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GOD’S PROMISES VS HUMAN NEEDS & AMBITIONS

Greeting again Friends! God has made abundant promises in His Word (Bible) for humans whom He created in His likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) As a noun, a promise is a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen. As a verb, a promise is to undertake or proclaim that something will happen. God’s promises are assurances for mankind which paves the way for a blessed, predictable, and less worrying but miraculous life, in His Fatherly Love for His human children.

God’s Promises Made Real in Christ

However, from the outset we must understand how they are fulfilled and made reality in our lives. Paul told the Corinthians, “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” ascends to God for His glory” (2 Cor.1:20). We must understand without question that all God’s plans for humanity is fulfilled in Christ alone. All God’s promises are made known through the holy Scriptures and received through faith. So the Scripture tell us, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Heb.11:6).

The Bible tell us what faith does, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see” (Heb.11:1, NLB). Even to have such faith and believing, Scripture tell us that Christ alone supplies such living faith. As Paul affirms, “Even the righteousness of God which is by the faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe” (Rom.3:22, NKJV).

Through the book of Hebrews, we read this, “Now in these final days, He (God) has spoken to us through His Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son He created the universe” (Heb.1:2, NLB). John proclaims Jesus preeminence in God’s plan, “God created everything through Him (Jesus Christ), and nothing was created except through Him“ (John 1:3, NLB). Jesus is the Father’s own revelation to mankind. He said, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9).

So, you can say that all God’s promises are funneled through Jesus. It is pointless picking up your Bible and reading about God’s promises in isolation. And it is equally inconsequential if we don’t have a clue about how to open the door to their fulfillment. And Jesus is the only Door to Gdo’s promises, He said, “I am the Door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9). To imagine God will bring His promises to pass in isolation by themselves is folly and will end in disappointment and futility.

Hence, when we believe this vital truth about Jesus preeminence and paramountcy in God’s will and plan for humanity, Paul affirms our status in Him this way, “In Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority” (Col.2:10). Being “brought to fullness” in Christ simply means that “All God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!”” in us. (2 Cor.1:20).

The first and most consequential promise of God is to bring His human children into His eternal Loving presence. To make this a reality, He made His Son the pivotal part of that plan, from beginning to end. Hence, He declared Himself this way, “I am the Alpha and the Omega” (Rev.1:8, ESV) So, He gave His only Son to redeem us from sin and rebellion to make His magnificent plan a reality. John utters the immortal verse of the Bible, “For God Loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (immortality)” (John 3:16, italics mine).

Jesus, The Alpha and Omega

There is no other reason given for Jesus’ role as Savior other than to bring humans to immortality in the Father’s Loving presence. God is immortal, and He desires to confer upon His human children an immortal inheritance. This was the same objective God uttered in the beginning when He created mankind. “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female he created them. (Gen.1:26-27). God’s likeness is eternal, thereby He gave humanity the inheritance of immortal children and live eternally in His presence. (John 3:16; 3:36; 11:25)

Immortality means everlasting life, and to possess divine unity with the Triune God, the Creator. God made many promises in His Word (Bible), but we are to recognize what is ancillary and supporting and what are primary and pillar promises like immortality and Love. (John 3:16-17; 1 John 4:16). There are God’s promise which bring material benefits, and it can be tempting to place our focus upon them and forget the primary promise which is the foundation upon which all ancillary promises find meaning. Immortality is the cornerstone of the New Covenant Promise that is ratified in Jesus’ blood. He is Mediator of the Covenant Promise. (Heb.9:14-15) The central premise of the Covenant (promise) states, “I will be their God, and they will be My people” – in other words, humans cannot become God’s eternal children without the gift of immortality. (Heb.8:10, 6-13).

We can remain His physical children and nothing more, but that endures for the life-expectancy of human life, which is around 70 years, or more, as God determines. (Psa.90:10; Deut.32:39) Human destiny is to become God’s immortal children. How do we rationally compare 70 years with eternity? It can’t be done. Peter gave our limited human mind a window into immortality when he said, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Pet.3:8). It’s intended to help with our comprehension of immortality.

If we took 70 years with ‘a thousand years for a day’ as reference and baseline (70x365x1000), that would give us 25,550,000 days/years. Can we imagine living as long as 25,550,000 million years? It’s just a prop to help us conceptualize immortality, even though eternity is infinite and uncountable. Numbers mean nothing with immortality – there is no past nor future to count, just the present. With immortality, time and keeping count has no meaning. Though God made us mortal for His purpose, He relates with us in our mortality, with the goal of human immortality as His ultimate destiny for us.

Immortality Is Humanity’s Destiny In Christ

In addition to immortality God has given humanity a destiny to be conformed to the Love-image of His Son, as Paul asserts, “For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Rom.8:29, NLB). What is Jesus’ image like. Jesus is God, being the second Person of the triune Godhead. The Bible reveals God’s nature to us, saying, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). So, we expect our change to come whereby we will be made immortal by nature and Love in character as Triune God is eternally Love. God’s kingdom is about immortality and where Love reigns supreme.

God Is Love & Love Is God

However, God created humanity to be mortal first before conferring immortality through Christ. (John 3:16; 6:40) As humans physical and material survival plays a prominent role in human life. We inherited Adam’s fallen Adamic humanity, subject to death, until Christ the second Adam came and redeemed us from sin and death, and brough the promise of immortality. (John 3:16) In fact, our temporary human life plays a huge role in our ultimate destiny, so much so that human beings have certain basic and pressing needs. We must have food, water, air, and shelter to survive. We have dreams, ambitions, and all kinds of hopes and desires. If any one of these basic needs is not met, then humans are unfulfilled and may not survive.

The graph below shows Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Chart. It reveals the five areas in psychology that Abraham Maslow proposed in 1943. And it shows the natural progression for human needs and aspirations. However, to prioritize any one of them above all else, so much so thy are venerated intensely to the degree of worship, then we mistakenly and sadly, fall into a form of idol worship. In doing so, we displace God as supreme above all else in our lives, which leads to sin and death, the ultimate roadblock to eternal life. (Exo.20:3-4) The Bible says “He (God) alone is worthy of our worship” (Matt.4:10). Jesus repeated this commandment to Satan when he tempted Jesus to worship him for Almighty God, His Father. (Matt.4:8-11)

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid Chart

These needs are human and are real and impactful in many different ways which compels us to rise ambitiously to achieve them. These needs are not evil by any means just as money is not evil except when used for evil purposes. In fact, all our human needs and aspirations can be choreographed to the extent of divine inspiration so as to live a life with meaning and purpose upon this earth. Yes, when we maintain all human ancillary needs and wants within the divine framework, we will experience a life of genuine harmony and fulfilment. Most of all, and here is the key to a blessed life – Jesus shows us the way to receive these needs as foreordained individually by applying a vital promise.

As Maslow’s diagram above shows, humans can demontrate and possess a myriad of human needs in life’s journey. However, it can be a challenge to keep them in check so none is idolized and become a hostile life force and negative asset in the human ethos. Fortunately, Jesus gave us a promise that will turn every need into a positive asset. It is a promise which acts like a ‘Midas touch’ effect, so to speak. By keeping this promise, we are assured that every proper and pertinent need will find its way into our lives and supplied – I call this living the ‘miraculous live’ in God’s Loving judgement by the power of His Spirit in Christ.

This is the ‘Midas touch’ promise Jesus gave us, “But seek you first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt.6:33). The Kingdom of God acts like a personalized filter which miraculously allows only the needs which are ancillary and subordinate to God’s overall purpose for you, indualized and personalized. Our Creator Father wants nothing less than a life customized and suited for our gift and personality

For such is the life lived with purpose and eternal destiny. As Paul assured the Corinthians, “However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who Love Him—these are the things God has revealed to us by His Spirit” (1 Cor.2:9-10). This is God our Father’s Loving judgement at work in our behalf to bring humanity to His eternal kingdom of Love and immortality.

And we saw how the Kingdom of God is constituted – Immortality and Love! Listen, God knows our needs even before we ask. In fact, He knows our true needs which we may not realize for He knows us better than we know ourselves. Our mission in life is to discover how and who we are gifted to be, and fulfill His purpose for our lives. Gifts are divinely bestowed in humanity to glorify the greater good and the great God we serve, not us. When we serve Him truly, then we serve ourselves authentically, for we reflect Him from our creation. (Gen.1:26-27). We will find unspeakable joy we never knew possible when we keep and apply this ‘Midas touch’ promise authentically.  

The ’Midas Touch’ Promise

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

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

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

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

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

All God’s Promises Are There to Keep and Support You

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

Farewell for now!

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant in Christ)

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

Adam was solitary and incomplete until God made Eve. He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone (solitary). I will make a helper suitable for him” (Gen.2:18, italics mine). So, God gave Adam a family composed of a father, mother, and offspring, to reflect Himself in His plural Love-Being. (1 John 4:16) The Bible states that the Church’s or humanity’s destiny is to marry Christ, the second Person of the Triune Godhead, in the new age to come which will be an everlasting relationship. (2 Cor.11:2; Eph.5:23-27, 32; Rev.19:7) The Bible is abundantly clear about God’s nature and declaration of Himself in His relational Triune Being from the past, the present, and the future. God has never lived as a solitary Being, but a Tri-Personal Love-Being with His Son, Jesus, and His Spirit. (Mat..28:18-20)

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

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity – One in Three, Three in One (Wiki Commons)

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

Most religions believe God as some solitary being. The true God is not solitary by any means, He is the Trinity in His Tri-Personal Being. God consist of three Persons in One divine triune Godhead. They exist in One “homoousion” meaning consisting in one substance, or “consubstantiality.” The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in One hypostatic union, One substance, like Eve was biologically part of and never physically separate, but of one substance from and in Adam. Likewise, humanity is made of one spiritual substance with the triune God through Jesus Christ who took our humanity upon Himself and joined it to the divine triune existence forever. Jesus was given the prophetic name Immanuel which means “God with us”, or God with humanity. (Matt.1:23; Isa.7:14) As the prophecy foretold and fulfilled, God assimillated Himself with mankind through Mary who bore His Son, Jesus Christ. (Matt.1:20; 18-25; 2:1-2)

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

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

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

                                                       

TWO HUMAN SPECIES

Greetings Friends!

Just as there are two faiths humanity live by (see http://bulamanriver.net/30348), correspondingly, mankind is created from two human species which will determine his eternal destiny.  

Two Human Species

Many don’t realize this basic truth about human existence as shown in Scripture. As Creator, God only made two forms of humans that has ever existed and walked upon this earth. We are all God’s human creation, but what many don’t understand is you can be born into one of two human forms, two species of humanity God created. By ‘species’ I speak of the inner spiritual person, not the outer physical material human. It is the inner man that rules and controls the outer physical man.

They are both distinct by their respective natures. Let me explain. First, Adam was created from the dust of the earth. (Gen.1:26-27; 3:19) He was perfect and sinless until his fall in Eden by disobeying God. Instead, he obeyed Satan, the devil, by eating the forbidden fruit. (Gen.2:15-17; 3:1-24) As a result, Adam and Eve were stripped off the Love-nature of God in whose likeness they were first created. (see Gen.3:7; 1:26-27) Thus, mankind was consigned to a life of spiritual imprisonment under the now rebellious sin-nature of Adam who inherited the same from Satan. The second Adam was created by God to atone for the sin of the first Adam. (1 Cor.15:45-47; 1 John 2:2; 3:5)

Genesis 3:6(KJV)
Our First Parents Partook of and Ate the Forbidden Fruit

As a consequence of the first Adam’s fall (sin), mankind was cut-off from access to God, as symbolized by his banishment from Eden, while at the same instant barred from access to the Tree of Life. (Gen.3:24) On account of Adam’s fall, we have inherited his sin-nature as his human descendants. We are fallen beings just as he was. We are “infected by sin,” as the prophet Isaiah affirms, just as he was. (Isa.6:4). The prophet said further, “When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind” (Isa.64:6, NLB).

Do we find that life at times hands us bad breaks, so to speak? Or perhaps we have an inherent unease that things may not turn out favorably despite our best intentions? It is highly likely our activity is the by product of a life that’s propped up by our fallen sin-nature from Adam. Recall what the Bible says about the nature or spirit of the “first Adam,” “When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags, and our sins sweep us away like the wind” (Isa.64:6). Is it possible to abort our own good intentions before we commit to them without realizing?

We are mindful of Eve’s example in Eden. Satan tempted her and she “saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom” (Gen.3:1-4). But her desires set in motion by Satan’s lies concerning the forbidden fruit did not materialize. Instead it led to failure…to sin. (Gen.3:6; John 8:44) Can we expect genuine success when even the good we imagine carries with it the seeds of failure by way of the sin-nature? Are the gains we think we have achieved in this life that’s molded in the spirit of the fallen “first Adam” be actually genuine success? How do we measure authentic success?

The Bible states, “God’s blessing (Love) makes life a success; nothing we do can improve on God (Love)” (Prov.10:22, MSG; 1 John 4:8). In other words, success or failure is a conditional response, it is not based upon effort alone; but strickly speaking upon one’s belief and moral values. Albert Eisntein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” That’s to say, God’s Love creates a conditional response which brings an outcome to life where “all things do work together for good” (Rom.8:28), while sin is the conditional response for rebellion and failure. Isaiah says, “We have “become like something unclean..our iniquities carry us away like the wind” (Isa.64:6). So, we’ll call the “first Adam,” the fallen “Adamic humanity.”

Adamic Covenant | It Is Written
The “First Adam,” Earthly

Can we be saved? The answer comes through the second new humanity, the new human species, which God created through Jesus Christ, His Son. He was born to atone for Adam’s sin, and the sin-nature every human being inherited from him at birth. (John 3:16; Psa.51:5; 58:3; Job 15:14) God used the prophet Isaiah to announce this beautiful truth about the magnanimous heart of God to redeem mankind, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:22-23, KJV). Further, “She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins” (Matt.1:21). So, here we see the “second Adam,” Jesus Christ the Immanuel, who emerges forth from God’s Triune Being as the Second Person of the Godhead. (Matt.28:18-20)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.jpeg
The Love-Nature of The Second Adam (John 3:16)

He was given a unique name, Immanuel. It means “God is with us” (Matt.1:23). The name reflects God’s Love and plan to be with and among humans and fulfill His redeeming plan for us. Therefore, we will call the “second Adam” (human), Jesus, by His prophetic name, “Immanuel humanity.” Or the “God With Us” humanity. Everything done by the “second Adam” produces good for it is done out of the Love-nature of the Spirit. Paul said, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5; 8:28; 1 John 4:16) Recall, we had identified the fallen and corrupt “first Adam” (human) the name “Adamic humanity.” He acts out of the sin-nature.

God Can Do Anything” – Isaiah 7:10-14 – Living Word Lutheran Church &  Preschool
The Second Adam, Jesus the Immanuel (“God With Us”) From Heaven

The sin-nature and Love-nature of the two human species reveals the determinative consciousness which precede and follow their actions. Paul identified them both this way, saying, ““Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven” (1 Cor.15:47). Before the fall, Adam and Eve existed in God’s perfect likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) However, after they disobeyed by eating the forbidden fruit, God declared to Adam, “For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return” (Gen.3:19). What happened? Adam and Eve had sinned and brought about their own demise – for Scripture says, “the wages of sin is death” (Rom.6:23). Paul said further, “The first man Adam became a living being. But the last Adam, that is Christ – is a life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor.15:45, NLT).

Both human species originate from the Creator God, and given to mankind to identify two pathways, two realities of life. One leads to extinction, while the other leads to God’s everlasting Kingdom. The “first Adam” became “infected with sin” through Satan as the prophet proclaimed, and Paul tell us where this pathway leads, “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom.6:23; Isa.64:6). Yes, the pathway and destiny of the “first Adam” (human) leads to death. Now, John informs us about the pathway the “second Adam,” “For God so Loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Yes, the pathway and destiny of the “second Adam” (human) whom we will identify as the “Immanuel humanity” is Love and immortality.

JESUSmyRighteousness✝️🕊❤️ on Twitter: "Romans 6:22-23 ✝️ But now being  made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto  holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages
For the Wages of Sin is Death…

Let’s face the most important question. How does this new humanity, called the “Immanuel Human,” is given birth and come into human existence? Jesus Himself answers, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again” (John3:5). The ‘Kingdom of God’ is reference to immortality we are promised to inherit in Christ. (John 3:16). It is vital to bear in mind that this new birth would not be possible if God had not first chosen to be assimilated with humanity through His Son, and born as “Immanuel human.” (John 3:16; Matt.1:23; Isa.7:14; 1 Cor.15:50-56)

Let us see how God joined Himself to humanity in order to save us. God declares, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they will call Him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”) (Matt.1:23; Isa.7:14). Through Jesus’ mother, Mary, God assimilated Himself with and into mankind through His Son in order to redeem us. In doing so, He took our sinful humanity (“first Adam”) and nailed him to His Son’s cross together with his sinful life once for all. Scripture tell us that Jesus as our eternal High Priest by “one offering He forever made perfect those who are being made holy” (Heb10:12-14). Consequently, God initiated the human rebirth, commonly called “born again,” whereby mankind as many as believe in Jesus can be reborn into the new “Immanuel humanity” reflecting Jesus’own resurrection (rebirth) from the dead.

LDS Scripture of the Day: Matthew 1:21
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they will call Him Immanuel”

This divine miracle is God’s awesome mystery which any human being can enter and experience through faith by receiving Jesus as personal Savior. (John 3:16-17; Col.1:27) The “first Adam” with his sin-nature faces his demise upon the cross of Jesus through faith in Jesus as Messiah, and the “second Adam” is born to substitute and supersede the now deceased and lifeless fallen “first Adam” upon Jesus’ cross. Paul said, “Know this, that our old man (“first Adam”) is crucified with Him (Jesus), that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Rom.6:6).

Writing to the Galatians, he said, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal.3:27). What Paul says is the ritual of baptism we partook in as believers demontrates our commitment to change from one species of humanity and “put on” another. Essentially, we are burying the first fallen “Adamic humanity” in the watery grave of baptism. Then just as Jesus was resurrected from the dead by the Spirit’s power, we rise from the baptismal waters by the same Spirit which God our heavenly Father confers upon us as His abiding gift. (Rom.8:14-16)

Recall, mankind was denied access to the Holy Spirit as symbolized by the Tree of Life after Adam’s fall in Eden. (Gen.3:24) Now, Jesus clears the way by inaugurating the gift of the Spirit through His own baptism in the Jordan and likewise opens the path for the Spirit to embrace humans through the meaning of baptism. (Matt.3:16-17; Rom.8:11) Later, the Spirit was poured out upon the the disciples, believers, and mankind on Pentecost. From that momentous occasion, the new “Immanuel humanity” was born universally in humans. (Act.2:1-4)

Paul continues to elaborate on this new life in Christ through the Spirit’s power, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness” (Rom.5, 14-16).

It’s hard to fathom humanity’s epochal past under the sway of Adam’s “sin-nature” which brought on all the evil, suffering and pain, in the self-inflicted corruption and self-centeredness which mankind endured, up until the coming of Jesus and the Spirit that ushered in the new human species of Jesus with the “Love-nature” on Pentecost.

Paul, undeniably and clearly, speaks of how this change in the new birth become reality in life when he wrote to the Galatians, “My old self (“Adamic humanity”) has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ (“Immanuel humanity”) lives in me” (Gal.2:20). Yes, in baptism we have “put on” this new “Immanuel humanity” in Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit. Paul expounds the birth of the new “Immanuel human” this way, “Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20). Paul said further, “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom.13:14).

Andy Jenkins +
Two Human Species, One Eternal Lineage in Christ

What was God doing? God was showing His unfailing Love for us and reconciling fallen humans back to Himself through His Son, Jesus. (John 3:16; 2 Cor.5:18-19) By giving a new birth into the new humanity of Jesus, “Immanuel humanity,” mankind has joined himself with God, just as God had first assimilated Himself with mankind through Jesus His Son. The Divine will is for humans to be “…conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom.8:29). “Conforming to Jesus’ image” is to be clothed in His new “Immanuel humanity” and become a people who live by God’s Love in every way, shape, and form. (1 John 4:16; 1 Cor.13) This is the foundation and essence of the new redeemed humanity we have in Jesus.

The First Adam Crucified, The Second Adam Now Lives in Me

Paul speaks further of this new human birth and said, “You have taken off your old self (“Adamic humanity”) with its practices and have put on the new self, (“Immanuel humanity”) which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Col.3:9-10, my emphasis, also Gen.1:26-27). Taking on Jesus’ new “Immanuel humanity” is the essence of the New Covenant, listen, “I will put a new Spirit (“Immanuel human”) within you; and I will take the stony heart (“Adamic human”) out of their flesh, and I will give them a heart of flesh: that they may walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances, and do them: and they will be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezek.36:22-29; 1 Cor.15:45-47).

From being part of mankind born into the deathly fallen sin-nature of the “Adamic humanity,” there is nothing more astounding to the human imagination yet wondrously beautiful beyond compare, than to realize we have within our grasp the divine inheritance of the new birth wherein humans can through faith choose to be clothed in the glorious garment of Jesus’ resurrected life, the new “Immanuel humanity,” as a ‘Love gift’ from the Creator God our eternal Father. Amen.

christ in you hope of glory small – Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen  and Professionals

God Has made Known the Glorious Riches of His Mystery: Christ In You, The Hope of Glory”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell for now!

