Greetings once again Friends wherever you are around the globe! Welcome to you, if this is your first visit, and for my regular readers, blessings! Today, let’s touch on something foundational about God and His Love for the whole world regardless of race, creed, nationality, culture, or beliefs.
The foundation of Christianity was established upon God’s Covenant to save all humanity. The Covenant or promise grew out of the Covenant (promise) God made with Abraham, the ancient patriarch. God had called Abraham to leave his home in ancient Haran in the land of Ur of the Chaldeans. Abraham left behind his tribe and kinsfolk, took his wife, close relatives, and servants, his possessions, and in childlike faith believed God’s promise and traveled in the direction of Canaan, not knowing fully how his journey would transpire and unfold. (Gen.12:1-5; Heb.11:8-10)
Then God told Abraham that because of his faith in His promise, the Messiah will be sent and born through his descendants, saying, “And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed Me.” (Gen.22:18; NLT; 12:3). The prophetic promise was repeated for emphasis later, “All the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him (Abraham)” (Gen.18:18). Thus, Jesus Christ the Messiah was born the Savior by way of the Abrahamic Covenant, and through whom the whole world finds salvation. (John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:1-4) It is a misunderstanding to say that Christianity is a religion founded by Jesus Christ. Christianity is not a religion nor a religious sect, but it espouses a “way of life.” And all of humanity is called by the Creator to enter into His Covenant in Christ and be saved from the wrath of the sin-condition of Satan in which mankind is incarcerated. The term Christian actually means to be a “follower of Jesus Christ” in the way of life He has taught and espouses. Hence, the Bible states that “God so Loved the whole world (Not just Christians) He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone (not just Christians) who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NLT, italics mine).
The genealogy of Jesus can be traced back to Abraham and to Adam is found in the Gospel of Matthew. (Matt.1:1-17) Without God’s Covenant to save mankind, humans would have remained lost and condemned under the sin-condition of the devil.
There are fundamental steps in the making of a Covenant. First, there is the wording of the Covenant which expresses the desires and plans of the Maker of the Covenant. Then the Covenant has to be ratified, sealed, and delivered, in order to make it authentic and real. A Covenant or promise has two parties, where a promise is undertaken by the Maker of the Covenant, and the other party is the beneficiary of the Covenant under a loyalty compact. We will see and experience various aspects of the Covenant as we go over it through the framework of the ‘Triune Life three-step format’ I will lay out. I called these three steps: ascents, with each dove-tailing into the next and spontaneously expressing its manifestation in the fourth ascent. At the end of each ascent, I will recap the ascent’s salient feature called, “Essence of Relationship.”
Admittedly, we will see that the provision of the Covenant is such that its application requires a daily holistic approach and navigation making the “Triune Life”* indispensable through the three ascents. Only then, can a person satisfactorily interpret, engage with, and discover the intrinsic and intimate value of God’s Love that is expressed in His Covenant with humanity.
But first, let’s start with the text of the Covenant. The whole text of the New Covenant can be found in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 8. The author was quoting from the 33rd Chapter of the Book of Jeremiah in the Old Testament. So the Covenant was the prophetic utterance by God to humanity. In its entirety, the Covenant contains God’s own words. He is the Creator and Initiator of the Covenant. Mankind has no input in its wording since its tenor was to elicit response to the human cry for help: “Save me!” God says through the prophet Isaiah, “You will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I” (Isa.58:9; also Matt.5:4; John 10:10) You can say humanity’s cry for help is mankind’s unsaid words in the Covenant. (Rev.21:4)
Recall how man found himself in this dilemma of needing to be saved. It started in the Garden of Eden when Adam ushered in the way of rebellion against God by obeying the voice of the devil and eating the forbidden fruit with his wife, Eve. In his fallen state of existence (sin-condition) humanity was cut-off from God, the source of true life and Love in His Spirit (Love-condition). Mankind continues on his single-track course to oblivion – that is where sin ultimately leads – death! (Rom.6:23) So, humanity needs rescuing, hence, in God’s unfathomable Love, He Covenants with mankind to provide the Messiah in His only Son whom He will send to save humanity. (John 3:16-18) The Covenant is the response to mankind’s call for help. So, the Covenant is all about rescuing mankind from his fallen state of existence (sin-condition) and putting mankind back on the path of God’s original promise to fashion humanity in His Loving Triune Love-image (Love-condition). (Gen1:26-27)
The Covenant text begins with an introduction on why there was a need for a New Covenant to replace the Old Covenant. The Book of Hebrews states, “For if that first Covenant had been without fault, no place would have been sought for a second. But God found fault with the people and said, ‘“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant…” (Heb.8:7-8). So, God says there was fault found in the Old Covenant which made it necessary to introduce the New Covenant. What or who was exactly was at fault? God answers, “Because they (Israel and Judah) did not abide by My Covenant” (Heb.8:9, italics mine).
As we saw, a Covenant has two parties, the Covenanter or Upholder, and the covenantee or beneficiary. God’s desire and plan was to right the ship of humanity which sailed the wrong course through Adam’s fall. Through Israel, God wanted to bring the whole world back from the path of destruction. God remembered His promise to Abraham, and here stood the twelve tribes, the nation of Israel, his descendants. (Gen.22:18; 26:4; Act.3:25) The Old Covenant spells out Israel’s destiny to be God’s own nation and He would bless, protect, and uphold them, while Israel agreed to live by God’s way of life as specified in the Ten Commandments. (Exo.24:7-8)
The Covenant between God and Israel was ratified and made binding at Mount Sinai, after God freed Israel from a life of slavery in Egypt. The two parties must have faith in each other’s commitment to the provisions of the Covenant, for that is how the Covenant is made to work. Israel replied, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do!” (Exo.19:8) Israel journeyed to the Promise Land and became a nation of the twelve tribes of Israel under God. (Num.34:1-29; 1 Sam.8:7; Ezek.47:21) The Promise Land was to Israel their Eden, a land “filled with milk and honey” (Deut.26:9; Jer.32:21-23). Later, Israel wanted a king like the nations around them, so they replaced God as their King and chose Saul. God told the prophet Samuel, “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their King” (1 Sam.8:7). That foreshadowed the trouble times that was to come for Israel.
