LIVING THE THREE MANDATES GIVEN TO HUMANITY AT CREATION, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings once again to you, my Friends! Ever since mankind walked this earth, human life has been defined by the natural attributes they aspire and seek through the shared lens of their common humanity. These attributes are, freedom, dominion or identity, and physical resources. These three attributes reflect humanity’s common heritage given by the Creator. Freedom means the individual’s right to choose, mainly where one resides geographically, one’s occupation, the right to free speech, gathering, education, well-being, and other affiliations and relationships. These freedoms are protected in universal charters supported mainly by the United Nations and other institutions. Dominion means the human identity that’s distinct to a nation, tribe, ethnicity, culture, language, etc. It is usually geographical. Physical resources means the material riches, tangible or otherwise, that’s particular to a dominion and enjoyed by its people.

No matter who we are, or whatever our nationality or color, wherever we live, these three attributes defines our commonality as humans. Without any one of these three attributes humans cease to enjoy having a substantive and meaningful existence as humans. They define who we are as a people. That these attributes are claimed to be God-given, is never disputed by people throughout the world. The unique expression of each attribute may differ from nation to nation, depending to a large extent upon their geography and resource, nonetheless, they are identical attributes which form the foundation for human existence in all peoples.

The history of mankind has shown how peoples have disregarded these God-conferred attributes, sadly, to humanity’s detriment and untold suffering. Humans have coveted dominions not theirs, subjugated and destroyed people’s God-given freedoms, and raped the natural resources of others and regrettably their own. When God created humans, He not only gave us free-will to choose, but supplied us His nature of Love to guide our liberties so we will not misuse much less abuse our prerogatives. God did this so humanity will show respect and honor for each other in these three attributes that God has so richly blessed peoples the world over. In short, God wanted humans to Love others as they Love themselves. (Gal.5:14) If everyone did that, individually and collectively, the ‘golden rule’ would form the cornerstone of our relationships: “Therefore, whatever you want people to do for you, do the same for them, because this summarizes the Law and the Prophets” (Matt.7:12, ISV).

But humanity has disregarded their Maker’s Love and rebelled against His Loving will. Of all species created by God, only humans are given the mind with the freedom to choose good and evil. Other species are given preset instincts to live according to the Maker’s distinct and intended purpose for them. From herbivores and carnivores, from the avian to the insect species, from reptiles to marine life, and all the variant species in between, every species are gifted differently and magnificently to live according to God’s purpose for them. Of all species, only humans have lived in rebellion to his Maker. Why is this?  This can be explained through the three mandates given to humanity at creation.

Icon of The Trinity by Rublev (Wiki Commons)

In the beginning when creating humans, God gave mankind three mandates to live by which would guide them in their relationship with God and with other humans and the world around them. The three mandates are found in the Book of Genesis which records human creation. They are: 1. the ‘Triune Love mandate,’ 2. the ‘dominion mandate,’ and 3. the ‘helper mandate,’ Let me expound on each in relation to three ascents (steps), depicting God’s Tri-Personal Being in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, with each dovetailing into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity. (Matt.28:18-20) Through the ascents we can understand the dynamic of the human spirit in relation to God’s Spirit, where humanity has gone astray, and make the necessary changes in relationship with His Maker and his fellow humans.

Ascent 1: Triune Love Mandate – The Father: The first ascent is centered in God the Father. The “Triune Love Mandate” speaks of the purpose of human creation in relation to mankind’s primordial nature at creation. God said this about humanity, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them. Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen.1:26-27).

So, God created humans in His image. What is God’s likeness or image? John tells us this, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). Love is God’s image and likeness. Love is His divine nature. We can say it in the reverse, ‘Love is God,’ and it conveys the same inseparable meaning. God is not made of Love, He is the uncreated everlasting Creator Being who is Love. So, humans were created in God’s divine Love – that is mankind’s primordial nature. God said at the creation of humanity, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen.1:26-27). If God’s divine image is Love, then there is no other way humans could reflect God’s likeness except, in His Love!

“God Is Love” (Wiki Commons)

There is another aspect of God’s nature which defines His Love-nature, God is a Trinity. That’s to say, God consist of three free Persons in one Godhead – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:18-19) When Jesus commissioned His disciples to take the Gospel message into all the world, He told them, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt.28:18-20).

To ‘baptize’ means to ‘induct’ into the life of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, or in short, the Trinity. Recall what God said at creation, He said, “Let Us…Our image…Our likeness.” This highlights the plurality of God’s Trinitarian divine nature. Paul said this about God’s Tri-Personal nature, “For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all. ” (Eph.4:4-6; also, Jud.1:20-21). God is not a solitary God, but Is the Triune Godhead in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He is not three Gods, but One God. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

Besides fulfilling His mission as mankind’s Savior and Redeemer, Jesus came to reveal the true nature of God, that God is His Father, and He is His Son. He told the disciples at the last supper before His death upon His cross, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going” (John 14:1-4).

The disciples were puzzled, so Thomas asked, “Lord, we don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the way?” (John 14:5). Then Jesus replied, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you really know Me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him” (John 14:6-7). The disciples were even more perplexed now, primarily because of the novelty of Jesus’ teaching of God the Father, as their view of God was derived from and grounded in Judaism. God the Father is a central tenet of Christian theology. The Jewish concept of God is that God is non-corporeal, transcendent and immanent, the ultimate source of love, and a metaphorical “Father.” Jesus taught that God is the real and true Father of mankind, not a metaphorical Father. So Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” (John 14:8).

Jesus reply was one of the most important He ever made in revealing the Father to the disciples and His followers, “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’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing his work. Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it” (John 14:9-14).

Here, Jesus was revealing the Triune nature of God, “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing his work. Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me” (John 14:9-11). Jesus cannot be separated from the Father because they consist in one substance of Love, One Godhead with the Spirit. When He taught the disciples to pray, He opened His prayer with the words, “Our Father…” (Matt.6:9). Today, as believers we take God as our Father for granted, but it was not so in the time of Jesus where people live under the teaching of the Jewish leaders.

Then, at the point of death when the Jewish council charged Jesus with blasphemy for claiming to be the Son of God, He was unjustly sentenced to death. In a prior encounter with the Jewish leaders about this touchy subject, Jesus told them, “Do you say of Him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe Me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me and I am in the Father” (John 10:36-38). Even then, He maintained His mission to proclaim the truth of the Fatherhood of God in His Triune existence.

The members of the Jewish Sanhedrin were looking for any reason to put Jesus to death. They did not believe Jesus’ claim of being the Son of God as consisting of one Godhead, but their disbelief did not mean Jesus made an untrue statement. He was asked a direct question, and He gave a forthright answer. Even at His last moments of death, He prayed for His tormentors, saying, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” He continued, “Father, why have You forsaken Me?” Then finally, He called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit. When He had said this, He breathed His last” (John 19:30; Luk.23:46). Until His final breadth, Jesus never shrunk from His commitment to declare God as His Father, and our Father. (Matt.26:63-66; John 20:17)

Author Jon Tal Murphree gives us a profound description on how the divine nature of the Triune God in the three Persons exists in the divine pattern of the Triune Life, “Each Person of the Trinity transposes Himself into the others without confusing His own personality with the Others…. the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other.” (Pg.29, “The Trinity and Human Personality”). Murphree gave us a succinct explanation of God’s Triune nature, “the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other” showing God is indivisibly One in His Triune Nature.

Yet, Each Person of the Trinity is distinctly gifted and free Person manifesting unique Love-tasks that are special to Each Person within the Godhead. They live freely as Personalities , or as theologians would precisely render as hypostasis, but united in One Godhead. And herein we discover the origin of human freedom – the cradle of human freedom springs from the very divine nature of the Godhead consisting in three free Persons. It is also from the Godhead that multitude of human gifts and talents spring forth to emphasize our human freedoms, imitating the different Personalities of the Tri-Personal Being of God.

So, we see God’s divine nature of Love as having a flip side – freedom! Therefore, freedom and Love are flip sides of the same divine nature of God. Within their collective freedom are three gifted Personalities. So, our freedoms come with the responsibility to Love God and our fellow humans through our divinely-conferred gifts. For the two characteristics, Love and Freedom, are indivisibly one! There is no Love without freedom, and no freedom without Love, for they are one and the same. The Bible says, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through Love serve one another” (Gal.5:13; 2 Cor.3:17).

Word freedom. From the old dictionary, a close up
Freedom – The Flip Side Of God’s Divine Love-Nature (Stockvault)

The heart of the Triune Love Mandate speaks of the message of the deification of mankind. What does that mean? You may read my appendix below under the heading Triune Life* for a complete commentary on what ‘deification’ mean. In a nutshell, the Bible tells us this about deification, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality” (1 Cor.15:51-53; 1 Thess.4:16-18). Yes, mankind’s ultimate destiny is to be made immortal (deified) conforming to the image of Jesus who took our fallen humanity, saved and immortalized (restituted) and presented it before the Father. (Rom.8:29-30; Act.3:19-21, KJV)

Humanity become God’s children because we have a God who is a Loving Father, and Jesus is God’s Spokesman, our Loving Savior and elder Brother, while the Spirit is our Loving Friend and Helper who enters human life to manifest God’s Love, freedom, and power. (John 20:17; John 3:16; Rom.5:5) They act indivisibly as One Triune God. Paul’s parting benediction upon the Corinthian church was, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God (Father), and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor.13:14).

I have dwelt on the topic of God’s divine nature at some length for a vitally noble and consequential reason. That is, our concept of God is pivotal to our spiritual health, besides our physical well-being, I might add, and ultimately for humanity’s eternal destiny. Can we profess to believe in and follow the teachings of the Bible, while our concept of God’s nature is incorrect and unquestionably misleading? This is fundamentally important because the right concept of God and His divine nature will shape everything we read and understand about Him in the Bible. All our assumptions and conceptions are faulty if our concept of Him is equally flawed from the start. It is from this conceptual foundation of God’s true nature that we form every aspect of our understanding of the Bible and its teaching, and our eternal destiny.

The Bible says, “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known” (John 1:18). Many times, humans and believers present a concept of God sitting solitarily and remotely alone on His throne, passing judgment and exercising control over our lives. Jesus corrected that image and showed God to be a relational Being who is our Loving Father in His Trinitarian nature. In His Love for mankind, He did not spare His Son, but gave Him up for our salvation. That is the kind of God we are talking about. He never stops Loving mankind, and would not spare any pains to prove His Love for us.

The Bible makes a plea for our understanding as to the greatness of God’s Love for each one of us personally, saying, “That Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s Love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His Love is. May you experience the Love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God” (Eph.3:17-19). How awesome and how personal to each of us the Father’s Love is!

“God Is Love” 1 John 4:8 (Wiki Commons)

The proper concept of God as the Loving Triune God stands in contrast to the view of the ‘solitary’ God. This solitary life of fallen humanity was inherited from Satan resulting from Adam’s rebellion and sin in Eden. From that time forth, humanity’s journey throughout the earth and his relationship with fellow humans and especially with God has been dictated and crafted in his ‘solitary’ mindset, philosophy, and resulting self-centered way of life. This is exactly the opposite from the ‘trinitarian’ perspective that is based upon God’s Triune Love and outgoing way of life. (You may want to read my blog on “Loving God First” at: http://bulamanriver.net/11833 and http://bulamanriver.net/12043 )

I wish to share a parable given by Jesus, which I would like to apply here. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven (God) is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” (Matt.13:44, italics mine). The kingdom of heaven is essentially about God, and if it is, then it begins with the true concept of God. That “treasure” is our knowledge and understanding of God as revealed in the Bible. Therefore, our concept of God is a “treasure” which we ought to be willing to pay whatever price to procure. For it is from this wellspring that all things relating to God and His purpose blossom and grow spiritually for humanity. And our collective responsibility in the areas of our human freedom, dominion, and indigenous resource, will be generated by the influence of His divine Triune Love.  

Ascent 2: Dominion Mandate – Jesus Christ: The second ascent is centered in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The “dominion mandate” was given to humanity at creation. Let’s read it,  “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion  over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So, God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen.1:26-28, KJV, italics for emphasis).

Jesus, Humanity’s Savior & Mediator. The Historical Silhouette of Calvary with Three Crosses is Symbolic of the One-ness of the Triune God in the Death of Jesus upon His Cross

The word “dominion” is here mentioned twice as it relates to man’s dominion over God’s earth. Other translations have rendered this term, as, “Let them be masters…;” and “They will have power over…” The Psalmist repeats humanity’s dominion, “You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen—Even the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!” (Psa.8:6-9). So, dominion relates to rulership over God’s creation and by extension earth’s other resources.  

Ambitious people have driven themselves to great lengths motivated by the “dominion mandate” to do great things upon this earth. (Gen. 1:2628Ps. 8:6-8). Whether they are all good and done in the service of all, or for human harm, is the burning question. In the exercise of human dominion upon earth, we do so under God, for He is Creator. The Bible utters God as saying, “The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty” (Hag.2:8). Further God says, “For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird on the mountains, and all the animals of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for all the world is mine and everything in it” (Psa.50:10-12). Therefore, the Bible speaks about stewardship, hence, our God-given dominions exists as such. (1 Pet.4:10). If we were to let history be the judge, we will have to say that much harm than good has flowed under the river of time in our human history. The history of humanity concerning the God-given dominion of people has been one where people’s freedoms have been trampled on with impunity. Thus, we are reminded of God’s Love which can never be divorced from His freedom which cannot be applied without the other for they are one and the same.

With Adam and Eve, God gave them an immediate stewardship over the Garden of Eden which God personally planted for them. God brought various species of animals, of birds, and other life forms to Adam to give names for them. (Gen.2:18-20) Then God instructed them, “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Gen.2:15, KJV). So, the dominion mandate came with God’s direction to “dress and keep” their dominion. That command is still valid today where we are responsible stewards of this earth to look after all life forms and species, the resources of the earth, and respecting people’s dominion. Yes, this earth and all in it is given under the stewardship to mankind to dress, keep, and protect.

Today, humans celebrate ‘Earth Day’ in honor of our blue planet which hangs like a jewel in outer space. Yet, today mankind is facing serious environmental issues which threaten life as we know it upon this earth. Issues like the choking pollution of our air, water, oceans and land, of climate change, deforestation of the tropical rain forest, the melting of the polar ice-caps and rising sea levels, the loss of earth’s biodiversity, to name a few. Mankind has obviously not done a good job of maintain and keeping our only collective dominion and home – this earth.  

File:As08-16-2593.jpg
Earth, the Blue Marble, Given for Mankind’s Dominion Under Christ (By NASA, Photo of Earth From Apollo 8)

In the final analysis, God has determined that dominion of this earth has been given to the human who will do what is necessary to save it from destruction – His Son Jesus. He came to save us – not only from human sin, but for all things that has to do with human dominion upon this earth. (Rev.11:18) Today, Jesus sits glorified at the Father’s right hand in heaven as mankind’s Savior and Mediator. (Mar.16:19; Heb.10:12; Psa.110:1) At the climax of human dominion and civilization in the Book of Revelation, the Seventh Trumpet is blown, and we read, “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom (dominion) of the world  has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever'” (Rev. 11:15). Revelation goes further, and says this, “On His (Jesus’) robe and on His thigh He has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16). Yes, Jesus will reign over all the dominions of earth forever, and humanity will reign with Him. (Rev. 22:5).

There is an all-important proviso we must not omit to take away as it relates to our fellow humans and how we are to relate with each other concerning the dominion mandate. The dominion mandate was given with a stipulation we may have overlooked and ignored to our detriment and harm. The dominion mandate covers God’s created species and resources, however, humanity is never mentioned in the context of this mandate. The text we read above is crystal clear on this point. That means, there is a separate mandate concerning how we relate with our fellow humans.