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant in Christ)

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

Adam was solitary and incomplete until God made Eve. He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone (solitary). I will make a helper suitable for him” (Gen.2:18, italics mine). So, God gave Adam a family composed of a father, mother, and offspring, to reflect Himself in His plural Love-Being. (1 John 4:16) The Bible states that the Church’s or humanity’s destiny is to marry Christ, the second Person of the Triune Godhead, in the new age to come which will be an everlasting relationship. (2 Cor.11:2; Eph.5:23-27, 32; Rev.19:7) The Bible is abundantly clear about God’s nature and declaration of Himself in His relational Triune Being from the past, the present, and the future. God has never lived as a solitary Being, but a Tri-Personal Love-Being with His Son, Jesus, and His Spirit. (Mat..28:18-20)

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

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity – One in Three, Three in One (Wiki Commons)

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

Most religions believe God as some solitary being. The true God is not solitary by any means, He is the Trinity in His Tri-Personal Being. God consist of three Persons in One divine triune Godhead. They exist in One “homoousion” meaning consisting in one substance, or “consubstantiality.” The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in One hypostatic union, One substance, like Eve was biologically part of and never physically separate, but of one substance from and in Adam. Likewise, humanity is made of one spiritual substance with the triune God through Jesus Christ who took our humanity upon Himself and joined it to the divine triune existence forever. Jesus was given the prophetic name Immanuel which means “God with us”, or God with humanity. (Matt.1:23; Isa.7:14) As the prophecy foretold and fulfilled, God assimillated Himself with mankind through Mary who bore His Son, Jesus Christ. (Matt.1:20; 18-25; 2:1-2)

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

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

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

THE LIVING FAITH OF JESUS

Greetings once more dear Friends!

Faith is a vital component of the Christian’s life. As a noun it describes one’s belief system. As a verb faith is the lifeblood of the believer’s way of life. One describes who the believer is, and the other describes how he lives. Both elements work in unison to form a singular focus in life. The Bible states categorically, “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb.11:6). Before one can please someone, it assumes that the same faith believes in the existence of that someone, hence, the passage follows with the following, “Because anyone who approaches Him (God) must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Not only does the person believes in the reality of God but there’s an expectancy of a positive outcome from the relationship of trust.

In the same way Love describes God, faith describes man’s spiritual life. Love (God) is a noun because it describes who He is, and as a verb it describes how He lives and acts. (1 John 4:8; 1 Cor.13) We were created to become His image of Love, as Genesis says, “God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them” (Gen.1:26-27).

“Without Faith…”

Human Faith

There is a faith that’s entirely human and is unrelated to a faith that is spiritual. Physical humans display human faith. Spiritual faith is not human and therefore exists externally from human faith. Human faith deals with human life in the physical realm, while spiritual faith deals with humans in the spiritual realm. Although both operate on separate sphere and orientation, one physical and the other spiritual, both are not unlike since both use the human mind to operate. While the human faith is constrained to the physical realm of reasoning and activity, the spiritual faith does not require physical considerations. One is mainly seen, while the other is unseen. The Bible says, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see” (Heb.11:1).

The cogs and elements which turn the wheel of human faith are man’s five senses, whereby a person says, “I have to see, smell, taste, touch, or hear, to believe.” This is human faith. This is not the case with spiritual faith. As I said although both are oriented differently due to their nature, yet both are needed in the life of the Christian. God’s work of salvation in humanity requires our mutual participation, hence, human faith is needed. The reason is simple because Christianity is a belief system based upon spiritual faith. So, human faith is made to merge with the spiritual faith so both complement one another rather than oppose each other. God reveals Himself as Tri-Personal in His trinitarian Being and thereby a Loving participatory God. That’s how He desires His Love to work with humans He made in His image. So, we use our limited human faith to believe and trust in the spiritually all-competent spiritual faith to do His Loving will in our lives.

Spiritual Faith

But exactly what is this spiritual faith we speak of? Paul makes this abundantly clear in the following passage from Romans, “The righteousness of God which comes by the faith of Jesus to all and on all that believe” (Rom.3:22, AKJV). Humanity was not born with this saving faith. But note, the are two faiths stated in this passage, the “faith of Jesus,” and “on all that believe (human faith).” The spiritual faith is “Jesus’ Personal Faith” and exists outside of human life. It enters human life when Christ comes and indwells a believer through the power of the Spirit.

Paul told the Galatians, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20, KJV). Yes, we live, walk, and have our being in the faith of Jesus. (Act.17:28). To the Colossians, Paul said, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col.3:16).

How does Christ dwells in us richly? Through His Word. There is the written Word of God, the Bible, and there is the Personified Word who is Jesus, He is the Personal Word of God. Paul gives us the connection between the Word of God, Jesus, and faith, “So faith is from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ” (Rom.10:17). When Jesus dwells in each of us His Word is part of us, and thereby His faith through hearing and living by them. Thus, Jesus’ faith comes from the hearing ear, and the hearing ear comes from the Word of God.

“By The Faith of Jesus Christ…”

So, here we see the human and spiritual faiths are fused into one expression of life. As Jesus’ faith grows, we’ll find our human faith-scale begin to tip in favor of the spiritual faith of Jesus. Our limited human faith will have less and less of a role and impact, as John said, “He must increase, and I must decrease” (John 3:30). Why, because the place where Jesus is taking us, our narrow human faith has no scope of reference to maneuver this unknown spiritual landscape. We are now traversing in the Spirit’s territory which requires the faith of Jesus to pioneer and forge on forward. Its inclusive effect is we will grow to become a whole person because we are not limited by what our human faith allows. The two faiths, walking side by side, form one life of man that’s complete in Christ. (Amos 3:3)

“The Just Shall Live by Faith”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell for now!

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant in Christ)

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

Adam was solitary and incomplete until God made Eve. He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone (solitary). I will make a helper suitable for him” (Gen.2:18, italics mine). So, God gave Adam a family to raise composed of a father, mother, and offspring, to reflect Himself in His plural Being. The Bible states that the Church’s or humanity’s destiny is to marry Christ, the second Person of the Triune Godhead, in the new age to come which will be an everlasting relationship. (2 Cor.11:2Eph.5:23-2732Rev.19:7) The Bible is abundantly clear about God’s nature and declaration of Himself in His relational Triune Being from the past, the present, and the future. God has never lived as a solitary Being, but a Tri-Personal Being with His Son, Jesus, and His Spirit. (Mat..28:18-20)

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

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity – One in Three, Three in One (Wiki Commons)

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

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

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

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

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

“CHRIST ALONE!” BY KIANG P LEE

“Christ Alone” – The spoken word of the heart, and other articulation, like simply, “Praise God,” “Thank You Lord!” we may say silently, speaks of a heart that is greater than our own that’s at work behind the scenes: unbeknown to us, invisible yet resolute for its wonder, the heart can only voice the power of God’s grace in our lives. 

Let me try to do justice to this topic of such awe, wonder, and admiration. It begins with one simple word: TEMPLE! The Temple is the environment within which God’s grace exist and abound. It’s like Eden, as long as Adam and Eve existed in Eden, they existed within the bounds of God’s abounding grace and Love.

And we know that our first parents were evicted from Eden because of Adam’s fall. Outside of Eden our first parents were outside of the temple environment (Eden), you can say. And mankind has existed in that environment away from God’s presence ever since. Does that Temple environment exist today, we ask? If so, where is that Temple today?

After Adam’s fall, God promised to send the second Adam, Jesus Christ His Son, to open the way to His Temple and humanity and enter and commune with God once more, as Adam and Eve did before the fall. (1 Cor.15:45; Gen.3:14-15)

What is a Temple?

Many today think that God dwells in physical temples like impressive Christian cathedrals, elaborate Islamic mosques, ornate Hindu temples, and ancient monolithic structures of bygone eras as in the Aztec empire. Let us look at a few examples:

Christian Cathedral, Varna, Bulgaria
Muslim Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Ornate Hindu Temple
Aztec Temple of Bygone Eras
Buddhist Temple
Temple of Confucius

God is not mortal like humans to dwell in physical structures, He is a spirit Being and dwells in a spiritual temple. God declares, “Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where is the house you will build for Me? Where will My resting place be? Has not My hand made all these things, and so they came into being? I, the Lord, have spoken!”

“Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool!” (Isa.66:1-2). What does that mean? God is making an awesome declaration of truth about His temple. God is proclaiming He already has a physical temple – the whole of creation and the universe is His temple. Elsewhere God asks, “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD” (Jer.23:24). The Scriptures says how God is adorned in His temple, “You are dressed in a robe of light.” It tells us what His temple looks like, “You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens; You lay the rafters of Your home in the rain clouds; You ride upon the wings of the wind. The winds are your messengers; flames of fire are your servants” (Psa.104:104).

God is asking, could you build Me a temple as good as that? Could you build Me such a resting place? My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are Mine. We only have to look at the marvelous beauty of this earth and the awesome expanse of the heavens to witness His magnificent temple. You may have seen NASA’s recent pictures of very deep space from the Webb telescope with fresh eyes and sharpest images of the stars, galaxies of the unlimited universe, never been observed before. What are we seeing? We’re still discovering His awesome material temple in all its vastness and beauty. 

Hence, each time our eyes gaze upon the many wonders of His creation we are actually looking into the face of God in His physical temple. As we stand upon this earth, we are standing in and gazing at His physical temple.

No cathedral, mosque, temple, or any structure imaginable built by human hands can compare to the physical temple He has already built. Hence, we are given the mandate in the Genesis creation account to look after this earth He has handed to humanity as dominion and to be steward with a fiduciary responsibility of care over God’s temple, the earth. So, the obligation is upon us to discover the true temple God seeks for Himself.

God asks the question, “Where will my resting place be?” God Himself answers at the end of the same verse, “But on this man will I look, Even on him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, And trembles at My word.” So, God is associating His resting place to a person with a humble, contrite spirit who seeks God by Loving and Obeying His Word. God is not likening His temple to an inanimate material like a building, with all its grandeur, no, he is associating it with a living spirit, a living being that has a contrite heart.

Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 6:16, “For we are the temple of the living God.” We are now looking at the living temple – we have seen His physical temple. The temple is living, vibrant, it has a heart that is capable of being contrite or otherwise. But let’s not jump the gun here, Paul was speaking to Christians who have God’s Spirit, remember he said, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16, NASB). The human body is just an empty vessel, and it is the Holy Spirit that makes it become God’s temple. Or, it may possess another spirit of rebellion inherited from Adam’s fall, which is true of all mankind.

Let’s pick up the story in Jerusalem. Jesus entered the temple in Jerusalem and found the people selling livestock and exchanging money. He was not happy and made a whip out of cords and drove all from the temple courts. He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables, and told the people, “Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” (John 2:16) The Jews were upset about what He did, and enquired, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” Then Jesus gave them an answer that shocked them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple He had spoken of was His body. After He was raised from the dead, His disciples recalled what He had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken” (john 2:21-22). So, Jesus is the true temple of God. So, when Paul said, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” he meant Christ was alive in you through the power of the Holy Spirit, and that is what makes a person the temple of God. Otherwise, he or she is just an empty human vessel. Only Jesus makes a person become a true temple of God with the Spirit’s indwelling.

Now, I said earlier that the Temple is the environment within which God’s grace exist and abound. It’s like Eden, as long as Adam and Eve existed in Eden, and they imbibed from the Tree of Life which symbolized the Holy Spirit, they existed within the bounds of God’s abounding grace and Love. The moment they were evicted from Eden, everything changed, they realized they were unclothed and naked. What was their clothing – it’s metaphorical? Remember the parable about the King who invited people to the wedding of His Son. It was the custom that the host would send out appropriate clothing for the guests to wear to the wedding feast.

Then during the celebration the King mingle among the guests and found someone without a proper clothing, and asked how he came into the wedding. He was silent, and the King ordered he be thrown out. The clothing is just a metaphor, it represented Jesus Christ. Paul said, “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom.13:14). To the Galatians he said, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal.3:27). If we were to leave and exist outside of Christ, then we exist outside the temple environment and deprived and unclothed of God’s grace and Love.

Now, I want us to go through this temple environment and realize how blessed we are, more than blessed in truth, to live this constant miraculous life within the temple of the Person of Jesus Christ Himself. To do that we have to go way back to when God summoned Moses upon Mt. Sinai he was given the plans to construct this temple in the middle of the people of Israel who had just came out of Egypt through a great miraculous activity by God upon Egypt.

The Book of Hebrews tell us this about what God told Moses upon Mt. Sinai. “This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain” (Heb.8:1:1, 5; Exo.25:9). The architect of the temple was God. Moses could not do anything extraneous and say I will place a couch for me to rest during the hot desert sun, no. Hebrews further tell us, “They (Israel) serve in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven” (Heb.8:5, NLT). When Moses built the temple and its artifacts and fixtures he was making a copy of the heavenly sanctuary and the shadow of what is happening in heaven.

What is in heaven? Is there another temple like the one Moses built in the wilderness or later much improved one built by King Solomon in the nation of Israel? No, the temple is just a metaphor, a symbol, for some reality God wants us to see physically and understand the spiritual reality. God is Spirit, not fleshly or material like us. And that temple, that reality, is none other than Jesus Christ Himself, God’s very temple. The temple and its environment is the very Person of Jesus Christ. He is the Temple, its High Priest, humanity’s Savior and eternal Mediator. We always meet Christ in the temple of His Person where He constantly mediates for us, through the various artifacts Moses built and what they represent.

There were seven artifacts Moses was instructed to build that’s part of the temple furnishing and environment, and they depict the seven High Priestly functions that is entirely necessary for humanity’s salvation. These seven divine works Jesus has already done upon earth as Immanuel the Messiah, and continues to do in the Temple of His Person, now glorified by His resurrection and ascension in heaven before the Father – and on earth in the human temple of the believer’s body and life, collectively the Church, as Christ lives and walks in each of us. Let me repeat, on earth, not in the physical structures built with human hands, no matter how majestic and extraordinary they may appear, but in the surrendered lives of the people who are given to His Word and His Love.

The earthly temple of God is not a physical structure, but a spiritual one in Christ and of the human being in mind, heart, and spirit, as Paul said, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” (1 Cor.6:19; also, 1 Cor.12:27-31) God’s spiritual temple is the inner sanctum of the hearts and minds of humanity that is surrendered and given to Christ, and in which He lives and walks.

Now, let us see these seven functions quickly, which He performs before the Father in heaven, and in the earthly temple of the lives and hearts and minds of His people. As Paul and the prophet Ezekiel quotes God, “My dwelling place will be with them and will walk among them; I will be their God, and they will be My people” (Ezek.37:27; 2 Cor.6:16).

1)     Altar of Burnt Offering (Exodus 27:1)

2)     Laver (Exodus 30:18)

3)     Table of Showbread (Exodus 25:23)

4)     Lampstand (Exodus 25:31)

5)     Altar of Incense (Exodus 30:1)

6)     Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:10)

7)     Mercy Seat (Exodus 25:17

First, Altar of Burnt Offering – brings to our mind the Lord Jesus who was slain and offered as sacrifice for human sins. Redemption always works through the atoning blood of Christ. Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29) God meets man only at the foot of the cross, where sins past, present, and future receive absolution through the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb. (John 3:16-17; 1 Cor.11:26)

Altar of Sacrificial Offering

Here, we see the everlasting sacrifice of Jesus as Savior done once for all time for the forgiveness of sins and atonement of the whole of the human community since Adam and into the future. This function is for our spiritual health and well-being in holy and righteous condition before the Father.

Second, The Laver was a large bowl filled with water used for cleansing before the priest enter the Holy Place. We are still human and subject to sin in the sin-condition of rebellion in this world, not willfully but through the devil’s deception, human weakness, mistakes, and ignorance. The Laver and the cleansing represent our separation from sin and the world through baptism.

The Laver

In this function, we are reminded of what Jesus did for us when He entered the Jordan to be baptized for us and repent of and for our sins by the hand of John the Baptist. Jesus had no sin to repent of, John said, “But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin” (1 John 3:5). Paull said, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor.5:21). So, He bore our sins by repenting for humanity, and subsequently died for us on His cross. Recall what Jesus told John when He first hesitated baptizing Him, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Jesus and John were actively working the divine plan of making humans right with God. In other words, they must carry out God’s will, so humans can repent by imputing what Jesus’ has done for us. He has made it possible for us to repent, not because we can do it on our own. God ascribes His Son’s finished work upon us. (Phi.3:9; Rom.4:5; 5:19)

Then, to finish this wonderful act of Jesus, He inaugurated the gift of the Spirit from the Father to mankind prior to Pentecost. (Matt.3:13-17; Act.2:1-4) The Spirit appeared in the form of a dove, then led Jesus into the wilderness to face and defeat Satan in the temptations for us, lived a perfect life, and then later died on the cross for us. He brought redemption to Adam’s fall and humanity’s sin once for all time, thus, ending the cycle of death through sin and rebellion. (Heb.9:28; Gal.3:13; 2 Cor.5:21)

The Holy Spirit Inaugurated Through Jesus’ Mediatory Baptism for Humanity

Only after receiving Jesus and the gift of the Spirit, remember what Jesus said, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). So the two, Jesus and the Spirit, go lockstep one following the other in God’s move of Love for humanity. Unless and until sin is removed, the Spirit cannot enter the human heart. (like Eden, when sin entered, our parents were cut off from the Spirit, as symbolized by the ‘Tree of Life’ – a mighty angel stood guard in the path to the tree).

Paul said, “And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes” (Gal.3:27; Rom.13:14).

Third, Table of Showbread – Now, we enter the inner confines of the temple in the presence of the Father through the mediation of Jesus and the Spirit. Jesus said “I am the bread of life.” This typifies the continual presentation of the living Word of God, Christ. The Bible is the written Word of God. Jesus is the Personified Word of God. When we partake in the communion by eating the bread (representing His Body/flesh) and drinking the wine (representing His blood for life is in the blood) we are born again and take up the new life of Jesus living spiritually in His glorious human/divine heavenly life on earth through God’s Word (Jesus).

Priests Sharing Shewbread
Inner Temple Layout, Showing Various Artifacts

We remember our own or group Bible Studies to ingest of His Word. In this function, we are reminded the source of our confidence in living upon this earth as we rely upon the Word of God, both the literal (Bible) and personified Christ (High Priest).

The Gutenberg Bible-Jesus the Literal and Personified Word of God

Fourth, The Golden Lampstand had a central shaft which represents Christ, with six branches. The Body of Christ (believers/church) is represented by the six-side branches, three and each side. (see picture below) The believer is to be a branch of the Lampstand, a member of Christ who is the light of the world. (John 8:12) The Holy Spirit is the oil that gives light or gifts to each believer and represents the baptism with the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ, the church. (Zech.4:1-6) This began at Pentecost.

The Golden Lampstand

In John, Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the Gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:1-5).

The Lamp Represent our God-Given Gifts Given through The power of The Spirit in Christ

In this function light represents Jesus Christ. (John 8:12) For humans, light symbolize one’s gift and defines who he/she is in Christ. Jesus confers gifts upon His followers to keep them in purposeful and focused communion with the Father throughout their sojourn on earth under the Spirit’s direction and protection. (Eph.4:7-8) This gives us our true purpose to life, and inspires confidence in all we do. As God told Zerubbabel, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Zech.4:6).

Fifth, The Altar of Incense.  What does this portray? It speaks of the believer’s prayers and worship empowered by Jesus and the Spirit bringing the fragrance of the beloved Son before the face of the Father in Heaven. (Eph.5:1-2) Jesus and the Spirit prays for us. (see Rom.8:34 and Rom.8:26, also Isa.53:12b) We do not know how to pray perfectly, but Jesus and the Spirit does. We do not know how to Love the Father perfectly in our sinful and depraved beings, but Jesus through the Spirit does. (Rom.5:5) Never for a moment must we imagine we can do this on our own. That is the reason the Father gave us His Son and His Spirit to help us.

Priest Offering Incense

Here, we live in a time/space setting/posture in our prayer life where death to self-love and self-will takes center stage and endures and we are alive in the Spirit through prayers of supplication, we travail in spirit (in time of trial), intercessory prayers, battles against evil forces, petition, praise, adoration, giving of thanks, Love, Faith, and Hope. The incense signifies Jesus taking our prayers, our worship, our gratitude, and perfecting them in Himself before the Father and transforming them into a sweet-smelling aroma before God (as pictured by the sweet-smelling incense).

Worship, Prayers, Thanksgiving, Praise, Meditation,

Sixth, The Ark of the Covenant held three artifacts in it and they typify the Lord Jesus Christ and His High Priestly function on behalf of believers in whom Christ new life in the Spirit’s power is being formed. They represent the values and code by which God’s people live in this world that is at enmity with God. These are:

Ark of the Covenant and Mercy Seat

Ø  The Ten Commandments Exo.16:34; Heb.9:4—God’s Love revealed in His Law and wrought in our minds through His Spirit. (Rom.5:5) We are empowered in a life of Love for God and our fellow humans in this life.  Paul told the Romans, “The one who Loves another has fulfilled the law” (Rom.13:8, ESV). 

Ø  The Gold Jar of Manna Exo.16:34; Heb.9:4—daily strength from the Spirit and dependability on Christ in matters great and small. The miraculous manna symbolized the miraculous life in the Spirit. The manna portrays the miraculous life of God we are empowered to live in this life.

Ø  Aaron’s Rod Heb.9:4—the Rod represents Jesus’ High Priestly sovereign power of Kingship and the power to impart immortality to His people. We live in this world under the sovereign rulership of Jesus as our Lord and master, who will return as King of kings and Lord of lords.

The Three Articles in The Ark Represent the Values By Which We Live in this World

In this function, Jesus guides us to live life in our earthly journey through these three pillar values: Love, the miraculous life in the Spirit’s power, and under the sovereignty of our Savior and King, Jesus Christ. We live a life of confidence in God’s promises through miraculous interventions, and the realization we are part of His sovereignty as His family and citizens of His Kingdom.

Seventh, The Mercy Seat served as a covering lid for the Ark of the Covenant where God Almighty is seated. It is made of solid-gold and portrays the fullness of the Glory of God and our unity with the Father through Christ and the Holy Spirit. This is the place of God’s Mercy for all humans, no one is precluded. But He has set out the path for humanity to follow through His Son. All that Christ has done in the six functions prior to this, is to unite us with the Father as His children, caressed in His Love forever.