Israel’s history was cluttered with events and incidents relating to their unfaithfulness to God and the Covenant. High on the list of their betrayal had to do with the worship of the false gods of other nations around them. One of the false gods had brought Israel to the point of committing the most egregious act of child sacrifice. That certainly ranked among the most heinous acts in Israel. (Jer. 7:30–31; Deut. 12:29–31) Even so, God delivered Israel time and again when their enemies tried to destroy them. But like one who suffers from amnesia, Israel forgot God’s loyalty to His side of their Covenant. (Judg.3:7; 1 Sam.12:9) Israel failed again and again to keep their side of the Covenant. Being the aggrieved party, God agonizingly but reluctantly, ended His Covenant with Israel. However, in God’s eternal and undying Love for humanity, He will never forsake mankind He created in His own likeness. And His divine image is hardwired into the consciousness of human beings that it can never be erased.
So, in the same breadth, while ending one, He spoke about the New Covenant, where His Son as the Messiah will be at its helm to bring humanity back to “Eden” and God’s Loving presence. This New Covenant was subsequently inducted and sanctioned through His Son’s mediation as Savior and eternal High Priest. (John 3:16; Heb.3:1; 5:5) At the same time, the Covenant is made universal which encompassed the whole world and all humanity, including Israel and Judah. Such was God’s unfailing Love for mankind, and His staunch faithfulness to His original purpose for creating humans in His Love-image. (Gen.1:26-27; Matt.28:19) So, we see God’s rationale for establishing the New Covenant and ending the old one.
Here is the text establishing the New Covenant, “This is the Covenant I will establish with the people of Israel+ after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Heb.8:10-12, emphasis added; also Jer.31:31-34)* (Gal.3:26-29; Rom.2:28-29)
Paul was quoting from the prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament. The mention of “Israel and Judah” is seen primarily in the context of the Old Covenant. Since Christ came, the New Covenant was introduced superseding the Old Covenant. (Heb.8:13) Therefore, all scripture must be understood from the perspective of the New Covenant. Therefore, God’s New Covenant is extended universally to the whole world, which includes Israel. Jesus gave His disciples their mission, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt.28:18-20; Rom.11:11-31).
The Covenant’s power rests upon God’s Word. As the uncreated Creator God, His Word exudes and manifest His eternal power. (Heb.4:12; 2 Pet.3:5) When humans believe God’s Word, like Abraham did when God called Him to leave his kinsmen and country to a land He will give him, Abraham’s faith in God’s promise set off the ‘event-switch’ which made God’s Word materialize to reality. When Jesus miraculously made the blind person see again, He said, “According to your faith let it be done to you” (Matt.9:29). The Words of the Covenant is consummated in reality by faith. Faith is the miraculous switch that turns on the power of God. (Heb.11:1; 2 Cor.5:7; 4:18) Paul wrote, “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous” (Rom.4:3). We are warned, “But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him” (Heb.11:6, AMP).
The word “righteous” has been heavily religionized, however, in modern terms, it means simply the opposite of living in the sin-condition which brings on suffering, pain, false hopes, lack, corruption, and eventually death. On the other hand, “righteous” means everything good, joyous, abundant, and uplifting. Because the Covenant is about saving humans from the negative consequences of sin, humans are supposed to experience the promise of God’s Love on a daily basis through faith in His Covenant. We need saving on a daily basis because Satan has permeated this world with his sin-condition that we cannot escape its effects except through God’s grace by His promises contained in the Covenant. Hence, the title of this post, “Living God’s Covenant Day-By-Day.”
The wording of the Covenant is bound inevitably to the purpose for which mankind was created in the first place. (Gen.1:26-27) Humanity was created in God’s Love-likeness. Adam and Eve existed in a place of complete grace in the Garden of Eden. However, they fell from grace when they ate the forbidden fruit by believing and following Satan’s lies. (Gen.3:1-6) This unspeakable event of man’s fall was the catalyst which led to the formulation of the Old and the New Covenants.
Before we ride our train and fathom God’s Love in the three ascents, let us get out at the earlier station and make an important observation about the Old and New Covenants. According to the Old Covenant, Israel’s function and duty was to obey the laws, specifically, the ten commandments. (Exo.19:8; 24:7) Now, this is not the case with the New Covenant. I am not saying the commandments are not binding… stay with me. The terms of the New Covenant requires faith in what God says He will do. That is all, simple child-like faith.
For example, when God said in the New Covenant, “I will put My laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts” (Heb.8:10a), the Covenant nowhere says that obedience was its centerpiece via the terms of the Old Covenant as it use to be with Ancient Israel. (Exo.19:8) No, we are not bound to the terms of the Old Covenant which is no longer in force. We are under the terms of the New Covenant that is different from the old. Hence, Paul say, “Therefore we conclude that a person is justified by faith apart from the actions prescribed by the Law” (Rom.3:28). You see, the provision God utters above is an unmistakable and absolute statement about what He intends and will do in humanity. That means the Covenant requires that we simply take God at His word by faith! In other words, the terms humans keep in their relationship with God under the New Covenant is faith! Yes, it is simply to believe in child-like faith that what God says He will do, He will bring about and make happen by His power.
He goes on in the text of the Covenant, “I’ll be their God, they’ll be my people” (Heb.8:10b). Does the text say that we are to follow some specific rules about becoming His children? No, God simply said that He will do what He says He will do. And we simply believe His words for us! So, the terms of the New Covenant is faith! For Ancient Israel it was obedience. (Exo.19:8) I am in no way espousing disobedience, I am just stating the principle under which the two Covenants were established: one is legalistic, and the other is by faith, grace, and Love.
In any event, no matter how perfect a person may live, he/she will randomly make mistakes and disobey, whether by ignorance or through weakness, or both. Be that as it may, the absolute masterpiece of God’s plan for humanity is that He provides a Savior who will never stop mediating for mankind night and day as High Priest before Him in heaven. That is how much God our Father Loves us and keeps humanity in right standing before Him forever. (Read Romans 5) He gives us His Spirit who sanctifies us so we will not willfully rebel in His sight. The terms require that we believe everything that God says He will do in the Covenant, are already accomplished facts by faith. As Hebrews states, “Now faith means putting our full confidence in the things we hope for, it means being certain of things we cannot see” (Heb.11:1) So, we know them to be true because we have faith His words are truth.
