Greetings again, friends everywhere!
In my blog post on January 22, 2015 entitled, “God’s Love – How Does It Enter Human Life?’” I unambiguously laid out the answer to the question I posed in the title. What I would like to do in this post is ask, what prevents God’s Love from entering human life? In that post, I said that from eternity before anything came into being in our material universe and world, God’s one activity was the Father Loving His Son. When everything in our physical universe as we know is discounted and brought back to the original estate of physical nothingness, only one thing remains eternal and never fades – God’s Love which exists in relationship between the Father and Son in the fellowship with the Spirit. Jesus mentioned this in His prayer to the Father before He was crucified, saying, “You, Father, have Loved Me from the foundation of the world” (John 17:24b). Jesus told the disciples, “As the Father has Love Me, so have I Loved you. Now remain in My Love” (John 15:9). So, by remaining in Jesus’ Love, we are organically embedded into the Love relationship He has with His Father from eternity, and remain for all eternity. Jesus further said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4). Love’s fruits is cataloged in 1 Corinthians 13 and other places in the Bible.
The Love-Bond of Family, Replicated after The Divine Love of the Eternal Father and Son, Which Humans are Privileged to Share (Wiki Commons)
To make this life possible for humans, the Father gave up His Son to become human (Immanuel – ‘God with us’) to die and make restitution for man’s sins, so humans can enter this holy Love-relationship of the Father and Son on a continual basis. (Matt.1;23; Isa.7;14) This has always been God’s plan for man from the start. (Gen.1:26-27). After His resurrection and ascension back to the Father, this time in His glorified humanity, Jesus kept His promise of sending the Holy Spirit, who is the manifestation of God’s Love in man. (John 14:16, 26; 15:7). Two passage of scripture comes to mind which we are all familar. Jesus Himself proclaimed this plan of God to give His Love to man, saying, “For God (the Father) so Love the world, that He one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). By ‘eternal life’ it conveys the Love relationship of the Father and Son which exists in their eternal existence before the created world and universe. Yes, Jesus is the doorway into this eternal Love-relationship between the Father and the Son. Paul tells us how God’s Love is embedded into human life, “For we know how dearly God Love us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His Love” (Rom.5:5). The Love of God (the Love relationship of the Father and Son) has been poured in our hearts through the Spirit who has made the human body a temple in which to live. “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.16:9).
Let me now explain what has holds back the Love of God from manifesting in man. The prophet tells us what the devil has done to the heart of man when he deceived Adam and Eve. He made man adversarial and rebellious toward God as he himself is. “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked (rebellious). Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jer.17:9) The prophet says, “We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows…we are like the dead… Our sins testify against us.” (Isa.59:9, 10, 12) That is the first base we have to pass when we are dealing with God’s Love – rebellion! Rebellion is the door which shuts God’s Love from man.
The Bible says that “rebellion is the sin of divination.” (1Sam.15:23) Divination has to do with evil fallen angels whose sin before man’s creation on earth was the sin of rebellion against God. (Isa.14:12-15; Ezek.28:13-15; Jude 1:6) Rebellion is part of man’s nature who has been held captive by the devil since Adam’s fall. Paul tells us, “Our struggle (with rebellion) is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph.6:12). Hence, when the Spirit rested upon Jesus after His baptism in the Jordan by John, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to enter into a titanic battle with Satan, and once and for all defeat rebellion at the very heart and core of rebellion itself – the devil himself! (Matt.4:1-11) The evil spirits of this dark world, the powers and authorities of rebellion which held sway over mankind, was defeated and Jesus sets mankind free forever.