What then should govern human to human relationship. Paul gives us a peek which we will cover in depth later in the helper mandate. He told the Romans, “Owe no man anything, except the debt of Love” (Rom. 13:8; Gal. 6:2, KJV). Why is this human proviso important to observe? Of all the species, only humans were created in God’s Love image and likeness. Therefore, humans are deserving of nothing less than God’s Love. Only humans were created to live this outgoing way that is based upon God’s Love. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:8) God has Loved us dearly and did not spare His Son, but gave Him up for us. We must be willing to do the same for each other.

The Dominion Mandate – The Debt and Duty of Care and Love Upon Humanity & All Creation (Wiki Commons)

Therefore, humans are subjects of God’s dominion (kingdom) under Christ, not man’s self-driven, self-imposed, solitary, dominion. God is humanity’s Savior and therefore answerable to Him, not another human. God is mankind’s Ruler, not another man or woman. Therefore, we violate the dominion mandate when we try to include humans when there is no mention of humans in the dominion mandate.

Let us be clear, the dominion mandate was given to be exercised over the earth and over species and resources excluding humanity. Every single human is given a shared dominion over the earth under Christ, even on an individual basis, as God reminds us, thus, “Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken” (Mic.4:4; Psa.24:1; Eccl.5:9, NKJV) That brings us to the third attribute in Genesis of the “helper mandate.”

Ascent 3: Helper Mandate – Holy Spirit: The third ascent is centered in the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Triune Godhead. What is the helper mandate? Like the previous two mandates, this third mandate was uttered by God in Eden at the creation of humanity. The word ‘helper’ conveys the existence of other human beings with whom the ‘helper mandate’ may be contrived and carried out. However, Adam was alone. Then God created the second human upon earth, and with that the helper mandate was born.This is how the mandate was decreed and given by God, “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him…So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.” “At last!” the man exclaimed. This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man’”(Gen.2:18, 21-23).

In short, the helper mandate helps regulate the ‘dominion mandate’ where humans are prevented from exercising dominion over another human, but rather become “helpers” of one another in their God-given dominion upon earth.

Utilizing Our Gifts and Talents As Helpers (Wiki Commons)

Whenever we read the 23rd Psalm, we are reading the King Jesus’ philosophy of being a Helper in His rulership over His dominion. (Psa.23:1-6 – “The Lord id My Shepherd”) So, God is first a Helper and calls upon humanity to imitate His likeness. (Gen.1:26-27)

Even though this passage from Genesis concerning the “helper mandate” is often quoted on matrimonial occasions between a man and woman, nonetheless, it applies to every human being, regardless of who they are in relation to sex, race, language, nationality, culture, and whatever walk in life. Recall, that Eve was the only “next” human after Adam with whom the helper mandate can be applied. Be that as it may, it must be appreciated that it is from the foundation of families proceeding from the matrimonial bond of a man and a woman, that humans are raised from childhood to become “helpers” in the larger human society. But why was the helper mandate established first through the marriage union? Paul gives us insight and has this to say to husbands, “Husbands ought to Love their wives as their own bodies. He who Loves his wife Loves himself” (Eph.5:28). What was Paul saying? When God made Eve, He did not create her separately like He did with Adam directly from the soil of the earth, no. God took Eve from Adam’s side or rib. (Gen.2:18-23)

Thereby, all of humanity proceeded from Adam’s single creation through Eve. Therefore, by extension every human is indivisibly part of the greater humanity, and our own bodies proceed from the single creation of Adam. This shows that God created humanity to reflect Himself, where He is One in three hypostasis in the Father, Son and Spirit. Each reinforce the oneness or unity of God. Therefore, when we help other humans, we are in effect helping our self. Many today don’t have a clue, much less conceive of the sheer wonder of this awe-inspiring ‘mystery of our one humanity consisting in one body’ from the single creation of Adam. Paul calls it a mystery. (Eph.5:31-33) It is from the mystery of our ‘hypostatic’ union consisting of one humanity from Adam, that the helper mandate springs forth. That’s to say that all humans are part of each other in the same body, and what we do to others, we do to our own selves. This is a principle based upon God’s trinitarian principle: “the act of one is the act of all, and the act of all is the act of one.”

The Dove – Symbol of The Holy Spirit Who Empowers Humanity to Be Helpers (Wiki Commons)

What does the helper mandate call upon our common humanity to do? First, let us read how the Jesus Himself has showed us the example of the Helper. In line with the 23rd Psalm, Jesus told His listeners, “I am the good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd sacrifices His life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so, the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd; I know My own sheep, and they know Me, just as my Father knows Me and I know the Father.

“So, I sacrifice My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to My voice, and there will be one flock with one Shepherd. The Father Loves Me because I sacrifice My life so I may take it back again. No one can take My life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what My Father has commanded.” (John 10:11-18) So, the helper mandate is founded upon the principle of ‘self-sacrifice,’ and self-sacrifice is the heartbeat of the divine Love-nature of God. And the Son of God led the way by sacrificing Himself for our redemption.

How does God manifest Jesus’ helper mandate in humanity? Jesus gave the answer when He said to His disciples, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). What Jesus meant was the Helper was the Holy Spirit who would come and empower humanity to become true helpers in His mold. Jesus said, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you” (John13:15; also 1 Pet.2:21).

Jesus said humans must go through a rebirth in the Spirit to live the Triune Life and manifest the three mandates. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God” (experience the God-Life at the Triune level) (John 3:3, italics mine). For emphasis Jesus repeats Himself, “No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5). Paul said this of the Spirit, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5).

So, we see the Spirit is the very Personification of God’s divine nature (Love) and power in humans. It is He who liberates and enables the Helper Mandate in mankind. He also inspires the other two mandates in us. When Jesus said “If I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you,” it presumes specific events to take precedent like His sacrifice (death), resurrection, ascension, and office of our heavenly High Priest, which gives passage for the Helper (Spirit) to come and indwell humanity as God’s very temple. Paul uttered a profound statement about the Triune Life, when he said, “Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16; 6:19).  

The Fruits Of Love (1 Cor.13) Expression of The Spirit’s Love-Fruits (Wiki Commons)

The Spirit enters and live in the temple of saved humanity and empowers them with the fruits of Love. It is through the fruits of the Spirit that we make the helper mandate come to reality in humanity. What are these fruits? Paul teaches us by way of his letter to the Corinthians. We utilize the Love-fruits of the Spirit in the exercise of the helper mandate through our divinely-conferred talents and gifts each person is born with. Like Joseph of the Bible, our dreams (gift/calling/work) will always be consistent with God’s purpose for each of us. We perceive and achieve our dreams by living the Triune Life of God through the dynamic of the three mandates.

As we will see, God reveals to us clearly what Love means in the expression of its fruits, so we are without excuse. We see this revealed to us in 1 Corinthians 13.  Here is a summary of  God’s Love-fruits: *patience, *kindness, *contentedness, *the fruit of being modest and unboastful, *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, *joy, *peace, *goodness, *faith, *gentleness, *self-control, *the fruit of zeal and spiritual fervor, *The fruit of gratitude and thankfulness, *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) You may go to: http://bulamanriver.net/9199 to find the Spirit’s Love-fruits and their antithesis to help us see at a glance the work of the Spirit as opposed to the fruits (works) of the enemy. Think about and meditate on these fruits and see how you and I can exercise the helper mandate through them.

Words To Live By Love Art Print
Love Is… (Pixels)

4th Ascent “Triune Life Mandate” – Humanity: the Triune Life Mandate is centered in humanity. It is where the three mandates and human life intersect. It is where the dynamic of human life and the spiritual energy of the Tri-Personal Being of God come together in the bond of Love, and so fulfill our responsibilities to the three attributes common to our humanity: to honor other humans because they are made in God’s Love-image, to respect their freedoms and rights, and to be faithful and honest stewards of the resources our Maker has blessed all peoples.

The three Love relationships we saw in the three mandates comes alive where God engages humanity and takes the human mind and spirit to new levels of creativity. In short, a person experiences what it means to be reborn in the power of the Spirit. The first manifestation is one of sheer joy which springs from engaging God in the fullness of His Love and we’re made to reach out to our fellow humans in the flow of Christ’s Love in the areas of people’s freedoms, dominion, and resources.

The 4th Ascent is about God bringing the three mandates which reflect the divine Love energies through the presence of the Spirit. (Rom.5:5) So, the Triune Life Mandate is the constant flow of the divine Love energy of God from the three Persons of the Godhead into humanity energizing us to find God’s will for our lives and making it a reality through the three mandates. In short, it is the miraculous life that is lived at the human level in the power of God’s Love to fulfill our responsibilities in the three attributes of freedom, dominion, and indigenous resource. This is the activity of deification even in our human fleshly existence. Paul explains it succinctly, “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image” (2 Cor.3:18; also 1 Cor. 13:12; Rom.8:29).

The Triune Life Is The Expression of The Three Persons of the Trinity In Humanity (Wiki Commons)

Yes, fundamentally humanity’s conformity with the Triune God at the primordial level is only made possible by man’s compliance to the three mandates through a surrendered life to Jesus in the Spirit’s power and Love. But God has not left this awesome divine purpose in humans to do on his own. He understands our fallen state of being which came through Adam and Eve’s rebellion from the start is an insurmountable hurdle to mankind. He knows that in our deceived and sinful state, we are blindly led by Satan who stands as the barrier between man and God. Satan introduced rebellion and brought fear and sin as a way of life. This has blinded humanity to the Love of God hidden in the deep recess of their being. Jesus taught the disciples, “The kingdom of God is within you” (Luk.17:21). Yes, God had placed the reflection and image of His kingdom in mankind at creation, but Satan has blinded humanity through deception and sin starting with Adam. How can humanity defeat this crafty and evil unseen enemy? He has given that responsibility of bringing humanity from the path of destruction into true life to His Son, the second Adam, Jesus. (1 Cor. 15:45) You will read about Jesus’ role as Savior and Mediator of humanity, at: http://bulamanriver.net/15813.

Through Jesus, as the second Person of the Triune Godhead, He opens the way for the Holy Spirit, the third Person in the Godhead, to enter our fallen world saved by Jesus, to unite Himself with humanity and defeat Satan and fulfill the provisions of the three mandates as God had predestined for mankind from creation. Humans are now back on track to the path of becoming divine offspring of the Almighty. (You may read of humanity’s new birth in the Holy Spirit at: http://bulamanriver.net/10075)

On a human personal level, the Helper Mandate becomes the dominant feature of the Triune Life we live in the 4th Ascent. The preliminary Triune Love and Dominion Mandates are preparatory steps which energizes the Helper Mandate in humanity. Jesus reiterated man’s helper mandate when He said we are to “Love our neighbors as we Love ourselves” (Mark 12:31). Paul does the same and encouraged the Corinthians, saying we are “helpers of your joy” (2 Cor. 1:24, KJV). He goes on to say, “Owe no man anything, except the debt of Love” (Rom. 13:8Gal. 6:2, KJV).  

When humanity has fundamentally conformed himself to God’s primordial Triune Love nature through the three mandates, humans can now rule all creation under Christ as God would have him.

Having said all of the above, let me conclude with the following. The most basic and pivotal knowledge a person must have is to understand God is Trinitarian. The mention of the name of God, must always convey His Loving Tri-Personal Being in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is from this vantage point that we see God, out of Love and sheer generosity of His divine Triune Being chose to reproduce Himself by creating a species who can freely choose to follow His outgoing way of Love, joy, and generosity. Thus, all our human interaction with others will find their just and proper place as it concerns people’s freedom, dominion, and their indigenous resources. We continue to live by and are sustained by His Triune Love image when Jesus instructed the disciples before He ascended back to His Father in heaven, to induct humanity in the life of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:18-20)

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. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven at His Father’s side 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 this prayer 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 – into the glorious humanity that Christ is preparing as the temple for God’s dwelling:

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

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.”

Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s eternal Family. (1 Tim.6:19) Then keep in touch with God’s Word for you by 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.

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 and your Loved ones 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: “Triune Life” speaks of the process of theosis or deification of humanity. What is theosis or deification? “It refers to apotheosis, meaning “making divine.” Theosis or deification is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God (as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church).” (Wikipedia.org) The belief in the process of ‘deification’ is understood in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, when He said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If He called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside (cannot be broken)” (John 10:34-35; Psa.82:6). (You can read about the Triune Life at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and other posts)

I have written about this subject of ‘deification’ in my blogs under the theme substitution and attribution (see, http://bulamanriver.net/564), where I showed how Jesus came as God incarnate (Immanuel) to take the place of sinful humanity to save mankind from sin and death for the express purpose of deification. (Matt.1:23; Rom.3:10-12, 18, 23; John 3:16) Further, we read the following, “As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (‘illumination’ with the ‘vision’ of God). According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God’s uncreated energies.” (Wikipedia.org)

So, the “Triune Life” reveals the intersection of human activity and the uncreated divine energy flowing from the Tri-Personal Being of God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a way of life which explains that process of theosis whereby humans are transformed in body, mind, and spirit by the Love of God. God’s uncreated energy is His Love. So, the foundational tenet of the “Triune Life” is based upon the Love of God, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Thereby, it can also be called aptly, the “Triune Love.”

I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We see God’s Tri-Personal Love move in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory, in this process of theosis which I have called the three ascents. The three ascents dovetails into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity – where God reveals the fullness of Himself to humanity, both individually and collectively. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2) That’s to say, the act of one is the act of all three, and the act of three is the act of one, making them unified in Love. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

Every aspect of human living follows this three-step format revealing the three-dimensional aspect of how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, directly and collectively involved in the life of human believers, individually and collectively to bring humanity to salvation. These three steps move in an ascending order, so I will call them ‘ascents.’ Each ‘ascent’ dovetails into the next and finally reveals the ‘manifestation’ of the topic, which we will call the fourth step, in this case, Love!

Hence, all my articles are framed within this three-step format, or ascents. The subject of the article dovetails into each ascent and spontaneously lead to the manifestation of the divine Love and reveals how humanity is enlightened by God, and cleansed in mind, body, and spirit. The ascents reveal three doors one must enter to attain the manifestation of God’s Love relationship with humanity. The ascents are not to be misconstrued as some ‘secret knowledge’ or mystical activity. Rather, each ascent represents the relationship of Love a human enjoys with the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, throughout a person’s life. In fact, the ascents are actually three Love relationships the believer encounters with the Tri-Personal God. This three-way relationship is what I have called by the term, “Triune Life” or “Triune Love.” These ascents represent the movement of God’s Love in an inward, outward, and upward, trajectory to bring God’s enlightenment in a person. The fourth step reveals how the article is made to manifest in the life the person, both individually and then collectively in humanity.

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27). 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

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


SPIRITUAL CORONAVIRUS IS REAL TOO, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings Friends everywhere! Today the whole world is held in a grip of fear by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. This is not the first pandemic to grip the world, there have been various pandemics in the past. See chart below:

The History of Pandemics by Death Toll
As humans have spread across the world, so have infectious diseases. Even in this modern era, outbreaks are nearly constant, though not every outbreak reaches pandemic level as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has. Today’s visualization outlines some of history’s most deadly pandemics, from the Antonine Plague to the current COVID-19 event.