God’s plan is to right the ship of humanity which took a wrong course when Adam was at the wheel. So, God’s objective of restoring humanity is identical in relation to the objectives of the two Covenants. The Bible states that Ancient Israel heard the Gospel as much as we have under the New Covenant today. However, here was the difference, for Israel “the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not united with faith in God by those who heard” (Heb.4:2, italicized for emphasis). Israel’s terms was one of obedience to the law. Israel’s lesson was to show that the best human effort could not defeat the enemy, nor save humanity. So, what they lacked, God makes available by faith under the New Covenant. The old was legalistic, and the new is by faith. One reveals life that was lived in legalism under the law, and the other is lived in faith under Christ in the Spirit’s power and Love. (Rom.5:5)
Paul said, “For we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor.5:7). The writer of Hebrews goes further, “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). To believe “God exists” is to believe in His power to do what God says He will do in the Covenant. Paul told the Romans, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law” (Rom.3:28, italicized for emphasis).
The Bible speaks of this faith as the very personal ‘faith of Jesus,’ not our half-hearted human faith. Paul said to the Romans, “Even the righteousness of God which is the faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that believe” (Rom.3:22, italicized for emphasis). (You can read my post on the “Faith of Jesus” at: http://bulamanriver.net/2811.) So, the application of the New Covenant through the three ascents are activities of faith and by faith.
Here are the three ascents (steps) of the New Covenant with its manifestation: 1 The Departure; 2 The Redemption; 3 The Offspring; and the manifestation, 4 The Covenant Life. The three ascents reveal to humans the inward, outward, and upward acts of God’s Love in a person’s life. Recall how the Three-Ascent Format works: the first ascent always reveals the Love-relationship with the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead. It is God’s ‘inward act’ of Love for mankind where the Spirit is active at sanctifying God’s will in a person’s life. The second ascent is the human Love-relationship with Jesus who saves humans from the sin-condition, through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension. This reveals the Father’s ‘outward act’ of Love for mankind. And the third ascent is the Love-relationship with God the Father, which is the ‘upward act’ of Love where He brings humans to have a one-on-one relationship with Him as our eternal Loving Father. So, each ascent dovetails into the next, then spontaneously manifests the fourth ascent in humans of Living the Covenant Life upon earth.
(I had coined the term “Triune Love” and/or “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is depicted in the three ascents we saw above and will cover in detail. In the three-dimensional life, the human experience of God’s Love is always moving in an inward, outward, and upward motion where all the three Persons of the Godhead are in relationship with humans. The three-dimensional life is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life in humanity’s fallen self that was inherited from Satan through Adam’s fall).
Before we begin with the ascents, let us read the text of the New Covenant as given in the Book of Hebrews. “The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will draw up a New Covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the Covenant that I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. They were not faithful to the Covenant I made with them, and so I paid no attention to them. Now, this is the Covenant that I will make with the people of Israel in the days to come, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. None of them will have to teach their friends or tell their neighbors, ‘Know the Lord.’ For they will all know me, from the least to the greatest. I will forgive their sins and will no longer remember their wrongs. None of the, will have to teach their friends or tell their neighbors, ‘Know the Lord.’ For they will all know me, from the least to the greatest. I will forgive their sins and I will no longer remember their wrongs.” (Heb.8:8-12, GNT).
A perceptive examination of the Covenant’s text will make us realize without any shadow of a doubt that the prescribed provisions contained in it can never be satisfactorily achieved through any human effort, nor does mankind have the wherewithal to bring the Covenant’s aims to its satisfactory end. God unreservedly makes statements about what He plans to do with humanity. Therefore, the New Covenant unequivocally requires the input of God’s supernatural intervention in human life. So, the manifestation of the Covenant in humans is underpinned by the miraculous life which humans are privileged to live and experience through the three ascents in a life of faith.
Miracles can be simply explained as the meeting point of the divine and the physical, where God meets mortal humans. Wherever the two intersect, miracles emerge. Hence, we are given to enter the three ascents where humans can experience the miraculous life through a relationship of Love with each of the three Persons of the Triune Godhead in relation to their roles and interaction with the provisions of the Covenant. We remember Paul’s inspired words, “For the Kingdom of God (Covenant) is not in word but in power” (1 Cor.4:20; 2:4). So, the Covenant are not mere words, but is backed by the Almighty’s divine Word of power. Yes, it is a life of pure faith, for it will take God’s miraculous intervention in a person’s life to bring the provisions of the New Covenant to completion. (Heb.4:12; Jer.23:29)
From the Covenant passage we saw in the Book of Hebrews above, we will be able to decipher which provision each Person in the Godhead activates through Loving relationship with each and every human who choose to participate in the Covenant. Before getting into the actual three ascents, let us summarize the Covenant text as it is presented in Hebrews. There are three areas laid out in a descending order from the God the Father, who is the Author of the Covenant. The three provisions/aspects are: the preamble, the redemption and the temple. When we get to the Three Ascents, we will move in an ascending format, hence, the term “ascent.” The reason is obvious since humans exist in their fallen state of existence where a person seeks reconciliation with God through an ascending movement to fulfill each person’s divinely ordained destiny by living and functioning within God’s Love-condition via the Covenant through the ascents. So, here is the descending order of the Covenant as it is presented in the text:
Act 1: Father – Offspring: First Part, a) Preamble: “The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will draw up a New Covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the Covenant that I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. They were not faithful to the Covenant I made with them, and so I paid no attention to them. Now, this is the Covenant that I will make with the people of Israel in the days to come, says the Lord” (V.8-10).
Second Part, b) Fatherhood: “I will be their God, and they will be my people” (V.12).
Act 2: Jesus – The Redemption: “I will forgive their sins and will no longer remember their wrongs” (V.12).
Act 3: Spirit – The Departure: First Part, a) The Temple: (a) “I will put My laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. (Spirit) (V.10)
Second Part, (b) The Teacher/Guide/Help: “None of them will have to teach their friends or tell their neighbors, ‘Know the Lord.’ For they will all know me, from the least to the greatest.” (Spirit) (V.11)
From the foregoing, we have laid out the different aspects of the Covenant and assigned its various provisions to the three Persons of the Triune Godhead. We begin with the Father in the preamble (Act 1). The preamble shows the Father’s function and authority in abrogating the Old Covenant and instituting the New Living Covenant. He reveals Himself as our Loving Father.