Recall what Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me. If you had really known Me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him! Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father! So why are you asking Me to show Him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The Words I speak are not My own, but My Father who lives in Me does His work through Me” (John 14:6-10).

Here, we have our place of rest and assurance in the life of God in His Tri-Personal Being. This was the plan of the Father right from the start about how to bring humanity into His Loving arms for all eternity through His Son and Spirit. This is the place we appear before Him, before the Mercy Seat. This is the place of grace unbound in the Father’s Mercy Seat..

Hebrews mentions our reality in Christ this way, “This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it]—a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells]” (Heb.6:19).

In Rev.21 we read, “He who was seated on the throne (Mercy Seat) said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be My children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Rev.21:1-8).

Conclusion: So, when we speak from our hearts the words “Christ Alone,” we always imagine Him as the very Temple of God in whom we live and walk and have our being. (Act.17:28) Wherever we may be, whether we are throughout the far reaches of the world, we exist, live, and walk in the same temple of the glorious life and Person of Jesus Christ, where we live our lives in Him doing His many works He has done and continues to do in us. Peter said, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession” (1 Pet.2:9).

We are alive in the Spirit in the Temple performing all kinds of activities within the confines of His Being and Temple, some are consuming showbread, others are offering sweet-smelling incense, others are showing forth the light and Love of Jesus in their lives through their gifts, even others are just receiving Jesus and the Spirit into their lives as we travel in this awesome journey together. We’re all flourishing in Christ’s Person and Temple, and always appear before the Mercy Seat of the Father, for this is the place of unbound grace, mercy, and Love.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell for now!

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant in Christ)

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

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

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

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity – One in Three, Three in One (Wiki Commons)

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

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

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

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

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

Uvalde, Texas …the Answer

Greetings Friends! The tragedy of Uvalde, Texas has left the nation and the world stunned and shocked in disbelief. In the aftermath, President Biden has signed into law a bipartisan gun bill intended to prevent access to powerful firearms by dangerous people. But the search for answers continues for a nation which has seen its share of gun violence tragedies. What is the answer? In fact, it may not be as farfetched as we have been led to believe, nor complex as we first imagined. The Bible gives us the answer eloquently and precisely in Jesus’ parable of the bags of gold.

Jesus Parable of Love (Gold)

You’ll read the parable in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 25, Verses 14-30. The ‘bags of gold’ is simply a metaphor for God’s Love as reflection of its utterly valuable divine commodity. The parable speaks of the Master apportioning His wealth, the bags of gold or God’s Love, to the three servants. One was given 5 bags, the second 2 bags, and the third 1 bag of gold.

The parable tells us that the servants were apportioned their respective bags of gold commensurate with their inborn gifts and talents. The Creator has blessed every human being He made in His image with gifts and abilities from the womb.

The Psalmist said, “For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psa.139:13-14). The gifts in the parable depict all humanity that are categorized into three groupings with different talents and abilities as God our Creator has blessed each and every human being.

Image result for you created every part of me pic
All Human Gifts Are Dinvinely Conferred And We Acknowledge Our Creator

So, there are two aspects to the Parable, there is the Master’s gold or God’s Love (wealth), and there is the servant’s inborn gifts or abilities the Creator has conferred upon each human being from birth. Each of our gifts does not make one inferior or superior, but rather we all complement each other so together we reflect God in His all-embracing Love.   

The grand scheme of the Master was for the servants to go out and multiply and increase the Master’s Love. His wealth (gold) is His Love. The servants were to utilize God’s Love (wealth/gold) like it was spiritual money and currency to trade with. But how were the servants to do this? The servants were to trade and multiply God’s gold (Love) on the platform of their gifts and abilities. So, the Parable of the bags of gold reveals to humanity the grand purpose of life of the Creator and Master. The purpose of life is to multiply His Love (wealth/gold) by using our gifts and talents as  the platform for trading the currencies of God’s Love. The currency of God’s Love was expounded by Paul in His letter to the Corinthians in Chapter 13.

Paul tell us what the Love currency are: *the fruit of patience, *the fruit of kindness, *the fruit of contentedness,  *the fruit of modesty (unboastful), *the fruit of humility, *the fruit of honor, *the fruit of unselfishness, *the fruit of calmness and dignity, *the fruit of forgiveness and compassion, *the fruit of delighting in good and shunning evil, *the fruit of tolerance, *the fruit of responsibility, *the fruit of enduring hope, *the fruit of steadfast perseverance, *the fruit of joy, *the fruit of peace, *the fruit of goodness, *the fruit of faith, *the fruit of gentleness, *the fruit of self-control, *the fruit of zeal and spiritual fervor, *the fruit of friendship, *the fruit of sharing and generosity, *the fruit of prayerfulness, *the fruit of hospitality, etc. These are the currencies of God’s Love. (1 Cor.13; also Gal. 5:22-23Rom. 12:9-21).

Jesus’ Parable of the Bags of Gold (Love)

The person who took the precious lives of the innocent school children of Uvalde was given gifts by the Creator. No human can be said to be without abilities, it’s only a question of how, when, and with what we use them? Humans are always living in the spiritual marketplace dynamism where spiritual trading takes place. What is the spiritual marketplace? It is incumbent upon us to recognize its existence and realize this is the place we encounter God at work with all humans. Primarily, it is wherever and whenever we find ourselves in situations encountering circumstances where Love is made to grow and mature, and not allowed to retrogress and decline in our relationships with God first and our fellow humans. (Matt.22:37-40)

Satan creates fear, Jesus brings God’s Love. This is the marketplace dynamism where spiritual trading takes place. Love and fear compels us to make a choice. This is where we are given the unparallel prospect to multiply and increase the Master’s wealth…or decrease and weaken God’s wealth (Love) in our lives, and turn to the spirit of fear instaed. We must choose our paths, what will it be? The first Adam chose for us in Eden and mankind have been consigned to a life based upon the spirit of fear of the evil one. Then God sent the second Adam, His Son Jesus Christ, and He has made it possible to walk and live in the Spirit’s power of Love. (1 Cor.13; John 16:7; Luk.24:49; 2 Cor.15:45)

Holy Spirit the Power of God’s Love in the Human Heart

For a more complete articulation of this beautiful parable of Jesus, please go to my post at:  http://bulamanriver.net/30033, titled, “What Did The One-Talent Servant Do Wrong?”

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

The Currency (Fruits) Of Love (Gold) of the Holy Spirit-1 Cor.13.

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell for now!

Kiang P. Lee
(Your Servant in Christ)

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

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

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

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity – One in Three, Three in One (Wiki Commons)

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

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

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

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

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WHAT DID THE ONE-TALENT SERVANT DO WRONG?

Greetings Friends! In my post titled, “Gifts Are Magnets of the Love Personality” (http://bulamanriver.net/27435), I dwelt at length on Jesus’ parable of the “Bags of Gold” in the Book of Matthew, which you can read in Chapter 25. In it I wrote that people are grouped into three categories commensurate with the varied gifts that God their Creator has placed in them. The first servant represent people God has conferred the greater ability and talent than the second category. And the second group was more gifted than the third category. And the third had the least, but not unimportant or inconsequential.

Parable of Gold Representing God’s Wealth or Love

Whatever the gift or talent does not make a person inferior or superior in God’s sight. What matters is we are using the gift as a platform to enhance and multiply the Master’s wealth (gold) we are given. What does the bags of gold mean and represent? The bags of gold, or God’s wealth, represent His Love, which we receive through the presence of the Holy Spirit, as expounded in the fruits of Love in the Spirit. (1 Cor.3:16; 1 Cor.13:1-12) He is the third Person of the Tri-Personal God (Trinity). (Matt.28:18-19)

So, each servant (human being) was apportioned God’s Love as determined by the Master. We are given the Holy Spirit (Love) by measure. Only Jesus possesses the Holy Spirit without measure. The Scripture speaks about Jesus in this way, “He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but He has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else. He testifies about what He has seen and heard…For He who is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives Him the Spirit without limit. The Father Loves His Son and has put everything into His hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life.” (John 3:31, 34-36, NLT).

Yes, “God gives Him the Spirit without limit” (John 3:34). Jesus is God’s Son and therefore have the full measure of the Spirit for they are One with the Father in the trinitarian Godhead. (Matt.28:18-19) We recall the origin of humanity, created perfect in God’s image, subsequently fell due to Adam’s sin, thus, mankind was cut off from access to the Holy Spirit in Eden, as represented by the Tree of Life. (Gen.3:24) Yes, since the fall, mankind has drifted so further and far away from God and His Love (Spirit), and closer to the enemy Adam obeyed, Satan. (Gen.3:1-6; 11)

We are fallen human beings and conferred the Spirit by measure in three proportions – 5, 2, and 1 as the parable lays out. (Matt.25:15) The Holy Spirit is the personification of God’s Love and wealth in mankind. (1 Cor.3:16) But as the parable goes on to say, God’s Love can be increased and we are given the task to multiply His Love/wealth through trade in the spiritual marketplace. And in the parable Jesus gave earlier, we are responsible for replenishing God’s Love (Spirit) and make it grow. (Parable of 10 Virgins, Matt.25:1-13)   

What Are Spiritual Gifts? Understanding the Types and Discovering Yours
God’s Love is His Wealth We are Given Proportionally to Invest and Make Returns

The first two servants returned one hundred percent of the Master’s investment rationed to them. One hundred percent is one hundred percent regardless of the amount rationed, whether 5, 2, or 1. It is the end result which counts. This can be likened to athletes competing in a race like the Olympic Games. We can’t expect an athlete to win gold medals in every contest, but in the particular ones they are gifted. A gold in the marathon race, is no different with the gold in the high jump, except that it is a separate skill category. Each athlete possesses different gift and ability to win a medal (wealth/Love). They are rationed with different amount of the Master’s wealth based upon their gift and capability. (Matt.25:15) Jesus said, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven” (John 3:27). No one can produce more than his/her gift can allow and sustain. That’s to say, whatever “is given them from above” (John 3:27).

Human gifts are allotted and dispersed by determination of the Creator. In fact, the Bible says that we “may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col.2:2-3). So, the Father has determined that all human gifts and talents are spawned, apportioned, and appropriated through Jesus Christ. Through His Son, the second Person in the triune Godhead, human gifts and abilities are “mysteries hidden in Him (Christ) carrying all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” The “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” speaks of human gifts and capabilities. Yes, James tells us, “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow” (Jam.1:17).

Peter wrote to Christians, “Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master. Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One (Jesus) who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received!” (2 Pet.1:2-3, MSG). So, the human access to God and everything good and sublime (gifts and abilities) arise from the divine grace made possible by Jesus Christ’s mediation as Savior and Mediator for mankind.

In the post (http://bulamanriver.net/27435), I had dwelt at some length about the first two servant who had returned 100% of the investment apportioned to them by the Master. (Matt.25:21, 23). However, the third servant returned his one bag of gold and said, “Here is what belongs to you” (Matt.25:25). The Master was not happy, and said, “‘You wicked, lazy servant! Take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags” (Matt.25:26, 28). Jesus told the unprofitable servant who buried his one bag of gold the very least he could have done, “You should have put My money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I return I would have received it back with interest” (Matt.25:27). However, even such a simple act as that he did not have the foresight to see, let alone perform. But is there more than meets the eye, perhaps, there were considerations he failed to take into account, much less appreciated?

Let me elaborate on the dynamic between a person’s gift and the true wealth (Love/gold) from the perspective of the servanthood attitude and mindset we are called upon to uphold and embrace. In particular we are examining this from the point of view of the third servant in Jesus’ parable of the “Bags of Gold.” What made him/her hide the one talent and did nothing with it? (Luk.19:20) Yet, the preceding two servants were faithful and did what was expected of them. They made 100% increase on the Master’s apportioned investment (Love/gold). (Luk.19:15-19, NLT)

Your Gift and Ability is Your God-Given Platform Upon Which to Trade God’s Love, His Wealth.

God doesn’t want us to compare ourselves with others, He said people who do such things are unwise. Paul said this, “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they show their ignorance” (2 Cor.10:12, Bereans T.). The point is, He wants us to make the most of what we are given, whether it is 5, 2, or 1 bags of gold with out gifts and abilities. And we earlier read what Jesus said that no one can do more than what he or she is given. (John 3:27) That doesn’t mean you don’t try your best, it simply means your best is all you can do. And when we have done our best, we have the humility to say, we have simply done our duty, for we can do only what we are given. (Luk.17:10; John 3:27) 

Why did the person with the one bag of gold acted the way he did, and not follow the previous two servants? Perhaps by hiding the Master’s gold, he imagined the gold would be safe and sound. Perhaps, he thought that if I gave back what I received, the Master would be happy. Or, he bluntly refused and disobeyed the Master and did something completely unrelated and different. But the Master wanted the servants to trade and make a return, a profit, from His investment. That is the purpose of the Master’s investment plan and why the gold coins (Love) were entrusted to them. That was the purpose of life itself. They must be traded and by using their gift as the driving force, bring back a return. By hiding the gold and doing nothing will result in the exact opposite of what the Master had in mind for His servants, he lost it. (Matt.25:28-30) Love (Master’s wealth) has to be utilized in Loving works in order for Love to grow and multiply. (Eph.2:10) The answer to this dilemma can be attributed to the underlying relationship dynamic which exist between the Master and the servants.

We have seen that we are blessed with gifts and abilities we are born with as the Creator determines. Then He allots to us His wealth (Love) that is commensurate with, that is proportional to, our abilities. If a person is in the first category, he or she is given more bags of the Master’s gold. Sometimes we wish we were given one, so we don’t have to work so hard. Then you have a lot of idle time, and that can be unhelpful for many a people. Remember, the Scripture tell us God looks at the heart, not your output necessarily. Scripture tells us, “The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam.16:7). We must not invert the priority and think that life all about output with no heart. The opposite is true, General McArthur said, “It must be of the spirit (heart) if we are to save the flesh (human output).” The heart is where the gift resides. And He already knows what is expected from your gift, for He knows you better than you know yourself. (Psa.139:13)

I said the servants refer to all humanity who are grouped into three categories of people according to their inborn gifts and abilities the Creator has conferred upon them. Besides the gift, humans are given God’s wealth or God’s Love by utilizing their gits as the platform to trade in the Spiritual marketplace. The first is given 5 bags of gold, the second is given 2 bags of gold, and the third is given 1 bag of gold. (Matt.25:14-15; 1 John 4:8). What is the spiritual marketplace? It is incumbent upon us to recognize its existence and know God’s hands at work in it. Primarily, it is wherever and whenever we are in situations encountering circumstances where Love is made to grow and mature, and not allowed to retrogress and decline in our relationships with God and our fellow humans. God’s wealth (Love), like any wealth-accruing system, have currencies by which it is valued, appraised, and calculated, as we shall see.

Scriptures affirm, “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow” (Jam.1:17). Paul says, “In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well… If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Don’t just pretend to Love others. Really Love them” (Rom.12:6-9).

“God is Love” 1 John 4:8, 16

The currency of Love was expounded by Paul in his letter to the Corinthian church. What exactly is this ‘Love currency’ or spiritual value system we utilize and trade upon the platform of our gifts and abilities? It behooves us to be intelligibly concsious of the divine currency system for without knowledge and recognition of God’s Love currency, how would we trade in God’s ‘spiritual marketplace?’ It begins with the Holy Spirit, as Paul told the Romans, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). Paul said further, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16). So, without the Spirit we have no spiritual currency to start with, let alone trade with God’s wealth (Love).

Peter, in his memorable message on Pentecost, informs us about how the Spirit is able to come and make His abode in the life of humans, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Act.2:38). (You can read about the “New Spiritual Birth” at: http://bulamanriver.net/17978) So, humans were created to be a temple, a repository, of God’s Love through the Spirit’s presence, individually and collectively as a Church. With that, each and every believer is given spiritual money and currency of Love, in amounts of five, two, one, bags of gold, “each according to his ability,” as the case may be, with which to trade in the ‘spiritual marketplace.’ (Matt.25:15)

There is one vital truth about life we must not overlook, and that is, no one is an island to himself or herself, where he or she can survive alone. Therefore, there is someone who need your inborn gift because he lacks what you have. The same is true the other way around. Sometimes we try to do too much, but we accomplish less or next to nothing. We can’t be everything to everyone for no one is super multi-gifted. But we can be something to someone with our specific gift and ability. We must stay narrowly and close to what we are good at through our talents. This was God’s plan all along. In this way, we live the life of co-dependance rather than trying to do everything which is impossible. God is by nature the same way in His collaborative Triune nature (Trinity). We are not to live a life of autonomy from God, but dependance upon His promises for us. Our promise to our fellow humans is our gift.

Peter said this, “Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises (gifts), so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Pet.1:4). Yes, in living the Master/servant relationship, God’s many precious promises (gifts) form the backbone of that relationship. Humans cannot survive without the divine promises of the Creator, and we cannot survive on our own without dependence on each other’s gift and ability. It’s almost like God is saying that your inborn gift is your ‘life-promise’ to help your fellow humans, much like God’s Love-promises to us. (You can read my post, “Standing On The Promises” at: http://bulamanriver.net/15209) Right here, we are standing upon the platform of our gifts, trading our talents in the power of God’s Love, to help those in need of our gifts and abilitites. Paul said, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph.2:10).

Dove, Symbol of Holy Spirit and God’s Love

God’s ‘Love currency’ are the fruits of the Spirit’s Love which Paul communicated to the Corinthian Christians. (1 Cor.13:1-13). Paul begins by saying “without Love I am nothing.” Paul stated the ‘Love currency’ are actually the Love-fruits of the Holy Spirit, and Paul tell us what they are: *the fruit of patience, *the fruit of kindness, *the fruit of contentedness,  *the fruit of modesty (unboastful), *the fruit of humility, *the fruit of honor, *the fruit of unselfishness, *the fruit of calmness and dignity, *the fruit of forgiveness and compassion, *the fruit of delighting in good and shunning evil, *the fruit of tolerance, *the fruit of responsibility, *the fruit of enduring hope, *the fruit of steadfast perseverance, *the fruit of joy, *the fruit of peace, *the fruit of goodness, *the fruit of faith, *the fruit of gentleness, *the fruit of self-control, *the fruit of zeal and spiritual fervor, *the fruit of friendship, *the fruit of sharing and generosity, *the fruit of prayerfulness, *the fruit of hospitality, etc. (1 Cor.13; also Gal. 5:22-23; Rom. 12:9-21).

What we see above in the Love-fruits represent the currency of Love through the Spirit’s presence in human life. Both Jesus and the Spirit co-exist in the heart of God’s children, for Paul said, “Christ lives in me;” and “You are God’s temple that God’s Spirit dwells in” (Gal.2:20; 1 Cor.3:16; Act.17:28). What we see above are the fruits of the Tree of Life (Holy Spirit) which we feed upon every day in life’s human journey upon earth. They represent the currencies of God’s wealth (Love/gold) with which we trade upon the platform of our gifts, talents, and capabilities.

The important question from the parable remains, why did the servant who was given one ‘bag of gold’ failed to do as the prior two who were given 5 and 2 bags of gold and returned 100% returns by investing the Master’s wealth/Love? The reason is he did not appreciate the Master/servant dynamic which is necessary to make the relationship work. I would like to share 6 principles any servant must observe and always keep at the forefront of their thoughts if he or she desires to go on in life and make a return to the Master’s wealth (Love) we have been entrusted.

Fruit of the Spirit Poster
Fruits of Love of God’s Spirit – Currency of God’s Wealth. 1 Cor.13

Firstly, we must gain an utter and complete appreciation of the identity of the Master we are called to serve, with the wealth assigned to each of us. Who is He truly? He is God’s eternal Son through whom God created all things. So, He is the Creator. (John 1:1-3) He is the Messiah, God’s emissary sent to save us as our Savior and redeem humanity from sin and death. He is the Immanuel who brings the promise of immortality. (John 3:16) Jesus holds the key to human immortality. (John 3:36) He is the Personification of bounty and everything good and rejuvenating humans have ever sought and desired. (John 1:4; 14:6) He is the pathway to the Holy Spirit who is the Personification of God’s Love, wealth, and bounty in humanity. (John 14:26; 16:7) He is the Master about whom we speak. His messianic name is “Immanuel” – the God who became human to become one of us. (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23) This is the Master we have been called to serve.

Secondly, we need to understand the Master/servant relationship dynamic. Earlier Jesus gave a master/servant scenario and said, “Suppose one of you has a servant who comes in from plowing the field or tending the sheep. Would you take his coat, set the table, and say, ‘Sit down and eat’? Wouldn’t you be more likely to say, ‘Prepare dinner; change your clothes and wait table for me until I’ve finished my coffee; then go to the kitchen and have your supper’? Does the servant get special thanks for doing what’s expected of him? It’s the same with you. When you’ve done everything expected of you, be matter-of-fact and say, ‘The work is done. What we were told to do, we did.’” (Luk.17:7-10). Do we sometimes invert the servanthood mindset and through a seditious conviction adopt the attitude of a master, and forget our place by shrinking from the responsibility of a servant?

Why did the servant think he/she could invert the master/servant relationship? A servant may think he is doing so much and increasing wealth for the Master that he thinks he ought to be the beneficiary, and not the other way round. Remember, in Luke’s account of the parable, it says, “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king’” (Luk.19:14). But he was made king anyway and sought an accounting of his investment from the servants. (Luk.19:15) So, when a servant fails to appreciate the Master/servant relationship, for whatever reason, we become unprofitable servants. So, the old adage ‘know your purpose and place’ in life rings true for all of us. If you’re still wondering who is this Master we are called to serve, then review point 1 above.

Thirdly, understand what our services as a servant really means. No matter the degree and magnitude of the service, they are not profitable to God. The Scriptures ask through Job, “Can a man be of benefit to God?” (Job 22:2). Yes, can even a wise person be helpful to Him? God does not need our aid in any way, shape, and form. His loftiest happiness and joy will not be increased through our efforts. God is utterly complete and self-sustaining in Himself and we cannot add to His all-encompassing fullness in Himself as Creator. In truth, it is us, humans, who are in need of Him – every minute, every moment, of every day. This point teaches us the importance of humility. James tells us, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor” (Jam.4:10, NLT).