Physical virus which brings on sickness and death has a spiritual counterpart. The spiritual virus is called, sin. Just as the current Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) originate from a non-human source reportedly in China, so did the spiritual virus of sin. It started with the devil who has no affinity with humanity but is an evil spirit who seeks to destroy mankind. (1 Pet.5:8) However, God allows certain events to linger within His sovereign will. And we pray He will open our eyes to His will – both individually and collectively. God’s purpose in humanity will prevail. One of God’s purpose for creating humanity is that we become “helpers” of one another. Jesus, God’s very Son and the second Adam, came and showed humanity the way. The first Adam had taken mankind astray by following Satan in Eden. How can humanity defeat this crafty and evil unseen enemy who infect us with sin with the equally unseen Coronavirus? (Gen.3:1-7, 11, 23-24; 1 Cor.15:45; Rom.5:18-19) Humanity was created in God’s image and Love-likeness. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:8) Anything, whether it is physical or spiritual, which seeks to destroy humanity finds its source in the enemy of humanity, the devil. Both the physical and spiritual viruses are related. The physical cannot be divorced from the spiritual.

The cure for the spiritual virus of sin is God’s Love. The divine Love is the vaccines that cures humanity. God’s Love is expressed in humanity through God’s Son whom He surrendered to become our Savior. (John 3:16-17) Jesus walked this earth and cured every form of sickness and disease to show God’s Love for humanity. All diseases begin with sin, or can be traced back to sin. The Bible states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23). That’s to say, humanity is infected with the spiritual virus (sin) without exception. But we have been cured when God surrendered His Son, who is the spiritual vaccine for the spiritual virus. Humans are cured by placing their faith in the cure God has provided in His Son. The Bible says this about Jesus, “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about Him spread all over Syria, and people brought to Him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and He healed them” (Matt.4:23-24; Act.10:38; Isa.53:4-5).

The cure for the physical Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) is the vaccine that is yet to be discovered. God’s miraculous Love move humans to find the antidote to defeat this virus. Its discovery will be an act of Love by those who are called to make the invention as they are inspired by God through His Spirit (Love). (Rom.5:5) Today, on an individual person to person basis, we are called upon to Love our fellow humans through measures we take to help contain this virus.

Experts say that unlike previous pandemics the contagious nature of the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) has not only spread widely and rapidly but has upended every aspect of people’s lives in ways large and small. So much so, that the term “social distancing” has become a byword in the effort to limit the spread of the virus. The term means: children are no longer attending school; people are working from home where possible; others are no longer able to work where businesses has been severely affected, like the travel and associated industry; social and public gathering is limited or discouraged altogether, this includes closure of bars and restaurants, including sports stadiums and entertainment events. Travel by planes and other public forms of transportation has more or less ceased altogether through travel bans. In drastic situations, “lock-downs” (confinement) of towns and cities have become a necessary inconvenience for millions. The economic impact is immense, so much so that a recession seems inevitable.

God’s nature is Love, and thereby “social distancing” indirectly maligns and is an affront to His communal trinitarian Love-nature. (1 John 4:8; 1 Cor.13) Thereby, we pray for God’s intervention in this dire and urgent life and death situation. Author Jon Tal Murphree gives us in succinct and profound description on how the divine nature of Triune God in the three Persons exists in the divine pattern of the Triune Life, “Each Person of the Trinity transposes Himself into the others without confusing His own personality with the Others…the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other.” (Pg.29, “The Trinity and Human Personality”). So, God is not about “social distancing” and isolation, but is about union, oneness, interdependence and relationships. Humans were created to become one inseparable humanity, like God is three Persons but indivisibly One God. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

Notwithstanding the negative effect of social distancing, we can do things so we are not isolated from each by any means. We can stay connected through constant communication by phone, through Skype and Facebook, and other means. We must pray the evil curse of this Coronavirus will be stopped at its tracks so we may live as people created in God’s image and Love-likeness. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 Tim.6:19) Living in harmony with the divine will has always been the Creator’s intention for every human. It is about how we use our freedoms which He freely confers upon humanity. God created mankind to be “helpers” of one another. I encourage you to read about the “helper mandate” God gave humanity at the time of human creation, at: http://bulamanriver.net/8208  

This current pandemic calls upon humanity to make an inner examination of itself as to whether it has the wherewithal to combat this insidious menace of a virus pandemic. We must not look inward but outward to help our fellow-humans beat this deadly weapon of this unseen enemy. Only God’s Love will help us overcome this pandemic. If the current pandemic is a metaphor for spiritual pandemic, then only God our Maker can save us. And He did save humanity by sending His Son to die for us, thus, saving humanity from the spiritual pandemic. But not only spiritually, but also physically in our bodies. God created humanity to be His temple and He will save us. Paul said, “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God (Love) lives in you?” ( 1 Cor.3:16). When Jesus walked this earth, He healed people (human body) of all kinds of sickness and disease. (Act.10:38; Matt.4:23-24)

God Gave His Son Jesus To Save Humanity and His Spirit As The Vaccine To Cure the Spiritual Coronavirus

Here is the Love-promise from God regarding pestilences like the virus, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely, He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday” (Psa.91:1-6). Let us ceaselessly pray for God’s intervention and salvation.

Deliverance, both physical and spiritual, come to mankind through Jesus, who took our humanity in Himself and joined it to the divine — “Immanuel/God with us” — Isa.7:14; Matt.1:22-23. The Bible reveals how He delivered us, “Surely He (Jesus) took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed” (Isa.53:4-5). Yes, it was the act of Love where Jesus gave Himself up to be our Savior is what cured both the spiritual and physical virus. The same will be repeated today when we won’t allow fear but Love to influence and control our lives. Fear and sin (virus) are synonymous.

We must pay attention to the guidance given by the local authorities and each do our part. (Rom.13:1) Love is about realizing our dependence upon each other for the common and greater good. On the other hand, we can still have negative relationships with others where sin (virus) through selfishness and egotism moves our thoughts and actions, instead of Love. Paul’s prayer reveals the human destiny to conform to the image of His Son, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in Love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the Love of Christ, and to know this Love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Love)” (Eph.3:17-19; 1 John 4:8). You may read my post titled, “Living God’s Love Day-By-Day” at: http://bulamanriver.net/16467.

Petition: Friends, as I have closed my post in the past, I customarily give our readers the opportunity of calling upon them 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. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven at His Father’s side 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 life for humanity. You can privately and quietly pray this prayer in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human being Christ died for, not into any religious sect or denomination, but into the glorious humanity that Christ is preparing as the temple for God’s dwelling:

“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.”

Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s eternal Family. (1 Tim.6:19) Then keep in touch with God’s Word for you by visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation. Or you can email me with your questions at the address shown below.

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

Farewell for now,

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant In Christ)

*Triune Life: “Triune Life” speaks of the process of theosis or deification of humanity. What is theosis or deification? “It refers to apotheosis, meaning “making divine.” Theosis or deification is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God (as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church).” (Wikipedia.org) The belief in the process of ‘deification’ is understood in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, when He said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If He called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside (cannot be broken)” (John 10:34-35; Psa.82:6). (You can read about the Triune Life at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and other posts)

I have written about this subject of ‘deification’ in my blogs under the theme substitution and attribution (see, http://bulamanriver.net/564), where I showed how Jesus came as God incarnate (Immanuel) to take the place of sinful humanity to save mankind from sin and death. (Matt.1:23; Rom.3:10-12, 18, 23; John 3:16) Further, we read, “As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (‘illumination’ with the ‘vision’ of God). According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God’s uncreated energies.” (Wikipedia.org)

So, the “Triune Life” reveals the intersection of human activity and the uncreated energy emanating from the Tri-Personal Being of God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a way of life which explains that process whereby humans are transformed in body, mind, and spirit by the Love of God. God’s uncreated energy is His Love. So, the foundational tenet of the “Triune Life” is based upon the Love of God, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Thereby, it can also be called aptly, the “Triune Love.”

I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We see God’s Tri-Personal Love move in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory, in this process of theosis which I have called the three ascents. The three ascents dovetails into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity – where God reveals the fullness of Himself to humanity, both individually and collectively. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2) That’s to say, the act of one is the act of all three, and the act of three is the act of one, making them unified in Love. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27).

Every aspect of human living follows this three-step format revealing the three-dimensional aspect of how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, directly and collectively involved in the life of human believers, individually and collectively to bring humanity to salvation. These three steps move in an ascending order, so I will call them ‘ascents.’ Each ‘ascent’ dovetails into the next and finally reveals the ‘manifestation’ of the topic, which we will call the fourth step, in this case, Love!

Hence, all my articles are framed within this three-step format, or ascents. The subject of the article dovetails into each ascent and spontaneously lead to the manifestation of the divine Love and reveals how humanity is enlightened by God, and cleansed in mind, body, and spirit. The ascents reveal three doors one must enter to attain the manifestation of God’s Love relationship with humanity. The ascents are not to be misconstrued as some ‘secret knowledge’ or mystical activity. Rather, each ascent represents the relationship of Love a human enjoys with the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, throughout a person’s life. In fact, the ascents are actually three Love relationships the believer encounters with the Tri-Personal God. This three-way relationship is what I have called by the term, “Triune Life” or “Triune Love.” These ascents represent the movement of God’s Love in an inward, outward, and upward, trajectory to bring God’s enlightenment in a person. The fourth step reveals how the article is made to manifest in the life the person, both individually and then collectively in humanity.

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) 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.

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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.

LIVING THE ‘CELESTIAL LIFE’ IN CHRIST BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings again Friends around the world!

The previous two posts I have shared with you were written with the intention of helping you visualize life and preempt challenging life experiences, so you can face the year 2020 victoriously with the right mindset as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. And that means for all humanity, not just so-called Christians, because Jesus is the embodiment of the new humanity God created and gave for mankind to adopt. You can read and review them at http://bulamanriver.net/19496 (January), and http://bulamanriver.net/20216 (February).

Jesus came to die to save all of humanity regardless of color, nationality, ethnicity, or station in life, and deliver us from the spirit of rebellion and sin that the first Adam bequeathed upon mankind. Jesus is the second Adam. The first Adam who followed the devil has been crucified upon Jesus’ cross and no longer lives. (1 Cor.15:47) Paul spoke about how humans go through the process of adopting the redeemed humanity of Jesus Christ in his letter to the Galatians. (Gal.2:20) I shall continue along this grounding theme as we approach the season of Passover when we will commemorate the death Jesus as mankind’s Savior.

The Heavens, Reflection of the Celestial (Wiki Commons)

This month I will touch on a title and topic I have been moved in my spirit to share with you, entitled: The Celestial Life! What is the celestial life? It can mean many things, and they are all good. There is nothing wrong or negative about living the celestial life. In its simplest form, it means to live a life that is ‘hidden in Christ.’ Paul explains it this way, “Your real life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Col.3:3). Jesus is the embodiment of the new glorified and sinless humanity God has given mankind to adopt to take the place of the fallen Adamic humanity from the first Adam.

Before uttering this statement about our human reality, Paul gave a proviso which leads to this wonderful truth in the Scripture we quoted. The full verse states, “For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col.3:3). “For you have died to this life” – what does that mean? It means the first fallen Adam from whom all humanity have descended, and from whom rebellion and sin has persisted under the sway of the devil, has been put to death upon Jesus’ cross, and God has given mankind a new birth through His Spirit into the new glorified humanity of His Son. Jesus took out humanity upon Himself as Immanuel (“God with us”) to save, glorify, and bring humanity to immortality in God’s presence. (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23)

Paul explains the beautiful truth to the Galatians like this, “My old self (rebellious humanity from fallen Adam) has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So, I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who Loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20, italics mine. NLT). Paul says that as you are being “hid (covered) in Christ,” you have been “made complete.” Again, we turn to Paul, “You have been made complete in Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority” (Col.2:10, BSP). So, the “celestial life” is about humanity “hidden in Christ” and thereby “made complete in Him.”

The Two Trees of Celestial Eden, Two Ways of Life, Two Adams

What does all this mean? The word celestial means heavenly, supernatural, miraculous, and simply Godlike. I will be sharing Scriptures to prove this celestial life is not false and/or made-up, but is true and reflects our reality today as we walk this human life. The apostle John wrote these inspiring words which forms the basis of the celestial life, “Just as Jesus is, so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:17, KJV). Let’s expound this passage deeper. The phrase, “Just as Jesus is” speaks volumes about who Jesus is as humanity’s Savior. First, it speaks of Jesus’ glorious life in heaven today where He is seated at the Father’s right hand. (Eph.1:20) That is where He is. The phrase also refers to who He is, and what He is. Jesus is God’s Son, Savior, and High Priest who forever mediates on humanity’s behalf. Jesus took our humanity by becoming the Immanuel, glorified it with immortality in Himself, and brought mankind into the presence of God for the Father to Love and caress as offspring.

Therefore, humanity today has been made like Christ is in His glorified state. His glorious life in heaven is the reality of our own existence today upon this earth. The Bible explains this principle of substitution, “For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters (humanity)” ((Rom.8:29, my emphasis). Jesus stands as the firstborn in line of the new human species God gave mankind through His Son. The Bible goes on, “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) Paul informed the Romans, “He (Jesus) was handed over to die because of our sins, and He was raised to life to make us right with God” (Rom.4:25).

That’s to say, we are also glorified just as He is. That is the basis of the celestial life we are privilege to have with and in Him upon this earth. Paul seals the truth about this celestial life when he said, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:6). Yes, you and I and all humanity were all resurrected with Him and made to seat today with Jesus in heaven forever beholding the face of the Father. This is the new reality for humanity that the Father and Son had in mind at the beginning of human creation. (Read about the Overarching Principle Of Imputing Christ’s Mediation Upon Humanity, at: http://bulamanriver.net/12351; and, http://bulamanriver.net/564)

“As Jesus Is, So Also Are We In This World” (1 John 4:17, ESV). The Resurrected Jesus, and Ascension To Heaven as High Priest Before the Father in Heaven, and Mediates for Humanity Today (Wiki Commons)

Let us now see how the Trinitarian God of the Father, Son, and Spirit, relate and interact with humanity to bring and make the celestial life possible in human life. As my readers will recall, I have called this life a three-step process or the three ascents. Each ascent dovetails into the next showing how God in His Triune Being blesses humanity and brings about the celestial life. They reflect the inward, outward, and upward, Love activity of God in humans. The first ascent starts with the Spirit (inward). Then the Spirit takes us into the second ascent where Jesus stands (outward), who in turn brings us before the Father in the third ascent (upward). There is the fourth ascent which comes into play in humans as a person freely chooses to participate in God’s Trinitarian Love through the preceding three ascents. An ascent is a step that takes a person progressively up and culminates with the Father and the Triune Godhead in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory. No ascent works independently by itself but are inter-related so that the act of one is the act all, just as God is of one substance in His Trinitarian Being. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

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The Three Ascents Shows the Three-Fold Relationship Humans Experience with The Father, Son, and Spirit (Wiki Commons)

In the celestial life, these are the ascents and what they represent. Let us begin…

Ascent 1 – Work of the Holy Spirit – Defeating Rebellion. The first ascent in the Holy Spirit is aptly labeled ‘defeating rebellion.’ It reveals the work of the Spirit who defeats the spirit of rebellion of the devil and introduces God’s Love in human life. In the Scriptures we read, “God’s Love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). It reflects God’s inward Love activity in humans. The celestial life is one where a person is covered in God’s Love like a cocoon where rebellion is non-existent. However, humans are still mortal and descended from fallen Adam accompanied by the rebellious spirit. But we will see how God takes care of rebellion as we progress through the ascents.

Paul reveals what happens when the Spirit is made to enter humanity and human life. “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, for God bought you with a high price. So, you must honor God with your body” (1 Cor.6:19-20, ESV). Here we see God revealing that the human mind and body is literally the temple where God lives. If human life (mind, body, spirit) is God’s temple, then it is the temple of Love, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8).