The redemption (Act 2) reveals Jesus Christ’s role as the Messiah who came, lived the perfect human life, died as the only worthy sacrifice to save mankind, introduced immortality to humanity through His resurrection, and ascended to His High Priestly role at the right hand of the Father in heaven. (John 3:16; 1 Pet.1:19; Heb.4:14)
The departure (Act 3) tells us about the role of the power of the Holy Spirit in helping mankind depart the sin-condition and enter the new world of God’s Love-condition, where humans can now live in freedom. (Rom.5:5) The Spirit now lives in humans as God’s temple, making this new world of God’s Love-condition a reality for every person. He enters the human heart and mind for the purpose of sanctifying human life. (1 Cor.3:16; 2 Thes.2:13; 1 Pet.1:2; Gal.5:16-17)
We are reminded of the the Trinitarian principle: “The act of One is the the act of all Three, and the act of all Three is the act of One.” God is Love, therefore the substance which unifies Them as One God is Love! In Their Love there is never a trace of autonomy, coercion, or guile in their relationship.
I have outlined above the text of the New Covenant in the order it is presented in the text beginning with the Father in a descending order. Now, we will cover the role of each Person in the Trinity as they relate with humans following the 3-Ascent Triune Format, in an ascending motion starting with the Holy Spirit. In our fallen state, the Spirit launches God’s activity of Love in the Departure, then ascends to Jesus in the Redemption, then to the Father with the Offspring.
What we will see is how every aspect of the Covenant is framed within God’s Tri-Personal Being to give it structure and cohesion in the eternal Trinity. We are again reminded of the eternal and inherent trinitarian Love principle: the act of One is the act of Three, and the act of Three is the act of One. Author Jon Tal Murphree says this of the nature of God and the divine pattern of the Triune Life,* “Each Person of the Trinity transposes Himself into the others without confusing His own personality with the others…the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other.” (Pg,29, The Trinity and Human Personality). Peter elaborates on this Triune principle, “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure” (1 Pet.1:1-2, underscored for emphasis). Let us begin…
First Ascent: The Departure – Holy Spirit. The 1st Ascent is all about the human relationship with the Holy Spirit. What does departure mean in the context of the Covenant and the Spirit’s role of manifesting it to humans? Departure indicates withdrawal and separation. It finds its origin in the story of mankind. We have heard of our first parents who existed in a place of grace in Paradise called the Garden of Eden. But sadly and painfully, they evicted themselves from Eden through their rebellion by eating the forbidden fruit and following Satan’s way of self-centeredness and sin. (Gen.3:1-6) Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden, as recorded in Genesis, “So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and He sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And He placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the Tree of Life” (Gen3:23-24).
Eden was Paradise because it was conceivably the most unique environment where both spiritual and physical realities could exist side-by-side in God’s Love-condition. It was the closest to divine reality any human being could exist and experience. The Tree of Life represented the Holy Spirit which sustained our first parents spiritually in God’s Love-condition. So, our first parents may have existed in a form of celestial/human existence, until their fall from grace when suddenly their celestial cloak was taken, and their human “eyes were opened” to the naked truth of their mortality. (Gen.3:7; 3:22) So, humanity closed himself from having any access to the Holy Spirit (Tree of Life) and the celestial form they once enjoyed in Paradise due to the fall of mankind through Adam’s sin. Now Adam had made the choice for humanity to live under Satan’s sin-condition.
Humans had freely chosen to depart from Eden, leaving behind the Love-condition for the sin-condition, albeit by the devil’s deception and cunning. However, in the New Covenant God our Father is calling humanity to return to their place of grace He always wanted for them. Now, humans are called to exercise the ‘reverse departure’ by leaving behind Satan’s sin-condition, his world of lies, corruption and sin, depravity and death, and return to God’s spiritual Eden of joy, unity, perfection, and Love.
Eden was symbolic of living in the presence of God and His Love-condition as Adam and Eve did in the Garden. So, in the same way Adam chose to depart Eden, God now calls upon all Adam’s children (humanity) to depart from Satan’s world and way of life of fear, sin, corruption, suffering, and death, and return to Paradise. God speaks this reality to the human conscience since the underlying human essence can never deny the mold of God’s eternal image of Love in which mankind was created. And this can be done only with the help of God’s power in the work of the Spirit who is the personification of the Love-condition where freedom lives and reigns. Paul was inspired to write, “Come out from among them and be separate (from Satan’s world), says the Lord; do not touch any unclean thing, and I will welcome you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor.6:17-18, italics mine).
God is calling humanity to return to Eden (God) because He has opened and made possible the way to return to Paradise. Now, humans can once more participate in eating the fruits of the Tree of Life (Holy Spirit) and once more enter the celestial form. Jesus alluded to the return to this spiritual life when He said, “You must be born again of the Spirit” (John 3:5-8). The Spirit is the personification of God’s Love in God’s world where His Love-condition reigns and inspires and sanctifies humans. (Rom.5:5; Rom.1:4; 1 Pet.1:2) God made the way back to Eden possible by sacrificing His only Son Jesus who came and took our sinful humanity upon Himself as the Messiah to save humanity. (John 3:16; Isa.7:14) We will leave this aspect for now, and cover it in detail in the Second Ascent (Redemption).
Suffice to say that no one human was found worthy, to reopen the pathway to return to Eden. This was the role of the Father in giving His Son. Jesus said this, “I AM THE WAY the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (Eden) except through Me” (John 14:6, emphasis and italics mine). Again, He said, “Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through Me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures (Spirit)” (John 10:9, NLT). Yes, Jesus, the second Adam, was the only human found worthy to open THE WAY back to Eden. (1 Cor.15:22, 47) The essence of God’s Covenant is: LOVE!