Jesus Vicarious Death for All Humanity John 3:16

When God handed us His Love, His wealth, His riches, to go out and invest it upon the platform of our God-given gifts and abilities, He had us in mind, not Him. He wanted us to become “Love Personalities” in our own reality as He is in His. He is the supreme Love Personality who “Fills the entire universe with Himself” (Eph.4:10). And God’s plan from the start was to create a human species in His image and likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) This is the Master we have been called to serve.

Fourthly, God’s marketplace where we invest His wealth (gold/Love) is where we cultivate and plant the Love of God through our relationship with God and our neighbors (fellow humans) as the command states. (Mar.12:30-31). What is your gift? What is your ability? Paul said, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them” (Rom.12:6). You may be proficient with your gift physically and naturally, but Scripture tell us emphatically, “Without Love, I am nothing” (1 Cor.13:1-3). Are you a doctor, a nurse, maybe a plumber, or motor mechanic. You may even be a rugby player, or architect, or taxi driver. You may be a wood carver, a fisherman, a salesman, even an electrician. You may be a surveyor, or pilot, even a scientist, or dentist. Whatever capability one possesses, it is this God-given gift that is the trading platform in the ‘spiritual marketplace’ where the currency of Love is traded and made to grow and multiply. This is where we invest God’s wealth (Love) in our interaction with God first and second with our fellow humans. Earlier, we saw the actual currency of Love from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. (1 Cor.13:1-13)

Composite Of Multiple Men And Women And Their Different Occupations Stock  Photo - Alamy
Collage of Different Ocuupations Identifying Platform of People’s Gift Upon Which God’s Love (wealth) is Traded and Made to Grow

Fifthly. Stewardship, it is vital to keep in mind that it is not so much the amount of gold the Master has invested in us that makes the determining difference, it is the exchange of spiritual goods and services through the Love fruits that is applied and garnered upon the platform of the person’s gift and ability in the spiritual marketplace. Paul said, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph.210). What is the spiritual marketplace? It is incumbent upon us to recognize its existence and realize this is the place we encounter God at work with humans. Primarily, it is wherever and whenever we are in situations encountering circumstances where Love is made to grow and mature, and not allowed to retrogress and decline in our relationships with God and our fellow humans.

Satan creates fear, Jesus brings God’s Love. This is the marketplace dynamism where spiritual trading takes place. Love and fear compels us to make a choice. This is where we are given the unparallel prospect to multiply and increase the master’s wealth…or decrease and weaken God’s wealth (Love) in our lives. What will it be? This means that whatever circumstance we face in life, there are two manifestations to every given situation where our gifts come into play. There is a purely physical/temporary aspect propelled by fear to a person’s gift, then there is a spiritual/eternal aspect inspired by Love. When applying our gifts and abilities, this mindset that there are always two manifestations to our abilities and gifts, must be at the forefront of our minds.

Sixthly, according to the parable of the ten virgins Jesus gave earlier, there is a way of replenishing the power of God’s Spirit and Love in the human heart and mind. (Matt.25:1-13) Jesus likens it to the metaphor of virgins filling their lamps with oil so the flame of the divine Love is constantly burning bright and not extinguised. We keep the light of God’s Love burning by eating from the Love-fruits of the Tree of Life (Holy Spirit). That is to say, the more we practice and act out the Love-fruits Paul cataloged and listed in his letter to the Corinthians, the more we are filling our lamps with oil. (1 Cor.13) The act of Love itself through its many fruits is the only practical way to fill our lamps with oil to keep Love burning brightly.

The oil is not some metaphysical substance we imagine fills our head with Love, no, the act of Love itself is what produces the oil which keeps the lamp burning. The fruits have the seeds of Love which produces more Love. We are to trade with the wealth of God’s Love upon the platform of our God-given inborn gifts and abilities, and in the process make a return for the Master. That return is the very ‘oil’ which keeps the light of God’s Love burning brightly in the world.

10 Top Parable of Ten Virgins ideas | parables, virgin, biblical art
The Metaphor of God’s Love to the Oil the 10 Virgins Constanly Kept the Light Of God’s Love Aflame and Burning

Having considered the six points mentioned above, namely: 1) Recognition of who our Master is; 2) Understanding the Master/servant relationship and not inverting its priority; 3) The servanthood humility; 4) The spiritual Marketplace; 5) Stewardship – Investing the Master’s wealth (gold); 6) Be ready by keeping the flame of Love burning. Let me ask a pertinent and all together important question for the servants to consider, and especially for the servant with one bag of gold and did nothing with His Master’s investment. Have they properly considered the six points outlined above which are vital to the Master/servant relationship?

Most especially, on entering the fifth point, where ‘the rubber meets the road’ so to speak, in which they are to directly invest their Master’s wealth (Love/gold), are they in a right mindset? Do the servants have a plan on how to weigh and consider their activity in the spiritual marketplace as they are about to trade with the Master’s wealth. Now, they are to trade by utilizing the divine currency of God’s Love in their interaction and relations with the divine and human entities. (Mar.12:30-31) From the account of Jesus’ parable, it was obvious only the two servants did, but not the third. Why? Recall, the three servants are representative of three categories of people and how they respond to investing the Master’s wealth, and doing it through the six principles we covered about Master/servant relationship.

Parable of Gold, Symbol for God’s Love and Wealth

We saw earlier that all human gifts and abilities originate from God through Christ, “In whom (Christ) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col.2:2-3). God has formed every human being with gifts and abilities from the womb. (Psa.139:13-14) Nobody is born without divinely conferred abilities to live a purposeful life as the Creator has ordained. That is the reality of His divine sovereignty which we accept without question. As Creator God, by whose power humans and all living things draw breadth, everything is the expression of His Love, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16).

We cannot debate the issue about our gifts and abilities with the Creator. That is His prerogative as Creator who created all humanity out of His Love and for a divine purpose and goal. The Scripture declare, “For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psa.139:13-14) So, here we see God creating the live human platform upon which He, the Master, and humanity (servants), will disseminate His will through His Love.

From Jesus’ parable, two of the three servant-types responded properly to the six points outlined above. In so doing, they faced the fifth point in the right frame of mind and spirit, where they live and operate in the divine/human marketplace knowing how to utilize the currency of Love to trade and multiply the Master’s wealth (Love). The first two understood that life is always lived on two levels, two tiers, one is physical/temporal, while the other if spiritual/eternal. Based upon them, we then make choices in life.

For example, when Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever” (John 6:51), it tells us that bread is not merely what we buy at the local bakery. The spiritual bread is understood and personified in His Person as our Savior. Then there is the physical/material bread, “I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna (physical bread) in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die” (John 6:48-50, italic my emphasis).

Bread, otherwise called ‘the staff of life,’ is metaphor for a person’s occupation. It is a person’s profession which he/she has spent most of life learning and honing and with which he/she has become well-versed. Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work” (John 4:34). Yes, Jesus’ whole purpose in life, His profession, His nourishment, the food that keeps Him going is to see that the purpose for which God sent Him, is accomplished.

Humans in turn accomplish God’s purpose for their lives by receiving Jesus as Savior and Master, and through the gifts and talents conferred by divine edict trade in God’s Love. The Scripture tell about Jesus in this way, “‘The stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

I am the bread of life – House Mix
“I Am the Bread of Life”

The same goes with water. There is physical water which quenches our thirst physically, and there is spiritual water which quenches our spiritual thirst. Regarding spiritual water, Jesus said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified” (John 7:37-39). So, the Holy Spirit is spiritual water we drink to satisfy our spiritual thirst.

Two of the most basic elements in life by which humans survive and not perish, food and water (drink), carries physical and spiritual connotation and meaning. This teaches us that for just about everything in life there is always this dual expression that calls us to consider our actions, and the repercussions that precipitate them, based upon our choices and activities. We must not be myopic as to think that bread simply means getting your share of carbohydrates from the bakery and nothing more. And quenching your thirst means more than finding a river or tap with running water.

‘Bread’ (sustenance) means the primary purpose of human life is to do God’s will for us through the gifts and abilities He bestowed upon us. (1 Pet.4:10) ‘Water’ (drink) means to live by the divine Love empowered through the Spirit’s presence in us. (1 Cor.3:16) By wearing the new garment of Jesus’ resurrected life we become new personalities ourselves inspired by the Holy Spirit who supplies God’s Love. (Gal.2:20) The Spirit is the Personification of God’s Love and wealth we receive from Jesus, the Master as stated in the parable we read earlier.

John 7:37-39 (ESV) 37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus  stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and  drink. - ppt download

Let us take a real live situation. What is a person’s occupation? We saw a list of gifts in the fourth principle we covered above. There are always two manifestations to our abilities of which we must always be cognizant. This mindset must be at the forefront of our thinking process. However, because of our fallen state on being, we almost always look at life from a purely physical/material perspective, and ignore or are ignorant of the spiritual point of view, and follow through with our actions. In truth, because the command we must Love God first above all else, than what ought to be at the forefront of our minds, our attitude ought to be, the spiritual perspective ought to and must lead the way, then the physical/material. What is our motive for doing what we do?

This is why humans are blessed with gifts and talents in the first place, it’s always asking why am I doing this, what am I doing it for? This is the main point of the parable. You may be very proficient with your gift physically and materially, but that is not the sole meaning of the parable. It was about what your gift produced spiritually. The Bible states that without Love, “I am nothing” (1 Cor.13:2). So, for every activity we do with our gifts, there is a material manifestation and there is a spiritual manifestation. If we place the spiritual deeds first, then the material will fall into its proper place by divine providence. (Matt.6:33)

Paul told Titus, “There are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception… for they overthrow the faith of whole families, teaching what they ought not, just for the sake of making money.” (Tit.1:10-11). Yes, these people spurn authority, teaching principles which contravene God’s foundation for living based upon Love, for the sake of dishonest gain through the spirit of fear. A person may be a surveyor, pilot, scientist, or dentist, botanist or nurse, what is the goal of your gift? Is it just a profession, so you could get a salary at the end of the day or week? It is not wrong to charge for the service of your talent, as long as you do not leave the vital first things undone. (1 Cor.13:1) We are careful not to put the cart before the horse, so to speak. (Mat.6:33) A fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay is a biblically sound fiscal principle. Paul tell Timothy, “The worker is worthy of his wages” (1 Tim.5:18).

But your gift is lifted up above the mundane, above the physical/material level, way up the spiritual and divine plane beyond where it is performed for God’s Love, and out of God’s Love. It is what’s in our heart, our motive, which counts. And when done out of Love, we are shining the light of His glory (Love). Listen to John’s arresting statement, “We know how much God Loves us, and we have put our trust in His Love. God is Love, and all who live in Love live in God, and God lives in them” (1 John 4:16, NLT).

Human Gifts and Talents Divinely Conferred By God the Creator

Yes, we have known and tasted God’s Love through His Son, who has given passage for the Spirit, the power of God’s Love, to come and reside in our hearts. ”Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and the Spirit of God dwells in you?” Paul asked pointedly (1 Cor.3:16). We have seen the currency of God’s Love through the fruits of the Spirit with which to trade upon the platform of our gifts in the spiritual marketplace. (1 Cor.13).

As long as we live in this fallen age of Satan’s dominion, we will encounter the spirit of fear, the enemy of God’s Love. Since the fruits of Love and the fruits of fear are opposing spiritual forces, it creates friction and dynamism whereby human life comes with its tests and trials in all seasons. We have heard about people who arm themselves with potentially deadly firearms and turn it into weapons of destruction, such as the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, USA. The answer to such a situation, or for that matter, all different kinds of such damaging circumstance, can be found in Jesus’ parable of the ‘bags of gold.’ Through trials and tests we are given to choose between the physical and mundane and the spiritual and divine upon the platform of our gifts and talents. This is the marketplace dynamism where spiritual trading takes place. This is where we are given the unparallel prospect to multiply and increase the master’s wealth…or decrease and weaken God’s wealth (Love) in our lives. What will it be?

Listen, our works no matter the magnitude or importance does not multiply to, nor is profitable for God. “Can a man be of benefit to God?” Job asked (Job 22:2). He does not need our help, and His happiness and wellbeing will not be increased by our efforts. Paul told the Greeks, “‘For in Him we live and move and have our being’” (Act.17:28). By increasing His wealth (Love) He had us in mind, not Him. He lacks nothing, for He is complete in His infinite Love. The grace to do God’s will for our lives comes from Him only, and all the praise of that will be due to Him. If He rewards us, it will be matter of unmerited favor on His part.

In Place of Love, Satan Sows the Seeds and Fruits of Fear

Our best services are mingled with faults and imperfections. We come short of His glory. (Rom.3:23) We do not serve Him as sincerely, and cheerfully, and faithfully as we ought; we are far, very far from the example of our Savior; and if we are saved and rewarded, it will be because God will be merciful to our unrighteousness, and will not avenge our iniquities but remember them no more. (Heb. 8:12) Hence, God imputes Jesus’ perfect messianic life upon us for our justification and salvation, for Paul said, “God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor.5:21). Yes, He made it possible for humanity to appear befor the ‘mercy seat’ of Almighty God to make our pleas and suppication in time of needs and failings.

What ought our attitude be towards our work as servants? Jesus said, “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” (Luk.17:10). Yes, the servants who made one hundred percent return on the Master’s wealth simply say, “We have done that which is our duty.” Humans perform their tasks as servants in the spirit of humility, fully convicted of God’s promise, “However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who Love Him” (1 Cor.2:9).

However, the person given the one bag of gold did nothing …Can we see that gifts are conferred foremost for the purpose of building the Master’s spiritual wealth (Love/gold)? Apparently, the third servant who was given one bag of gold did not appreciate this all-important aspect of his/her life. He did not appreciate the Master/servant dynamic, much less the six principles of servanthood. There is another kind of mineral which looks like gold, but is not. It is call “fool’s gold.” The one-talent servant told his Master, “Here is what belongs to you” and found no time to invest the Master’s gold (Love) apportioned him. (Matt.25:25). Instead, he invested in “fools gold.” “Fool’s gold” is reaped from the fruit of fear and selfishness, not God’s outgoing Love. It is reaped from the fruit of human self-centeredness, greed, sin and evil. It will serve us well to recognize the difference, and not live foolishly but as true profitable servants of our Master.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell for now!

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant in Christ)

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

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

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

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity – One in Three, Three in One (Wiki Commons)

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

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

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

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

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

LOVING GOD COMPLETELY, BY KIANG P LEE

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

Realizing we are living through devastating times with the Russia/Ukraine conflict and the threat of a wider escalation, the Covid-19 pandemic, the unprecedented insurrection in the US Capitol, the extraordinary effect of climate change and warming of the planet, the loss of arctic ice and glacial melt, the rising sea levels and its effect upon the most vulnerable peoples and nations, the increase in droughts and natural disasters like hurricanes and flooding, higher wildlife extinction rates, human conflicts over political aspirations, the rich getting richer and the poor poorer, racial animosity and hatred, violence and abuse in society, the disintegration of the family unit as the backbone of a healthy social order, and we could go on and fill a book about all the pressing issues facing humanity today.

Yet, the answer to all our human dilemma may not be as far-fetched as we imagine. This is what the Bible quotes God as saying, or more precisely promising, His human creation, “The Lord says, “I will rescue those who Love Me. I will protect those who trust in My Name. When they call on Me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them My salvation” (Psa.91:14-16, NLT). Here, we read about God promising to rescue humanity, and He tells us where it must begin: LOVE! The passage states, “I will rescue those who Love Me. I will protect those who trust in My Name. When they call on Me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.” Yes, it is about Love. But do we Love God enough to move Him to come to our aid?

Does God love everyone? Yes and no. – Knox Church (EPC)
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength”

The Love command states, “Love Him with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength?” Is this possible at all? We can live pretentious or fake lives, but God knows our motives and heart, saying, “But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve” (Jer.17:10, NLT).

“I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve…” That is sensational, that just squash all our hopes, for who can be justified before God? Paul said this about all mankind, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23). The “glory of God” simply means who and what God is in His holy divine Being of Love. (Luk.1:49) God’s holiness is immeasurable because His Love is unfathomable. (1 John 4:8; Psa.111:9) So, if in our depraved state of existence, we fall short of His glory and Love, how can we possibly Love God who is all holy in His Love?  

Yes, why did God give mankind a command that humans could not possibly follow in the first instance? But that is exactly the point, the command was given to be followed, not disobeyed. Doesn’t anyone realize, most of all God Himself, that as long as humans exist in their fallen state of existence inherited from Adam it is not possible for humans to Love God as He would expect?

Or, is it possible that God was echoing a harmonious relationship which once existed with humanity from the beginning at human creation before the fall? Adam and Eve were created in God’s likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) That means, to exist in God’s Love likeness and image. So, from the start, our first parents lived in an environment of Love, freedom, grace and harmony in the Garden of Eden. So, what happened to that Loving existence between God and our first parents (humanity)?

Yes, why would God issue the Love commandment which once was? In my post last month (“The Cross”: http://bulamanriver.net/29118), I mentioned that according to ancient patristic writings, in creating Adam from the dust of the ground, God clothed them in ‘glorious garments’ which gave them a form of human immortality. God could not have subjected our first parents to death in any way, shape, and form, because God created them according to His likeness, and that likeness is life everlasting. (Gen.1:26-27; Gen.5:1) Death was alien to and never part of God’s image.

Paul Asserts We are Clothed in the Garment of Jesus Christ Today, For No Sin Has power over Him, Unlike Adam’s Garment in Eden. For Jesus Is God’s Eternal High Priest who Consecrates Us Before the Father (Gal.3:27; Rom.13:14; Heb.4:14-16; 5:1, 6).

The verbal evidence and undertone from the Genesis creation account show that Adam was created to reflect God in every sense of His divine substance (eternity), and nature (Love) (Gen.1:26-27; Isa.40:28-31; Job 9:32; 1 John 4:8) God nowhere states that He created our first parents and subjected them to death, in truth the opposite was true. Adam was created in God’s eternal likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) But they were warned about death, but never had the notion of what it was, much less its deteriorating physical reality. (Gen.2:17) It was not until they disobeyed and sinned against God by eating the forbidden fruit that death came into play. For Scriptures tell us, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23). So, the Scripture holds out hope for humanity in Christ, despite our state of alienation through Adam’s fall.

The glorious garment also gave them the power of the divine Love to exist with God in Eden, the Garden of God. However, the glorious garment had a weakness, it was powerless in the face of sin. Consequently, when our parents disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit, their garment vanished instantly. What happened next was they saw and realized they were ‘naked.’ (Gen.3:7) So, true nakedness is spiritual, not physical. General Douglas McArthur insightfully said, “It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”

The garment that gave them a form of immortality disappeared and was no more. They were now mere mortals, at which point God uttered those most foreboding words, not before, “For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return” (Gen.3:19). It was then that ‘time’ as we know it, with its natural mobilty, began its countdown for our now mortal parents. Today, we are six to seven thousand years removed from that fateful day when Adam’s glorious garment had vanished due to sin, and he started living life as pure mortal human being, subject to death.

1 John 4:16-19 God is love! Whoever lives in love lives in God. And God in  them.

Not only did they lose their ‘glorious garment’ but most importantly they lost the ‘miraculous life’ they had known and experienced in Eden since their creation. To exist in the midst of God’s Love is to experience life in the innermost being of the divine grace which erupts in miraculous manifestation. But now, God says, “By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made” (Gen.3:19)

Yes, the miraculous life was no more for they were expelled from Eden, and had to labor for a living, and by extension humanity has been doing so ever since. In the previous life in Eden, they were given to manage the Garden estate of Eden which God had planted for them. (Gen.2:15) It had wild life and many other livestock and life forms with ‘helpers’ to maintain the estate. (Gen.2:19) So, it was no ordinary backyard garden or orchard.

Before their banishment from Eden, God had to first perform a most vital act of Love. God clothed Adam and Eve in cloaks of animal skin to cover the shame of their nakedness. The animal skin depicted animal life which were slain for ‘sacrificial’ reasons to make atonement for Adam’s wrongs. Prior to this, death was unknown and non-existent in Eden, for the eternal God was the life of Eden. Eden was the picture of life in the pure everlasting sense of the word.

Death was and still is anathema to God. Death stands as affront to God, and complete contrast with who God is and what He stands for. However, this death through the demise of animals pictured what God sadly had to, and with heavy but faithful heart, in anticipation of a future eventuality – the offering of His only Son, the promised Messiah, to sacrifice and atone for and cover the spiritual nakedness (sins) of mankind as a whole. (1 Cor.15:45-49; John 3:16-17). To condone death, and beyond everything, the death of His Son, spells the grandeur of God’s immense Love for humanity.

“For God so Loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:16-17).