“God Is Love” The “Celestial Life” Is Lived In God’s Love. “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” – Rom.5:5. (Wiki Commons)

The account of ancient Israel reveals to us how God instructed them to build a grand temple in Jerusalem. King Solomon did not spare any expense to make the temple the crowning jewel of edifices in Israel, where the people worshiped. That was the physical temple and God’s purpose was to convey a spiritual message about the true spiritual temple He desired. Temples are still physical structures, so we read this, “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says: “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?’” (Act.7:48-50).

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The ‘Afflicted Life’ of the Devil, Energized by Fear and Rebellion, As Compared to The ‘Celestial Life’ in Christ Inspired By The Holy Spirit Of Love. (Wiki Commons)

In a manner of speaking, God is here contrasting the physical temple humans would like to build against His physical temple of the infinite universe He has created. Think of our Milky Way, and the vast expense of the universe with its magnificent planetary systems and beyond, both known and not yet known to man. God asks if humanity can build a temple more grand than the limitless universe in which He dwells and has made the earth His footstool? We pause with bowed heads, dumbfounded and silent. Yet, God admits that there is something that is uniquely more amazing to Him. He said, “But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at My word” (Isa.66:2). The writer of the Book of Acts was quoting from the prophet Isaiah, where I have just quoted the complete text. (Isa.66:1-2) Yes, God thinks highly of a person who responds to His Love with an equally Loving participation by freely choosing His will for him/her. God is Love, so His will for humanity is always anchored in His unfailing Love. (1 John 4:8)

God does not dwell in buildings and temples made with hands, or any physical creation. Ancient pagan religions have worshiped the sun and moon as gods. The temple God seeks and desires is a building made of the heart of humanity which rejects rebellion against Him, and freely submits to His Loving will. Peter knew this and said this about humanity, “You are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple” (1 Pet.2:5). God made humans to become part of His image – that is, to join Him in His divine Love existence forever. (Gen.1:26-27) It is the temple of mankind where the human heart and will is freely given to God in Loving relationship. And Christ is the cornerstone of this human habitation and building made immortal who makes God’s divine temple possible and complete in Himself. (1 Pet.2:4-7)

There is a prophecy from the prophet Malachi which makes reference to this human temple in a futuristic sense: “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to His Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies”. (Mal.3:1, NLT). (You can read in-depth the details of the human temple at:  http://bulamanriver.net/11230; and, http://bulamanriver.net/10700 )

Depiction of Temple Built By King Solomon

There is an important proviso given by Paul in the above passage we read from Corinthians. It says, “For God bought you with a high price” (1 Cor.6:20). Here, Irenaeus explains a vital caveat that this was not something done by violent or unjust means where a ransom or compensation was paid to the devil, no. Rather, the redemption was the mighty and intervention of God on our behalf, rescuing us from the tyranny of Satan and delivering us from the thraldom of evil and death through the blood of Christ in atoning expiation of guilt in the reconciliation and justification of the sinner.” (“The Trinitarian Faith,” Pg.173) Jesus’ saving act was complete, and so was the devil’s defeat.

What is the end-result? Peter said, “And you are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple” (1 Pet.2:5). So, “Your human body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,” is correlated to the “high price” God paid to make you and humanity His temple. What is that “high price?” The Bible speaks of a song that will be sung in future whose lyrics goes like this, “And they sang a new song: “Worthy are You to take the scroll and open its seals, because You were slain, and by Your blood You purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev.5:9). Yes, the high purchase price God paid in full was the very life of His Son Jesus, when Jesus sacrificed Himself upon His cross for our forgiveness and redemption. So, the Holy Spirit that brings the celestial life was purchased through Jesus’ work of Deliverer. That brings us to the second ascent.

Ascent 2 – Jesus Christ’s Work of Deliverance – The Purchase Price for The Holy Spirit. Remember how the trinitarian God works: “The act of One is the act of Three, and the act of Three is the act of One.” (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4) No One operates in isolation from the other. They cannot work without the other, for They act out of one existence, one Love, and One God, revealing one outcome and manifestation. (Eph.4:4-6; Mar.12:29) With that in mind, we read the words of Jesus concerning the Spirit. He told the disciples, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper (Spirit) will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7, ESV). So, Jesus reflects God’s outward Love activity in humans by giving Him to save humanity. Here we witness how the Spirit’s work and Jesus’ work complement each other, so there is no disunity but oneness.

It is vital to cast our minds back to Adam and Eve in Eden when separation with the divine celestial life first occurred, making it necessary for the Spirit to reenter human life and bring the celestial life back again. With that separation, the celestial life was lost until Jesus came to restore it. Recall, what was recorded, “So the LORD God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and He sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. After sending them out, the LORD God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And He placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the Tree of Life (Spirit)” (Gen.3:23-24).

Adam and Eve Banished from Eden and the Tree of Life (Wiki Commons)

So, the Spirit cannot enter humanity and bring the celestial life until humans were redeemed and declared sinless through Jesus’ sacrifice and atonement. Only then, can the Holy Spirit enter human life and indwell mankind and make the human temple holy for God. Thus, Jesus’ work is one of deliverance where mankind is rescued from sin and rebellion. Hence, the celestial life where rebellion is replaced by holiness, where the spirit of rebellion is displaced by the Spirit of Love, cannot begin before Jesus’ ongoing work of absolving humans of sin and rebellion. Now the Holy Spirit can enter and declare mankind as the temple suitable for the the Father and Son to dwell and find rest. This bring us to the third ascent.

“For God bought you with a high price” (1 Cor.6:20). “By Your Blood You Purchased for God Those From Every Tribe and Tongue and People and Nation” (Rev.5:9). (Wiki Commons)

Ascent 3 – The Father Finds Rest in His True Temple. Here, we see Jesus’ work of mediating for humanity has brought rest to the Father and the Godhead. This reflects God’s upward Love activity where God brings humans in union with Him through His Son. The rest means God has found His temple of humanity He created in His likeness in which to dwell in peace, and humanity has found peace with God. (Gen.1:26-27)

In all this, we see how the activity of the Trinity complement each other. The Spirit can only indwell the temple of humanity and make humans vessels of divine Love through Jesus as Savior who has declared mankind redeemed and holy, and the Father makes everything possible by giving up His Son to take unto Himself our fallen humanity and glorify it for all eternity. With the presence of the Father, Son, and Spirit, filling the temple of humanity made ready and holy, the temple (humanity) is filled with divine Love, God finds rest in His Son’s redeemed humanity, and humanity finds rest in God’s Love. This amounts to the celestial life that have existed and will exist into eternity. Now, we step into the fourth ascent…

Ascent 4 – The Celestial Life in The Human Temple. For humanity, the celestial life can be said to be celestial only because of the unbroken activity of Love of the three Persons of the Trinitarian God. The three Love relationship is seen in the three ascents we have covered above. The fourth ascent is about God bringing the celestial life to humanity. So, the celestial life is the constant flow of the divine Love-energy and life from the three Persons of the Trinitarian Godhead.

In order to live the celestial life, a human must always exist in a spiritually unblemished state of being. Remember, the celestial life means a person or persons exists in the presence of the God who is holy and sinless. Sinful and rebellious humans cannot be a dwelling place for God. Adam and Eve were banished from Eden because of it. (Gen.3:1-11) Jesus says humans must become reborn humanity. (John 3:3-7) What makes humanity a dwelling place for God is the divine Love-energy that is constantly flowing in the relationship with the three Persons of the Godhead through the three ascents. (2 Cor.13:14) This is the character of the celestial life humans are given to live by.

The True Temple of God is Humanity Living the Celestial Life in God’s Love-Likeness (Wiki Commons)

As humans, we find it hard to believe that a human being can have such a perfect existence before God. However, it must be understood from the outset that this is God’s doing, not any human effort. (Mar.10:27) The main reason for human unbelief is because we are still living under the performance-based mindset of the legalistic old covenant. People are taught erroneously that to exist in God’s presence, one has to be perfect through obedience to all the laws or commandments. However, the life of ancient Israel as a nation has proven once and for all that the best of humans cannot keep God’s laws perfectly. Besides, it must be clear to us that our obedience, even if it were ever possible to attain, does not and cannot save us. The law, though perfect, defines sin when transgressed, and condemns us. No human is perfect, for the Bibles states, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23, ESV). The law cannot save, it condemns us. Perfection before God comes only through His Son, Jesus. (1 Tim.2:5)

The Bible reveals only one way whereby humans are saved – through Jesus. That does not invalidate observance and following God’s commandment, which is fine. It is the question of the difference between legalism and faith. (Rom.7:16) Let’s be clear, since the law defines sin when broken, therefore, it holds the power to condemn, but only Jesus can overcome sin’s power and saved humanity. (Rom.3:23; John 3:16-17) Paul tells us, “But God demonstrates His own Love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!” (Rom.5:8-9). As for ancient Israel, ultimately Israel as a nation was driven away from their homeland as slaves of the enemy nations around them. The law had no power to save them, but instead became the cause for their downfall and subsequent bondage. (Mar.7:6; Jer.11:8,; 13:10)

After Israel was driven from their homeland, God rescinded the Old Covenant, and introduced the New Covenant through His Son. (Heb.8:8-12, 13; 9:15; Jer.31:31-34) Whereas the Old Covenant was sealed in the blood of animals, the New Covenant was ratified in the blood of Jesus, the Son of God, and Savior of mankind. (Matt.26:28; Heb.13:20) There is another vital distinguishing difference between the two covenants. The Bible can become dangerously legalistic and impersonal if we allow it to be. In the final analysis, knowledge is not merely about one’s intellectual capacity, or some assumed legal standard of right and wrong through the law. But true knowledge is a person, and the proclamation and utterances of that person. The Bible reveals Jesus as the “Word of God,” God’s Spokesman. (Rev.19:13; John 1:1, 14). “The Word,” or the Person of Jesus, is God’s Spokesman who speaks true knowledge in contrast with false knowledge. In literal form, the “Word” is the Bible. So, true knowledge is not some legalistic standards, but the Person of Jesus as the Spokesman of God from whom truth proceed through His utterances, and with whom humans can cultivate a Love relationship in the Spirit’s power.

brown cross ornament

The Old Covenant was based upon the law, while the New Covenant was and is based upon faith. What is the difference between law and faith? Knowledge, including Bible knowledge can become harmfully legalistic where one’s value is judged by one’s relationship with the law, rather than a personal relationship with Jesus, the Personified Word of God, through faith. It’s a behavior-based (legalistic) life verses a faith-based (Love) life-relationship. When life become strictly legalistic, a person’s value is esteemed by his/her standing with the law, without exceptions. Legalism requires strict adherence to the law. It’s a life that’s impossible to attain for the Bible states that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23).

In other words, the law defines sin and humanity has broken the law without exception. The national life of ancient Israel is proof that no human is perfect. What mankind needs is a Savior. Faith means to believe in the Messiah God the Father has provided so that though we may fall short, and we will, He has provided an eternal Mediator in His Son, who is constantly mediating as humanity’s High Priest in heaven for mankind’s absolution in order that we may remain in right standing with God. (2 Cor.5:21; Rom.1:17) (You can read more about Jesus’ High Priestly Office in Heaven today, in my post titled, “Living the Surrendered Life Day-By-Day,” at: http://bulamanriver.net/17978)

However, God’s grace in Jesus does not give humanity the license to disregard, much less, disobey the law, not in the least. Paul said the law is good. (Rom.7:16). Rather, it is about understanding that while the law condemns (legalism/fear), Jesus saves us (faith/Love). Paul explains it this way, “So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith” (Gal.3:24). The law defines sin, but the law cannot save us from sin, no matter how much we try to obey it. The law holds humanity in condemnation. (Rom.3:23) Only faith in the saving work of Christ saves. (read Rom.7:7-25; Col.1:22-23) Paul goes on to say, “Christ is the end of the Law, to bring righteousness to everyone who believes” (Rom.10:4). Christ is the mitigating intermediary who unifies the obligation under the Old and New Covenants into one concentric circle.

“The Righteous Shall Live By Faith” – Hab.2:4; Rom.1:17. (Wiki Commons)

We often overlook to the point of forgetting that the one sole purpose of the Bible, both in the old and new testaments, was to point humanity to the Messiah God would send and has provided for humanity’s salvation. It is worthy of note to realize that even though Israel’s religious and national life was governed by the Old Covenant through its many ritualistic formats, virtually every ritual they observed was a picture of and foreshadowed God’s promise of the Messiah. (Isa.9:6; 11:1-2; Mic.5:2; John 3:16-17) The Passover, the Day of Atonement, and the ritualistic sacrifices, were pictures of Christ coming work as Messiah to Israel and the whole world. (Heb.10:4-10)

Too many people are living life based upon their current circumstance – whether adverse or otherwise. They are buffeted about by the trials of life until they face the next hostile episode and so forth. When circumstances and the trials of life dictate how we value human life, that is legalism arising from a behavior-based conviction and philosophy to life, rather than a faith-based value infrastructure. Paul said, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who Love God and are called according to His purpose for them” (Rom.8:28, NLT). That means no matter what the manner of circumstance, everything has a divine purpose and is meant for our good, not evil. The only way to hold such a positive universal perspective to our circumstances is through the living faith of Jesus that is energized by the Spirit. (Read more about “Jesus Living Faith” at: http://bulamanriver.net/2811)

God’s plan for humans He created in His likeness is a life of eternal Love and joy! Paul speaks to Timothy about “a life that is truly life” (1 Tim.6:19). Our heavenly Father makes that beautiful life possible when He gave His Son so that Jesus may bring humanity to live the celestial life, where all human circumstances are in God’s control which He miraculously work out for human good. (Rom.8:28-30) The verse which keeps us grounded in God’s grace says simply, “You have been made complete in Jesus” (Col.2:10). If “we are complete in Jesus,” then it is true that, “Just as Jesus is, so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:17, Berean Literal Bible). Such is the celestial life we are privileged to have in Christ by faith.

Hence, humans ought to be constantly living and activating the three ascents in Loving relationship, being mediated for by Jesus so the Spirit and God’s Love may fill the human temple where God and mankind dwell in unity and find rest. Whether the person has received Jesus as Savior and become God’s temple at this moment in time, or has been for a longer period, the activation of the three ascents in human life is a constant relationship that makes the celestial life possible and ongoing.

Regardless if a person is new or a veteran believer, no one is perfect. So, in order for the temple to remain holy for God’s dwelling and rest, constant mediation is taking place through the work of Jesus and the Spirit who resides in the human temple so it remains the spiritual unblemished celestial life. (1 Cor. 1:30) Living the celestial life is the only reason and purpose for Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, and High Priesthood in heaven today. (Col.1:22-23) And the ultimate answer to the celestial life is the humanity’s resurrection to immortality at Jesus’ return in future.

architectural photography of buildings interior
The 3 Ascents Reveal the 3-Step Love Relationship With God Humans Experience In the 4th Ascent (Pic: Unsplash)

Petition: Friends, Humanity was created and is called today to live the celestial life in Jesus. I thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest 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 celestial life for humanity. You can privately and quietly pray this prayer in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human Christ died for, not as a member of any religious sect or denomination:

“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.”

Welcome to the Celestial Life of Love in God’s eternal Triune Being and Family. Then keep in touch with God’s word for you by visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation. Or you can email me with your question at the address shown below.

