Commons)

Bula man-river* Is About Living the Miraculous Life

God never does things on His own. It’s impossible for God to live a “solitary” life like fallen man because He is essentially and intrinsically Triune. He is relational, and His nature of Love bears this out. This is the basis of the miraculous life I have reiterated throughout my Book,* beginning with my own miracle which is why I am alive today to tell about it. Love is the fire of our relationship with the Triune God; it is the work of the Spirit that brings us into His presence as Bula man-rivers.* When this happens, something inexplicable occurs that is usually deciphered in retrospect. It’s like some kind of meeting of minds happening. It may feel like someone has read your mind and gone ahead to prepare the way for the circumstance you encountered. When that happens, you should know you have just experienced God’s hand in your life. It’s the expression of His undeniable grace and goodness in the finished work of Christ in your life. In short, we call that spark—that union of the divine and the physical—a miracle. This spark, like the touch of the sick woman that caused energy to leave Jesus’ Being, is the same spark of miraculous life we all encounter when we reach out to touch Him.

Work of the Spirit 

You may have heard people ask you, ‘Do you know your Bible?’ But, the most foundational question of all is, ‘Do you know your God?’ The true knowledge of God, and how He is natured as a Triune Being we can relate to in Love. God’s undertaking of bringing us into His Triune Being is the picture on the puzzle box we see, and we are all the interconnected pieces of that picture. That’s the one and only purpose of God, and why He made us in His Triune likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) That’s why God’s Trinitarianism is the axis upon which everything else turns and finds existence. It may be informative to know that the Bible as we know it today, was not canonized until around the fourth century. That means, if the early Christians had no Bible for reference for four centuries, except for a handful of letters, then I ask what, or in reality, Who, was guiding believers then? Yes, it was the Holy Spirit! (John 15:26-27; Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-4) “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). This clearly tells us the Spirit as the Revelator. The Bible is a guide and does not replace the work of the Holy Spirit whose mission is to establish in each of us a more profound and personal relationship with Christ. (John 16:12-15) That is to say, the Spirit is the Personal Teacher sent by God to teach each of us about our place in God’s plan.

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Gentle Dove, Symbol of the Holy Spirit and God’s Love (Pic: Wiki Commons)

We must not allow legalism to creep into our lives, and in so doing, nullify the work of the Spirit. The life-force of the Bula man-river* is the Spirit. We must not allow the Bible to be the end-all, but an inspirational guide to point us to the Triune God, and what that means to every man, woman, and child. The Spirit reveals who God is to us in His Son. The most basic and most decisive knowledge for man to understand is God is Trinitarian, which is the basis for which He spontaneously and organically connects Himself to man through His Son. If God was not Trinitarianly Love, man would not have come into existence, and the Bible with it. The Bible does not produce miracles, the Spirit does, including our spiritual birth into immortality in Christ. This is the essence and thrust of what the life of the Bula man-river* is the Spirit (“living waters”).

Read my Book

I sincerely hope you will read my Book to gain a broader insight into this endearing term and metaphor of the Bula man-river.* It will reshape you as a person to face life with Jesus and the Spirit interpenetrating and living in you. It’s a completely changed life with “living waters” (Spirit) flowing in you replacing the deathly waters which once influenced and colored your life – now gone forever. The Book presents three broad scenarios to help you understand and become a Bula man-river* – the what, why, and how of becoming and living as one.

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Go to bulamanriver.com if You Wish to Purchase My Book

Blessing

Until we meet again in my next post, 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 Triune living as a Bula man-river.*

Kiang                                                                                                                                                             (Your Servant in Christ) 

* The “Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bula man-river, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book. Remember, when you purchase my book all the proceeds go towards Jesus Christ’s work of dispensing the Gospel. Thank you for your support.

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

Note: 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

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