Monthly Archives: April 2016

“TRUE SELF” AND “FALSE SELF” BY KIANG P LEE

“Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life…Put on your new nature, created to be like God” Eph. 4:22,24

Greetings Friends! What do I mean by “true self” and “false self”? Does the Bible speak about the subject? I hope I can clarify what the terms mean, and show how the Bible speaks about the topic, and help us understand what it teaches. File:Statue of Liberty National Monument STLI 02-02.jpg

Statue of Liberty – Depicting Freedom in the New World of the United States (Wiki Commons)

Every person possesses dual personalities. One is true to who he or she is as a person created in God’s image and likeness, I call that personality the “true self.” While the second personality works against and dehumanizes the person based upon self-determination, whom I call the “false self.” One brings joy and true success, while the other brings stress, frustration, and defeat. One empowers a person, while the other incapacitates and weakens. These two personalities can exist side by side, so the person can be in a state of friction and constant tension, depending on the circumstance, hence the person can be compelled to make hard choices to resist the opposing personality. Although every person is gifted differently, yet each of the dual personality expresses itself depending on who decides to show up to confront the issue at hand.

Let me give you the background how these two personalities came to be, and how they affect our relationship with others and the world around us. Hopefully, this explanation will  help us deal with the seeming contradictory life choices we face every day. You are left with a choice between two divergent paths, taking a right one will lead to good, while the other leads to ruin. I hope it will help lead us to a more productive life.

When God created humans, he made man in His own Love-image. (Gen.1:26-25) Because Adam and Eve lived in God’s presence in the Garden of Eden, God’s Love was an intrinsic part of their personality, and this reflected their “true self.” The “true self” made it possible for our first parents to live and commune with God in their Love relationship. Adam and Eve had everything they could ever desired which God supplied and provided them. They lived with absolutely nothing they lack, most of all joy was their reflection of life. They lived and remained faithful to God in Eden.

But Adam’s “true self” was not founded upon God’s Love alone. Love must of necessity be vibrant, revitalizing, and motivating, in order for the Love relationship to flourish. Hence, Love has a dynamic element which engenders goodwill, respect, honor, integrity, patience and humility, so the Love relationship can grow. It is called freedom. Freedom is the lifeblood of God’s Love which flows like a river endlessly with its energizing qualities. In order for Love to have meaning and relevance there must of necessity be freedom. You can say the two elements are the dynamic duo of God’s divine nature. Without freedom there is no Love, and without Love there is no freedom. The Bible says, “God is Love,” and the flipside of Love is freedom. (1 John 4:8) Paul said, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal.5:1) Love cannot thrive and be allowed to grow without the freedom of choice to Love.

By its very nature freedom brings the dynamic of choice into the picture. Hence, when God made humans He gave him a mind with the ability to discern and make choices. This means Love is the divine life that’s made to flourish by the exercise of one’s freedom through decision-making. Therefore, freedom by its very definition engages the mind to assess the circumstance at hand, discern and distinguish, and through effort and sometimes struggle, make the right choices based upon Love. It is a choice made by one with the welfare of another in mind, in order that the Love relationship may grow and be magnified between them. That is the dynamism in which Love is nurtured and made to flourish, thus reflecting the “true self.”File:Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde poster edit2.jpg

Much Like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde a Person exists with Dual Personalities in His “True Self” and “False Self” (Wiki Commons) 

But freedom is not just an empty word. God Himself gives it the substance it warrants so we can experience freedom for real and authentically. Freedom is something tangible which our God-given minds can understand and make a choice to freely believe and accept or disbelieve and ignore. So, the substance of freedom is the ‘covenant promise’ God offers man. Thus the covenant becomes the lifeblood of God’s Love relationship where man can exercise his freedom about what God is offering him. Man’s part is to freely choose to believe or disbelieve what is offered. God could have made man like the many beasts and creatures He created having preset instincts so humans can automatically choose His covenant. But that would defeat His purpose of creating human children in His likeness. Freedom involves the exercise of the mind and will to voluntarily choose to Love. God wants the believer to freely Love Him – that takes true freedom!

The promise contained in His covenant with man is essentially the heart of what freedom means. We see this covenant spoken and articulated by God through His Prophet in the Old Testament and repeated by His Apostles in the New Testament. (read Jer. 31:33-34; Heb.8:10-12; 10:15-17) The contents of God’s covenant promise is the basis upon which man freely enter the Love relationship with God. So, for Christians the Love relationship with God (“true self”) finds its basis and underpinning upon the New Covenant.