The Final Answer to the Celestial Life is The Human Resurrection to Immortality – 1 Cor.15:50-58. (Wiki Commons)

I will close with the passage I began with concerning the foundation of the celestial life, “Just as Jesus is, so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:17, BLB). If you have any thoughts and observation you wish to share, 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 Love. Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Farewell for now,

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant In Christ)

*Triune Life or Triune Love: The “Triune Life” is a way of life. Its foundational tenet is based upon the Love of God, because Love is the nature of God. (1 John 4:8; Rom.5:5) I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the three-dimensional life, the human experience of God’s Love is always moving in an inward, outward, and upward motion (3 ascents) where all the three Persons of the Godhead are in relational oneness with humanity. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2)

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) 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. You can read more at: 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

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 FOUR TEMPTATIONS, HOW TO OVERCOME AND LIVE VICTORIOUSLY IN CHRIST, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings Friends! In my New Year Post, I spent some time going over the beautiful harmonious life Adam and Eve had in celestial Eden, the garden Paradise God planted for our first parents. We saw Adam and Eve were the only humans who ever lived and experienced firsthand the life God wanted for mankind to have with human immortality and a Love relationship with God. It was a life God wanted all humans to have with Him. Yet, all that was destroyed in one crucial moment of temptation when they allowed Satan to convince them to sin against God.

They were given specific instruction by God about not touching, much less eat, the fruit of a certain tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The instruction was simple and uncomplicated. But the devil twisted God’s instruction and lied to them. (Gen.2:17; 3:4) Jesus told the Jews of His day concerning the devil, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me!” (John 8:44-45).

So, for that brief moment they believed Satan’s lies over God’s Word for them. It was a moment of weakness. Through their disobedience, sin entered human life. Our first parents were banished from Paradise because they could not live in the spirit of rebellion and sin in God’s presence. The Love relationship they had with God died the instant sin entered their lives. (Gen.2:17) With regard to their physical mortal life, death was not so immediate, rather death came sufferably slower through a way of life inspired by rebellion and fear, which led to sin, emptiness, and ultimately death. (Gen.2:17)

For such was the legacy Adam had left for humanity, and thus we are consigned to the reality of this human life of facing the devil’s temptation every day of our lives. Temptation comes in all shapes and sizes, and in every way, shape, and form. Lamentably, this burden has placed a weak and unprepared mankind to figure out and overcome the devil’s temptation which has been slowly but surely destroying mankind. History has shown humanity’s utter and dismal failure at facing man’s eternal foe. But our Loving God has not left us to the mercy of the enemy, instead, after our first parent’s fall, God promised to send a second Adam to put right the wrong the first Adam had done. The decree uttered upon humanity, “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return,” had an ‘expiry date’ as soon as the Messiah would appear to redeem mankind and bring back immortality. (Gen.3:19; John 6:40; 3:16)

Adam and Eve Banished from Celestial Eden for Sin (Wiki Commons)

In His infinite Love, God promised humanity He would send the second Adam, His Son Jesus, to rescue humanity by defeating Satan through the temptations the first Adam had failed to do, and ultimately through His sacrificial death upon His cross to absolve mankind from the sin-condition and death the devil had consigned humanity, and bring the gift of immortality from our Father. From this, we see the reality of what it took to save humanity – it had to take the life of God’s very Son to enter our rebellion-conditioned and sin-filled humanity to save us from the devil’s temptation, and ultimately die upon His cross as our Savior.

This work of reconciliation resulted initially from Adam’s failure to defeat the temptations of the evil one. So, for humanity, we see a future which was forever changed in Eden after the fall of our first parents. But more strikingly, it had to take the life of the second Person of the Godhead, God’s very Son, to enter our sin-filled world in order to redeem us from the spirit of rebellion, once for all. So, the imperative is upon us to understand the enemy’s ploys to tempt humans so the curse of sin is stopped at its heels through Christ. And Paul makes this a priority in human life when He said, “So that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes” (2 Cor.2:11). Paul was speaking in the past tense to mean humans are no longer like the first Adam, but the second Adam has brought the light that rescues humanity. Paul was speaking in the context of forgiveness in the sense that with pardon comes a life where we’re not being outwitted much less vanquished by the enemy, but by being fully aware of his devices so humanity will always seek redemption and make good what the enemy had done in Eden.

Jesus the Messiah, Sent to Redeem and Restore Humanity (Wiki Commons)

But here is the most vital truth of Jesus’ work: Jesus has defeated Satan on behalf of humanity when He faced him in His own temptations. (Matt.4:1-11) By defeating Satan He has defeated him for humanity. What does that mean? Paul said it like this, “For if, by the trespass of the one man (Adam), 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! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous” (Rom.5:17-19). This speaks of the principle of attribution.

What does attribution mean? It means to impute one’s act upon another. It means someone’s act is superimposed over another so there is interactive accountability one for another. Just as Adam’s sin brought upon humanity the rebellious spirit, sin, and death, so Jesus, the second Adam, ushered God’s Spirit of Love, true life, and immortality. We cannot escape this principle of imputation because it is automatic. We can better understand this principle through the creation of Eve, the second human. Eve was not separately created from the earth as Adam was. She was taken from Adam’s side (rib), to show humanity is indivisibly united and one, not separate. Hence, the act of one is always the act of the other through oneness in the original creation of Adam. This thought was clearly in Paul’s mind when he said, “He who Loves his wife Loves himself” (Eph.5:28). It is about the oneness of human personhood that’s united by Love. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4) This is based upon the Trinitarian principle of God who created humanity in His likeness indivisible from His one Triune Being. (Gen.1:26-27; Matt.28:18-19) Just as Eve was taken out of Adam and is part of God’s inseparable humanity, all people are descended from them and therefore live by the attributing principle showing unity and oneness through their thought, word, and deed.

Therefore, through this attributing principle, which states, “For just as through the disobedience of the one man (first Adam) the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man (second Adam) the many will be made righteous” (Rom.5:19), God has imputed Christ’s victory upon us, so that His victory over Satan becomes humanity’s victory as well. Jesus told the disciples, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the (Satan’s) world” (John 16:33, italics mine). The victorious life in Christ means the righteous, sinless, conquering, life He lived when He was in His Immanuel divine/human form, which He continues to now live in the life of the believer through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23) Jesus’ victorious life is superimposed over humanity. This is no different with His death upon the cross – God has attributed Jesus’ sacrificial death upon mankind so all humans are already saved from sin and redeemed. All that remains is for each person to receive God’s grace through faith and trust in Jesus as personal Savior.

Living the Victorious Life in Christ

There is another aspect of the principle of attribution we must understand – personal responsibility. God spoke to the prophet about the duty of His servants and the people. He said, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from Me. When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself. Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.” (Ezek.3:17-21).

So, although Adam’s sin is imputed upon mankind automatically because of our human indivisibility in him, so Christ’s saving work does the same. (Rom.5:19) Thereby, each of us have a personal responsibility to adopt Jesus’ new humanity or reject Him. To receive Jesus means to warn about, and turn away from sin, so that we can withdraw ourselves from the cycle of rebellion and turn to the circle of God’s Love. In this way, we are imputing Christ’s work of reconciliation and victory through us. (2 Cor.5:18) Through Jesus, God brings humanity a full circle to the original imputation God had created humanity to represent – in His image and Love-likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) (You can read more on this principle of attribution at: http://bulamanriver.net/12351).

The principle of attribution conveys the truth that we cannot defeat Satan on our own, except through Jesus. Where the first Adam failed, the second Adam succeeded. There are other considerations, the enemy is not human, but the old evil spirit who has been tempting humans since Adam, and chose to be God’s adversary from the start, Satan. (Isa.14:12-14) Paul explains what we are up against, when He explained Satan’s world to the Ephesians, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Eph.6:12). We can defeat this unseen enemy and his equally invisible cohorts only through Jesus’ own personal victory. In other words, we can defeat the devil, because Jesus has already done so for humanity, and continues to do so again in us through the power of God’s Spirit is us. (Rom.5:5; 1 Cor. 3:16)

The Holy Spirit Is God’s Love Who Empowers Humanity to Defeat Satan’s Rebellion (Wiki Commons)

Today, we will get to see four areas of life Jesus has revealed to us through the way He was tempted by Satan and see where the devil seeks to get into our minds and our lives and deceive and tempt us to rebel and sin against God. The devil’s plan is to keep the cycle of rebellion and sin going for as long as he can. God’s plan through Jesus is to end it, and bring all humanity into His circle of Love. Satan had succeeded with Adam and Eve, but he failed miserably in his wicked attempts with Jesus. We have much to learn from Jesus’ own experience in His four temptations.

In every age and time humanity has been asked to make a choice between two broad paths in life that is represented by the two trees and the two Adams: that of bondage or freedom. Bondage leads humans to a way of life based upon ‘self-centeredness’ which brings on distress and disillusionment in life. Ultimately it weakens us and we suffer a life of defeat. True, there may be seemingly sporadic worldly “successes,” but they are really illusions, not realities in truth. Its entire philosophy is founded upon the spirit of rebellion and opposition to God from the devil. Freedom means exactly the opposite. Its leads a person to a way of life based upon ‘other-centeredness’ through God’s Spirit of Love. So that instead of a life of disillusionment and failure, we experience life as our Creator intended for humanity made in His image to have that’s full of triumph and jubilation, of accomplishment and exuberance, and eternal joy.

This  goes back to Adam when he had to choose for humanity between bondage and freedom as depicted by the two trees in the Garden of Eden. (Gen.2:9) He chose bondage, or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And ever since man’s struggle has been to attain that illusive freedom (tree of life) that seem to escape them. However, we somehow apprehend it in our present incarcerated circumstance, because the enemy has given us his version of success which are not real but are illusions. And because they are really many forms of bondage, not freedom, for we find no fulfilment in them. It seems like humanity is forever in a state of bondage, and freedom is just a pipe dream. After struggling and overcoming one form of bondage, like a stump of a tree that’s not fully destroyed, it sprouts again and again with its insidious fruits abounding and rearing its ugly repressive head ready to trap unwary humans.

The reason for this is made clear by Jesus Christ, He explains it metaphorically, “A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So, every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions” (Matt.7:17-20, NLT). Apparently, it seems like Jesus was taking us back in time to the very beginning, where the problem between bondage and freedom started with our first parents and the two trees in Eden for they represent freedom and bondage. The “Tree of Life” symbolize freedom. The “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” symbolize bondage. (Gen.2:9)

The Two Trees of Celestial Eden (Yahoo.com)

We know the story, Adam was banished from Eden because he chose to eat from the tree which portray a way of life of bondage. Eden represented the presence of God and both trees existed in Eden, meaning, nothing happens outside of God’s sovereignty. The “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” was not corrupting of itself. It symbolized knowledge that’s necessary for humanity to make wise decisions where they understand the difference between good and evil. God used it to teach our first parents. However, in this particular instance, God used this tree as a prop to prove our first parent’s faithfulness to His purpose for them. Their unfaithfulness did not put a stop to the human thirst for knowledge. What we must realize is there is a difference between human knowledge and intellect and God’s truths as represented in the “Tree of Life” and generated through God’s Spirit. As Jesus said, “A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.” Paul explains that on one hand human knowledge vainly puffs humans up, while God’s truths Lovingly builds us up. (1 Cor.8:1) Wisdom is recognizing the difference between the two trees, and applying oneself wisely.  

pathway in the middle of piled books
True Knowledge or False Knowledge – Which?

 The Bible chronicles our human past. After eating the forbidden fruit, God asked our first parents, “Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’ After He drove the man out, He placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the Tree of Life” (Gen.3:11-13; 24; 6). So, the road to true freedom through the Tree of Life was cut off because of human rebellion and sin. The two trees are metaphors of two ways of life placed before humanity to choose. Satan tempted Adam and he fell to his temptation. Then Jesus, the second Adam, was similarly confronted by Satan through His temptation. (Matt.4:1-11; 1 Cor.15:45) In the four temptations Jesus reveals how He was confronted by Satan in the Judean wilderness, and by extension taught humanity the layout of the enemy’s schemes to keep humanity under his deception and in the bondage of sin.

Adam and Eve Leaving Eden (Yahoo.com)

Before we go into the temptations of Jesus, we must begin with God’s word of encouragement for us – we can overcome the enemy’s temptation because Jesus has already done it for us – not because we can do it on our own. The first thing we learn about ourselves and the devil’s lies and temptations is that Jesus came to expose the enemy’s schemes so we won’t have to be ignorant of his deceptions, and “not be ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor.2:11, KJV). The four temptations tell us the four areas of life which the devil will tempt humanity as he did with Jesus. They are, 1) sustenance, 2) reliance, 3) materialism, lastly 4) power and influence. What we will go through is no different from what Jesus experienced, except contextually, of course. Also, Jesus was perfect and sinless originating from God’s eternal Triune Being who became the Immanuel human (God in human flesh), whereas we are children of Adam’s fallen humanity who carry his harmful baggage. We have acquired this self-centered way of life with many bad and selfish habits through the temptations of the devil. Even though Jesus has defeated Satan for humanity, it does not abrogate by any measure the human responsibility we touched upon earlier in Ezekiel. We take responsibility to reshape our lives and allow Jesus’ to relive His victorious life in us by defeating the devil’s four temptations through the Spirit’s power. (Read more about the two human forms given to mankind at: http://bulamanriver.net/9718, and at http://bulamanriver.net/19496).

An often-overlooked point of Jesus’ temptation was that He would not confront the devil until He was empowered with the Holy Spirit at His baptism in the Jordan river. (Mar.1:9-11) Though Jesus was fully God, He was also fully human, and His humanity needed the Spirit’s power and influence. (Act.10:38) This was to show us that as humans we too cannot overcome the enemy’s wiles without the Spirit’s divine power, miracles, and inspiration. Jesus also lives and walks in us by a rebirth into His new ‘Immanuel humanity.’ Recall, it was the Spirit who led Jesus into the wilderness of Judea to face the devil, not before then, so it is with us. (Mar.1:12-13) Hence, Jesus told the disciples “Wait for the promise of the Father to send the Holy Spirit” (Luk.24:49). Only Jesus’ return to the Father would make that event happen, for He said, “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). Jesus reinstated the gift of the Spirit upon humanity from the Father ever since Adam and Eve were forbidden access to the ‘Tree of Life’ (Spirit) in Eden. (Gen.3:13)

Baptism of Jesus and Reintroduction of the Holy Spirit: “I baptize you with water, but He (Jesus) will Baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mar.1:8)
(Yahoo.com)

Jesus brought the Spirit back when the Father poured Him upon all humanity on Pentecost. (Matt.3:16-17; Act.2:1-4) Why is this important? Because Satan is the evil spirit, and God’s Spirit is the Holy Spirit. The Bible says Satan is “your enemy the devil who prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet.5:8). Satan’s weapons are fear and rebellion – both leads humans to sin and death. A human’s weapon is the Holy Spirit who brings Love, power, the miraculous life, and immortality. The Spirit is the power who manifests Jesus new humanity and leads a person in the way of Love. (Rom.5:5)

adult lion on grass field
“Your enemy the devil who prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” – 1 Pet.5:8. (Wiki Commons)

Let’s begin… 1 Sustenance: What does sustenance mean in relation to Satan’s temptation? In Jesus’ first temptation, He had fasted for forty days for spiritual strength. Satan knew Jesus had divine power, so he tempted Jesus to use His power to turn stones into bread and satisfy His famished body after having fasted for forty days. (Matt.4:1-4) The temptation had both physical and spiritual aspects wrapped into one. Satan said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread” (Matt.4:3). Jesus replied, saying, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt.4:4). Jesus recognized both the physical and spiritual aspects of His battle with the devil. In other words, every human is a mortal being and also a spiritual person who was created in God’s spiritual Love-image. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:8) Both the physical person and the spiritual person must be fed and sustained in different ways. The physical person is fed through food and drink, and the spiritual person is fed through God’s Word and His Love. There is a balancing act to be lived out, we are not to feed one while ignoring the other.

“If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread” (Matt.4:3) (Yahoo.com)

Jesus made this abundantly clear when He taught the people of His day, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet, I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to your as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt.6:25-34).