What Israel underwent before they departed Egypt and entered into their Covenant with God is the type of what humanity experience in their spiritual exodus today before entering into the New Covenant with God. If we were to spend a few moments reading the story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt from the Book of Exodus in the Bible, we will understand that if God had not performed His ten supernatural acts, Pharaoh would not have relented from his adamant refusal to let Israel free. Likewise, as the exact copy of Israel’s dreadful experience as slaves in Egypt, and their subsequent exodus from slavery to freedom by God’s power under the hand of Moses, humans today undergo the identical experience in the spiritual realm, under the hand of Jesus through the Spirit’s power. What Israel underwent physically in Egypt we now undergo spiritually in Satan’s world as slaves to the sin-condition today. The devil holds humans slaves to sin in this world, as Pharaoh held the Israelite slaves in Egypt.
So, Egypt was the forerunner of the reality of Jesus’ battle with Satan (Pharaoh) in His temptation in the wilderness of Judea. Just as there were ten supernatural miracles which freed Israel, likewise Jesus defeated Satan in His temptations in the Judean wilderness to free humanity from the evil forces of Satan’s world. (Matt.4:1-11) What Israel underwent under Moses in the Old Covenant, and what humanity experienced in Jesus’ temptation in the New Covenant are parallels. So, God recorded the example of Israel in the Bible so humanity can understand the hand of God in our lives, and realize the truth behind our own deliverance and departure from Satan’s incarceration through Jesus’ victory. Paul said this about Israel’s experience under the Old Covenant, “Now these things happened to them (Israel) as types and were written for our admonition, to whom the ends of the ages are arrived” (1 Cor.10:11, italics mine; Psa.102:18).
So, our position today and their story are types, parallels – they at the beginning, and we at the end. Then Paul warns us that we are capable of messing up as they did when God abrogated His Covenant with them. We are not exempt, but the beautiful part of the story is we are given to return to our spiritual Eden where we can partake of the Tree of Life under the New Covenant and obtain power of His Love to defeat the devil through Jesus’ eternal mediation as humanity’s High Priest in heaven today.
Referring to the 10 miraculous “signs and wonders” through Moses’ hand, commonly known as the 10 plagues upon Egypt, Henry Alexander White, in his book, “The Origin of the Pentateuch in the Light of the Ancient Monuments” (Pg,190), asks, “Were these sun-deities of Egypt real spiritual beings? John Milton in Comus and Paradise Lost has stated his opinion that all these deities were the fallen angels, cast out of heaven along with Satan. In our time, Dr. Charles Robinson, with others, has accepted virtually the same view. Against the gods of Egypt as veritable spiritual powers did Jehovah exercise His power” (Deut.32:16; Jer.32:20-22).
These gods of ancient Egypt still exist today but by other names and in different forms. They are fallen angels and cannot die. Humans are mortal and consigned to death because of sin. (Rom.6:23) The Egyptians died, so did the Israelites, and every human ever born have died and will die, for we are human and mortal. Here is the beautiful truth about what God has done for us to defeat these gods of Egypt under the new Covenant today. What happened to Egypt after the ten calamitous but liberating events for Israel in Egypt which happened in a period of about 10 months, is a copy of what happened to the devil’s dark kingdom in the spiritual world under the new Covenant when Jesus won the gargantuan spiritual battle after His baptism in Jordan and finally His death upon Calvary, in order to free humanity once for all. As the 10th plague pointed to the Messiah to come (Lamb’s Blood), it pointed to the reality of Jesus overcoming all the ten false gods Egypt worshiped.
As it was when Pharaoh released Israel under the Old Covenant, likewise today with the spiritual power structure of the devil’s dark kingdom over mankind under the New Covenant. The firstborn, which in ancient times signified rights and authority, portrayed for us physically what happened spiritually, when Jesus defeated Satan and relented and let mankind go once for all. The ten miracles give us an insight into the power structure in the devil’s dark kingdom: (Exodus 7:20 – 8, 9, 10, 11, 9 – 12:30)
Speaking in our present context, Paul said this about this self-same evil powers, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Eph.6:12). God declared, “Against all the gods of Egypt, I will execute my judgment; I am Jehovah” (Exo.12:12b). God did this again under the New Covenant defeating Satan’s power structure through His Son, Jesus. Having being infused with the Spirit’s power in the Jordan River, and faced and defeated Satan in the Judean wilderness, Jesus sealed Satan’s fate when He gave Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for human sin upon Calvary’s cross. (Matt.4:1-11; John 19:16-21)
What we see happening under the New Covenant is something no human could do except Jesus, the second person of the Triune Godhead. He reached down from His preeminent divinity and took upon Himself our fallen humanity, becoming fully human and fully God, and did for mankind what no human can ever do – save humanity from the sin-condition by defeating Satan! Satan is the personification of the sin-condition by which mankind is held bondage. The Spirit came upon Jesus in the Jordan River, empowering Him to defeat Satan, and thereby setting the model for humans to follow Jesus’ script for victory today. Today, as we fellowship and surrender in faith to the Spirit, God the Father imputes upon us Jesus’ own personal victory over the devil and his evil kingdom. This is where the faith of Jesus come to its own and bring on His victory. (Rom.4:20-25) Paul said this to the Romans, “Even the righteousness of God which is by the faith of Jesus Christ to all and on all them that believe” (Rom.3:22).