So, we see that a Loving divine relationship with God was very much part of human life and experience through our first parents. To assume the fall of Adam and Eve occurred immediately after their creation, as commonly postulated, and they never did tasted nor experienced God’s deepest, wholesome and wholehearted Love, would presume the enemy (Satan) is mightier than the Creator, which would be absurd and sacrileges to say the least. (Isa.45:21-24; Isa.44:8)

No, nothing could be further from the truth, for our first parents were sustained in God’s immeasurable Love and affectionate care for an indeterminable while living the miraculous life in Eden. Then eternity later (for ‘time’ was meaningless and irrelevant), in that fateful moment of weakness through Satanic deception, they sinned. (Gen.3:1-6, 11, 23)

Since they had a form of immortality through their God-given glorious gament, time was immaterial in their Edenic existence. Only after sinning, and the subsequent vanishing of the celestial garment, did they fully realized the consequence of their action, and their now susceptible mortality. For now, they experienced how time and space had suddenly compressed upon them like some strange bodily sensation. They now could feel grief, pain, and even bleed. For now, the miraculous life of Eden was all but lost and would await the fulfillment of God’s promise of the Messiah, the second Adam, to bring restitution. (1 Cor.15:45-49) Banishment from Eden was to be their cursed future existing under satanic influence, in the world outside the confines of Eden. (Gen.3:1-6, 22-23; 2 Cor.4:4)

Adam and Eve Disobeyed God | Children's Bible Lessons
Adam & Eve Departing Eden Where They Existed in The Glory of God’s Light of Love and Immortality

When Jesus appeared on the scene about four millennia later, His mission was to reconstitute something important which was part of humanity in the Garden of Eden before the fall – God’s Love and immortality! Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, then He inaugurated the gift of the Holy Spirit, the very Personification of divine Love. The Holy Spirit is the the third Person of the Tri-Personal God (Trinity) and is the power and presence of God’s Love in humanity. (Matt.28:18-20)

In Eden, Adam and Eve were empowered by the Holy Spirit, and God’s Love, as symbolized through the “Tree of Life.” They ate of the fruits of the Tree of Life which empowered them with God’s Love and the glorious garment which clothed and covered them with a form of immortality. It was God’s Spirit in them that gave them the power to Love God. (2 Tim.1:7) The fruits of the Tree of Life (Holy Spirit) is available to humanity today: you can read about it at my post: “Gifts Are Magnets of the Love Personality” at: http://bulamanriver.net/27435). 

In the post you will read about the fruits of the Tree of Life (Holy Spirit) which we feed upon every day in life’s human journey upon earth. (You can read about the fruits of God’s Spirit (Love) in the appendix below). Humans must feed and feast upon the Spirit’s Love-fruits who resides in the hearts of humans to give them spiritual energy to defeat sin and be empowered to relate with the Creator and our fellow humans in Love. (1 Cor.13:1-13; 1 Cor.3:16; Mar.12:30-31)

If we are not being sustained in the Spirit by imbibing of the fruits of the Tree of Life, it could be said as a situation of dereliction on our part. And sadly, this was so with our parents in Eden. Our parent’s wrong was more a sin of omission than we realize. They stood under and fed off the tree of the forbidden fruit, and failed to eat of the fruits of the Tree of Life.

The devil will deceive and tempt us to abstain from feeding ourselves of the Love-fruits of the Tree of Life (Holy Spirit), and feed upon the tree of human knowledge of good and evil which promotes the life of autonomy from God. So, Love is not just God’s name (noun), it defines His activity in His creation as seen through the Spirit’s Love-fruits (verb), and be empowered to relate with God in Love.

Tree of Life | Animal Kingdom Attractions | Walt Disney World Resort
The Tree of Life

Paul said this about what Jesus our Savior did for humanity, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Gal.3:27). Paul is saying that when we affirm our belief in Jesus as personal Savior and are baptized (a ritual ceremony of an outward sign of inward belief and change), we are actually putting on and being clothed in a spiritual garment, and that Garment is none other than Jesus Christ. Paul added, “Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom.13:14).

Yes, note the new Glorious Garment is none other than Jesus Christ Himself. If we are clothed in Christ Himself, then we already possess immortality, for He is the eternal Son within the Tri-Personal Godhead (Trinity), and He immortalized our humanity through His resurrection and ascension. Paul uttered the most profound truth of this mystery and our reality in Christ, saying, “For He (God) raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:6, NLT). Isaiah prophesied saying, “I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of His righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isa.61:10; also Rev.21:1-5).

This is not the glorious garment of the first Adam that was powerless in the face of sin, but the true Glorious Gament of Jesus Himself who has defeated sin and brought true immortality to humanity. (Gen.3:6-7; John 5:21; Rom.8:11; Act.2:24; Rev.3:18; Rom.6:4) Yes, and side by side with the Garment of Jesus, the miraculous life is again the privilige to live as saved humans because of the Holy Spirit He has inaugutated on Pentecost.

Yes, today in this mortal existence we have eternal life in each of us living the miraculous life because we are clothed in Christ. That’s to say, Christ lives and walks in us, as Paul assures the Galaltians, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who Loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20). Thereby, we are empowered by Love through the Spirit (Love) to commune with God. Daily, He mediates for mankind before the Almighty Father in the prayer of praise, grace, blessing and invocation. He taught us to pray for conciliation, “Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us” (Matt.6:12, NLT).

The Scriptures tell us, “The Father Loves the Son and has placed everything in His hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever rejects the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:36; 6:47). The Garment of Jesus Himself can’t be compared to Adam’s glorious garment which was powerless and vanished in the face of sin. (Gen.3:6-7; Rev.3:18; Gal.2:20; Rom.6:4; Heb.4:15)

It is relevant to recount the parable of the wedding banquet as told by Jesus, “The kingdom of heaven is like a King who prepared a wedding banquet for His Son.” The custom in those days was for the one hosting the wedding feast—in this case, the king—to provide garments for the wedding guests. The King had “noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. Then the King told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness” (Matt.22:11-13). The wedding garment is metaphor for being clothed in the Garment of Jesus Christ, supplied by the Father. Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith, and wellspring of immortality. (John 3:36)

Shadows in Eden: Coats of Skins
Adam & Eve Banished from Eden in Coats of Skin Garment

When Adam was banished from Eden, he was cut-off from the Holy Spirit (third Person of the Tri-Personal Godhead – Trinity) who was symbolized in the Tree of Life. (Gen.3:21-24) Without the Holy Spirit (Tree of Life) they were barren of the divine Love which fueled and empowered their relationship with God. It was not until the second Adam, Jesus Christ, appeared almost four thousand years later, that He reintroduced the Holy Spirit to humanity at His baptism in the Jordan. (Luk.24:49)

The Bible records Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist in this way, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I Love; with Him I am well pleased.” (Matt.3:16-17). Then on the Day of Pentecost, the Spirit was poured out upon the disciples and all of believing mankind as a whole. (Act.2:1-4; 38)

Today, humans can receive the divine Love which will give them the power to Love God. But they must receive Jesus as Savior to cleanse them spiritually of all sin, thus giving the Spirit (Love) passage to enter the human heart through Jesus’ mediation thus making His (Spirit’s) abode in human life possible. (1 Cor.6:19) This is a life of living faith in Jesus finished work of saving mankind.

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The Resurrection to Immortality Inaugurated by Jesus, Being Adorned in His Garment Through His own Resurrection and Ascension

Yes, the Holy Spirit is the very life of God Himself for He proceeds from the inner communion of the Father and the Son. He is the bond of Love in the Tri-Personal Being of God (Trinity). The last time when the Spirit communed with mankind in a real sense was in Eden with our first parents. Now, the Father reintroduces Him to mankind through His Son. It is in the Holy Spirit that humans have communion with the Father through Jesus Christ, the Messiah and second Adam. (1 Cor. 15:45-49) It is in the empowerment of this triune movement of God’s Tri-Personal Being that humans are given the power of Love, and the power to Love. We partake of the very life and light and Love which God is. That is what Christians believe and live by. (1 John 1:3; John 17:3, 21)

And this is where the relationship of Love with the divine Godhead (Trinity) starts. Some may imagine that God’s Love Command tells them God is self-absorbed and egomaniacal. Nothing could be further from the truth. For by giving us the Command to Love Him completely and totally, He was setting His sight upon us, not Himself. God, in His Love, lacks nothing. He does not need humanity to exist or fill any need, but mankind needs Him to restore us as a species with Love and immortality and dwell eternally in His Love.

Love is wholeness of and in itself and is never wanting nor incomplete, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). Love only knows how to give for He is the reservoir of bounty and abundance as the Creator of all life both seen and unseen. The vast universe, the earth and everything in it, proceeded from the utterance of His words. He says, “If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it” (Psa.50:12). He goes on, “The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty” (Hag.2:8).

He is infinitely generous, and wants nothing less for mankind. The Love Command was God’s way of enabling humans to Love themselves impartially and not love with the human self-centered and egotistical heart. When we Love God completely and unreservedly in the Spirit’s power, He infuses and envelopes us in His unspeakable joy. Joy comes from a place of discovery of a person’s true celestial identity with and in the divine will and Love. So, my friends, let us take His Love command in its truest and purest form, as John attests, “And we have come to know and to believe the Love that God has for us. God is Love, and the one who remains in Love remains in God, and God remains in him” (1 John 4:16).

Holy Spirit Inaugurated Through Jesus

Now that the Holy Spirit is made to reenter and reside in the saved heart of mankind made possible through Jesus’ messianic mediation. Paul tells us, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself” (1 Cor.6:19, NLT). Paul said, “You were bought with a price [you were actually purchased with the precious blood of Jesus and made His own]. So then, honor and glorify God with your body” 1 Cor.6:20, Amplified Bible). Through the Holy Spirit, God says of humanity, “I will dwell with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people” (2 Cor.6:16). This is how the Love relationship (rather than the ‘Love Command’ in its ineffectual legalistic form) with the divine will is forged and made to move ahead in human reality.

I will close with a word of encouragement from John, “God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16). Keep in mind, this is a life of faith, faith in the miraculous life where the Spirit manifests the divine Love in humanity. The Scripture says, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose” (Phi.2:13).

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell for now!

Kiang P. Lee  (Your Servant In Christ)

Appendix: *The “Love-Fruits of the Holy Spirit:” *the fruit of patience, *the fruit of kindness, *the fruit of contentedness,  *the fruit of modesty (unboastful), *the fruit of humility, *the fruit of honor, *the fruit of unselfishness, *the fruit of calmness and dignity, *the fruit of forgiveness and compassion, *the fruit of delighting in good and shunning evil, *the fruit of tolerance, *the fruit of responsibility, *the fruit of enduring hope, *the fruit of steadfast perseverance, *the fruit of joy, *the fruit of peace, *the fruit of goodness, *the fruit of faith, *the fruit of gentleness, *the fruit of self-control, *the fruit of zeal and spiritual fervor, *the fruit of friendship, *the fruit of sharing and generosity, *the fruit of prayerfulness, *the fruit of hospitality, etc. (1 Cor.13; also Gal. 5:22-23Rom. 12:9-21).

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

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

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

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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

Most religions believe God as some solitary being. The true God is not solitary by any means, He is the one Triunity in His Tri-Personal Being. God consist of three Persons in One divine triune Godhead. (Matt.28:18-20) They exist in One “homoousion” meaning consisting in one substance, or “consubstantiality.” The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in One hypostatic union, One substance, like Eve was biologically part of and never physically separate, but of one substance from Adam, for she came out of Adam. Likewise, humanity is made of one spiritual substance with the triune God through Jesus Christ who took our humanity upon Himself and joined it to the divine triune existence forever.

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

The Christian Faith As Spoken In the Nicene Creed

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

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

“THE CROSS” BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings again Friends! Wherever you are in the far-flung corners of the world, may the peace of Easter be with you and your loved ones. Our heart goes out to the many men, women, and especially children, who are experiencing terrible suffering in central Europe, most especially in Ukraine, and other less known parts of the world.

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The Cross: He Has Risen

“He isn’t here! He has risen from the dead, just as He said would happen. Come, see where His body was lying.” (Matthew 28:6). Those are the most impactful words in the Christian faith, for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of Christianity. Even though Jesus told His disciples of His impending death and resurrection, they found it too incredulous to be believed. The Gospel of Luke tells us Jesus’ conversation with the disciples, “Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock Him, insult Him and spit on Him; they will flog Him and kill Him. On the third day He will rise again. The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what He was talking about” (Luk.18:31-34). Jesus predicted His death three times as the Gospel of Mark attests. (Mar. 8:31; 9:31; and 10:32–34).

On another occasion He spoke about it metaphorically, comparing His life to a temple, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days” (John 2:19; Matt.26:61; 27:40; Mar.14:58) His hearers thought He was talking of the physical temple, not realizing He was making reference to Himself. (1 Cor.3:16) Yet again, He said this about His life, “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father” (John 10:18). As the second Person of the Tri-Personal God (Trinity), Jesus possessed both human/divine nature in Himself upon His human birth. Athanasius of Alexandria said, “Nothing except the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a greater miracle or wonder in human history. God becoming flesh in human history is the greatest marvel.”

The prophet Isaiah gave His messianic name, Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Isa 7:14; Matt.1:23). By taking our fallen humanity upon Himself in the incarnation, He crucified our once sin-conditioned and rebellious humanity upon His cross, and glorified it in His resurrection and ascension once for all time.

 “He Is Risen!” Artist Impression of Resurrection of Jesus (Wiki Commons)

When they heard from others that Jesus had indeed risen, it left them speechless. When He miraculously appeared before them, they were left gasping for breath. Jesus told one doubting disciple, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed” (John 20:29). You can read the inspiring account of Jesus’ resurrection at Matthew 28:1-10. The resurrection responds to the ancient quest for answers to the question of life, death, and the afterlife. Ancient philosophers, theologians, and sages have long sought to unlock the answers to the afterlife.

Yes, the Christian life is a life of living faith. Paul stated the anchor upon which the Christian faith is centered and upon which it revolves: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Cor.15:17). Indeed, powerful words concerning the Christian faith. The Cross would be meaningless if Jesus had not risen. The resurrection is the foundation upon which the Christian faith is built. Therefore, the very essence of freedom is founded upon faith in Christ and His work of Messiah. We cannot believe the Cross (death of Jesus Christ) and deny His resurrection. They are both one and the same expression of His Messiahship.

His life and all the prophecies concerning His calling as the Messiah would have all been fiction, a fabrication, if His resurrection from the dead had not happened for real. If it were not for the resurrection, mankind’s fate would have ended in the grave and no further. Mankind’s future of receiving the divine gift of immortality and continue as an everlasting species created in God’s eternal likeness would not be possible. (Gen.1:26-27, 5:1; Eph.4:24; John 3:16)

And to comprehensively secure the work of His Messiahship, we see the final act of Jesus’ ascension into heaven where He returns to the Father and is made to sit at His right hand as humanity’s High Priest forever. (Act.1:9-10; Heb.4.14-16) As our glorified human/divine High Priest, what Jesus did as Messiah as the Immanuel in His earthly life and ministry had not stopped at the Cross when He died.

In truth, He continues the work of Messiah, but now in His resurrected/ascended High Priestly role in heaven today where He forever mediates on humanity’s behalf before Almighty God, our heavenly Father. And Paul expresses this mind blowing truth of our reality in Christ, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:6).

Jesus Christ, Our High Priest in heaven today where He forever Mediates on Humanity’s behalf Before Almighty God, our Heavenly Father

Did you see that? Paul says when humans are baptized, we affirm a certain reality to our faith in Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, that is, we have been made to also ascend with Him when He ascended back to His Father in heaven. (Eph.2:6-7) Human believers are always present with Jesus in His never-ending mediation as our eternal High Priest keeping mankind in right standing with God forever. For the Scriptures say, “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Heb.4:15-16).

God tells us He is the source of life – life originates and exudes from His divine Trinitarian Being. He is the fountain and spring of life. (Gen.2:7; 1 Sam.2:6; Act.17:25) If that is so, how and where did death originate and enter human existence which made the resurrection to immortal life necessary? The answer is the subject of our post today, “The Cross.” The Cross is the symbol of reconciliation and peace with the holy God from whom eternal life is received as a gift. (John 3:16-17)

Death was imposed upon humanity as a penalty for sin which began in the Garden of Eden. (Gen.3:1-6; 11) The Bible categorically states, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23). When Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit, sin entered our human existence, and death followed. God told our first parents, “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Gen.2:17). Satan deceived them and they disobeyed. Then God asked our first parents, “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” (Gen.3:11).

Since death could result only from sin, God said to our first parents, “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Gen.3:19). This could not have been uttered before they sinned, but only after sin entered their lives. If death followed Adam’s disobedience, then what was Adams’s makeup and composition before he sinned? It is clear God made him from the dust of the earth. (Gen.2:7) But was he subject to death from his creation, before he sinned?

Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden, Covered in ‘Garment’ God Had Adorned Them Which Gave Them a Form of Human Immortality

When God created Adam, it would have been contrary to His Love nature and who He is to have subjected him and his wife to death in any way, shape, and form. The Scripture tell us God created humanity in His image and likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) God’s likeness and image is eternal life…death is anathema to the everlasting God and non-existent in His divine realm. (Lam.5:19; Psa.9:7; Exo.15:18; Psa.66:7) The totality of the environment in Eden was wrapped up in one element which defines who God IS: life, life, and life without end! Everlasting life that’s manifested in His divine nature of Love and Freedom. Death is the exact antithesis of who God is in substance and reality in His divine nature.

Adam had life to its fullest and broadest divine expression that a human can experience at the highest physical level ever possible! Adam existed in God’s presence, the Source of both spiritual and physical life. Adam did not know what death was, it had no meaning with him, although he was warned of it. (Gen.2:17)

It is said of the Patristic writers that Eve and Adam lost “something physically real” namely, the glorious garments with which God had clothed them in Paradise. After their fall, they were unrobed and realized their “nakedness” through the loss of this glorious garment. (Gen.3:7) Although Adam was created from the earth, the glorious garment provided them a form of human immortality reflecting God’s “eternal image,” for it was impossible for the Creator to have created and subjected them to death. God is the total embodiment of life in its fullest expression, without a hint of death, even on a physical mortal level as Adam existed in Eden.

Nevertheless, Adam’s glorious garment had a weakness – it was powerless in the face of sin. When confronted with sin, Adam’s garment vanished. (Gen.3:7) It was a physical form of immortality nonetheless, with a vital caveat they were warned about – death. (Gen.2:17) But as we shall see, God has promised to bless and clothe humanity in another garment which will bring true immortality which no sin has power over.

So, with sin having entered Eden through disobedience, the dark cloud of death had cast its dark shadow over them, and it was not possible for death to co-exist with life in Eden. So, it was only after sin entered and severed the divine/human Love relationship, that God uttered, “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return,” not before, for “the wages of sin is death” (Gen.3:19; also Rom.6:23). Paul echos this original Adamic decree, saying, “It is destined for people to die once, and after this comes judgment” (Heb.9:27).

Athanasius of Alexandria (c. 296–298 – 2 May 373) contends Eve and Adam were not created either immortal or perfect. They needed to prove themselves – this is part of what many of the church fathers understood as having free will to mean. We are left to postulate as to what exactly was the pre-fallen state of existence of Adam and Eve? How long did this pre-fallen condition last – how long did they live in Paradise before their banishment from Eden?

The Genesis account of creation and the fall of man was very brief and dearth of detail, thereby patristic writers have made expositions and perspectives which convey vital aspects of the creation account and the fall of man. By inference, nuance and undertone, we can conclude assuredly that since our first parents was created to reflect God’s eternal likeness in His divine Love from the start, that they did remain true to their divine Love image for some extended period of ‘time’ prior to the fall. (Gen.1:26-27)

It is relevant to keep in mind that ‘time’ was immaterial as long as they were adorned in the glorious garment which equipped them with a form of human immortality in which they were sustained. It was only after they sinned that their glorious garment vanished and realized they were ‘naked.’ They became mere mortals and the clock of time began its countdown for them and humanity. (Gen.3:7) Today, according to the passage of ‘time,’ historical and documentary records, archeology and other evidence, we are about six to seven thousand years removed from that world-shattering and calamitous event of Adam’s fall.

Prior to this, they ate from the Tree of Life which sustained them in God’s Love and the glorious garment with which God covered them. If we assume the fall occurred immediately after their creation, as is commonly postulated, that would presume the enemy (Satan) is mightier than the Creator, which would be absurd and sacrileges to say the least. (Isa.45:21-24; Isa.44:8) No, our first parents were sustained in God’s image and Love-likeness for a very long while before their eventual fall.

Eden's two trees: Paths of life and death (Genesis 2–3) – Hallel Fellowship

Eden was God’s paradisal garden empowered in the Spirit’s energized cocoon-like shielded environment where our first parents lived sheltered lives in God’s Love and safeguarded them from the inhospitable external physical world. Later, due to their sin of disobedience, they were banished to live in it. Eden was no backyard orchard, but was God’s gift to and His place of dwelling with Adam and Eve and humanity. In it, God taught them right from wrong through ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,’ and guided and sustained them in His Love and way of life through ‘the tree of life.’ (Gen.2:8-9)

Over a long period of ‘time’ they had assumed enormous ‘human knowledge and intellect’ through the ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.’ The ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ was not an evil, sinful tree. It increased our parents fund of knowledge of good and evil. Be that as it may, it was human knowledge and basically emboldens the human spirit of self-reliance instead of divine-reliance, which the devil exploited. (Prov.14:12; Gen.3:1, 6-7) Then there was the ‘tree of life’ which taught them God’s way of life, and where they received the Spirit’s (Love) energy and true life, most importantly divine-reliance. God tested their freewill (freedom) to choose between the two trees.

In fact, there was only one tree they were commanded to stay away and not eat. They had liberty to eat from many other trees. (Gen.2:16-17) The tree of good and evil represented human knowledge, much like how humans acquire knowledge today, then through experience and experimentation receive and increase human understanding. The drawback was and still is, it stoked the spirit of self-reliance as harbinger of the autonomous life independent from God. (Prov.16:25) And that is exactly how the devil tempted our first parents in Eden.

On the other hand, the ‘tree of life,’ represented the Love of God, and life of interdependence and relationship with the divine will. We must understand all forms of bondage and slavery results from living automously apart from God promoted by Satan by way of his catastrophic original sin. (Isa.14:12-14)

The wisdom we draw from the two trees is we can make our human plans, but in the end it is God who determines our steps towards genuine freedom and success. So, we yield to the divine will in all our human efforts, rather than the human self-will as end in itself that becomes a god we submit to in place of God’s Loving will. God’s Love, as represented in the ‘tree of life,’ leads to freedom, interrelationships, goodwill, and will never promote slavery and bondage in any shape or form. (Isa.61:1-2Luk.4:18)

We saw that the glorious garment with which God had clothed our first parents was the source of the form of human immortality they possessed in Eden. After they disobeyed and sinned by eating the forbidden fruit, their celestial garment spontaneously vanished. Suddenly they saw and realized their nakedness. Yes, their “nakedness” revealed a change they never knew nor experienced before, now they were mere mortals and subject to deterioration and eventual death as God had warned. (Gen.2:17, 3:19)

The glorious garment which sustained them with a form of immortality had disappearedon by reason of sin’s power over it. In the divine Edenic enviroment where God’s everlasting presence existed with our first parents, “nakedness” means to be stripped off the glorious garment which sustained them in God’s presence. All their needs and wants, both spiritual and mortal, were supplied through the tree of life and the glorious garment which sustained them immortally, which was subject to the mercy of sin’s power.