Here, Jesus explains what our priority should be, He said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. For your heavenly Father knows that you need them” (V.33, 32). Yes, the sustenance of the spiritual person takes priority over physical sustenance. And this is what Jesus said was the vital point concerning life and the way it ought to be lived. Jesus had been fasting to feed the spiritual person, while the devil was tempting Jesus to switch His priority by taking care of the physical need above His spiritual sustenance. How do we prioritize our lives before God? It is not wrong to look after our physical bodies through proper nourishment, but Jesus is asking us to evaluate our priorities because Satan will tempt us to reverse our priorities and wrap our lives in material preferences and trappings for the physical life over the spiritual life. Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever (attain immortality)” (John 6:51, also John 11:25). Jesus, the Personified Word of God, is the spiritual food that feeds the spiritual person.

God’s ultimate plan for humanity is to give us the gift of immortality so we will become His Loving children forever. As immortal humans in God’s Kingdom physical food will not sustain us. Our spiritual bodies will be sustained by the spiritual food of God’s Love. The Bible states, “And so we know and rely on the Love God has for us. God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16). God’s Love is His eternal Word of truth which is food for immortal humans. This is the only way by which humanity can and will be sustained forever. The Bible also reveals that God’s Word is Personified in His Son, Jesus, hence through Him we have access to the divine Triune Life who has glorified our humanity forever in Himself. (John 1:1)

God’s Word Is Spiritual Food That Feeds The Spiritual Man. Jesus Is The Personified Word of God – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1. (Pic: Gutenberg Bible, Wiki Commons)

If we feed on Jesus for our sustenance, then His Word will come true, for He said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For My flesh is real food, and My blood is real drink” (John 6:54-55). Jesus was not talking about cannibalism by any stretch of the imagination, but He was speaking metaphorically about adopting His new spiritual humanity…it is spiritual flesh and blood that requires spiritual food which His new humanity feeds upon. (You may read my post about Jesus’ new humanity at: http://bulamanriver.net/19496) Further, Jesus said, “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:39-40).

So, the Father’s purpose is to bring humanity to immortality, and the devil’s ploy is to try his utmost to stop it through death. And the way in which the Father will do this is to sustain us well every day with and through His Son. Hence, the devil will emphasize the physical matter to blind our eyes to the spiritual food of Jesus as the personified and literal (Bible) Word of God which truly saves. (You may read my article, title, “Study to Show Yourself Approved,” at: http://bulamanriver.net/9482).

Jesus, The “Personified” Word of God, Teaching His Followers (Wiki Commons)

2 Reliance: What does reliance mean in terms of the temptation of Satan? Let us see how Satan tempted Jesus in this area of life. “Then the devil took Him to the holy city and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command His angels concerning You, and they will lift You a up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone’” (Matt.4:5-6). Just like the first temptation about sustenance, the temptation had both the physical and spiritual aspects wrapped in one.

“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command His angels concerning You, and they will lift You a up in their hands” (Yahoo.com)

As we see from the context, the temptation revolves around a vital promise the devil quoted to Jesus which God gives humanity, beginning with Jesus. Reliance is about dependence upon God and His promises for us, that is the spiritual aspect of this temptation. Then there is the physical aspect of human self-reliance and doing what seems right in our own eyes. Reliance is about a way of life of inter-dependence with the divine as opposed to independence in yourself under the devil’s sway.

But in this case, Jesus was well versed with God’s promise, that is why the devil quoted it to Him. However, there was no physical way of saving Himself by jumping off the highest point of the temple. There was no modern-day contraption that He could use to ensure a soft landing. So, what was the temptation about? It was about deliberately placing Himself in danger without cause to test God at His promise. And there is a specific command to not do such a thing. The Bibles states, “You shall not put the LORD your God to the test” (Deut.6:16). To do that would mean, a person is tempting God instead of wholeheartedly trusting and believing His promises.

Humans are God’s creation and He may from time to time test us, as He justifiably should, for humans remain fallen and susceptible to rebellion since Adam’s fall. However, humanity is commanded to never put God to the test for His Word is sure like a rock that can never be moved. There is a difference between ‘test’ and ‘tempt.’ We must remember God tempts no one. James tell us, “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone” (Jam.1:13). Rather, our first parents were living in the dynamic of God’s Love and a relationship that is motivated and wrapped in His Love. Love is real and alive when it is made to grow and flourish. Love is eternal and can never stagnate, nor be inoperative and unfulfilled. With humans, Love is made to flourish through free choice and the testing of a person’s free-will.

Jesus saw Satan’s ploy, and responded appropriately, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’” (V.7). We ought to take note of how Jesus defeats the devil – He quotes God’s Word. Jesus’ spiritual sword was God’s Word which He wielded to defend Himself and apply offensive tactics to defeat Satan’s temptation. (Eph.6:17) We do likewise to defend ourselves and overcome the devil’s wiles and deception.

So, we have read the specific command given to humans to not test God at His word and promise. (Deut.6:16). We simply trust His Word in childlike faith. 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). Further, James tell us the following about faith, “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do” (Jam.1:6-8). Yes, whatever God has promised in His Word is true and sure and can be forever relied upon. (You can read more on, “Jesus Faith” at: http://bulamanriver.net/2811)

However, most humans are not well versed with God’s Word like Jesus was to be tempted by the devil in the way He was. Most of humanity are hugely unaware of God’s promises for them. So, the devil will use their ignorance to tempt them. Does that ring true for any of us? We ought to be well-versed with God’s Word and promises for us. Our salvation depends upon it. Just as assistance and pointer, I would refer you to the following website to get acquainted with God’s promises: http://scripturepromises.com/. I do not sponsor this site nor do I benefit from what they do. I merely use it as a reference point for you to further explore God’s Word and discover God’s precious promises for you and your loved ones in your reading and study of the Word of God, the Holy Bible. Peter tells us the following, “He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Pet.1:4).

You see, through God’s promises He joins Himself to us becoming “partakers of His divine nature.” The question is, are we joined to Him through His promises? That happens when we know and understand His promises, and live by them. We saw in the first point of sustenance that God’s Word is what sustains the spiritual person. And God’s promises are part of His Word.

So, the second temptation we will face in the world of Satan concerns reliance upon God’s promises, and desisting from doing things that seems right in our own eyes. Proverbs tell us this, “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death” (Pro.14:12, NLT). Humanity desperately needs all the promises of God. Without them we are in constant danger of spiritual and physical exposure. In most cases for humanity, this is the way Satan tempts humans to sin on this second point – through ignorance and self-reliance instead of looking to God’s Word and promises for guidance and support. And of course, as we get to be more versed with God’s promises, remember the command to never put God to the test by trying Him on His promises. Just believe and trust His Word wholeheartedly.

(You can read more on this vital topic by going to my post, “Standing On The Promises” at: http://bulamanriver.net/15209)

3 Materialism: What does materialism mean when it comes to Satan tempting humans to sin? Let’s learn from Jesus’ own encounter with this aspect of the devil’s temptation. We will pick up the account from the Message translation, “For the third test, the Devil took Him to the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth’s kingdoms, how glorious they all were. Then he said, “They’re yours—lock, stock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they’re yours.”  Jesus’ refusal was curt: “Beat it, Satan!” He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God, and only Him. Serve Him with absolute single-heartedness” (Matt.4:8-10). From the account, we can see there are two obvious temptations here that can befall man: materialism and power. They both go hand in hand. Because of the diverse application of each we will deal with them separately. We will deal with materialism in the third temptation, and power and influence in the fourth temptation.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-Lord-Jesus-Being-Tempted-480x270.jpg
Temptation of Jesus, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” (Wiki Commons)

What is materialism? As a form of temptation, materialism has a broader across-the-board effect upon humanity. It affects people at every level of societal structure and economic strata. Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luk.12:15). Greed and avarice can be manifested in the broad spectrum of human relationship as it concerns material concerns. Materialism is idolatry and goes against one of God’s commands. (Exo.20:3-6) Idolatry means to worship material things which people assign higher value than their worship of God. Our lives can become totally wrapped up in the material life and its net effect is we render God’s Word and promises ineffectual due to our reliance upon them through the fallen self who worships material things. Our lives are dictated by them and become literal gods.

Basically, that is what materialism does – we turn on the ‘self-reliance switch’ and turn off the ‘God-reliance switch’ through His promises. Self-reliance becomes self-worship inspired by Satan. In ‘self-reliance’ we falsely assume this is ‘my doing,’ ‘my way,’ ‘my dreams,’ imagining you are the master of your own destiny. Little do we realize that inadvertently Satan is actually the one who is worshiped. Unwittingly, humans have become mere puppets he manipulates in his evil schemes. (Rev.12:9; 2 Cor.11:14) We turn off the ‘God-reliance switch’ along with His promises. (Pro.14:12; Rom.6:21) Our possessions has taken a higher meaning than our relationship with God and His promises. (You can read more about “The Trues Self and False Self” at: http://bulamanriver.net/7523).

Material prosperity is not evil of itself. God blesses humanity in this physical life. All the beautiful creation we see around us reveal His generosity. However, Jesus contextualizes this temptation in that the human life and God’s material blessing comes within the framework of the greater spiritual treasure of His Kingdom we ought to pursue first. He said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt.6:19-21, 33).

Note, there is material wealth and spiritual wealth. God is not denouncing material wealth, He is against the worship of material stuff as a false god. That is what materialism means. God created all wealth and all the riches of this world belongs to Him, and confers them upon us as stewards, not heirs of them – not yet! (see Rom.8:17-39) He declares, “The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty” (Hag.2:8, also read Psa.24:1; Psa.50:10-11).

In other words, the material and physical are not true riches, but merely shadows, figures, of the greater spiritual treasures which are eternal and will never fade away. It is a matter of prioritizing their value in the way we live. You may read the Parable of The Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21. Thereby, we must not live foolishly as to give ourselves to material riches at the expense of His Kingdom’s riches. The priority is to seek the true Kingdom wealth first, then the genuine physical wealth will follow automatically without our asking. (Matt.6:33) When humans are blessed by God, the material things brings true freedom and joy because they are interwoven with our eternal destiny rather than being end in themselves. On the other hand, Satan uses material things to enslave humans through idolatry.

Jesus answer to this temptation must ring audibly and clearly in our minds, “Worship the Lord your God, and only Him. Serve Him with absolute single-heartedness.”

4 Power & Influence: What is the temptation of power and influence which Satan tries to inflict upon humanity? Satan tempted Jesus by “Pointing out all the earth’s kingdoms, how glorious they all were.” Then he said, “They’re yours—lock, stock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they’re yours” (Matt.4:8-9, MSG). Mattthew Henry is his commentary said, “The glory of the world is the most charming temptation to the unthinking and unwary; by that men are most easily imposed upon.” So much so, people can become drunk with power, whether it is in politics, in military domination, in business empires, in family legacies, even in human talents like music and athletic prowess, in the occult, satanism and mystical affiliations, the accumulation of money and possessions, in personal dreams and projects, etc. Materialism aside, this is about have the power and influence to control others and desired outcomes. It is about acknowledging and bowing to the spirit of competition and domination. In the beginning, God gave humanity dominion over the earth to administer in Love. (Gen.1:26; Psa.8:3-9) But Satan has turned dominion into domination. Since worldly power comes from the devil, then it is about worshiping Satan.

Aerial View Of City Buildings At Night
Temptation of Jesus, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” (Wiki Commons)

When power, in whatever form or appearance, is idolized and worshiped, be it personal or collective, then Satan is its prime motivator. Christ rejected this proposal with abhorrence and declared, “Away from Me, Satan!” From this fourth temptation, we see the ultimate purpose of his deception, he is seeking to be worshiped. Self-worship is devil-worship. People may imagine their own ideas, but ignore who is behind the scenes, and it is the devil as instigator who is actually worshiped. And that can never happen because there is only One who is worthy of worship – God Almighty! Jesus answers perfectly when He answers Satan, “For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”  

The Scriptures tells us plainly the truth about power, “Once God has spoken; Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God” (Psa.62:11, NASB). The Bible explains how this divine power can be made to inhabit human life. Jesus said, “All authority (power) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me” (Matt.28:18). The divine power of God is channeled to mankind only through Jesus who took our humanity into Himself (Immanuel) and glorified it in the Triune Godhead of the Father, Son, and Spirit. The power Satan exercises in this fallen world is given under God’s suffrage until His divine purpose is completed. (Rom.13:1-2; John 19:11) Satan was allowed to create a worldly system that’s based on lies, and deception, but they are really illusions. Beginning with Adam, he has created pseudo and artificial power bases which has no basis in reality to God’s sovereign power by which He creates and sustains the universe and all in it, both in the spiritual and physical realms.

Humanly speaking, all of creation from which we see power manifested ultimately finds its source in God, not Satan. The enemy possesses no power to create nor is he given free hand to do with humanity as he pleases, or else we would have been destroyed long ago. His power is given under constraint and under proviso. It is one where he deceives, lies, and masquerades illusions for realities in order to keep humanity blinded to the truth. In other words, God limits all his evil intents and actions for His own divine purposes. If Satan’s power is artificial and temporary, why do we invest our lives and souls upon something that’s fabricated and based upon lies and deception? Jesus said, “What profit will a person have if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life (soul)?” (Mar.8:36, ISV). That is the question that stares us in the face and demands a just answer.

Yes, that is the end-result – it’s nothing more than a mirage and has no power in reality, and anyone who bets his life on it will lose it. The “whole world” means the devil’s world. Though worldly power may seem real in the physical sense, we are reminded by Elijah about where the true power base lies, he said, “Don’t be afraid. We have more forces on our side than they have on theirs” (2 King 6:16, GWT).

Consider the various world-ruling empires that have existed upon this earth which have eventually disappeared for one reason or other. There were world-dominant empires of Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Rome, Mongols, Caliphates, Spanish and British empires, and others. Why? Because it is power that exist in a vacuum (world) unbeknownst by humans through deception by Satan. This applies to all kinds of power bases, not just political. Why not invest in the real thing, in true power? Why not invest in God’s world – the Kingdom of God of which Christ is King of kings, and Lord of lords. (Rev.19:16) To lose your true self to a power that cannot stand the test of time and reality (eternity) is nothing short of absurd and ludicrous. It ought not to be worthy of our consideration. It is a shameful proposition to even consider losing your divine destiny as a person made in the Creator’s image for a promise for empty power.

Here is a promise of God’s power He gives to support and defend us, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isa.41:10, ESV). Here’s another similar promise, “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me, declares the LORD” (Isa. 54:17). We saw the promise about angelic protection which Satan quoted to Jesus, “For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psa.91:11). Here’s an all-important one from Jesus Himself, “For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:40).

Yes, God gives us power, but it is all about vindicating His purpose in each of us. It usually starts small – overcoming the ‘false self’ (Adam’s fallen humanity), and living the ‘true self’ (Christ’s new glorified humanity) by means of the framework where life is lived overcoming the four temptations of the enemy. It is the expression of a Love relationship with our God and our heavenly Father. When we will have grown to genuinely live the “Triune Life,”* His power will manifest itself in our lives. For divine power proceeds forth from no other place than His Trinitarian Being. When we find our place in His Triune Being we will receive gifts with divine power in the Spirit to carry out His divine will for us in our walk of faith. (Eph.4:7-8)

The Scriptures utters God’s promise for those who wait upon Him, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor.2:9). Yes, it is beyond what our limited human mind can fathom, but in a restrained way, much like squinting in a fog and peering through a mist as Eugene Peterson states aptly, we are made to understand for the Spirit reveals to us the hidden things of God, “These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God” (1 Cor.2:9-10, ESV). This is the miraculous life believers are privileged to live supernaturally in the Spirit.