So, God has not left humans to themselves to fight Satan…how can they defeat an insurmountable enemy? It’s a task only Jesus could do, for He said, “In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world” (John 16:33). That means Jesus’ victory is abiding as we relive His triumph vicariously in the Spirit’s power. (Rev.12:9-11) When we believe, God imputes Christ’s victory over our lives just as God imputes righteousness upon Abraham for his faith in God’s promise. (Rom.4:20-25) So, we see how the Spirit empowers humans by manifesting Jesus’ victory in us. Jesus said so, “Unless I go away, the Advocate (Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you…He will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine (my victory) and declare it to you” (John 16:14, italics mine). Yes, Jesus’ victory over Satan is the paradigm and prototype for every human spiritual victory in the Spirit’s power. The Spirit will impute Jesus’ victory over the devil’s kingdom in each and every human being through faith. But before we spiritually depart our “Egypt,” humans must first be empowered by the Spirit. That leads us to the essential aspect of our relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Essence of Relationship: – The human relationship in the 1st Ascent with the Spirit fills us with gratitude for bringing God’s power to bear upon the evil forces which has held humanity captive from Adam and bring mankind to freedom. (Luk.4:8) Herald+ (Spirit) leads us to understand and accept that the Covenant of this magnitude and substance has to be ratified in order for it to be made binding. Unless the Covenant is ratified, the Covenant is of no value. Ratification of the Covenant means that it has God’s seal of approval and authority. God’s seal of authority which ratifies the New Covenant is the life and blood of Jesus that was shed upon His cross to save mankind from the sin-condition. (John 3:16; 1:29)
The Spirit’s role is to deliver humanity from captivity to sin and the evil forces by leading mankind to Jesus, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Yes, when we receive Jesus as Savior by faith, we enter into the New Covenant ratified in His blood. Under cover of Jesus’ sacrifice, His resurrection and ascension to heaven, humans are led back into the spiritual Paradise of Eden and the Tree of Life (Spirit). We remember Peter’s words to the people of his day, “The powerful name of Jesus Christ…There is salvation in no One else! God has given no other Name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Act.4:10, 12, NLT). This leads us to the second ascent of redemption…
Second Ascent: The Redemption – Jesus Christ. The 2nd Ascent always depict the human relationship with Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Triune Godhead. The Covenant states, “They’ll get to know Me by being kindly forgiven, with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean” (Heb.8:12). The Father had given Jesus the task of the promised Messiah to save humanity. But while Jesus was about His work, He did the equally important task of revealing the Father and the Holy Spirit clearly. By doing this, humans would understand the breadth and meaning of the Covenant as originating from the Tri-Personal Being of God.
So we read John’s statement about Jesus revealing the Father, “No one has ever seen God, but the One and only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father’s side, has made Him known” (John 1:18). Then He told the disciples about the Holy Spirit, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads you into all truth” (John 14:16, NLT). Further Jesus continues, “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you” (John 14:26, NLT). And concerning Himself as the Messiah, John was inspired to write, “In the beginning the Word (Jesus) already existed. The Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2, NLT).
Jesus revealed that His work involved reopening the pathway to the Spirit of life and power (Tree of Life). Then the Spirit’s work is to point humanity to Jesus, who in turn points mankind to the Father. He said, “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). Recall, it was sin that ended the human communion with God through His Spirit. (Gen.3:23-24) Now, through Jesus’ mediation as Savior, He defeated Satan in the temptations, lived a sinless life by doing good, was crucified for our forgiveness and atonement, resurrected our humanity from the dead, and ascended back to the Father’s right hand, where He continues in His mediatory work of our glorified human High Priest forever. (John 16:7-11; Act.10:38) Jesus is the High Priest of the New Covenant, as the Book of Hebrews inform us, “For this reason Christ is the Mediator of a New Covenant” (Heb.9:15; also read, Heb.1:3; 6:20; 7:28; 10:12).
Yes, Jesus has paved the way back to the Tree of Life (Spirit), and we witness what happened on the day of Pentecost when the Spirit was poured upon humanity. We read the account in the Book of Acts in the Bible, “On the day of Pentecost, all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability” (Act.2:1-4). Not only were the disciples given miraculous power to speak fluently to the people in their own language, but numerous miracles of healing were performed upon the people. (Act.2:43; 3:7-11; 5:12-16; 8:5-8. You can read the accounts for yourself by hovering your cursor over the passages of Scripture).
But the greatest miracle of all was uttered by Peter who stood up and told the people what they saw happening was the fulfillment of God’s promise of the gift of the Spirit which in effect fulfilled the provision of the New Covenant to bring humanity back Eden and God’s presence. Peter told the people after they inquired of the meaning of what they witnessed, “What you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people” (Act.2:16-17). And so, Jesus promise to the disciples that the Father will send the Spirit had come to pass. (John 16:7; 14:26)
Peter went further and told the people how they too can be imbued with the same power of the Spirit, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Act.2:38). That is the message of human redemption Jesus brought from the Father to humanity. (Act.17:30) Redemption means that humans have been given to find the way back to Eden (God), made possible through change (repentance) and baptism. Baptism is a ritual which conveys an outward sign of a person’s inward commitment to bury the old fallen self (in Adam) in the watery grave of baptism, and rise a new person in Christ empowered by the Spirit. Paul explained the meaning of baptism to the Romans, “Have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined Him in His death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives” (Rom.6:3-4).
When Jesus hung upon His cross and was about to breathe His last, His final words were, “It is finished.” The words meant Jesus has completed what His Father had sent Him to accomplish as the Messiah. His subsequent resurrection and ascension back to His Father were formalities in God’s divine protocol. Jesus assured the disciples that the Spirit cannot come until He has accomplished His work of redemption that includes all of the above. When Jesus said, “Unless I go away, the Advocate (Spirit) will not come to you,” means the way back to the Spirit is conditional upon Jesus completing His work of Messiah given Him by the Father, and upon humans receiving Jesus as Savior in faith. Jesus can only “go away” after having completed His work of mediation on behalf of mankind. Then, the gift of the Spirit upon the people was conditional upon humanity receiving Jesus as Savior by changing their way from one of sin to God’s way of Love.
Let us get back to the account of Israel in Egypt momentarily. The nine plagues God wrought upon Egypt, despite the anguish, misery, and distress upon the people of Egypt, Pharaoh stubbornly held on to Israel and would not free them from slavery. Then God said He was about to bring one final plague that will break Pharaoh’s obstinacy and resistance. In the tenth and last plague, God was going to take the life of the firstborn male in Egypt, both humans and animals. (Exo.12:12) As we saw the plagues was actually God’s judgment against the gods the Egyptian worshiped. So, the death of the firstborn males, was a judgment on the god Isis, who poses as the protector of children, God said, “I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the LORD!” (Exo.12:12). Only God can protect and provide security.
In this plague, God was teaching the Israelites a deep spiritual lesson that pointed to Christ. Unlike the other plagues, which the Israelites survived by virtue of their identity as God’s people, this plague required an act of faith by them. God commanded each family to take an unblemished male lamb and kill it. The blood of the lamb was to be smeared on the top and sides of their doorways, and the lamb was to be roasted and eaten that night. Any family that did not follow God’s instructions would suffer in the last plague. God described how He would send the death angel through the land of Egypt, with orders to slay the firstborn male in every household, whether human or animal. The only protection was the blood of the lamb on the door. When the angel saw the blood, he would pass over that house and leave it untouched (Exodus 12:23). Hence, the day of Passover has been commemorated by Israel throughout their sojourn. God told the Israelites, “This is the Lord’s Passover” (Exo.12:11).