Defeat of Rebellious Angels. John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” by Gustave Dore (Wiki Commons)
Man’s only hope is Jesus through whom we receive the Spirit who brings the Love of God to replace the rebellious heart. (Rom.5:5) Lets’ be clear about one thing, Love and rebellion are domains of the spirit world, not our physical world. What we see in our world is the result or output of the engines of Love and rebellion we can’t see, but feel their manifestations everyday in every way in our visible world. I hope we have the eyes to see that in life there are just two choices, we will always have a choice between Love and rebellion. The circumstance, nuance, and dynamics of life maybe different, but ultimately they rests upon these two major spiritual engines of life. We may call our decisions by myriads of name, but they originate from two trees: we must decipher our actions and answer from one of the two trees will we eat: the tree of life (Love), or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (rebellion). (Gen.2:9)
As long as we are humans, rebellion is an intrinsic part of our human nature. But God gives us His Love in His Spirit to nullify and overcome its influence. How does the Spirit does His work of dealing with man’s rebellion? Jesus succinctly utilizes a meaningful metaphor to convey this. He calls man a river, saying “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in Me. He was speaking of the Holy Spirit.” (John 7:37-38) The river has two parts, the riverbed (man), and its waters which flow through it (Spirit/Love). Jesus said if we believe in Him as Savior who delivers us from the clutches of the devil, He will replace the rebellious spirit with the gift of the Spirit whose Love will flow in us like “living waters” (John 7:38). The rebellious spirit had “deathly waters” in us, is now replaced by the Spirit’s “living waters” in man, the riverbed. Our calling and destiny is the way God has charted the river to flow in a prescribed course through the valley and community assigned to each of us. Rivers don’t change course, meaning God has given us a unchanging destiny that begins and ends with Him. He is the mountain from which rivers flow, and the ocean where all rivers gather. Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev. 22:13). All the putrid, disgusting, smelly odor of the riverbed (man’s rebellious heart) is flushed out and now completely covered by the Spirit so it can’t be seen or felt. All that’s seen is the Spirit covering man in the cloak of “living waters.” That is how God removes the darkness of man’s rebellious mind. When you think about it, that is exactly the way the devil has covered man in his foul “deathly waters” since Adam. Now God our Father, in His Love and compassion has reversed the condition to make His Spirit flow in man’s riverbed.
Dove, Symbol of Holy Spirit, Power of God’s Love in Man
Albert Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” (brainyquote.com) Man must understand without any shadow of doubt where he stands, and why he needs saving. Man’s nature is bound to his rebellious heart, so much so, the Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jer.17:9). How can human life be lived in Love from this level of consciousness? If we will not change, Paul says, “Because of your stubbornness (rebellion) and your unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Rom.2:5). Think of rebellion as the spirit that’s always lying beneath us in our riverbed, and becomes exposed for all its putrid features when the “living waters” of the Spirit subsides to a dangerously low level. Hence, we are admonished, “Do not quench the Spirit” (1Thes.5:19). So, the Spirit can be quenched. We do not live a life of animals, immovable in our instincts, we are humans made in the image of God who walks and lives in freedom, like the Tri-Personal Being of God does. So, our only hope is to be filled to our river banks with the “living waters” (Spirit). We must always be on our guard against this uncovering decline in the “living waters” of Love. Realize rebellion and Love can never co-exist. And if at times we may slide, we have a Savior and High Priest in heaven, Jesus, to restore us in the Spirit’s Love. Be thankful because God’s work of sanctification in the Spirit will remove all rebellion.
If the answer to rebellion is Love, then Christ alone brings deliverance and is the full expression of the Father’s Love in and to man. But we have answered that in the first post mentioned in my introduction.
So, the answer to rebellion is the death of the old self, the “false self,” and the birth of the new self, the “true self” in Christ’s deliverance. So we read Paul’s affirmation in this regard, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live (“false self”), but Christ lives in me (“true self”).” (Gal.2:20a) This passage is clear about one thing, an incarnation has taken place and the believer has morphed from his old self to his new self in Christ. This is the reality which exist in God’s divine realm, as man is reincarnated from who he was in his rebellious nature, into who he is in Christ’s Loving nature. He’s a new man natured in the Love of God. So, Paul continues, “The life I now live in the body, I live by the faith of Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal.2:20b) Yes, it’s a rebirth, it’s deliverance! Jesus Himself said “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to Spirit. You should be surprised at My saying, ‘You must be born again.” (John 3:6-7). We are given new birth to experience the Love of the Father and the Son from and into all eternity.
In my next blog post I will discuss the subject of surrender. Without surrender, defeating rebellion is not possible.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 always. May the Spirit enliven you and make all things concerning you possible in Triune Living as a Bulamanriver.*
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.
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.
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