The New Covenant can be encapsulated in the phrase from the Genesis account of man’s creation, “Then God said, “Let Us make mankind in Our image and let them have dominion over the earth and all living things.” (Gen.1:26-27, paraphrased). Therefore, the covenant is the pathway to and reflects the “true self” who exists in God’s likeness. All God’s activity on earth since Adam’s fall has been to fulfill His original mandate for human creation proclaimed in Genesis, period. God’s image is immortality, so the New Covenant promises man to be part of God’s family living eternally with Him. God’s image is Love, so He made man to become Love as He is Love. God’s image is He is Creator and possesses all dominion and power, so He promises man creativity and reign over the earth. Most of all, God promises a life where death does not exist, with unbound joy and fulfillment without lack or suffering. It is a life we were created to experience in His presence.

In addition, there is a vital proviso to the covenant which underpins its miraculous function and value –  it is the provision of a Savior and Mediator. The New Covenant requires the role of a Savior who mediates between God and man in order for the terms of the covenant to be faithfully dispensed. In other words, the covenant is ineffectual without a Mediator, or High Priest. He is the go-between who constantly mediates God’s Love relationship with fallen man. However, at present man is under the rule of the devil who holds him incarcerated so he cannot enter into this covenant relationship with God…enter the Savior.

The Savior and Mediator of the New Covenant is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who existed with the Father and the Spirit in the One Triune Godhead from eternity. He was the prophesied Messiah, the Emmanuel, (God with us), who was promised after Adam’s fall in Eden. (Gen.3:14-15; Matt.1;23; read all of Isaiah 53) The New Covenant was ratified by Jesus’ blood through His death on the cross. (Matt.26:28) I would like to encourage you to go to a previous post on this subject of the New Covenant at this link: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=2993. It explains the Covenant in detail. File:The National Covenant, Huntly House Museum, Edinburgh.JPG

“National Covenant.” Believed to be the original from which copies were made for distribution of the fifty-two words long Preamble to the Constitution of the United States (1787) echoes phrases in the National Covenant – “We the People…” Photographed in subdued light. (Wiki Commons)

Recall, God had planted and gave Adam and Eve a garden called Eden where both Love and freedom was the essential part to their existence. We see the dynamic of freedom being introduced to make Love grow and flourish in Eden. God made a covenant with our first parents saying in effect they will live joyfully forever in His presence and have life to the fullest when they exercised their freedom in Love. He told them He planted numerous fruit-bearing trees for food to sustain them. He told them there was a special tree which produced marvelous and exquisite tasteful fruit, called the “tree of life.” He told them they should eat its fruits daily so they can replenish His Love in them. But they are to exercise their freedom and choose to eat from the “tree of life” and they did. The “tree of life” is the metaphor for His Spirit of Love. Also, there was another tree in Eden called the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” God told them they must never go near it, nor touch it, and never eat of its fruit.

So, here we see an environment of Love in Eden where the relationship is made to grow and flourish through the freedom of choice where man makes the deliberate decision to honor each other’s best interest through Love and freedom. One cannot be forced to Love someone. Love can be given only out of one’s freewill and own conscious choice based upon their covenant relationship. Love has to be a genuine free choice. One cannot give Love if he is incarcerated, he must be free. The story of Israel’s slavery and exodus from Egypt was a monumental account about freedom supported by God’s Love in His covenant promise to bring Israel to their own “land flowing with milk and honey” – the Promise Land. It was based upon the covenant God made with Abraham, from whom the Israelites descended. God wanted Israel free so He may Love Israel totally, and vice versa (covenant). Love is contingent upon the free choice of one person for another so Love may grow. Adam and Eve’s relationship with God in Eden comes with the dynamic of freedom which is the lifeblood of Love itself. So, Adam and Eve had life in Eden based upon their “true self” founded upon Love and freedom. 

It is vital to understand that God was not testing Adam through temptations to see if he will be obedient as many believe. God tempts no one. Rather, they were living in the dynamic of God’s Love and how Love is made to grow and flourish through freedom and one’s free will to choose, based upon the covenant God offers man. This is the nature of Love, and how it works. We are to take responsibility for Love with our freedoms because of the impossibility of Love to remain static and passive. “God is Love” and Love must be nurtured to flourish and is eternal which can never fade and die. (1 John 4:8, 16) Yes, Love must grow and increase, and the only element which establishes Love to thrive is freedom through the dynamic of a covenant relationship between two parties.

Man has taken his God-given freedom for granted not knowing why this gift was bestowed, nor realizing it’s purpose and place in life. He has misunderstood and abused the gift of freedom for self-interest (“false self”). He forgets the basis of freedom is so man may freely receive God’s grace and relate with Him in Love and fulfill man’s reason for being (“true self”). Yes, man is free to assess what God offers him, and determine if there is anything better than what He offers. I repeat, freedom is the lifeblood of Love, and the covenant is the lifeblood of freedom – this is the essence of the “true self.”