The death that came upon the firstborn of Egypt, both humans and animals, was the death of all the Egyptian gods (1-9) and marks the complete triumph of God over the gods worshipped by Egypt. Finally, with Pharaoh shattered by the great cry of death over all Egypt, including his own household, he relented and let Israel go free. (Exo.4:23;11:5; 12:29-33) Henry A. White states, “These imagined deities, who had their being in the crude superstitions of the people of the Nile, were sealed unto everlasting contempt. Jehovah Himself had come in person and “smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. There was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.” (Pg.205)
The Passover held a bigger picture which foretold the coming and death of the Messiah Jesus upon His cross. Just as the Passover was the sign of freedom for Israel under the Old Covenant, the cross is the sign of freedom under the New Covenant for all humanity. The cross of Jesus stands alone across the breadth of human history as the greatest act of Love by the Creator God who did not spare even His only Son, to save our sin-laden humanity.
Essence of Relationship: We are thankful to the Father for surrendering His only Son, and to Jesus for sacrificing Himself, so all the provisions of New Covenant can be made binding upon humans. Jesus’ blood that was spilled upon Calvary’s cross was and continues to be the seal of ratification which makes it possible for humans to enter into the presence of God the Father. Jesus explains what it all means, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father” (John 14:12). Yes, Jesus’ return to the Father fulfilled the Father’s promise of sending His Spirit of power to do greater works. This brings us to the third ascent…
Third Ascent: The Offspring – God the Father. The Third Ascent signify the human relationship with our heavenly Father. Offspring means to become children of God. Jesus sacrifice, His blood, has sealed and ratified the Covenant which now opens the door for humans to come before the Loving presence of our heavenly Father in heaven. We have returned to Eden, this is Paradise.
Out of the depth of their Tri-Personal Love, this one single act of God in saving humanity from his sinful state through His Son (2nd Ascent, Redemption), and keeping humans sanctified through His Spirit (1st Ascent, Freedom), has resulted in a singular obvious outcome and consolation: any person, regardless of race, nationality, language, ethnicity, belief, culture, can now be made a divine child of God. It is a spiritual birth to a newborn spiritual life in Christ that’s inaugurated through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension. This sanctified life is continuously manifested by the power of God through the Spirit. The Bible speaks of it in terms of the new birth. (John 3:5-8)
Hence, we read John’s revelation, “See what great Love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1). The New Covenant states, “I’ll be their God, they’ll be My people” (Heb.8:10). In other words, humanity has now become God’s very Offspring. Through the Spirit’s power to sanctify humanity, and Jesus’ role as mankind’s eternal High Priest and Mediator, humans are made His holy children. Paul said this, “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.” (1 Cor.1:30-31).
In this ascent our thoughts ought to dwell squarely upon these words of truth about human salvation: “But God demonstrated His Love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom.5:8). In other words, a person who is lost does not know he or she is lost unless and until someone points out the person’s aimless and wasteful state of existence. Until such time the lost “knows” his lostness and emptiness, he remains lost still. In the same way, a deceived person does not know his/her deception until the awareness of deception dawns upon him/her. Albert Einstein, the famed mathematician and physicist, and Nobel Prize winner, said, “No Problem Can be Solved From the Same Level of Consciousness That Created It.” You can say that is the present human dilemma, but for God’s immeasurable Love. Only God’s Love, which He utters in His Covenant can save humanity.
Humanity was of no benefit to God in any way. He could have lived well without mankind, instead of being burdened by human weakness and sinfulness. God could have lived well in His Tri-Personal Being as He had from eternity. Our input would not have made a speck of difference, except for His Love for mankind. That was all there was, it was all about His Love over and over again and nothing more or less. And so His Love for humanity flows unabated. It has nothing to do with you, me, or any other human, no matter how substantial a person may think he or she is – you and I were totally deceived and we never had the slightest clue of our lost state of existence. In our deceived state we could never lift a finger to save ourselves, not until we are ‘undeceived.’ God overlooked our ignorance and now calls each and every human being to understand that he or she is eternally Loved, and our Father has set His heart to free us. (Act.17:30) Paul admonishes us, “Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work He began…We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours. So let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom.13:11, MSG, BSB).
The Bible speaks of Jesus’ appearance on earth in this way, “The people living in darkness (spiritually lost and incarcerated as slaves) have seen a great light (Jesus); and on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light (free and joyful) has dawned.” (Matt.4:16; Isa. 9:2) Light enters in and removes the scales of deception and made to see what was, up to now, unseen and unknowable. If our heavenly Father had not stepped forward, in spite of us, we would have remained helpless and lost forever. But our heavenly Father Loves us beyond what we can ever imagine, and sees our potential to become His eternal offspring. But the greater aspect of God’s Love is yet to come in its manifestation of His Covenant with humanity in the fourth ascent.
Essence of Relationship: Our human response with the Father in the 3rd Ascent is to accept and receive His magnificent grace through His Covenant of Love with the heartfelt thankfulness it deserves. His Love is expressed in His desire to make humans His divine Offspring. And we are invited to accept His Fatherhood because He has ratified the Covenant in the blood of His Son which gives passage to our birth in His Spirit to become His eternal children. We are to believe, trust, and receive our adoption as His Offspring in faith. Paul give us this truly inspiring passage from the Book of Romans, “And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as His adopted children, including the new bodies He has promised us (immortal life)” (Rom.8:23). Yes, Our Father gives humanity the ultimate gift of becoming immortal humans like Jesus His Son. (Rom.8:29) We have so much to be grateful for that there are no words in any language that is capable of expressing them.
Fourth Ascent: The Manifestation – Humanity The 4th Ascent is about the manifestation of the New Covenant in the lives of humans, and reveals the relationship of humans with the Triune God. This relationship is expressed in the preceding three ascents, which shows how each Person of the Triune God is directly involved with every human person.