Jesus Defeats Satan for Humanity in the Temptation “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”   (Yahoo.com)

Conclusion: The enemy’s role in the four temptations follows on from his initial rebellion against God and His plan for humanity. (Isa.14:12-14) So he promotes his lies and create deceptions, sows schism and discord wherever he can in humanity to hinder and destroy the Love relationship with God, and if possible, to totally sever this Love relationship altogether. And these are four of his main arsenals with which he attacks us, and if possible, destroy our Love relationship with God our Father. But Satan will not succeed because God’s plan to create mankind in His Trinitarian image and likeness will never be thwarted. God created man to Love God above all else, and secondarily to Love his neighbor as he Loves himself. (Mar.12:29-31) Jesus said “there is no greater commandment than these” two, therefore, all of creation is merely the vehicle and means by which to accomplish that singular end. Everything in the created universe was never intended to be taken as end in themselves much less worshiped and idolized. That divine end is very simply to fulfill our purpose as humans of living life in God’s likeness and image of Love, for the Scriptures say, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8,16).

To find out more about the Victorious Life, you can go to: http://bulamanriver.net/7730

Petition: Friends, thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus’ new humanity the Father has given us to adopt. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest ceaselessly mediating for us. I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Jesus as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of a gloriously magnificent future for humanity. You can privately and quietly pray this prayer in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human Christ died for, not as a member of any religious sect or denomination:

“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 rebirth into Jesus’ Immanuel Humanity through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon me. May Your Love guide and protect me and my loved ones always, and bring us and all humanity into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.”

Welcome to the Life of Love in God’s eternal Triune Being and Family. Then keep in touch with God’s word for you by visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation. Or you can email me with your question at the address shown below.

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

The Resurrection to Immortality-The Hope of Humanity. Jesus said, “For My Father’s Will Is That Everyone who Looks to the Son and Believes in Him Shall Have eternal Life, and I will Raise Them Up at The Last Day” (John 6:40) (Pic: Wiki Commons)

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

Farewell for now,

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant In Christ)

*Triune Life or Triune Love: The “Triune Life” is a way of life. Its foundational tenet is based upon the Love of God, because Love is the nature of God. (1 John 4:8; Rom.5:5) I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the three-dimensional life, the human experience of God’s Love is always moving in an inward, outward, and upward motion where all the three Persons of the Godhead are in relational oneness with humanity. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2)

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) 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. You can read more at: 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

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.

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU – NEW ‘IMMANUEL HUMANITY’

Greetings Friends! May I wish you all a very happy New Year, and my ardent hope is that you will have a truly extraordinary year 2020. If you are new to this blog site, I welcome you and hope your time with us will be a blessed and gratifying one.

May You Have A Happy and Blessed New Year

I am about to make a statement you may not have heard before, or hear anyone make claims to these words. There were only two humans that existed upon earth which the Creator gave mankind. Whether we realize it or not, humanity has been given to choose to exist upon this earth under one or the other of these two human forms for posterity, image proliferation, dominion, creativity, and legacy. (Gen.1:26-30) Humanity’s future as a civilization upon this earth made in the Creator’s image depends upon the choice we make.

God had a direct hand at creating only two humans for human image-proliferation and superior beinghood. By ‘image-proliferation’ means to exist in God’s Love-image as a way of life, and ‘superior beinghood’ conveys human longevity, dominion, and subsequent immortality. You can say that as we face the New Year, we have a real choice to make. But let me present the two contrasting human forms so we are given a crystal clear picture as to the choice between them, and the challenge as to which to adopt and live by.

All Humanity Proceed from Two Humans – The First Adam and The Second Adam (1 Cor.15:45) (Wiki Commons)

This is what the Bible says regarding the two human forms, “So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we g bear the image of the heavenly man. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor.15:45-49; 21-22).

So, it is clear from Paul’s writing there are two Adams: the ‘first Adam,’ and the ‘last (or second) Adam’ (V.45). The first is the physical being, and the second is the life-giving Spirit (V.46). One is earthly and of the dust of the earth, and the second is the heavenly man (V.47-48). For ease of reference, we will call the first Adam, the ‘Adamic human,’ and the second Adam, we’ll call the ‘Immanuel human.’ The second Adam was given the title ‘Immanuel’ because it is the messianic title given to Jesus Christ by the prophet Isaiah, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel” (Isa.7:14). Matthew translates the name to mean, “God with us” (Matt.1:23). Yes, Jesus Christ is the second Adam, the Immanuel who was prophesied to come.

Jesus, The Second Adam, Proceeded From the Trinitarian Godhead (Wiki Commons)

By identifying Jesus as the second Adam who is ‘heavenly’ or from heaven, the passage gives us the truth about His origin as the Son of God. (John 3:16) The second Adam came through the birth of Jesus by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, as announced to Joseph and Mary His human parents by an angel, “An angel of the Lord appeared to him (Joseph) in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit” (Matt.1:20). Jesus proceeded from God the Father in the Triune Godhead. The Gospel of John states, “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). Jesus proceeded from the Being of the Triune Godhead. The opening words of John’s Gospel says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” (John 1:1-2). Here, the term, “Word,” is reference for Jesus. Jesus’ function in the Godhead is the ‘Spokesman,’ hence He is called, the ‘Word.’ We will see later how the three Persons of the Godhead function in unified Love to help humanity adopt the heavenly humanity of Jesus – His ‘Immanuel humanity.’

As for the first Adam, or the ‘Adamic human,’ we read in Genesis how he was created from the dust of the earth. (Gen.2:7) Then we read about how Eve was created from Adam’s rib, showing she was not separate from but inherently part of the original creation of one indivisible humanity through Adam, and through Eve. (1 Cor.11:12) We see Scripture reveal that mankind was fashioned no different from the divine Triune likeness of the Father, Son (Jesus), and Spirit existing in one indivisible Godhead. (Gen.1:26-27) Then we read about what happened to our first parents. They were tempted by Satan, and they chose to follow the devil’s way of rebellion and sin instead of God’s way of Love and uprightness.

The Genesis account of creation and our first parents was very brief and short on details. But we can make reliable conjectures based upon insinuative corroboration from other Bible passages, especially as it concerns the divine nature (Triune Love), science and intersecting historical records. For example, there was no record as to how long Adam and Eve remained faithful to God before their fall at the hands of the devil. It could have been a very, very, long period of time before their fall. So, the fall could not have happened immediately after their creation as many have believed. Our first parents were created complete in God’s Love-image. (Gen.1:26-27) And the awesome power of God’s Love in the celestial environment of Paradise in Eden had kept them faithful and true to God for a very long time, perhaps millions of years, meaning, they had a form of human immortality to reflect the Creator’s immortal image. (Gen.1:26-27)

By being sustained in a deathless existence or human immortality, time as we know it today was meaningless and inconsequential for our first parents. Peter attempted to get our limited physical minds visualize immortality, saying, “But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day” (2 Pet.3:8). John Tell us, “God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them. This is how Love is made complete among us ” (1 John 4:16-17). Or, whoever God Loves lives eternally, and whoever is eternal lives in God. This Love scenario in Eden proved that God’s Love is mightier than Satan’s rebellion which propagates sin and death. (Gen.1:26-27; 2 Pet.3:8; Rom.6:23) Love is eternal, while sin brings death. To think otherwise would make Satan mightier and leave humanity at the enemy’s merciless rebellious spirit, sin, and death. But nothing could be further from the truth, for Scriptures tell us, “There is none like You, O LORD. You are great, and Your name is mighty in power” (Jer.10:6, BSP) God declares, “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me” (Isa.46:9). All of life, whether we are talking about the spirit world of the unknown, the world of angels, the devil and evil spirits, or the physical world of humans, the universe and beyond, are entirely subject to the sovereignty of the Creator God Almighty in whom rests all power and majesty.

Eden was no small backyard garden. It was significantly larger by our standards today. It was sizeably substantial so as to keep the animals and birds Adam had named to wander and fly about freely in the wild. (Gen.2:19-20) The Garden of Eden Paradise may have existed in a protective cocoon, much like the earth’s invisible magnetic field protecting the planet from space radiation. The invisible cocoon kept Eden and all in it, our first parents, animal life, bird life, and various life forms, insulated and safe from the dangers outside the confines of Paradise (Eden). There are phenomenons that occur in the universe and the physical earth that defy rational explanation. So, the existence of the celestial Paradise of Eden planted by God is not far-fetched.

"God created the heavens and the earth. He created all the animals on the land and in the sea. He created the birds, the plants, the sun, and the moon. He created light and darkness. He created man, Adam. Adam named all the animals. Adam was alone. God realized that it was not good for Adam to be alone, so he created Eve. He fashioned her from a rib in the side of Adam. They lived in the Garden of Eden and were without sin. God told Adam and Eve that they could eat fruit from any tree in the garden but one. Satan took on the form of a serpent and convinced Eve to eat from the tree of forbidden fruit. She in turn, convinced Adam to do the same. Adam and Eve were immediately ashamed of their nakedness and their disobedience. They used leaves to cover themselves and hid from God.  Their disobedience angered and saddened God. He sacrificed an animal to cover their sin and their nakedness. He told them they would forever toil and experience pain and trouble, both them and their heirs. He condemned the serpent to always slither the earth on its belly and forever be at odds with humans.  He banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. The Bible Art Library is a collection of commissioned biblical paintings. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, under a work-for-hire contract, artist Jim Padgett created illustrations for 208 Bible stories encompassing the entire Bible from Genesis through Revelation. There are over 2200 high-quality, colorful, and authentic illustrations. The illustrations are high quality, biblically and culturally accurate, supporting the reality of the stories and bringing them to life. They can be used to enhance communication of Bible stories in printed, video, digital, and/or audio forms."
“So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals” – Gen.2:19-20.

When God warned our first parents before they sinned, saying, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die,” was insinuative corroboration that they lived and enjoyed a form of longevity bordering on human immortality, until sin brought on the death penalty. (Gen.2:17) The death penalty was immediate as it concerned their spiritual life – spiritual death means the cessation of the Love relationship Adam had with the divine after He and his wife Eve ate the forbidden fruit. (Gen.3:22; Rom.6:23; 6:16) Rebellion had displaced Love in their lives. Physically speaking, death was not immediate, rather the cessation of mortal life came through living the way of life of rebellion which led to sin, emptiness, and ultimately death. (Gen.2:17) The famed tagline, “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return,” was decreed only after Adam and Eve sinned, not before. (Gen.3:19) Spiritual death was most ominous for it depicts an emptiness describing the absence of the Spirit in human life. (Gen.3:22, 24) This was the purpose that Jesus, the second Adam, came to restore humanity into God’s presence, for sin had blocked the way to the Tree of Life (Spirit). (Rom.8:10-11; 5:17)

The Genesis account further implied humanity’s deathless existence in celestial Eden. When God said, “Then the Lord God said, “The man has become like one of us, since he knows good and evil. He must not reach out and take the fruit from the Tree of Life and eat. Then he would live forever.” So the Lord God sent the man out of the Garden of Eden to farm the ground from which the man had been formed. After He sent the man out, God placed angels and a flaming sword that turned in all directions east of the Garden of Eden. He placed them there to guard the way to the Tree of Life” (Gen.3:22-24).

When God said, “He (Adam) must not reach out and take the fruit from the Tree of Life and eat, then he would live forever” (V.22), validates the fact that our first parents subsisted in a deathless existence through the Spirit’s power (Tree of Life). As to how long the life of our first parents in celestial Eden prior to their death sentence on account of sin, was irrelevant because time is inconsequential as far as eternity and immortality is concerned. It was only as the result of sin entering human life that death became real, and God banished them from Eden. According to the Bible, Adam lived for 930 years. (Gen.5:5) That was the count of years since the death sentence was first decreed after they ate the forbidden fruit. (Gen.3:19) God had switched human immortality into a mortal form of immortality – through human procreation, so that death will not overwhelm nor destroy mankind as the enemy had envisioned. (Gen.3:16) Yet, death was not to be humanity’s final fate. (John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:53)

After evicting them from Paradise God halted and ensured the evil spirit of rebellion will never be immortalized and perpetuated in Eden by mankind. To immortalize rebellion and the sin-condition in humanity would have destroyed God’s purpose for creating mankind in His Love-image. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:8, 16) So, they were not permitted to live in their rebellion-conditioned, and sin-soiled, humanity in celestial Eden. By being ejected from Paradise’s celestial environment, humanity was now subject to the devil’s rebellious environment of sin and death outside Eden, awaiting the promise of the second Adam who would end human death and bring human immortality. (Rom.6:23; Gen.3:13,15; John 6:39-40; 3:16; 1 Cor.15:45-49)

Temptation by and large occurs in moments of weakness, and that is what happened to Adam and Eve. God’s primordial image is eternal life, and lives forever in eternity. Therefore, it was impossible for God to create our first parents and subject them to death – that would stand as an affront to Him and a contradiction to His divine eternal image He created humans to parallel and resemble. (Gen.1:26-27) Adam and Eve were created to live, not die! Death is synonymous with sin which sprung and proceed from Satan. Paul informs us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23). Our first parents were created perfect in God’s eternal Love-image and thereby were bound to God’s immortal likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) It was not until Adam and Eve had allowed sin to enter their lives at their own choosing, and in doing so, death came into play and existed for the very first time for mankind. (Gen.3:1-6)

Their fall from grace severed the ongoing life and Love-relationship they had enjoyed with God. They were forbidden access to the Tree of Life which represented the Holy Spirit and the power and personification of God’s Love which inspired the Love relationship they had with God. (Gen.3:23-24; Rom.5:5) The countdown to utter emptiness and eventual death had begun. This is when the clock of time first begun its countdown for fallen humanity. Today, we are about six thousand years removed from Adam’s fatal decision to eat the forbidden fruit. Now, it remained for the second Adam to appear as God promised to rescue humanity by stopping the clock of time (death), and usher in the divine gift of immortality in God’s own divine will. Paul wrote, “For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies” (1 Cor.15:53, NLT; Gen.3:14-15; John 3:16; 6:40; 1 Cor.15:51-57; Gen.2:26-27).

Their banishment from Eden meant our first parents were to make a living outside the confines of Paradise in the Garden of Eden. They were denied access to the Tree of Life (Spirit/Love). This proved to be the most excruciating and crushing experience for them, since the Tree of Life (Spirit) was what empowered the divine Love and life which enabled them to relate with the Triune God in Love. Any semblance of the Love-relationship they had with God had disappeared because sin and rebellion had infiltrated and destroyed the perfect union of Love they had with God. The moment Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and sin entered their lives, their human immortality disappeared suddenly, and they assumed nothing more than their temporary human existence and mortality. It was said in the writing of sages that Adam was consumed with inconsolable grief for what they had done and all they had lost. What was sudden and immediate was humanity’s spiritual death God had warned Adam. (Gen.2:17) The Love-relationship they had with the divine Godhead had died in the moment of their sinning. The abandonment of this Love relationship through sin was what Adam mourned uppermost. Now, restitution must first be made, and sin and rebellion had to be removed and replaced with Love (Spirit/Tree of Life), hence, God promised restitution through His Son. (Gen.3:14-15; Rom.5:5, 8; 8:32)

From the aftermath of Adam’s fall, we have the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ who is now influenced and shaped in every way, shape, and form, by the devil who Adam chose to follow through sin and rebellion, outside of Eden. (Gen.3:1-12; Eph.2:1-3) Our first parents were deceived by a cunning and conniving enemy of God who wanted to destroy humanity through sin and death. (Gen.3:1; Eph.6:12-13; Rom.6:23) So, there we have the origin of the first Adam, the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ and death. But death was not going to be the final arbiter, it was not to be mankind’s fate, for God had switched human immortality into a mortal form of immortality – human procreation. Through procreation humanity is given the means by which to conquer the curse of death which lurks behind sin. In this way, God ensured His purpose in humanity will never be undermined or defeated by death. Today the human population worldwide is 7.8 billion as of January 2020. (https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/) Death had not exterminated mankind as the enemy had envisioned. God, in His Love, saved mankind by passing the death penalty upon His Son as Savior to bring the promise of Jesus’ new humanity and human immortality to both the living and the dead. (John 3:14-16; Gal.3:13; Rom.14:9) So, we read the following passage from the Book of Hebrews, “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could He (Jesus) die, and only by dying could He break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could He set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying (death)” (Heb.2:14-15; 1 Cor.15:54-56).