The Bible says, “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting (testing) me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed” (Jam.1:13-14). It is much like taking care of the baby’s dirty diaper, which many a person considers a huge test. Yet, you can’t blame the bundle of joy before you. But you can understand why the whole dynamics of babies and diapers has a natural and inherent part in the manifestation of your joy (promise/covenant) which brings freedom – the baby! It is foolish to “throw the baby out with the bath water” simply by reason of dirty diapers. Likewise, when given unavoidable choices (“tests”) to enable Love to grow through freedom, we can inadvertently get into the blame game like Adam and Eve. But I hope the light of His Love, His covenant promise, and the continuing unfolding of our “true self” through freedom, will guide us to see the big picture in a given situation.

In fact, James tells us to “consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds” (Jam.1:2). Why, because you are not in God’s test tube, you are in the middle of the dynamics of His Love and your Love relationship with God your Father that’s made to flourish with joyous outcome in the discovery of your “true self” which brings freedom. So, it is not so much about God testing you, as much as it is about God’s way of Loving you deeper, which leads to a more profound discovery of the joys of your “true self.” (Heb.12:4-8) File:"What will survive of us is Love" - geograph.org.uk - 1727528.jpg

Tomb at St. Chad, England with the Inscription “WHAT WILL SURVIVE ALL OF US IS LOVE” (Wiki Commons)

But here was the turning point for Adam and Eve where their choice became a hard struggle, as they most times do, when the devil enters the scene and tempts them to go in the opposite direction God had taught them. Satan told them to disregard God’s word saying He was lying to them. Unfortunately, they believed the devil and succumbed to his deception and ate the fruit they were forbidden to even touch. In effect, they covenanted with the devil and forsook God’s covenant with them. We know the story. God had no choice but expel them from Eden for their misguided decision. Adam and Eve exercised their freedom and made a choice which banished them from the magical land of Eden. They did not choose the way of God’s Love which reflected their “true self.” Instead, they chose the way of fear and self-determination, and from then on the “false self” was born. 

Here is what happened. In a moment in time, the “true self” disappeared from the life of man, and the “false self” began its reign over Adam and his children. The “true self” needed to be nourished with the fruit of the “tree of life” (Holy Spirit) which was in the Garden of Eden from which they were now banished. Now they have taken ownership of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Whereas in Eden they were guided by the Spirit (tree of life) in Love, now they were left to the whims of their own self-determination to decide for themselves what is good and evil, under the influence of the devil. And that is the choice man continues to have today, will man sit under the “tree of life” with the Spirit; or, under the “tree of good and evil” with the devil. 

But God is the embodiment of Love in His Being, and could not forsake His disobedient human children to the enemy. He promised to send a second Adam, His Son Jesus Christ, to correct the colossal blunder of the first Adam, and bring man back to Eden and the “tree of life” and restore man to his first estate in his “true self.” In a period of four thousand years of human history, man lived under the shadow of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” and exercised his freedom through his “false self.” The “false self,” motivated by Satan, has brought untold suffering, misery, and death upon humanity. True to God’s indictment upon Adam, “In the day you shall eat it (forbidden fruit) you will certainly die.” (Gen.2:17) The foundation of the “true self” is God’s outgoing Love, whereas the basis of the “false self” is fear and self-centered living.  

So much foul and deathly waters have passed under the bridge of time and history  – 4000 years! When Jesus Christ appeared on the scene to ratify a New Covenant with mankind based upon God’s original mandate at creation, He began His ministry by taking care of the first things by correcting the consequence of Adam’s fall. (Heb.8:10-12; Gen.1:26-27) His mission was to bring back the “true self” which was lost in Eden and return man to his lawful birthright. This was good news (Gospel) for man, at long last Someone worthy has come to take man by the hand and guide him back to the promise land – Eden! (John 3:16) After His baptism at John’s hand in the Jordan, the first order of things was to set the record straight and defeat the arch-enemy, Satan. (Matt.4:1-12) Having defeated Satan in His titanic battle in the Judean wilderness, He spent three and half years raising a ministry to carry on His work and the work of the Father of restoring man back to his “true self.” Jesus’ final act of completing His mission was to die on the cross as a worthy sacrifice for the forgiveness and absolution of all human sin. The work of rehabilitating man is, as Jesus said on the cross before breathing His last, “It is finished!” File:Tree of Life.jpg

A Depiction of the “Tree of Life” – Source of the “True Self” (Wiki Commons)

Now the consciousness of man can enter a door which heretofore was closed to him since Adam. It is the door to finding his “true self” that’s the embodiment of true Love and freedom that was lost from Eden. Remember, since Adam’s fall man was bound to his “false self” as it were a prison, and the prison warden is Satan. Love cannot thrive when man is incarcerated in the devil’s prison. How does man enter this door of discovery of his “true self” and leave behind everything about himself that’s a mask of deception of himself in the “false self”? Man must be unmasked to see himself for who he truly is before His Maker, and freely choose the path to his “true self.”