God clothed them with the garment of Animal Skin in place of the ‘Glorious Garment’ to Depict the Substitutional sacrifice which Moses Instituted in Israel to Picture Jesus’ ultimate Sacrifice so Humanity is Spared from the Penalty of Sin and Death.

Then God shared the promise of the Messiah’s coming with our first parents, but directed it as a prophetic statement of intent of good over evil, right over wrong, uprightness over wickedness, at the serpent (Satan) saying, “I’m declaring war between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers. He’ll wound your head, you’ll wound His heel” (Gen.3:15, MSG). This was the first prophecy of the coming of the Messiah and Savior. Not only is this a prophecy of Jesus’ birth, but it is a prophecy of His work, His life, His Cross, His resurrection and ascension.

By saying, “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel,” God is declaring and proclaiming the good news of the defeat of Satan’s evil plan for mankind at the hands of Jesus His Son, our Savior, and Redeemer, and embrace us as His Loving children. This was the first mention to our first parents and humanity of God’s plan of redemption. The mission of Jesus as humanity’s Savior was to restore mankind to his predestined and celestially ordained place in God’s divine plan that was lost in Eden, and much, much more, as we shall see the role of the Messiah, the second Adam played out. (1 Cor.15:45-49)

In promising the coming of the Messiah and prior to their banishment from Eden, God clothed them with the garment of animal skin to cover the shame of their nakedness. (Gen.3:21) So, the Cross and the Gospel of Jesus Christ was first preached to Adam and Eve, humanity’s first parents. Up to now, Eden had never known death, for God’s divine existence was the life and environment of Eden. Death is anathema to God. However, after their fall (sin/nakedness) the garment of animal skin tells of the death of an animal or two in order to make garments to cover our parent’s nakedness.

Artist Impression of Jesus Defeating Satan in the Temptation and Bring Redemption to Adam’s Fall, and Dying Upon His Cross as Final Act of Victory and Freedom

We realize that Eden was the most beautiful and miraculous place upon earth. Eden was no ordinary backyard garden, all kinds of life forms existed in it. God had brought the animals and life forms before Adam so he would name them, “Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name” (Gen.2:19). It showed that these life forms possessed a pet-like existence with Adam and Eve in Eden. These life forms in Eden were neither wild nor ferocious, but were gentle, benign, and responsive to human touch and cognizance.

The animal skin conveys to us that the life of animals were slained and ‘sacrificed’ to symbolize the future work of restitution of the prophesied Messiah necessary to save and cover the sin (nakedness) of all mankind. It was to picture the substitutional sacrificial system Moses would later institute in Israel to picture the future Messiah and His sacrificial death to atone for humanity’s sins and be spared from the ensuing death penalty and be adorned with godly life. (Rom.6:23; Gen.2:17)

The ‘glorious garment’ that had furnished their every need and want both spiritual and mortal in Eden, was no more. Now, God said, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Gen.3:19). They were banished to live outside Eden where the miraculous life they had always known and experienced had disappeared along with the sheltered life in Eden. (Gen.3:24) Beyond Eden they now had to work and earn their living. The miraculous life of Eden was lost forever.

The birth of Jesus and its impact on the world
The Birth of The Savior & Redeemer, The Second Adam

Yes, this symbolic substitutional death of animals in Eden foreshadowed the substitutional death of our Savior Jesus Christ as Redeemer upon the Cross to cover and protect humanity from sin and death. (John 3:16-17) Paul would say much later, “These things (sacrificial system) are a shadow of the things to come; the reality, however, is found (fulfilled) in Christ” (Col.2:17, italics my emphasis). What happened was symbolic, this first substitutional sacrifice in Eden was the first prophetic and symbolic act of the Messiah to come who would give His life as a sacrifice to cover human sin (nakedness). And this was fulfilled by Jesus’ death upon His Cross.

Paul would say, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” (Rom.5:12, 17). Then, Paul goes on, “For if we have been united with [Jesus] in a death like His, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His” (Rom.6:5). Yes, humanity’s destiny is to inherit the identical resurrection to human immortality Jesus initiated through His own resurrection. (Rom.8:11, 29; John 5:21)

Yes, God gave us His Son so that through His death on the Cross we will not have to face death, and through His resurrection we will receive immortal life. (John 3:16-17) Let us turn to the Cross.

The Cross

The Cross:

This is where we pick up the story of Adam’s fall in Eden, and the transition to the Second Adam’s (Jesus’) story of restitution, redemption, Love and Freedom. (1 Cor.15:45) The primary meaning of the Cross of Jesus is to inherit the gift of freedom from the power of death which came through Adam’s fall. The Cross is about forgiveness and freedom from the imprisonment of sin, wickedness, rebellion through autonomy from God, the devil had established and consigned humanity since the fall of Adam in Eden.

It was upon the Cross that Jesus, the Son of God in human/divine form, was crucified and shed His blood and died for the atonement of all human sin in perpetuity. Athanasius affirms in his treatise, “On The Incarnation”: “If Jesus was only a man His death would not cover the sins of the world nor would He return to life.” Jesus Christ was no ordinary human being, He was the prophesied ‘Immanuel’ (meaning, “God with us”). (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23) He is the second Person of the Tri-Personal Godhead (Trinity). (Matt.28:18-20)

The Bible speaks of Christians “carrying your Cross daily.” (Luk.14:27) This act conveys the message to humanity that by “carrying Jesus’ Cross daily” we may exist in a state of ongoing forgiveness and renewal so peace with God is attained and maintained continuously. Jesus said, “Anyone who does not carry his Cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple” (Luk.14:27). It is at the foot of the Cross that the journey to ultimate immortality begins. He said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt.11:29). Yes, there is the yoke of Jesus’ Love, freedom and eternal life, or the devil’s yoke of sin, injustice, captivity and death. (John 3:16)

However, the immortality Jesus brings is not going to be a form of immortality the first Adam had by way of the glorious garment which was powerless in the face of sin, but the true human/divine immortality instituted by Jesus Himself by His own resurrection and ascension, thus clothing us with the New Garment of Himself. (John 6:47, 3:36; 5:24) Note, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Gal.3:27). Paul added, “Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom.13:14). Yes, note the new Glorious Garment is none other than Jesus Christ Himself who has lifted mankind to eternal life.

So, in the Father’s glorious presence, humans undergo this deathlike experience of disrobing the sin-conditioned old self from Adam, and stepping into the new life of being robed in the glorified life and garment of His Son, Jesus. (Rom.8:29) “For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies” Paul asserts. (1 Cor.15:53).

Adam’s glorious garment was powerless in the face of sin and vanished instanly when our parent’s disobeyed God. (Gen.3:7, 17,19) However, the Garment of Jesus Christ’s Person possesses power over sin and will never vanish away for He is the Messiah. He has been appointed High Priest so He would forever mediate and consecrate mankind before God Almighty in perpetuity. (Heb.4.14-16; 2:14-18) Paul made an inspiring conclusion about our destiny in Christ as the human species, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Cor.5:21, NLT).

I draw our attention to the parable of the wedding banquet Jesus told His listeners. “The kingdom of heaven is like a King who prepared a wedding banquet for His Son.” The King “noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. Then the King told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness” (Matt.22:11-13). The wedding clothes is metaphor for being clothed in the Garment of Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith, and wellspring of immortality.

The Resurrection to Human/Divine Immortality, Humanity’s Ultimate Glorious Garment in Christ, Establishing True Freedom and Success

Paul gives us insight into this, saying, “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you” (Rom.8:11; 1 Cor.15:51-53). Let us continue our journey with the Second Adam and His work to bring humanity out of Satanic incarceration and into true liberty and eternal life.

The ultimate purpose of Jesus and His Cross is aimed at one gaol – divine Freedom in Love. True freedom is the flipside of God’s divine nature of Love. The two are the same divine substance and indivisibly one. There is another word for freedom: success! Freedom and success are flipsides of one coin. Today, we hear so much about freedom and freedom fighters because of the conflict in central Europe between Russia and Ukraine. Today, we hear of the war erupting in Europe, and this is the picture of freedom lost.

We need to understand where this concept and natural urge for freedom originates. It is humanly inherent and instinctive because mankind assumed the likeness of our Maker who is both Love and Freedom in nature and substance. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:8; Gal.5:1; John 8:32; Rom.8:15) We treasure freedom because God made us to be like Him in His divine substance.

Be that as it may, freedom is not free but it took the life of Jesus, God’s own Son, to purchase our freedom by dying for us upon His Cross at the hands of fallen humans inspired by Satan. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free,” Paul asserts. (Gal.5:1, 13). However, freedom as a divine commodity from which a way of life is fostered and lived can be subjective based upon personal free will and preference. Today, there are 7.9 billion human beings that populate our earth, and counting. There are historical, emotional, cultural, and other societal inclinations in play which conspire to shape our freedom perspectives one way or another. Our free choice and perspective does not have to stand alone from others, there can be groupings of individuals with the identical points of view.

Although freedom is divinely endowed in humans, free will and free choice (freedom) has to be authenticated for its integrity and impartiality. To a person who is egomaniacal, freedom is viewed through a totally different lens compared to another person’s view of freedom.

Yet, over and above all that, freedom has to ring true and tested, before we can give subjective judgements as to its weight and import in relation to life’s journey for its integrity or deficiency, its success or emptiness. Recall, freedom and success are the flipsides of the coin of truth. Why is this vital? Because the Bible says, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). To be free is synonymous with success, as freedom answers to truth.

freedom Inspirational Images
God is Both Love and Freedom in Substance and Reality.

So, our freedoms and successes has to be tested for its authenticity through the gauge of truth. Truth is the scale by which the freedoms we espouse are weighed and substantiated. Only then, we can be certain our freedom and success is true and worth its weight in whatever significance we like to assign it. Yes, freedom and truth go hand in hand. I said earlier another word for freedom is success, and that they are flip sides of one coin. Now, we see the coin is the coin of truth!

Whatever activity we experience and encounter, the one aim of life is to achieve freedom and success. However, if we fail the test of truth then freedom and success will be elusive and unattainable. We may have the appearance of self-assurance and so-called success, unwittingly though we remain in bondage still. Things may seem robust and favorable, but it still must sustain the burden of truth. Life must stand the crucible of truth so freedom and success can be achieved and life becomes a joy to live.

Whether it is the freedom of religion, or one’s political persuasion, personal fiscal/financial freedom, freedom of expression/speech, the personal freewill to choose, the freedom to assembly without fear, the right to petition, a system of liberty to pursue and receive justice, the freedom to live in peace and prosperity, the individual’s freedom to marry for love, etc. However subjective these perspectives to freedoms may be, they must stand the burden of truth. And truth, in turn, will always stand the test of time itself. In other words, truth is eternal just as Love is and will endure forever, and so does the freedoms which have been validated by truth and Love.

Truth is The Scale by Which Our Freedoms Are Weighed

Then, that leaves us with the predominant question of all, what is truth? The answer is crucial and just as impactful because it clears any doubts about whether our freedom perspectives, subjective though they may be, do indeed ring true and bring about the liberty and success we hope it articulates. Or, is it just a ‘false flag’ which leads us down a blind alley and ends nowhere? The devil has always deceived humans and led them down blind alleys and only come to realize too late we never did move, let alone advance, from where they were in the first place – being incarceration and held in bondage to Satan. Sadly, the freedoms we may have assumed we acquired had just turned out to be another side of the picture of our captivity, and like a puzzle we have yet to work out. Regrettably, there we remain in bondage still. But take heart, the Cross of Jesus is our Creator’s answer to the quest for life, freedom and truth.

When God gave His Son to become humanity’s Savior, Jesus came with a message from the Father which settles this question about truth once for all. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6, italicized for emphasis). Here, we see the Bible tell us that truth is grounded and consolidated in the Person of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. God has not hidden truth in some philosophical idea which humanity is supposed to seek out like some buried treasure. We are not to pursue truth like a Juan Ponce de Leon personality who sought the fountain of youth.

God has made it simple and easy for humanity to comprehend truth – God has gift-wrapped truth for us in the Person of His Son. Truth is absolute, it is reposed in Jesus. (John 14:6, 1:14) Truth is not some abstract notion we juggle in the mind and imagine it will materialize from nothing. No one can deny that God is the ultimate embodiment and repository of truth, and Jesus is the second Person of the Tri-Personal Godhead (Trinity) where truth is housed and abides from eternity. (Matt.28:18-19)

John further attest to this wonderful revelation, “Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17, italicized for emphasis). How would humans come to determine and find the truth if God had not revealed it to us in such a plain and straightforward manner? We would be lost in a sea of concepts, conjectures, and ensuing confusion in our never-ending search. And sadly, peoples the world over, in bygone epochs and eras, have ended up with superstitious beliefs and weird and bizarre conclusions, as many have done so. We are grateful beyond measure for God’s extravagant grace and revelation in His only Son.

Like a beautiful rose with its equally exquisite petals, we see truth’s unfolding wonder and move in the path of the next petal in truth’s evolution and revelation: faith! We have seen that the aim of the Cross is singular and unique – freedom! It means freedom from all forms of bondage we can imagine, principally freedom from death – and since death is the end-all, it means perfect liberty. The Scriptures had foretold of humanity’s restoration from death to life through Jesus Christ. (Psa.49:15; Hos.13:14; John 3:16; Heb.2:14-18)

Paul reiterates this wonderful future for mankind, and writes, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor.15:55-56). We see here how Jesus is the truth for He answers to the human nemesis, death, then brings about the opposite of death – immortality. (John 3:16-17) That, in a nutshell is the ultimate meaning of truth, freedom, and success!

Although freedom is subjective for every human being, we can determine if each of our ideas of freedom is truly genuine and does bring true liberty. To know that, we are required to weigh it on the scale of truth. We have seen truth is defined as the personification of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. (John 14:6) Each petal of the truth (Jesus) unfolds into the path and act of sanctification of Jesus’ faith in our person, our existence as humans. (Rom.3:22; Gal.2:20, KJV) What would be the meaning of life in all its manifestation if the final answer would always going to be the grave (death) and no further. So, we see why Jesus is the truth. Through His Cross He frees us from death and brings humanity true life. And it’s faith that brings all the pieces in God’s truth together in Christ. (Heb.11:1, 6)

Jesus came to reveal the Father to all mankind, who is the ultimate repository of truth. He said, “No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him” (Luk.10:22). Here, Jesus is making known His eternal trinitarian existence with the Father in the one triune Godhead.

But how does truth (Jesus) reveal itself to us, so we may test the integrity of our perceptions of freedom and success? The simple answer is through faith! We are to place our trust and faith in a Person who said He is the repository and Personification of truth. (John 14:6) Jesus alone has to answer to our cause for freedom and true success, He alone is the test and scale upon which our freedoms are weighed, tested, and sanctified in Him alone. (John 14:6)

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Jesus Christ Conveyed God’s Gift Of Human/Divine Immortality to Mankind Through His Own Resurrection. Thus, He Is the Ultimate Answer to Truth, Freedom, and Love. (John 3:16; Rom.8:11, 29; 1 John 4:16)

The prophet Isaiah quotes the Messiah as fulfilling His divine purpose in this manner, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor; He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Isa.61:1). Yes, “To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” – in short, Jesus and His Cross is the path to complete liberty! This speaks of freedom first from the spiritual prison and captivity Satan has incarcerated humanity since the fall of Adam, which unravels into every manifestation of freedoms humans can possibly imagine. (Gal.5:1, 13) In short, we’ll be living the ‘miraculous life’ Adam lived on an ongoing basis in Eden in God’s presence before the fall, only now in a much more holistic and sense of eternity, no longer temporal, nor subject to sin and death.

Paul said this about freedom, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery,” echoing Isaiah’s prophecy of Jesus we saw above (Gal.5:1). But what kind of freedom is it, what yoke slavery are we delivered from? Jesus said this about Himself, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Freedom from what?  Paul asserts, “Jesus the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death” (Rom.8:2).

So, the freedom Jesus brings is total liberty which deliver us from all forms of bondage, both spiritual and physical, arising from sin and rebellion under the devil’s influence. Recall, this is the same punishment and curse for sin decreed upon Adam’s fall in Eden, and passed down to mankind as a whole. (Gen.3:19; Rom.5:12, 17) All forms of bondage we experience as humans results from the fact that we are incarcerated as Satan’s slaves to living autonomously without God in sin and obstinacy.

We are abject failures, more so deceived, at comprehending the far reaching and devastating effects of sin. Sin has become so routine and normalized it has become a way of life. This is the most devastating form of slavery into which humans are presently incarcerated. It is a spiritual prison with human repercussion and consequence akin to being trapped in a curse we have unwittingly come to embrace which only Jesus’ Cross possesess the power to free us.

Paul explains the interplay of faith and its role in the truth which frees humans from bondage, “Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal.3:23-29).

What is the purpose of faith? It gives you and I the conviction to trust God’s testimony about His Son Jesus as mankind’s Savior and Liberator and who is the very Spring from whom freedom flows to humanity. The Bible states clearly, “For this is how God Loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Immortality is the ultimate answer to freedom and success. Faith gives us the assurance about Jesus’ role as the prophesied Messiah. Paul tells us, “We are to walk by faith, and not by sight.” (2 Cor.5:7) Further the Scriptures says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb.11:6).

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The Cross
GOD is Love - Home | Facebook
1 John 4:816; “God Is Love”

There are many people who do not believe and have yet to receive Jesus Christ and remain lost. The Scriptures declare, “For with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved. If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom.10:9-10). So here, Paul lays out how we confess with our mouths our faith and conviction in Jesus as the very Son of God and Messiah. Faith is the lifeblood of the Christian life.

The Human Faith, inadequate it may be in the spiritual realm, Is used to trust in the all-powerful “Faith of Jesus,” that’s Living and Miraculous.

I want to share a parable of Jesus with you. Try to imagine a tree so bounteous which brings forth all kinds of fruits hanging from its leafy branches. Let us call it the ‘tree of freedom.’ The tree is a metaphor for liberty in all its glory. This is a unique tree because it bears all manner of fruits, not just a single variety. It bears apples, oranges, mangoes, plums, apricots, even pineapples, grapes, bananas, and as many variety as one can imagine. People from all walks of life flock to feed from the delicious, highly beneficial and tasteful fruits.

The variety of fruits represent all the many different perspectives of freedoms and successes to which humans espouse and pursue. The trunk of the tree (vine) can be likened to the main ‘conduit of freedom’ that represents Jesus, who is the truth. Recall, without truth freedom and success is unattainable, for Scripture says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

The sap flowing in the Vine (Jesus) which provides the life-giving nutrients enabling the tree to produce all variety and abundance of fruits is the power of God’s Spirit flowing through Christ, the Vine. (John 16:12-15) Jesus said, “I am the vine (primary tree trunk); you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5, italics my emphasis). He said further, “I am the Real Vine and My Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of Me that doesn’t bear grapes (fruits). And every branch that is grape-bearing He prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken” (John 15:1-3, italics for emphasis).

This tree, its branches and fruits, represents humanity with all the dreams and successes made possible through the divine Freedom and Love. What would be the meaning of the fruits of our lives in all its expression if the final answer for them is in the graveyard of the dead. What would have been the point of life itself if the epitaphs on our gravestones is the only picture we see throughout life. So, we see why Jesus is the truth. We have seen people build monuments to perpetuate and protect their legacies, however, nothing escapes death.

We see Jesus is the answer to genuine freedom and true success. Through His Cross He frees us from death and brings humanity true life. And it’s His faith that brings all the pieces in God’s truth together in Christ. (Heb.11:16) I repeat Paul’s declaration, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor.15:55-56).

Fruit of the Spirit Tree Scripture Art based on Galatians 5 image 1
The Freedom Tree

All the matured, ripened, and delicious fruits on each of the branches received the life-giving nutrients and vitality from the tree trunk or vine. The tree trunk (Vine/Jesus) is the primary conduit for the nutrient-rich sap (Holy Spirit) enabling the branches to bear fruits signifying freedom in its all-inclusiveness. The Vine/Jesus (tree trunk) and the sap were nourished by and in the soil which the Farmer (God the Father) had tended to and fertilized through the Spirit’s power, drive, and inspiration. As we saw, these fruits symbolize each of the freedoms and successes of life we espouse and treasure in totality and perfection. And since they have ripened and become a source for nourishment for us and our neighbors, it proves they have been tested by the truth, namely, the Vine or tree trunk which represent Jesus Christ, the truth! (John 14:6)

Paul explained to us the meaning and magnitude of the ‘sap’ within the tree which provides the necessary nutrients enabling the branches to bear much fruits. Paul taught the Corinthians about the Love-fruits of the Spirit which represent the ‘sap’ of the tree of freedom. (1 Cor.13:1-13) He said, “So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without Love” (1 Cor.13:3, MSG). In other words, as humans we amount to nothing if our lives are not inspired and controlled by Love and Freedom.

The Holy Spirit is the personification of God’s Love in humans. So, the ‘sap’ of the freedom tree is God’s divine Love, flowing in the Vine and personified in the branches (humans) by the presence of the Holy Spirit through the ‘fruits of freedom’ Paul taught the Corinthians. Paul further said, “Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16). (To read about the Love-fruits of the Spirit which represent the ‘sap’ in the Vine (Jesus), you may go to my post, titled, “Gifts Are Magnets of the Love Personality” at: http://bulamanriver.net/27435).       