We saw that humans have been made God’s immortal Offspring by the Father in the third ascent. No one can become an offspring of God if the person has not been given a new birth from the fallen self in Adam, and reborn the risen self in Christ, under the auspices of the New Covenant, ratified by His life that was sacrificed upon Calvary. We saw this beautiful picture explained in the meaning of baptism. (Rom.6:3-4) It means the person is now always sanctified in the Spirit through Jesus’ eternal mediation as High Priest in heaven. Jesus is sitting next to His Father performing His Loving mediatory role so we can remain God’s divine offspring. And arising out of humanity’s sanctified condition, we see the most beautiful expression of the Covenant: the ultimate design by and desire of the Father to give humanity as the affianced bride of His Son, Jesus Christ. Yes, the ultimate meaning of the New Covenant is that it is a Marriage Covenant between Jesus as bridegroom, and humanity as His bride. There is no more beautiful picture of the marriage union that the whole universe waits eagerly to witness.
Paul said that the human marriage between a man and woman is really a pretext and appeal couched in the mystery of the marriage between Jesus and humanity (Church). Paul said that in a marriage “a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh. This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church” (Eph.5:31-32, MSG). Jesus’ Love for humanity (Church) is marked by giving, not getting. Paul goes on, “Christ Loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant Church (bride), without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless… We are members of His Body, I am talking about Christ and the Church (humanity)” (Eph.5:26-27, 30, 32).
There are two things to remember, the New Covenant, in its present form, shows that humanity is betrothed to marry Christ. Then, when Jesus’ returns, the Covenant will be consummated in the marriage between Christ and His Bride the Church or all humanity. (Rev.19:6-8) This will take place when immortality will have been bestowed upon humanity in the resurrection. Paul said, “I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality” (1 Cor.15:50-53). In a future post I will write about the three-ascent process about immortality. For now, we understand the New Covenant in our human form to be at the betrothal stage where mankind is in the process of preparing herself in the engagement period until the marriage takes place.
Jesus tells us this about God and His future marriage, “God’s kingdom is like a King who threw a wedding banquet for His Son” (Matt.22:2, MSG). Jesus alludes to this marriage scenario in a parable saying, He was going away and would return. (Mar.13:32-37) In this passage, humanity is told to be “watchful,” or be alert and of a sound mind and prepare for His return. He warned that some can get caught in their lack of preparation. (Matt.25:1-13)
In the Book of Revelation, we read this account of the great universal wedding, “Then I heard the sound of massed choirs, the sound of a mighty cataract, the sound of strong thunder: Hallelujah! The Master reigns, our God, the Sovereign-Strong! Let us celebrate, let us rejoice, let us give Him the glory! The Marriage of the Lamb has come; his Wife has made herself ready. She was given a bridal gown of bright and shining linen. The linen is the righteousness of the saints. The Angel said to me, “Write this: ‘Blessed are those invited to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.’” He added, “These are the true words of God!”” (Rev.19:6-9, underscored for emphasis). Here, we see mankind has made herself ready and given the most beautiful gleaming white gown for the wedding of the universe.
Then we read about the wedding gift the Father prepared for His Son and His Bride. John wrote, “One of the seven angels…said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal” (Rev.21:9-11). The New Jerusalem is described by John with such glowing manner as other-worldly, “The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick. The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass” (Rev.21:15-21). Yes, the wedding gift is the greatest eternal city of Jerusalem coming down from heaven down upon earth.
So here we see the marvelously beautiful destiny for mankind in God’s realm and Kingdom. This is the true “Eden,” His eternal Kingdom, God had in mind when He first created mankind and placed Adam and Eve in His Garden. A loud thundering voice came from God’s throne in heaven which said, “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.21:3-4). What a magnificent and breathtaking everlasting future to look forward to: to spend all of eternity with our Loving Father, our Elder Brother Jesus, and our dearest Friend Herald the Spirit, with all humanity. What a glorious future humanity has to look forward in hope to an existence of being eternally fused into and unified in the one Family of God!
Essence of Relationship: Our task today in the manifestation phase (4th Ascent) is to respond with a thankful heart to our our Loving Father, His Son, and His Spirit. We respond in Loving relationship by returning their Love through the 3 Ascents we covered above. Briefly, the 1st Ascent shows our relationship with the Spirit, where we see how He initiates the New Covenant promise by delivering humanity from the many evil forces where humanity have been held captives. He leads us to Jesus, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). The 2nd Ascent reveals how a person receives Jesus’ sacrifice that was shed upon Calvary’s cross to deliver mankind from the sin-condition, thus, opening the way for the Spirit to come and sanctify human life, and ratify the New Covenant by God’s authority. (John 3:16). Paul said, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…do not submit again to a yoke of slavery (sin)” (Gal.5:1). The 3rd Ascent shows how we respond with heartfelt thankfulness to our heavenly Father for His Covenant of Love with humanity. His Love is expressed in His desire to make humans His divine immortalized Offspring by surrendering His only Son, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Bible informs us, “See how very much our Father Loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1, NLT). Then, we live in the much anticipated hope of the great, transcendent, universal wedding banquet the Father has prepared for His Son and His Bride (humanity). Yes, there is so much to be thankful about as we respond in profound gratefulness to our Heavenly Father.
Friends, thank you for investing your precious time with me today. I hope that in your heart of heart you can hold out and receive Jesus, and be part of a gloriously amazing future for humanity. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write to me in the space provided below, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blessing: Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love,* be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the Triune Love. Be strong in the Lord’s joy.
Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant In Christ)
* Triune Life or Triune Love: The “Triune Life” is a way of life. It’s foundational tenet is based upon the Love of God, because it is the nature of God. I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the three-dimensional life, the human experience of God’s Love is always moving in an inward, outward, and upward motion where all the three Persons of the Godhead are in relationship with humans. The three-dimensional life is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life in in humanity’s fallen self that was inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion.
Love is both a noun and a verb. We are called to Love because we were created in God’s Love-likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) It means as children of God we live the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as they live and walk in their inward, outward, and upward functions in humans. 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, who took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit in us. 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) You can read more at: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092
+Herald: The Name I personally call the Spirit in my relationship with Him.
**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 outlets. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.
Mission Statement: Read the Triune Life Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664
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