Jesus answers this human dilemma, “You must be born again,” He said. (John 3:7). This new birth is essentially the heart of the provision of the New Covenant. Man needs to experience an incarnation from the “old self” to the “new self.” Man has to be completely transformed from his “false self” to his “true self.” Jesus explains the process of change further, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to spirit…everyone must be born of the Spirit” (John 3:6, 8b). Jesus later affirmed this, saying, “It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh counts for nothing” (John 6:63). Recall, the Spirit was pictured in Eden as the “tree of life” from which Adam and Eve ate of its fruits and was sustained in God’s Love giving life and energy in their “true self.” On the day of Pentecost, which commemorates the day the Spirit (tree of life) was made available again to humanity, Peter stood before the crowd in the town square and announced to the people, “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). There we have the mechanics if you like, of how to step out of the “false self” and step into the “true self.” It takes repentance and baptism, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

It is vital to understand this incarnation is not something we can do on our own, as if by human volition alone. Some have advocated a so-called ‘surrendered life’ as the way to discover the “true self,” even though the surrendered life is necessary within the proper context. Let’s get our orientation right. A perceptive reading of the New Covenant will make us realize one vital aspect; not a single one of the provisions of the covenant can be executed successfully to its desired end without the direct infusion of God’s miraculous act to make the covenant reality. That’s to say, in man’s covenant relationship with God, the believer is constantly living the miraculous life in order to make covenant promise become reality.

Recall, Jesus went into the Jordan and was baptized by John the Baptist. John’s mission was to “preach the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4). His mission was specifically to baptize Jesus. But the question remains, why was it necessary for John to baptize Jesus “for the forgiveness of sins,” when He had not sin to repent of? The answer to that is the answer to our own “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Jesus took upon Him all the sins of mankind and was baptized for our repentance and forgiveness. Remember Jesus words to John after he hesitated baptizing Jesus, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Yes, He was baptized for our righteousness. Paul affirms this, “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Cor.1:30).

Ultimately, He was crucified as the perfect sacrifice for human sins. But the reason we can repent and be baptized and forgiven is because Christ has already done it for us. Not because we can do it on our own – although we have the freedom to make that choice. But let’s not confuse personal freedom with an act that requires a miraculous intervention from God. Just as we invoke Jesus’ cross for our forgiveness, likewise, we invoke His baptism for our repentance. It takes a miracle from God to bring man to repentance and forgiveness and so experience the incarnation to the “true self” through Jesus in the Spirit’s power. File:Giovanni Battista Foggini - The Fall of Man - Walters 54676.jpg

Origin of the “False Self” the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” (Wiki Commons)

Recall, when Jesus came out of the waters of Jordan, the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, and the voice of the Father proclaimed the encouraging words, “You are My Son whom I Love; with You I am well pleased” (Mark :1:11). Here we see Jesus inaugurating the coming of the Spirit into human life. It was later poured out upon man on the day of Pentecost (Joel 2:28; Act.2:1-4). Again, the giving of the Spirit has nothing to do with man’s doing, rather, it is because Jesus ushered the Spirit’s coming that we become privileged recipients. Jesus went on to defeat Satan in the wilderness of Judea and reversed Adam’s mistake and place mankind back on tract in God’s human enterprise. In place of Adam’s fall, we live the victorious life of Christ in the Spirit. These are three monumental things which Jesus did for man in the Jordan setting the stage for man to retake his rightful place upon this earth and in God’s scheme of things: the gift of repentance, the gift of forgiveness, and the gift of the Holy Spirit which brings the victorious life of Jesus – the true self!

Paul speaks eloquently of how this process takes place in a believer, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live (false self), but Christ lives in me (true self). The life I now live, I live by the faith of Jesus who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20). Further he said, “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception (“false self”). Put on your new nature, created to be like God–truly righteous and holy (“true self”)” (Eph.4:22-23). This is a fundamental statement which defines the “true self.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:16). Jesus is the way who leads man to the truth which leads life, and life brings the “true self.” Then Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, the one who believes in Me has eternal life” (John 6:47). So, the identity of the “true self” is hardwired to Jesus, who is the immortal Son of God.