The life we live as Christians is a life of living faith. Yet, even the faith we need is a gift from God, not our human faith that’s inadequate in spiritual matters where it’s constrained by our limited human senses. What is needed is the very personal “faith of Jesus.” Note, “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no distinction among people” (Rom.3:22, KJV). Did you notice, there are two faiths mentioned here, the “faith of Jesus,” and the human faith – “unto all and upon all them that believe.” We utilize our human faith, inadequate it may be in the spiritual realm, to trust in the all-powerful “faith of Jesus,” that’s living and miraculous. As we receive Jesus as Savior, we inherit His living Personal faith empowered in the Holy Spirit. (Rom.10:9-10; Act.2:38)

(The “Love-Fruits of the Holy Spirit” are shown in detail below in the appendix. You may read my Post titled, “The Saving Living Faith of Jesus” at: http://bulamanriver.net/21946.)

It is this ‘tree of freedom’ that was hewn down to make and erect the Cross upon which wicked humans impersonating the hands of the evil one, took and nailed Jesus’ upon it. So, we see the Cross of Jesus, hewn from the ‘tree of freedom.’ Upon this Cross Jesus took all mankind’s sins and acts of rebellion and nailed them and put them to death, so we may experience true Freedom and Love.

Dove, Symbolof The Holy Spirit of Love

Let me recap the subject of of this post, “The Cross.” The Scriptures say that the purpose of humanity’s creation is to attain and inherit the “image of God.” (Gen.1:26-27). But what is that image? The Bible says it is the likeness of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Listen to Paul’s words, “For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Rom.8:29). Jesus is the new glorious garment in which humans will be clothed. (Gal.3:27; 1 Cor.15:53)

By saying, “His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters,” it is affirming Christ took our fallan humanity, redeemed it through His Cross, and inaugurated (firstborn) human immortality through His resurrection so we become God’s children forever. The Scriptures tell us, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them” (John 3:36). Mankind will exist in God’s very substance of Love and Freedom for eternity. This is the ultimate purpose of The Cross.

We earlier read the parable of the wedding banquet. It is the wedding of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, to His bride, comprising all humanity who have been made immortal. In the scene from the book of Revelation, we see the Father’s wedding gift for the marriage of His Son. This is what John saw in his vision, “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Rev.21:1-5).

Yes, a new heaven and new earth, and the most astounding city whose streets are marvelously paved in gold. Truly, what a gift, what an awesome sight to behold, what a fantastical future awaits humanity. (Rev.21:21; 9-27)

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

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

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

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

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

May I take this occasion to wish you and you families and loved ones a solemn and joy-filled Passover and Easter.

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

Farewell for now!

Kiang P. Lee  (Your Servant In Christ)

Appendix: *The “Love-Fruits of the Holy Spirit:” *the fruit of patience, *the fruit of kindness, *the fruit of contentedness,  *the fruit of modesty (unboastful), *the fruit of humility, *the fruit of honor, *the fruit of unselfishness, *the fruit of calmness and dignity, *the fruit of forgiveness and compassion, *the fruit of delighting in good and shunning evil, *the fruit of tolerance, *the fruit of responsibility, *the fruit of enduring hope, *the fruit of steadfast perseverance, *the fruit of joy, *the fruit of peace, *the fruit of goodness, *the fruit of faith, *the fruit of gentleness, *the fruit of self-control, *the fruit of zeal and spiritual fervor, *the fruit of friendship, *the fruit of sharing and generosity, *the fruit of prayerfulness, *the fruit of hospitality, etc. (1 Cor.13; also Gal. 5:22-23; Rom. 12:9-21).

9,645 Holy Spirit Dove Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock
The Holy Spirit as Symbolized By The Dove Is the Nutrient-Rich “Sap” of the Tree of Freedom and Love

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

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

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

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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

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

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

The Christian Faith As Recorded In the Nicene Creed

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

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

MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION, BY KIANG P LEE

Greeting Friends! The Bible calls God’s purpose to save and restore humanity to its rightful place in the divine will, the “Ministry of Reconciliation.” What is the “Ministry of Reconciliation?” The term is taken from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor.5:18, NASB, emphasis mine). Yes, it means that from the unfathomable depth of His Love, God has taken the first step to reach out and save fallen humans from the sin-condition under which humanity has been held prisoner to Satan, the devil. (Rom.5:8; Rom.7:23) (To read more about the sin-condition go to my blog titled: “Sin Is a Condition As Love is a Condition” at http://bulamanriver.net/5437).

Ministry of Reconciliation

The word ‘ministry’ conveys a mission, an undertaking, an obligation and responsibility, to complete the task and business at hand. ‘Reconciliation’ means an act of mitigating a state of discord and alienation which exists between two parties. It means to bring about reunion where separation exists. In mitigating a state of discord, the passage says, God is “Reconciling us to Himself through Christ.” It means divine reconciliation is entirely different from other forms of restoration common to humans. The common refrain “I am sorry” is a form of everyday conciliation expression most humans know. People appear before a judge in a court case to make reparation for an offense is another common form of seeing that justice is done, and quite possibly, reconciliation. In many customs and cultures people have different and wide-ranging methods of appeasement and settlement that are practiced.

However, in the area of divine mediation God has determined there is only one way of mitigating human sin and rebellion against Him. There is no other means by which humanity can be mediated in the divine reconciliation except through God’s own Son, Jesus Christ. By the same breadth, He is the only conduit by which God’s Love flows to mankind and brings divine accommodation for reconciliation with God. (John 3:16) A person or a group of people may sacrifice as many livestock upon a thousand hills, but their supposed act of conciliation will all be for naught; for God has determined from the foundation of the world, and the beginning of time, that there is but one way and one Person by whom reconciliation with God and the divine will can be done – His only Son, Jesus Christ. (Gen.3:14-15; John 3:16-17)

Atonement and Jesus Christ | Articles | Moody Church Media
The Cross is the Symbol of Reconciliation and Peace (Col.1:20)

What is atonement? It is the restitution paid for making peace through reconciliation possible. The price of restitution is the life and blood of Jesus Christ. (Col.1:20; 1 Cor.7:23; Act.20:28; John 3:16) So, Jesus Christ is humanity’s complete Savior, being the only instrument of reconciliation with God. He is our atonement for sin and rebellion when He sacrificed Himself through the shedding of His blood upon His cross. And Jesus did not remain a dead Savior upon His cross, but God raised Him up from the dead so that He can continue His work of mediating for humanity’s peace as our glorious High Priest in heaven forever. (1 Cor.6:14; Mar.16:19; Heb.4.14-16) Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. (Isa.9:6) All of the above encapsulates the finished work of reconciliation God has accomplished for humanity through His Son.

Bible Verse Canvas Isaiah 9:6 The Prince of Peace Christian Home Décor  Ready to Hang Wall Art Scripture - Walmart.com
The Prince of Peace (Isa.9:6
Ten Ways to Love Like God Loves | Love Worth Finding Ministries
God Is Love

As humans, we do not know what to do or how to be reconciled to God to begin with. Nor do we understand what to bring and offer to God to make recompense and redress for our transgressions. Humans have no clue or guide as far as his interaction and relationship with the divine will and purpose of Almighty God. But then we see God, who is Love in His very Being and substance extends grace and provided for and done all that mankind needs in this regard. Thus, being reconciled through His Son, we see the culmination of the divine will in making humanity His very offspring, possessing immortality. (John 3:16-17; Act.20:28; 2 Cor.5:18; 1 Cor.15:53) So, we see the display of God’s Love in the following aspects:

  1. Mission – God’s Love and Mercy (John 3:16; 1 John 4:8)
  2. Reconciliation – Jesus the Son, the Messiah (2 Cor.5:18; Rom.5:10)
  3. Atonement – Blood and Life of Jesus (Act.20:28; Col.1:20; Lev.17:14)
  4. Reborn/Offspring – Made Immortal children (John 3:3, 5; 1 Cor.15:54)
  5. Eternal Mediation through Jesus as High Priest (Heb.4:14)

As we approach the season of Passover and Easter in the Christian calendar, I wish for us to pause and consider these five outpouring heartfelt urgings of God’s Love to reconcile fallen humanity as His continuous mission upon this earth to bring us into His eternal kingdom as immortal offspring.

The Crucifixion of Jesus - Facts About His Death on the Cross
The Cross” is the Symbol of Reconciliation and Peace (Co.1:20) (Visit Next Month’s Post)

I invite you to join me in my next post about the subject of “The Cross.” The Cross is the symbol of reconciliation and peace. Paul said, “Through Him (Jesus) to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross” (Col.1:20).

I will close with the following postscript. One of the mission task God gave His Son was to inaugurate a vital blessing to indicate a person’s commitment to God’s mission of reconciliation outlined above. Jesus was to inaugurate the baptismal blessing of spiritual rebirth through access to the Holy Spirit. This was utterly important for the restoration of God’s purpose for humanity which was lost in Eden. (Gen.1:26-27; 3:11, 23-24)

We are receiving this vital link to our Edenic paradisal past through the baptismal template of Jesus when He was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. There were followers who were baptized as John’s disciples, not Jesus’ (Luk.7:18-19) John explained the difference, he told the people, “I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be His slave and carry His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matt.3:11).

Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist Whereupon He Inaugurated the Gift of the Holy Spirit (Matt.3:11, 16-17; John 1:31-34)

John said, “I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God” (Matt.3:11). But Jesus was sinless. (1 John 3:5; 2 Cor.5:21) So, what was the purpose of Jesus’ baptism, John explains, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (John 3:11). Only Jesus was given the task by God of introducing the Holy Spirit to humanity. (John 16:7; Luk.24:49) So, Jesus took up the baptism of John for repentance of sin on mankind’s behalf, and above all introduced the baptism of the Holy Spirit through Him as Messiah.

While performing baptism in the Jordan, John recognized Jesus approaching him, and knew he could not baptize Jesus for He was without sin, “But John tried to talk Him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by You,” he said, “so why are You coming to me?” (Matt.3:14, NLT). Jesus answered John saying, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires. So, John agreed to baptize Him.” (Matt.3:15).

Fr. Jonel - MONDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF EASTER John 3:1-8 Jesus hints  Nicodemus on some of the secrets of the spiritual life. “Unless one is born  anew, he cannot see
The above text from John Informs us About How Jesus, on behalf of Humanity, Undertook John’s Baptism of Repentance of human sin, and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which Jesus Inaugurated.

Both Jesus and John had separate but related baptismal missions from God to carry out. In Jesus’ baptism, He repented for humanity (for He had no sin), and in so doing, He inaugurated the coming of the Holy Spirit. For immediately “After His baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on Him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is My dearly Loved Son, who brings Me great joy” (Matt.3:16-17, NLT) Here, we see how the Holy Spirit was introduced to humanity since the fall of man in Eden, and later poured out upon humanity on Pentecost. (Act.2:1-4) After the fall of Adam and Eve in Eden, humanity was cut off from the ‘tree of life’ which symbolized the Holy Spirit. (Gen.3:22-23) But now, through Jesus’ mediation as the atonement for sin, He is made to come back as mankind’s Helper and Friend. (John 14:26)

When humans receive the blessing of the baptismal ceremony, they are doing so in the template of Jesus’ own baptism wherein the Spirit is inherently conferred as a gift from God the Father. He took up John’s baptism of repentance on behalf of all humanity for all time, past, present, and future, on top of His sacrifice as atonement, paid the final solution to sin. (Heb.9:24-28) Humans cannot be baptized for both repentance and the Holy Spirit except it is done in the template of Jesus’ baptism. Thus, Jesus told John that what they were commissioned to do would “fulfill all righteousness” (Matt.3:15).

And yes, for each and every baptism, the Father joyfully uses the same compliment articulated upon Jesus at His baptism, “You are My dearly Loved children, who brings Me great joy” (Matt.3:17; Luk.3:22) This is not our baptism by virtue of personal choice, no, but in freely receiving Christ as Savior, we are baptized into the template of Christ’s own baptism of the Holy Spirit who brings the power of reconciliation and peace inaugurated by Him in the Jordan for all time.

The Holy Spirit, Personification of God’s Divine Life and Love in Humanity

Through Jesus, the presence of the Holy Spirit gives passage for humans to undergo this spiritual rebirth. That is the major theme in Jesus’ baptism. Jesus tell us about what the Spirit does to human believers, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5). Yes, the Spirit gives humanity the passage to enter God’s holy presence at and before His very seat of mercy to petition His goodness.

However, the Spirit cannot come without Jesus’ prior mediation as Savior and Redeemer who absolves all human sin and rebellion, and through His baptism gave passage for the Holy Spirit to come and indwell humans. (1 Cor.3:16) And this takes place at the point of receiving and partaking in the template of Jesus’ baptism where He has taken up John’s baptism of repentance, and “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (John 3:11, also, Rom.6:3-7). Before Jesus’ ascension into heaven, He told the disciples,“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Act.1:4-5).

This is a life of faith in Jesus’ finished work, it is not about what you and I can or can’t do. (Rom.1:17; 3:22; Heb.11:6) Paul said, “It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy” (Rom.9:16). Further, he added, “God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor.5:21, italics my emphasis). We rest our trust and faith entirely upon God’s profound and abiding mercy.

We are sadly mistaken when we assume the human brain is for cerebral/intellectual activity alone. The brain, whensoever ordained and charged in God’s Spirit, becomes the human mind which possesses a transcendant quality with infinite capacity beyond our knowing and cognizance. General Douglas McArthur said, “It must be of the ‘spirit’ if we are to save the flesh.” Yes, the world does not need us to save it, but more so we need saving so the world can be saved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell for now!

Kiang P. Lee  (Your Servant in Christ)

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

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

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

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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

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

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

***Homoousios: “In Christianity, the key term of the Christological doctrine formulated at the first ecumenical council, held at Nicaea in 325, to affirm that God the Son and God the Father are of the same substance. The Council of Nicaea condemned Arianism, which taught that Christ was more than human but not fully divine. The use of homoousios (Greek: “of one substance”) in the creed produced at the council was meant to put an end to the controversy” – https://www.britannica.com/topic/homoousios). 

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

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

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

THE GOD OF LOVE & FREEDOM (ABRAHAM LINCOLN SAID, “AS I WOULD NOT BE A SLAVE, SO I WOULD NOT BE A MASTER”)

Greetings Friends! There is only one place in the whole of the known and unknown universe where life, both seen and unseen, springs forth. It is from this source that all of creation burst forth in life, whether physical or non-physical (spiritual). This is the residence of the One who declares Himself to be God who is Creator of everything. He is the uncreated Almighty God who exists in His substance of Love and Freedom.

He declares Himself omnipotent, meaning He is “all powerful.” The Bible quotes God, “I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by Myself” (Isa.44:24). The prophet introduced the passage about God being Creator of all humanity, “This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb” (Isa.44:24; read also, Psa.139) 

He shows Himself to be omniscient which means He is “all knowing.” God knows everything. The Bible says, “For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything” (1 John 3:20). Further, the Bible says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes, and He is the One to whom we are accountable” (Heb.4:13; also, Prov.5:21; 15:3).

He reveals Himself to be omnipresent, meaning God is “present everywhere” or He is in all places at once. The Psalmist utters God’s omnipresence, “Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your Presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me” (Psa.139:7-10, ESV).

God, in His sovereign mantle of Love and Freedom, calls creation into existence from the expanse and vacuum of nothingness by the creative words of His Son. (John 1:1-4) The Bible states, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son…through whom He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His Being, sustaining all things by His powerful word” (Heb.1:1-3). God encompasses all space and time, and things seen and unseen, and declares Himself to His creation through His Son. Further God says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev.22:13). God, in His mantle of Love and Freedom, spreads creation out as a curtain where all of life is made to manifest.


In all God’s greatness from what we have seen described above, He also reveals His divine nature. He reveals Himself as the God who is Love and Freedom in nature and substance.

In all God’s greatness from what we have seen described above, He also reveals His divine nature. He reveals Himself as the God who is Love in nature and substance. John declares this beautiful truth about God, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). So, while He is inherently “all powerful” (omnipotent), “all knowing” (omniscient), and is “present everywhere” (omnipresent), God exists spontaneously in His overarching nature of Love. The opposite of Love is hatred, depravity, hostility, self-centeredness, greed, rude and uncaring, coarse and brutish, heartless, unforgiving, cruel, aloof and unfriendly, and so forth. He is none of that, for He is unconditionally and perfectly Love in nature and substance!

However, God is not only Love, He is also the embodiment of Freedom in every sense – He is Freedom personified! He is Freedom in the truest sense of the word, just as He is absolutely Love in substance and reality! As noun or verb, God is both Love and Freedom Personified in His Trinitarian Being. When He created humankind, He Freely chose to do so out of His great Love. And He Freely chose to make humans in His likeness, that is to say, to possess both Love and Freedom as He is in His Tri-Personal Being and Godhead (Trinity). (Matt.28:18-19; 2 Cor.13:14). So, whenever the nature of God is mentioned it always convey both His trinitarian Love and Freedom as one indivisible divine substance.

Gods Love Clip Art N7 free image download

Humans have searched and conjured up deities following their fallen minds from Adam, and have been led by the devil through idol and other forms of worship with equally evil practices. Unless and until the true God and Creator chooses to reveal Himself to humanity, we are left at the whims of our fallen and sin-conditioned imagination about His deity. Satan has taken advantage of this ignorance and led fallen humanity down the dark path of false and satanic worship. However, the Bible says this about the Creator’s revelation about Himself.

“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, He has spoken to us through His Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son He created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command. When He had cleansed us from our sins, He sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave Him is greater than their names” (Heb.1:1-4, NLT).

So through Jesus, the Son, God created mankind in His own image, and that image is seen and replicated in His Son, Jesus. (Rom.8:29; 2 Cor.4:4) God reveals Himself not as a solitary God as humans have attempted to portray Him, rather, He revealed Himself as a Tri-Personal Being in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Trinity). (Matt.28:18-19; 1 Pet.1:2; Act.7:55; 2 Cor.13:14) The three Persons of the Trinity are three distinct and free Persons in the Godhead. Paul’s blessing upon the Corinthians was uttered with these words, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor,13:14). Jesus said this about Him and the Father, “No one has seen the Father except the One (Jesus) who is from God; only He has seen the Father” (John 6:46, italics my emphasis). Further Jesus declares His divine origin in the Triune Godhead, saying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

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Having seen God’s Triune Being is characterized by both Love and Freedom, let’s dig deeper into the flipside of God’s Love nature…that of Freedom, and why is this important to comprehend and understand? Consider, in His Personal Freedom, God gave up His Son to be born a human and die as a worthy sacrifice to save mankind from sin and rebellion, and gift us with immortality. (John 3:16-17) When Jesus gave His life to be crucified upon His cross, He freely did so as a Free Person within the Trinity, “The reason My Father Loves Me is that I lay down My life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father” (John 10:17-18). This reveals the truth that each Person within the trinitarian Godhead is fully God and distinctly Free and whole Personalities.

Then Jesus explained the Father’s free-will to surrender His Son for humanity’s Freedom, He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed Me to bring Good News (from the Father and Spirit) to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come” (Luk.4:18-19, NLT, italics my emphasis). Jesus was reading from the scroll in a synagogue, and told His listeners, “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” (Luk.4:21). The time of Jubilee (freedom) was here. The central plank of Jesus’ mission was to bring Freedom by setting humanity free from rebellion and the sin-condition the devil had imprisoned mankind since the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden. (Gen.3:1-6).

Jesus’ mission was to set humanity Free as God is Free in His Tri-Personal Being. For in stating the obvious regarding the unity of the purpose of the divine Godhead to save mankind, the trinitarian culture and value is self-evident in that the act of one is always the act of three, and the act of three is always the act of one. (2 Thess.2:13; 2 Cor.5:21; Matt.28:18-19) God exists in three equally Free divine Persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Because of their shared substance is a divine one, all three Persons are divine and equally Love and equally Free. This is God’s image replicated in human beings when He created mankind. (Gen.1:26-27) It is from the Free Personalities of the triune Godhead by which human individual freedom is realized, understood, and replicated.

John tells us about God’s judgement for giving His Son, “And the (God’s) judgment is based on this fact: God’s light (Jesus) came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil” (John 3:19, italics my emphasis). Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). He goes on, “So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Freedom was the key pillar of Jesus’ mission.

Here, we see that ‘light’ and ‘darkness’ are used metaphorically for ‘freedom’ from or ‘bondage’ to evil and sin. What is this freedom? Paul said, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be encumbered once more by a yoke of slavery” (Gal.5:1). The “yoke of slavery” means the sin-condition humans have been held in bondage to since Adam’s fall in Eden. (Rom.5:17: Gen.3:1-6; 2:15-17) Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (John 8:34; 2 Pet.2:19). Paul goes on, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor.3:17).

Abraham Lincoln said, “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.” In this fallen world of Satan, he is the master in the systemetic spritual slavery system he has established over unsuspecting humanity. There is but One true Master in heaven, who is Himself Freedom and its complete embodiment who leads humanity on the pathway to liberty and Love. Jesus said, “No one is able to serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and he will love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and he will despise the other. You are not able to serve God and mammon (self-centeredness)” (Matt.6:24, italics my emphasis).

Nowadays many people live and exist like they are anything but free. To be sure, all of humanity exists today in a state of bondage to the devil’s sin-condition of mutinous rebellion against God, following Lucifer’s (now Satan’s) original revolt against his Sovereign Creator. (Isa.14:12-14; Ezek.28:11-19) For humanity, it started from Adam’s fall in Eden, following Lucifer’s revolt. So, feeling subjugated is natural to the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ having inherited the same spirit of bondage from Satan through Adam’s fall. Paul said, “Because one person (Adam) disobeyed God, many became sinners (remain in fallen condition). But because one other Person obeyed God (Jesus Christ), many will be made righteous” (Rom.5:19, NLT, italics my emphasis).