Paul said, “Christ Jesus has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality through the gospel” (2 Tim.1:10). The “false self” on the other hand carries this indictment from the Creator, “You were made from the dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen.3:19). Note, God said this after Adam had discarded his “true self” and taken on the mantle of the “false self” by obeying the devil. But Jesus, the second Adam, came as was promised by the Father, and rescued man by restoring him to his first estate in his “true self” in Christ. File:Carl Heinrich Bloch - Jesus Tempted.jpg

Jesus, the Second Adam, Defeating Satan where the first Adam failed, Making the Victorious Life in the “True Self” Possible (Wiki Commons)

The basic identity of a person existing in his “true self” is manifested by living the “Triune Life.” The “Triune Life” means a person who lives the 3-dimensional life of the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Spirit. It means all three Persons in the Trinity are involved with the salvation of the believer. Then, there is the “solitary life” where man lives the 1-dimensional life in himself under the influence of the devil. Jesus became human fulfilling His prophesied identity as the Emmanuel, a name which means ‘God with us.’ (Matt.1:23) When He was resurrected from His ignominious death on the cross and ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven, He was raised bodily taking our humanity and glorifying it by inducting man into the very Being of the Triune God, as Christ Himself is One in substance and reality in the Triune Godhead. Therein is the identity of the “true self” living the “Triune Life” in Christ by the power of the Spirit who lives in man as His temple. (1 Cor.6:19) (You may read the “Mission Statement” explaining the “Triune Life” by clicking on the appropriate directory banner above. Or, go to:  http://bulamanriver.net/?page_id=3381)  

As the Triune God exists in their Love for each other eternally, likewise, Love is the underlying motivation of the “Triune Life” we are privileged to live through Christ. God makes this possible by depositing His Spirit in each of us, as 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; also Rom.8:9). When the Spirit enters the life of the believer and lives in him as a temple, He manifests the various shades and color of Love that Paul spoke so eloquently to the Corinthians (read 1 Cor.13).

To be patient, kind, generous, not envious and boastful, to be humble and not proud, to not be greedy or easily angered, to live in faith with hope, etc, are virtues we live by through freedom of choice from the opposite of these attributes. For every divine work of the Spirit (“true self”), there’s a competing work of the flesh that’s from the devil (“false self”). (Ga.5:13-26) The fruits of Love of the Spirit are not legalistic “tools” to make us better people, it comes naturally as a the result of living in the dynamics of God’s Love. It is how God, in His Triune Being, has lived in relational Love from eternity. What a privilege and blessing to be living in our “true self” through the “Triune Life.”   

I hope this post has encouraged you, as much as it has done for me, penning it. I pray that your Love relationship with God your Father may flourish with joyous outcome in the discovery of your “true self” which brings freedom. Yes, true freedom enters the human heart in the discovery of the “true self.” If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to write to me in the space provided below, or email me on bulamanriver@gmail.com.

Blessing:

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

Kiang,  

Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bulamanriver, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book.

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

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THE “TRIUNE LIFE” BY KIANG P LEE

“Go and tell the world about this wonderful Gospel, and induct (baptize) them into the name of the Triune God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”

Greetings Friends!

The command to not worship other gods apart from the true God, is directly connected to our conception of Him – that He is a “Trinitarian” and not a “solitary” God. By being Triune in nature, He essentially is relational and lives as ONE in Love, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). The practical meaning of Love means to be diverse yet unified in ONE. God is three persons, yet ONE God.

Man was created  to live the “Triune Life” because he is a Triune being. What do I mean? It means man was made in the image of the Triune God, who is in substance, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Gen.1:26-27) Therefore, man was made to enter the Loving relationship the Triune God and become ONE in substance and reality with God.

Whenever the name of God is mentioned, it always means He is “Triune” in His Being yet ONE. The name of God never means He is one in a “solitary” sense. Recall Jesus parting words to His disciples: “Go and tell the world about this wonderful Gospel, and unify (baptize) them into the name of the Triune God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (Matt.28:19, emphasis mine). In other words, we are commanded to induct believers into the unified “Triune Life” of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The reason is obvious, it is the most natural state of existence man can have because he is made in God’s likeness. 

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Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity (Wiki Commons)

Jesus’ final prayer with His disciples to the Father before He was crucified was framed in God’s Trinitarian reality. God inhabits eternity in His Triune Being, and is the Source of the Love which envelopes all of creation, and is expressed to man in His 3-dimensional reality. Man, in his fallen self, exists in his 1-dimensional reality.

“I do not pray for these (disciples) alone, but also those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be ONE, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be ONE in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be ONE just as We are ONE: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in ONE” (John 17: 20-23, emphasis added). Jesus told His disciples, “On that day you will realize that I am in the Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you” (John 14:20). Every word is uttered in its Trinitarian context of who God is in His Triune nature of Love.

Obviously, His prayer was intended to enlighten both the disciples and His followers about His mission, and to bring to reality the will of the Father in Jesus’ purpose in the Gospel. That is, to do the work of the prophesied Immanuel – “God with us”: to join man to the God who is Triune in His Being. (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23) So, the name Immanuel is essentially Trinitarian in its meaning. Also notice, God’s manifested glory become man’s when he is unified to God’s Triune Life in Christ. Primarily, His glory is manifested in the miraculous life we are privileged to live in the power of the Spirit, who is given to be with us “forever.” (John 14:16) This is what brings power to the Christian life, but for most, the Christian life is without the miraculous life or glory that comes from the Triune life of God. Are Christians still living the “solitary” life? Is this why they live powerless lives? So, there is always this three-fold involvement of the Father, Son, and Spirit in the life of the believer.

File:Eugène Delacroix - Christ on the Cross - Walters 3762 (2).jpg

Jesus’ Death Makes the “Triune Life” Possible (Eugene Delacroix, Wiki Commons)

It is entirely feasible for man to take this “unity prayer” of Jesus and apply it to his “solitary” human perspective of life and misses the Trinitarian point of His prayer altogether. It is so easy and natural for man to live the “solitary life” because he exists in his fallen state of being from Adam. It takes a miracle to live the “Triune Life.” Unfortunately, man has been relating with God on his “solitary” footing which is why his life has been powerless. With the “solitary life” man has develop a religion rather than a “relationship” with God. The essence of the “Triune Life” is triune living. Triune living is living in the power of the Spirit. Jesus, by stating, “By Myself I can do nothing” revealed He was indivisibly and inseparably unified to the Father and the Spirit, as ONE Triune Being in substance and reality. (John 5:30) Jesus goes on to say, “Rather, it is the Father living in Me who is doing His work. Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me?” (John 14:10). 

God’s promise to man is to give him a new heart to end his suffering from living a ‘solitary life’ through a newborn “unified life” in His Son, who in turn takes man into the “Triune Life” of God (Ezek. 11:19; Heb. 8:10, 10:22; John 3:1-8). He will remove the heart of fear and give him the heart of Love. In becoming a mortal human, Jesus vicariously assumed man’s sinful life in His perfect being. In doing so, He destroyed fear and replaced it with God’s Love. Finally, man can reciprocate with the same Love with which God Loves man. Only One from the Godhead is capable of Loving another God alike and perfectly. Man doesn’t have that Love. Only One from within the Triune Godhead can become the Mediator for all of humanity’s inadequate responses and transform them from fear to Love in Himself (John 3:16; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:15). That is why He is called man’s High Priest and Mediator in heaven, who forever intercedes for man. This is what Jesus brought and made possible for man. Hence Paul said, “You are complete in Him (Jesus)” (Heb.7:25-26; Col.2:10).

Living this “Triune Life” with and in God is as natural as He is Love for man was made in God’s Love image. God accepts His Son in our place as our vicarious defense against the law which defines sin and demands our life. Sin is the condition of living the “solitary life” of self-determination under Satan’s influence. So when Christ died as our perfect human atonement, we died in Him (Rom. 7:4-6). When He was resurrected, we were lifted with Him. When He ascended to heaven, we relocated in Him (Eph. 2:4-6). The covenant promise God makes with man in His Son removes the heart-of-stone and replaces it with the heart-of-flesh. This is our new life in Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension (Heb. 8:6-11). The heart of fear dies and reincarnates into a heart of Love (God). This is the miraculous life we have been called to live, for nothing but a miracle can make it happen.

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Dove, Symbol of the Holy Spirit (Wiki Commons)

The most basic and pivotal knowledge man can have is to understand God is Trinitarian, and to relate with Him as such. Man was born for this life. If we do not get this right the first time then everything else is based on a false premise. There are only two options: the “Triune Life,” or the “solitary life.” Christ came to open the consciousness of man to a realm unknown to man. From the Trinitarian worldview, the human mind opens vistas of perspectives he would not otherwise comprehend in his fallen “solitary” human worldview. The life of man in his fallen “solitary” human worldview is the lock which prevents him from entering door into the new world Jesus brought to man. You can say the Trinitarian worldview is the gateway to the realm of the Spirit heretofore unfamiliar and undiscovered by man. In fact, the “Triune Life” was unknown to man until Jesus came and reveal the Father and the Spirit to man. This is where God meets man, and man meets God, which is the point of the miraculous never before experienced by man. That is what Jesus brought us. 

The mission statement slogan for this ministry is “Live the Triune Life…Change the World.” You may read the mission statement in the directory banner above to gain more insight of the “Triune Life.”

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write to me in the space provided below, or email me on bulamanriver@gmail.com.

Blessing:

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

Kiang,  

Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bulamanriver, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book.

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

Note: All information is copy-write. 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.