Yes, after Adam’s fall, God immediately promised to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us through His ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity.’ (Gen.3:14-15; Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23, 21) Yes, His prophetic name, ‘Immanuel,’ reveals Jesus’ origin from the divine Tri-Personal Godhead (Trinity). (Matt.28:18-19; 2 Cor.13:14) It means Jesus was God in human flesh, for that is what ‘Immanuel’ means, “God with us” (Matt.1:23; also, Isa.9:6; John 3:16).  

In this incarcerated condition, humans have become prisoners of their own making because of the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ inherited from Satan through Adam’s fall in Eden. (Gen.3:1-6; 2:16-17) Be that as it may, mankind possess human freedom and thereby can choose which way to follow – Satan’s way of sin and self-centeredness, or Christ’s triune way of Love, collaboration, and freedom. One of the consequences of following the Satan’s rebellious way is people’s inclination to place blame upon others or on external extraneous factors for their failures.

This began with Adam for blaming Eve for eating the forbidden fruit. (Gen.3:10-13). When God asked Eve about it, she blamed Satan. But Satan blamed them for he is called “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev.12:10) He is the blamer-in-chief, for the Scriptures tell us he is “the accuser of our brothers and sisters — the one who accuses them before our God day and night” (Rev.12:10). He is also called God’s and thereby humanity’s adversary. (1 Pet.5:8). So, the common human trait and pastime of playing the ‘blame game’ started in Eden.

Eve was spot-on for blaming Satan, nevertheless, humans possess individual freedoms incubated in the divine Love-image, and must take responsibility for their own actions. We share the blame when we freely choose not to take responsibility for our freedoms, despite our ignorance or willfulness in the moment. Paul warned us, “Do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke (bondage) of slavery (sin)” (Gal.5:1, italic my emphasis). That is why Jesus had to freely and voluntarily choose to die upon His cross as our worthy sacrifice, because we sinned freely and willfully, albeit at the instigation of the Evil One. (Read about overcoming the devil’s temptations following Jesus’ example at: http://bulamanriver.net/20216

People tend to refuse to own up to their failures without realizing we are actually living in the spirit of subjugation of the Evil One who instigates and promotes failures and accusations (blaming). (Rev.12:10) Paul pointed out our dilemma, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph.6:12, ESV).

People blame adverse conditions, from economic status and or misfortune, to other’s political persuasion and governments, to racial division and animosity, to ill fortune and just bad breaks, to ill health and negative circumstances, and whatever cause they want to assign blame, take a pick. But it is a symptom of our fallen human nature from Adam. We must be cognizant of the spiritual forces which undertow our freedoms and motivations. (Eph.6:12) In all this, there is Freedom we must contend with and answer to. Freedom imparts transparency to human personal responsibility.  

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against  principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this  world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Let us continue as Jesus magnify our understanding on this point about freedom, saying, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is clear, your whole body is also light; but when it is evil, your body is also dark. Therefore, take heed, lest the light that is in you be darkness. If therefore your body is full of light, not having any part dark, it will be all light, as when the lamp shining might light you” (Luk.11:34-36, BLB). Light and darkness are symbols for freedom and bondage. Jesus is speaking about two realities, like two sets of ‘eyes’: the physical eye, and the spiritual eye. They both see things differently, depending on which pair of eyes is perceiving (seeing).

If your human eye is the lamp of the physical body, then your spiritual eye (vision) is the lamp to the soul (mind) spiritual body. The human mind is the factory for thoughts where thought-processes are manufactured and turned into human action. Light and darkness are metaphors for freedom and bondage, benevolence and malevolence, sin and virtue (Love), salvation and condemnation. Thereby, our actions which flow from our sight (perception), conceived in our thoughts, generated by actions which constitute either freedom or bondage (light or darkness), virtue (Love) or sin (rebellion).

The important question to answer is, who is the ‘light’ of your eye? Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Satan is also called light, a masquerading “the angel of light” (2 Cor.11:14). This is what Paul spoke of when he warned, “Therefore take heed that the light within you is not darkness” (Luk.11:35). The only light which can be seen in darkness is the devil who masquerades himself as an “angel of light” (2 Cor.11:14). We can be in darkness but able to see only the ‘light’ the devil emits from his masquerading “angel of light.” Jesus is the true Light which brings Freedom.

Let us be spiritually perceptive in our understanding that life incorporates human experiences that reveal personal messages from the divine will. God is using the humdrum events of our lives as kind of alphabets, the bits and pieces of His language of Love that, under the subterranean strata of our lives and with the spiritual eyes convey His Love, purpose, and Freedoms. Paul said in effect that nothing happens inadvertently by accident, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who Love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Rom.8:28). This act of self-discovery and remembering is vital in seeking the treasures buried in God’s own heart for our lives. We train our eyes to see the light through the fingerprints of God in all our situation and circumstances. Jesus said, “Blessed are your eyes because they see” (Matt.13:16).

Satan’s mode of deception has always been to try to create a counterfeit light to God’s light in Jesus Christ. For in Christ’s light we are bathed in Freedom, in Satan’s light (fake “angel of light”) we grope and fumble in the darkness of sin and rebellion. (2 Cor.11:14) Satan was once genuine angel of light when God created him an anointed cherub, named Lucifer, called the “Shining Star of the Dawn” (Ezek.28:14; Isa.14:12). But through his revolt with his rebellious angels, his light was extinguished and he mutated into Satan, God’s adversary and angel of darkness. (1 Pet.5:8; Isa.14:12-14; Col.1:13)

Now he is masquerading the former glory which he once had and lost in order to deceive humanity. Today, the Bible tells us something different about Satan, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph.6:12). So, he is the angel of darkness who rule in his dark world. (Col.1:13).

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Humans have vision through two pair of eyes. One is physical, and the other is spiritual. They both perceive differently, depending on which pair of eyes is doing the observation and considering the facts before it. If Jesus is our light, then we will have both pair of eyes, but with the spiritual eyes we will observe true light which brings spiritual “health” as Luke’s gospel puts across. (Luk.11:34) We will perceive the truth for Jesus said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32, italics my emphasis). Jesus is our light that brings truth and freedom! Truth and Freedom are opposite sides of the same coin. The passage to Freedom is through the Truth, in the Person of Jesus, who said, who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

However, with ordinary (unconverted) pair of eyes, without Jesus as our light, we will see with both vision pairs, however, spiritually we will only see Satan’s counterfeit light (“angel of light”) in his dark world. (2 Cor.11:14). With Jesus’ pair of eyes, we will see through the darkness of Satan’s counterfeit light. With ordinary (unconverted) pair of eyes, the only ‘light’ we will see is Satan’s light disguising as the “angle of light.” The ‘light’ he projects emanates and bursts forth from the very depths of hades. He is true darkness, and the prince of darkness. (Col.1:13; Eph.6:12) Unless we have the right pair of eyes of Jesus with His light, we will not see the devil for what he truly is, the angel of darkness. (John 8:12) We remain in bondage to his rebellion and sin-condition.

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When Paul, then named Saul, miraculously encountered Jesus Christ on his way to Damascus, Jesus gave him a commission, “I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’” (Act.26:12, 15-18, italics my emphasis). Did you notice, Paul’s mission was to raise a people from the Gentile population, who are given this new pair of eyes so they may see light (freedom) from darkness (bondage) and turn away from bondage and follow the path of freedom (light) in Christ – “through faith in Me (Jesus)” (Act.26:18). The Bible calls Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles. (Rom.11:13) Paul was given the same mission the Father gave Jesus. (Luk.4:18-19)

Once again, why is it important to comprehend God’s divine nature of Love and Freedom…and notably Freedom as we are doing in this post today? The passage to Freedom is through the Truth… the very Person of Jesus Christ who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). In the final scenario of God’s plan for humanity, after all things in God’s venerated and blessed future plan for humanity have been restituted by and through His Son, He reveals this beautiful truth about mankind’s destiny in all creation and in the divine sacred order. It is prophetically uttered in this fashion, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory” (Rom.8:17; also read, Rev.21:1-8).

Humans are predestined to become offspring of the divine, children of Freedom, children of God. By saying, “heirs of God” means to become heirs of who God is in both His ‘Love Personality,’ and ‘Personality of Freedom.’ To “inherit all things” is to become co-heirs with Jesus of all creation. (Rev.21:7) As offspring and heirs of God and His creation humanity reflect His personalities of Love and Freedom. For God is Love and Freedom by nature and substance (homoousios*). (1 John 4:8, 16; John 8:32, 36; Gal.5:1; Gen.1:26-27).

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The Holy Spirit, Symbolized by the Dove, Manifestation of Love & Freedom In Humanity

God has created humanity for Freedom to reflect Him in His divine nature. Let’s now answer what is this divine substance we call Freedom, and why is it so vital to our lives and the lives of all peoples? And most importantly, for the wellbeing of humanity as a whole. It is wrapped up in Jesus’ answer, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Recall, we have seen that ‘light’ is synonymous with ‘freedom,’ as ‘darkness’ is with ‘bondage.’ Paul told the Galatians, “It is for Freedom that Christ has set us Free” (Gal.5:1, my emphasis; John 8:36). Freedom is ultimately about squaring our lives with and about the Truth of sin which holds us in bondage.

“I Am The Truth” John 14:6

What is light? According to the Bible, it is personified in the life and person of Jesus Christ. “I Am the light of the world, He said succinctly and unambiguously. Freedom is not some mystical, nonphysical, substance we take ownership of like some metaphysical element we can earn, collect and amass, and even manipulate. It is not a degree we earn in college. This is the first truth about Freedom we must wrap around our limited human minds – (I say ‘limited’ not in a derogatory sense, but to underscore how far humanity has drifted from the divine reality since the fall of man in Eden). Freedom is bound up in the Person of Jesus Christ…Freedom shines forth from His ‘light’ as the second Person of the Tri-Personal Godhead (Trinity). (John 8:12, 32).

Sin and rebellion stands as a wall which prevents Freedom from reaching the human mind to illuminate and inspire us with the brilliance of God’s enlightenment. The whole of creation is tied to the divine reality of God’s Person which we saw at the start of this blog, that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.

Let me attempt to expand on this extra-ordinary truth about the Person of Jesus who brings about Freedom for He is the Personification of it. Freedom is embodied in the Person of Jesus Christ. I realize that can be very hard to comprehend, having been reared in the fallen, dark, world of the Evil One. Throughout time and history since Eden, our first parents enjoyed the blessed state of existence in complete wellbeing, sufficiency, wholesomeness, and joy unbound in the presence of God. They never knew or experienced any semblance of physical or spiritual degeneration, neither any lack or want whatsoever.

Since God brought forth all things through the creative hands of His Son, then the whole of creation and the universe is wrappred up in Jesus Christ’s Person as the Fountain of life itself. (Heb.1:1-3) Creation does not and cannot derive its existence from nothing, but must spring forth from life itself wrapped up in the Person of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul affirms this, “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Rom.8:2, ESV). Life cannot evolve by a natural process on its own, but by the ‘Spirit of life’ (Holy Spirit) through Christ. (John 14:6)

We can scientifically examine and explain how life is transmitted and emitted from a natural source or element, like our sun. That is merely the analysis of output, yet we’re left with the question of input, which answers the question of life and reality itself which is totally different. God Himself says, “Not by (human) might, nor by (natural) power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts” (Zech.4:6; italics my emphasis; also, John 6:63; Act.1:8; Job 32:8; Psa.33:6). Ultimately, the sun’s solar energy is harnessed and radiates through the input of God’s Spirit, the very mantle of power that holds the whole universe in its cosmic order and center. (Col.1:17; Heb.1:3)

We can see exquisite colorful butterflies, humble insects that can solve seemingly complex problems by working together, and even ‘intelligent’ animals, and wonder at the marvelous creative hands of God. The Psalmist declare, “You give them Your breath, life is created and You renew the earth” (Psa.104:30). Hence, all life and all creation is wrapped up in the mantle of the Person of Jesus who said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6; Heb.1:2). This awareness and recognition is the precept upon which the human mind is launched into the pathway to genuine liberty, creativity, and eventual immortality. (John 3:16)

The Way The Truth The Life - slide share

Only after humanity’s fall through Adam and Eve, have we drifted so distant away from our predestined Edenic reality that was mankind’s very first divinely miraculous birthright. Humanity has never experienced what it was like to exist in such an Edenic paradise. What we experience today can only be measured in terms of our spiritual distance from God, and humanity’s drift into the darkness of the evil world the devil has fashioned for fallen humans. Through Adam’s fall we have lost our wonder and fascination for God’s Love, and awe for His sovereign Freedom. Be that as it may, the Spirit ensures humans will never lose their inborn divine destiny nor will it be erased. (Gen.1:26-27)

We may have chosen to live autonomously from the Creator and His Love as Lucifer (Satan) did, but God rescues us through His Son in order to bring mankind to His triune (nonautonomous) Love-Being. (Luk.17:21, KJV; Rom.5:12; Ezek.28:13-19) We have lost every glimmer and import of the reality Adam and Eve once enjoyed existing in the Love and Freedom of the divine Tri-Personal Being of God (Trinity). Paul told the people of Athens, “For in Him we live and move and have our being’” (Act.17:28).

In promising to restore our human birthright in the image and likeness of God by saving mankind from sin and death, the Bible made a remarkable prediction about Jesus’ role as our Savior and High Priest. (John 3:16; Heb.4:14-16). He was prophesied to appear as One who is the “refiner’s fire,” and “launderer’s soap.” It means He ‘cleanses’ and ‘refines’ His people. (Mal.3:2-4) As humanity’s High Priest today, He appears before our Almighty Father and performs this role of cleansing and refining us from all our human frailties, evil inclinations, wrong urges and impulses, refines our thoughts and motives so we can live in His Love-instincts, and make mankind holy and acceptable before the Almighty, so we may remain enveloped in His Love and Freedom forever. (Rom.5:9; 3:26)

Jesus’ Person represents the very divine fiber, nuance, and modulation of the Tri-Personal Love. In Him we live, move, and walk thus evoking interactive relationship with the holy God. This was what humanity had through the ‘tree of life’ in Eden, but was cut-off through sin and rebellion owing to Adam’s fall. Today Jesus is the filter by which we are cleansed, refined, and made holy in God’s presence. (2 Cor.5:21) This is what our ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ does not possess and will not attain without the Person of Jesus who is the embodiment of the identical Love substance in the Father, Son, and Spirit.

Hence, Paul says, “So you also are made complete through your union with Christ, who is the Head over every ruler and authority” (Col.2:10, NLT). You see, as Jesus walks in us through the Spirit’s anointing power, the divine Freedom brings on gradual and certain victories in life thwarting the enemy’s work of darkness; and these victories all add up to discovering genuine and joyful liberties found only in our ‘true self in Christ’ previously incarcerated in sin. In our union with Jesus, we are Freed from all forms of bondage. (Col.2:13-15). Yes, “Jesus has disarmed the powers and authorities of darkness, and made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Col.2:15). All praise be to God, this is the otherworldly miraculous life humans are given and privileged to live in Jesus through the Spirit’s empowering presence. When the Scripture says through Paul, “For when I am weak, then I am strong,” it is affirming the miraculous life in the Spirit’s power which defeat evil and sin which keep us in bondage. (2 Cor.12:10) As the prophet uttered the very words of God, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit’, says the LORD of Hosts” (Zech.4:6)

Notice how Paul frames our Freedom through his text to the Christians in Ephesus, “Now God has us where He wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all His idea, and all His work. All we do is trust Him enough to let Him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work He does, the good work He has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing” (Eph.2:7-10, MSG). And the end result is joy and liberty in Love (God).

Unfortunately, through time and deception, Satan has driven a wedge to extricate us from our reality in Jesus Christ and the Godhead. With time and experience, the human uprooting and distance from God has grown wider and further in scope and depth. This is the beautiful truth that was lost from our first home in Eden. But God sent His Son to reestablish this wonderful Edenic truth in all its glory that is humanity’s birthright prior to the fall. (John 3:16-17; Rom.8:12, 36)

Freedom is wrapped up in a Person. Freedom is not some philosophy major one pursues and earns in college. It is not born out of our American history in slavery, although its certain painful legacy can be understood through this aspect of our history. But true Freedom is greater than we realize or we migh care to admit. Freedom is a Person! Freedom is Jesus Christ! (John 8:32, 36; 14:6) It is personified in His Person, in the same way that rebellion and sin is personified in Satan, the devil. (Isa.14:12-15; Ezek.28:14-15) Freedom and bondage, good and evil, are powerful unseen forces which are broadcasted into the human psyche by evil spirits or God’s Spirit. Hence, we are admonished “to test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1).

Satan and his demonic spirits know of their future where they will be held in hellish prison through their diabolical work of leading humanity down the path of sin and damnation. (2 Pet.2:1-2; Jude 1:6; Rev.20:1-2) We must understand all forms of bondage and slavery in the backdrop of sin and rebellion for living automously apart from God promoted by Satan. Love leads to Freedom and can never promote slavery and bondage in any shape or form, especially spiritually. (Isa.61:1-2; Luk.4:18) Love is a Person! Love is Jesus Christ! God is Love! (1 John 4:8, 16)  

2 Corinthians 3:13. It is so encouraging to know that anyone can have  freedom in Jesus. stock photo 8b7002d4-68b8-44d5-9343-c5b1f82e6a85

If the Love of truth is something we can identify with, then the only way genuine Love and Freedom can enter and become part of humanity is to unify the two lives into One, as in the marriage union, humanity in Jesus and vice versa. Jesus said, “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it” (Matt.16:25). Mankind will be made one with and in Jesus, as Christ is One with the Father and the Spirit in the trinitarian Godhead. (Matt.28:18-19; 2 Cor.13:14).

Jesus’ ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’ explains the incarnation of the divine nature, will and purpose in humanity…Jesus’ presence is the flow of His divinity, His Love, His Freedom, through us to others. In the same evil spirit by which humans are led and held involuntarily in bondage and sin, mankind will be led in the path of Freedom and restorative righteousness through the Holy Spirit. We will be lifted to a fresh and uplifting consciousness opening the pathway to liberty.

And we know this is the prophetic union of humanity’s future glory of one reality and union in Christ, listen, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife (mankind) has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” (Rev.19:6-9). Only in such blessed union will humanity and God unite and become One in the very essence of divine Love and Freedom as declared in Scripture, “God will be all in all” (1 Cor.15:28).

The very heart and substance of this divine plan began with humanity’s process of rebirth when Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again” (John 3:3). Yes, we experience the rebirth, a spiritual incarnation, into the divine dynamic union with Jesus’ ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’ and thereby given to have union with the holy God. Paul explains how this process works from our human perspective, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal.2:20a). Paul speaks of a death and rebirth process of incarnational conversion.

A rebirth takes place when one life is given up for another to make the two One in Christ. We do not lose our individuality, but actually reclaim it from the evil cocoon and prison into which we have been imprisoned by Satan. Once we were in union with the devil’s rebellion, now we are unified in and with Jesus in Freedom and God’s Love. Jesus made this action on our part abundantly clear when He said, “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it” (Matt.16:25).

Earlier we saw that humans have two pair of spiritual eyes, one sees Jesus’ light, while the other sees the devil’s light which is Satan’s masquerading “angel of light” which blinds unknowing people to the true light of Jesus. (2 Cor.11:14; John 8:12). Both eyes represent the false self and the true self. It is the false self which place blinders before us so we cannot see the light of Jesus. Jesus said that if you lose the false self, you will be given the eyes of the true self to see Him, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it” (Matt.16:25).  

Further, Paul made reference to our union with Christ, “For Christ’s Love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Cor.5:14-15). And this is what happens in the ritual of baptism, “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Rom.6:3-4).

Did you see that? Baptism is the ritual given us by God to memorialize our death and rebirth and enter into the future glorious spiritual marriage union wherein Christ now lives in humans, and vice versa in one glorious unified being. Paul affirms Jesus’ words, saying, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new (reborn and redeemed) life has begun!” (2 Cor.5:17, italics mine, NLT). Yes, in baptism we bury the old enslaved life and self we had under Satan, and given rebirth into the ‘redeemed Immanuel humanity’ in Jesus, replicating the one unified life of the Tri-Personal Being of God (Trinity) in the Father, Son, and Spirit. (Matt.28:18-19).

The New Birth – Baptism, An Outward Sign of Inward Reality In Christ. Matt.28:18-19Rom.6:3-7
Fr. Jonel - MONDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF EASTER John 3:1-8 Jesus hints  Nicodemus on some of the secrets of the spiritual life. “Unless one is born  anew, he cannot see

Ultimately, Freedom brings mankind to the place in the human journey where we hear, “A loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new! Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End” (Rev.21:3-7). This is the epitome of humanity’s journey of incarnation into God’s eternal Freedom and Love which ends in immortality and Paradise. (Rev.19:6-9; 21:1-2)

Reflect on this astounding truth, God is divine and we are the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ from Adam. How can we possibly imagine that in our fallen state of being we have the capacity wherewithal to enter the existence of the holy God? It is impossible! Yet, here is the Good News – God makes it possible by giving up His Son by attributing His perfect life upon us which makes our future potential all possible. (2 Cor.5:21; John 6:40) Such is the indescribable wisdom of God, the unfathomable Love of our Father, there is no superlative to articulate its depth, breadth, height, and width. A Love that surpasses all knowledge and transcends every nugget of wisdom by which we are filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Eph.3:18-19)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farewell for now! 

Kiang P. Lee  (Your Servant in Christ)

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

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

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

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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

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

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

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

Bulamanriver Book Cover

***Homoousios: “In Christianity, the key term of the Christological doctrine formulated at the first ecumenical council, held at Nicaea in 325, to affirm that God the Son and God the Father are of the same substance. The Council of Nicaea condemned Arianism, which taught that Christ was more than human but not fully divine. The use of homoousios (Greek: “of one substance”) in the creed produced at the council was meant to put an end to the controversy” – https://www.britannica.com/topic/homoousios).  

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

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

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