THE INEVITABILITY OF JESUS IN HUMAN LIFE, BY KIANG P LEE

“And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died” (1 Corinthians 15:19-20)

Greetings once again Friends!

I hope I can help you to see the inescapability of Jesus in your life. Wherever you are, whether you a king or pauper, beggar or rich man, healthy or unwell, in pain or pain-free, employed or out of a job, married or single, schooled or unschooled, a commoner or royalty, whatever ethnicity in whatever station in life, …we all need Jesus in our lives, it’s just that we lack the capacity to see that yet. We don’t yet know His utter necessity in life. We have not seen nor understood only He can make sense of all our struggles, and to matters for which we don’t have answers, and ultimately to the question of life itself.

I am not pointing you to a Jesus whom you have seen as a religious figure. He is not! For truly, He is your personal Savior – a Savior is in the work of saving, rescuing and restoration. Man has made Jesus into a religion – not God! Religion is man’s way of explaining the deity they believe in with all its appended rules. God is our “Father,” He’s not religion! Jesus is our “Brother,” He’s not religion! Herald (Holy Spirit) is our “Friendly Helper,” He’s not religion! You can relate with the Triune God intimately. You will never relate with religion in the same way. Religion demands you obey and bow to its edict, God values and Loves you as His own child He will never spare any pains to have, hold, and caress in His bosom.

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Jesus Defeating Satan in The Temptations for Man (Wiki Commons)

The freedom and courage to believe would be the first place to begin. We must discard our preconceived ideas that God and religion are somehow related. They are not! Religion is the invention of man, not God. If we are going to come to a place where God can have a direct hand in our lives in a practical hands-on way, then it begins with the true concept of God. For some this can be hard because they think they can’t be anything else apart from the set of religious beliefs in which they are raised. They think, if you are Indian, then you have to be a Hindu. If you are Muslim then you are Islamic. If you are Asian, then you are born a Buddhist. If you are a Jew then your religion is Judaism. If you are a Westerner, then you are Christian, and so on. This is absurd! One of the first things we learn about being human is we are creatures with the freedom to make up our own minds. Freedom is a divine attribute given to us by the Creator to help us make good choices in life. God made beasts, fowls, marine life, and life forms to behave in a prescribed fashion through inbuilt instincts, but not so, man! Man is given a mind with the freedom of choice. Religion wants man to behave in a fixed manner they impose. The problem with religion is they hide rather than reveal the true God from our view, let alone understand His true purpose for each of us.

If religion answers to the meaning of humanity’s existence and purpose on earth, then we have to conclude they have been an utter and dismal failure. Why, because we only have to look through history and around the globe today to see religion’s utter ineffectiveness. In fact, history tells us more than anything else that religion has been the groundswell for many human conflicts, suffering, and death. The reason seems obvious – religion has been framed as part and parcel of entrenched nationalism and political aspirations of people and nations. History tells us when man mix the two we will have a recipe for a perfect storm for prejudice, intolerance, and segregation which leads to all kinds of conflict. Religion becomes the plausible and persuasive ‘face’ for people to be politically and deceptively manipulated. Today we openly decry racial segregation, yet religious segregation stands above all forms of discrimination. In the final analysis, we are all one people under God, no matter our ethnicity or nationality and religion. This is the prime reason the framers of the American constitution provides for the separation of church and state. Why? One word, history! The lesson of history proves religion otherwise. The original colonizers came to the new world (America) to escape religious persecution.

Jesus Healing the Centurion Servant and Declares Himself our Savior both Physically and Spiritually (Wiki Commons)

What we must understand as a matter of first importance is: God is in the work of saving mankind individually as persons. If He knows the stars by name, (there are 10 billion galaxies in the observable universe, and 100 billion stars in each galaxy, giving a total of 1 billion trillion stars in our observable universe), He knows each one of us likewise. (Psa.147:4; ) By that I mean He’s not in this world to build a religion or for that matter a nation. He is making children of mankind He can Love individually – person by person!  It is true the Bible speaks of a “church,” but it is not by any stretch of the imagination, a religion. The word church, taken from the word “ekklesia” means people who are “the called-out ones.” It comprises those who have personally responded to God’s call of Love to have a direct relationship with Him. The church is merely the term given to the collection of people who have an intimate personal Father/son-daughter relationship with God. It is like the word family. God is a family with children He loves intimately. The church is a family, not a religion. Much like a soccer or basketball “team” – each member is personally selected to play a specific position in the  family team. God is our Loving and ever-present Father and life-coach. Unfortunately, many “churches” have grown to become religious. It becomes a religion when man forgets God’s covenant and proceeds to become nothing more than a human institution. (Read Jeremiah 23) The Christian “church” is not a religion, period.

Understand this, the beauty of the Christian message about God is He is having a personal hand in your life as a person. He is not speaking to you through the priest or minister (Christian), a pujari (Hindu), a rabbi (Jew), an imam (Muslim), a monk (Buddhist), or any other religious leader. His covenant is clear He speaks and addresses us in person as children, because He Loves each and every one of us individually. We are not objects for manipulation to Him, He Loves us and Love is never self-centered but outgoing.

In Christian belief we use these words of the New Covenant as the basis for this person-to-person activity of God in humans, “AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN, AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, ‘KNOW THE LORD,’ FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM” (Heb.8:11). In other words, God will be their teacher in Person. Religion, which purports to be the intermediary between God and man, is effectively sidelined. Remember, this is essentially a section of the covenant which God makes with man, and part of the Christian faith. How does God do it in man? His answer is in another passage from the Bible, “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what He teaches is true–it is not a lie. So, just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ” (1 John 2:27). Yes, each one of us is a temple the Spirit indwells. (1 Cor.6:19) The Holy Spirit is the presence of God in man who teaches us the truth about ourselves in relation to life and God. Our identity as persons which enables us to relate with Him is our gift He confers in us through His  Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:19)

Jesus Dying For Humanity’s Forgiveness (Wiki Commons)

The only way is to come out of the mold of religious tradition we have been conditioned by keeping an open mind free of prejudices and bias. Everyone has the freewill to do that at the least. God, who declares Himself to us as a caring and gracious deity wants more than anything to have a personal relationship with you and me. (John 3:16) That’s hard to comprehend if you are brought up in a religion whose view of God is a Being who is untouchable and unapproachable, and most of all not personable. No, He cares about you – personally!

So, I am going to share an important principle from the Bible which teaches that makes this belief so relevant to your life and those of your loved ones. We all face issues in life that are unique to each of us, yet, we can’t find the answers in the religion we are raised up to believe. If anything, because of religion we have been taught to have this arms-length existence with God. Religious leaders are no more helpful than their own religion. Instead, we find religion demands our support more than it provides answers to the issues that are pressing in life. Even in death the Christian message provides comfort and hope. (John 11:25-26)

There’s an important element about Jesus which answers to the covenant God makes with humans, and reveals all that we aspire Him to be for each of us, Paul said it like this in a brief but weighty declaration, “You are complete in Him” (Col.2:10). By leading with “You” God is emphasizing a personal relationship with you. He is not speaking religion to you through a pastor, priest, monk, rabbi, imam, or pujari. He is speaking to “You” directly and personally! The Greek word for complete (πληθύνω/ pléthunó ) means to fill to individual capacity, i.e. to the extent it is “meet” (appropriate). That is God’s plan for you in His Son. It expresses totality, and implies full quantity (“up to the max”).The idea God is putting across to us is His Son is your answer to life and all that life means and can be to you and your loved ones.

Why is it, that in a modern setting of the Christian faith, for example, and this goes for all religions, do we teach that the church, temple, or mosque, synagogue, is the place one goes to for direction and answers, when it is clear in the Bible that God, through the Spirit, is the guide and power in our lives? The answer is because we have been condition that way through religion. Religion reveals the motive of man – it’s sad but it is for reasons of power and financial and other forms of gain. When man stands in the place of God between man, that is called “religion.” It is a man-made institution without divine sanction. 

So, in a manner of speaking, you can say Jesus is to our innermost spiritual being what air is to our outermost physical being. What am I saying? Quite simply, man has two forms of life expression – one is physical and material, while the other is spiritual and divine. A person denies this basic truth to his or her own detriment. The two are intertwined and cannot be separated. The physical is the outward expression of the spiritual, not vice versa. So, when the Bible speaks of Jesus as the total answer to life, we are speaking of the basic spiritual element which controls the physical and material outcome. Jesus said it this way, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and His righteousness, (inner spiritual life) and He will give you everything you need” (outer physical life) (Matt.6:33). Of course “kingdom” means Jesus’ reign in your life. Or, we can have religion dictate our spiritual life.

Life is like a clock, we try to meddle with the hands, without realizing the pendulum is the only thing that regulates the clock. No matter what you do in life, your inner spiritual gauge is what guides your thoughts, emotions, and actions. When your inner life is in harmony with God’s true purpose for you, your life-clock is giving the correct time. Anything else is a fabrication and deception.  

I sincerely hope you will have an open mind to consider Jesus, or at least give Him a chance to show Himself and prove He is the One you have been seeking all your life and cannot do without. He is the answer for all things good in your life and those of your loved ones.

Blessing:

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

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write to me in the space provided below, or email me on bulamanriver@gmail.com.

Kiang, 

* Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bulamanriver, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book.

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

Note: All information is copy-write. 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.