Adam and Eve Banished From Eden, Gen.3:23-24. (Wiki Commons)

Now, let us see how Jesus, as God’s Spokesman (Word), introduced the heavenly man, the ‘Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus to mankind. Then we will go through the three-step process of the Ascents where we will cover the work of the Triune God in making mankind, ‘Immanuel humans,’ and bring human immortality. Jesus is the firstborn ‘Immanuel human,’ so Paul writes, “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. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son (‘Immanuel human’), that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified” (Rom.8:28-30, italics mine). Yes, Jesus is the ‘firsborn’ ‘Immanuel human.’

The heavenly man informs us about the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Triune Godhead, who became the human Savior. Thomas F. Torrance (1913-2007) said, “Everything would be emptied of evangelical and saving import if Jesus Christ were not fully, completely, entirely man, as well as God” (The Trinitarian Faith, Pg.146). Yes, Jesus was fully God and fully human, a completely new human to appear upon earth. Before His crucifixion, Jesus said, “I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father” revealing His oneness with the Father in the Godhead. (John 16:28). The writer of Hebrews tell us this, “Since the children have flesh and blood, He (Jesus) too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For this reason, He had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Heb.2:14-18). Yes, Jesus is the Savior of mankind who appeared upon earth to proliferate His new humanity which humans can adopt through a new birth by and in the Spirit. (John 3:5-7; Rom.8:29)

How precious is the Father’s limitless grace and how magnanimous Jesus’ selfless sacrifice toward all of humanity, and the overarching Love and friendship of the Spirit. Then Paul tell us, “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body” (Col.2:9, NLT). Yes, Jesus is the firstborn heavenly man in whom we are called to give adherence in our lives as Paul continues, “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. And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And having called them, He gave them right standing with Himself. And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory” (Rom.8:29-30). Yes, humanity is called to follow Jesus by adopting His new ‘Immanuel humanity’ over the fallen ‘Adamic humanity.’

“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, NLT)

Let us now see Jesus’ testimony as to the manner in which a person transition from being a fallen ‘Adamic human’ and become the ‘Immanuel human.’ The night Jesus was taken to be crucified, He shared what is commonly called the Last Supper with His disciples. More than just a mere supper, Jesus was about to make an astounding revelation and inaugurate a powerful ritual concerning the new birth into His new ‘Immanuel Humanity.’ All of mankind has descended from the first fallen Adam and needs saving from the sin-condition by a rebirth through Jesus, the second Adam. (John 3:16-17; John 3:5-7; Act.2:38; John 6:53-58; Eph.2:15-16)

Last Supper, Wafers, Communion Wafers
“Take and eat; this is My Body…Then He took a cup drink from it, all of you. This is My Blood of the Covenant” (Matt.26:26-28).

He introduced a divinely ordained ceremony with two powerful emblems concerning the truth of the spiritual human rebirth into Jesus’ new humanity. Commonly called the Communion in the Christian community today, its traditionally known as the Last Supper. (Matt.26:17-18) The passage from Matthew gives us the original name of this ceremony – Passover. The first Passover was instituted long ago in Egypt when ancient Israel utilized the emblem of the lamb’s blood which they believed unleashed God’s power which freed Israel from Egyptian slavery. (Exo.12:1-13) The emblem of the lamb’s blood in the original Passover was prophetic and foretold the appearance of the Messiah as the “Lamb of God” to usher in the greater spiritual exodus of Israel and all humanity from the slavery of sin. John the Baptist introduced Jesus as “The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29; 1 Cor.5:7-8) Thereby, we see the material relevance of the Passover ceremony to the Christian faith concerning freedom and rebirth. (John 3:5-7) The Passover can be said to be the heartbeat of the Christian faith.

With regard to the emblem of the bread, the scriptures says, “Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is My body” (Matt.26:26). With respect to the emblem of the wine, the passage says, “Then He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt.28:27-28). Earlier in His ministry, Jesus told His followers, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53). Jesus was speaking metaphorically concerning His new ‘Immanuel humanity.’ (Isa.7:14) This is not a physical rebirth but spiritual one as Jesus explained to Nicodemus. (John 3:4-6) Paul said, “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor.15:45).

The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci (Pixabay)

The emblem of the bread represents Jesus’ body, and the emblem of the wine symbolize His blood. The two emblems add up to represent the whole new humanity of Jesus empowered by the Spirit. (Act.10:38) His incarnation as fully God and fully human reveals how humanity can adopt and receive in Him the new humanity filled with God’s Spirit. (Rom.8:9) Jesus continued in the passage quoted earlier, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me” (John 6:54-57). Jesus is not talking of cannibalism by any means, He was speaking metaphorically about His new ‘Immanuel humanity.’ This is a spiritual body and blood. (Rom.8:29; 1Cor.15:45) So, whenever humans partake the emblems they are manifesting belief of conforming to the image of Jesus’ new glorious ‘Immanuel Humanity.’ (Rom.8:29; 1 Cor.15:49; Eph.1:5) Jesus said His followers we’re to keep this Passover ceremony which picture rebirth of the new humanity until His return to earth at His second coming. (Matt.26:29, ISV). In other words, humanity is called to adopt Jesus’ new humanity in this human earthly life until His return, when at the resurrection of the dead, mankind will be given to inherit everlasting life in a glorious immortal body like His. (Rom.8:11, 291 Cor.15:51-57; 1 Thess.4:13-18)

Let us now navigate the 3 Ascents which depict the Loving relationship of the Triune God in bringing humanity into the glorious new humanity Jesus brought from God the Father. The 1st Ascent show the human relationship with the Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. The 2nd Ascent depict our relationship with Jesus, the second Person of the Triune God. The 3rd Ascent portray the human relationship with the Father, the first Person in the Godhead. The three ascents open out to the 4th Ascent which unveils the manifestation of the Love of the Father, Son, and Spirit in personifying the ‘Immanuel humanity’ in mankind. The 3 Ascents reveal to humans the inward, outward, and upward acts of God’s Love in a person’s life.

Author Jon Tal Murphree gives us in succinct and profound detail how the divine nature of Triune God in the three Persons exists in the divine pattern of the Triune Life, “Each Person of the Trinity transposes Himself into the others without confusing His own personality with the Others…the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other.” (Pg,29, “The Trinity and Human Personality”). When humans live the Triune Love in the 3 Ascents, this identical divine pattern become our reality too. Humans do not exist as persons alongside each other with the three Persons of the Godhead, rather each exist in and through each other, so we become one in our union of Love, as the Triune Godhead is one in His Tri-unity. We saw this divine pattern in the creation of Eve where she was not separately created apart from Adam, but inherently part of him for she was taken out of him, both existing in one inseparable humanity. (1 Cor.11:12) We live by and exist in the divine indivisible Trinitarian principle which says, “The act of One is the act of Three, and the act of Three is the act of One.” Let’s begin our journey through the 3 Ascents

1st Ascent, Holy Spirit: Sin-Rebellion-Distress/Love-Uprightness-Harmony. In the 1st Ascent the Spirit gives humans the spiritual insight and vision to see the fallen ‘Adamic human’ who controls human life in the evil spirit of rebellion and sin. The Spirit is the Personification of God’s divine Love, and whenever He (Spirit) is present, rebellion flees from His presence. (Rom.5:5) Imagine a room that’s pitch dark, when light is switched on, darkness flees and gives way to light. This is identical with the work of the Spirit who brings the light of Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5). This is God’s inward act of Love toward humanity where His Spirit is active at sanctifying God’s will in a person’s life to adopt Jesus’ light through His new humanity. So, He (Spirit) gives us the insight to see the light of Jesus new, risen, ‘Immanuel human.’ By giving us the eyes to see, Herald (Spirit) also provides the strength to repent or the desire to change from the old self in the ‘Adamic human’ and leads us to Jesus and His new ‘Immanuel humanity.’

The Bible tells us what the Spirit does to humans, “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. (Rom.8:5-9). The above passage speaks of two kinds of mindset – ‘according to the flesh’ or carnal, and ‘according to the Spirit’ or Love. The former is reference to the ‘Adamic human’ (flesh/carnal), and the latter relates to the new ‘Immanuel human’ (Spirit/Love). Paul goes on, “If you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom.8:13).  

Dove, Hand, Trust, God, Pray, Prayer
“Wait for the Gift My Father Promised” Act.1:4. Dove, Symbol of the Holy Spirit of Love and Power from the Father. (unsplash)

So, we see that the presence of the Spirit (Love) gives the human mind the consciousness of the spirit of rebellion and sin. The Gospel of John makes this clear when Jesus said what the work of the Spirit entails, and when He (Spirit) comes, “He will convict the world of its sin” (John 16:8). Then Jesus explains what the true definition of sin, “The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in Me” (John 16:9). We may have heard people give us their version of what sin is, but here we have the Spirit’s explanation: it is the human rejection, either by ignorance and/or doubt and distrust to accept Jesus as the divine Messiah given by God to forgive all human sin, and through the new humanity of Jesus, defeat rebellion. So, the Spirit points humans to Jesus as Savior and Mediator.

A Sculptured Rendition of The Tree of Life (Wiki Commons)

Now that we understand the role of the Spirit in human life, Herald (Spirit) leads us to the 2nd Ascent…

2nd Ascent, Jesus Christ – Light-Immanuel Humanity: The role of the Spirit is to lead humans to a relationship with Jesus the Savior. Jesus is called the Light because He holds in Him the essence of the new ‘Immanuel humanity’ that shines and gives Light to this world that has been darkened by the first fallen Adam, the ‘Adamic human.’ He said, “I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). Jesus is God’s outward act of Love for mankind. Paul was inspired to write, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come (‘Immanuel humanity’): The old has gone (‘Adamic humanity’), the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 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.5:17-21, italics mine). So, we see here that after we are given and become Jesus’ Light in the world, we will naturally make and take our appeal to those who are still in darkness, and thereby become part of God’s work of reconciliation.

Cross, Sunset, Sunrise, Hill, Sky, Sun
Jesus’ Death was Not Solitary, But Trinitarian in the True Sense. (Pic: Pixabay)

There is one final step to take for humans to cross over from the world of darkness to the world of Light in Jesus. So, through Jesus’ death upon His cross, the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ has been put to death and never given any semblance of life so as to control human life with its spirit of rebellion and sin ever again. Jesus led the way by His incredible and monumental task when He took our sin-laden humanity and nailed it to His cross once for all through His own death. Peter was inspired to write, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree (Cross), so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God” (1 Pet.2:24; 3:18, MSG). Paul said, “He canceled the record of the charges (sin and rebellion) against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross” (Col.2:14, italics mine). So, through Jesus the fallen ‘Adamic human’ was put to death upon His cross once for all never again to control human life through rebellion and sin.

But Jesus did not just remain a dead Savior upon His cross. He was buried and was raised from the dead back to life by God the Father on the third day. (1 Cor.15:4; Matt.12:40; Hos.6:1-2) Through His own resurrection, He also resurrected humanity into His new humanity – the ‘Immanuel human.’ Just as Jesus had put the fallen humanity in the ‘Adamic human’ to death by nailing him upon His cross, He now resurrects humanity into the new ‘Immanuel humanity.’ Jesus’ sacrifice gives passage for humanity to come before the the Father in the 3rd Ascent.

3rd Ascent, God the Father – Death and Rebirth  The 3rd Ascent depict the human relationship with God the Father. This ascent of the Father is titled, ‘Death and Rebirth.’ What does that mean? Jesus had done His part in the ministry of reconciliation by putting to death the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ in Himself upon His cross. All the while the Spirit plays His role of enlightening the human mind to receive Jesus as Savior. Jesus was raised from the dead by the Father in the Spirit’s power, as we read Paul’s words, “He brought about in Christ, when He (Father) raised Him (Jesus) from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places” (Eph.1:20). Likewise, it is the Father who raises humans in His Son’s new humanity. This ascent reveals God’s upward act of Love for humanity of bringing people to Himself through the sacrificial work of His Son, and the Spirit’s inspiration.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul reveals how the Father uses the Spirit’s power to raise Jesus from the dead, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom8:11). Here, Paul is referring to the resurrection to the new ‘Immanuel humanity’ and the eventual resurrection to immortality at Christ’s return. To ‘give life to your mortal bodies through the Spirit’ means to be alive in the new humanity of Jesus.

How does the Father resurrect humanity into the new humanity of Jesus? Jesus answers that question by stating, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:5-7). John the Baptist told the people this about Jesus, “I baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mar.1:8). At His baptism in the Jordan River, Jesus was baptized for humanity setting the example of repentance and forgiveness with the Spirit descending upon Him showing how a person is reborn into the ‘Immanuel human.’ The Spirit enters human life and makes them temples of God. (Matt.3:16-17; Act.2:38; Eph.1:13-14; 1 Cor.3:16) In the final analysis, the ‘Immanuel human’ is a temple that God indwells through the Spirit. (1 Cor.3:16) Jesus told his followers, “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (Spirit) to you” (John 16:7; Mar.1:8). The act of ‘death and rebirth’ of humanity is done through the process of baptism. (Col.2:12-15)

When Peter preached his Pentecost message about the Messiah, Jesus, the people responded, “What shall we do?” (Act.2:37). Peter replied, “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). By stating, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” Peter advocates this process of ‘death and rebirth’ through repentance of the rebellious sinful life of the fallen ‘Adamic human,’ and receiving the Spirit by whose power the new humanity of Jesus, the ‘Immanuel human,’ is born and made to live in human life.

Baptism by Immersion is Personal Affirmation to Bury the Fallen ‘Adamic human’ in the Watery Grave of Baptism, and Experience the Rebirth in Christ’s New Humanity. John said, “I baptize you with water, but He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mar.1:18)

From the above, we see that the ceremony of baptism is the Father’s gift to humanity which delivers the reality of ‘death and rebirth.’ The ultimate process of baptism is the gift of rebirth into the life of the new humanity of Jesus – the ‘Immanuel human.’ What is baptism? Jesus explains its meaning when He commissioned His disciples to evangelize the world with the Gospel message. Jesus said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt.28:18-20). When He said, “baptize humanity (all nations) into the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” thereby baptism is the point where humanity is inducted into the life of the Father, Son, and Spirit. This admission is made possible only after a person puts to death and bury the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ in the watery grave of baptism, and just as Jesus was resurrected by the Father, humans are raised out of the baptismal waters in the Spirit’s power into the Jesus’ ‘Immanuel humanity’ to live the Triune Life* in the Father, Son, and Spirit. (This is the mode by which I write my blogs on any subject: the 3 Ascents in the Father, Son, and Spirit).

To be “born again” means to bury in the watery grave of baptism the fallen old self inherited from the first Adam, and be given the new birth into the new self in the second Adam, the ‘Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus. This death and rebirth convey the essence of human reverse incarnation and is the heartbeat of the Christian faith. (Rom.12:2; 2 Cor.10:5, NASB) It is inaugurated through the gift of Baptism. Paul said, “You were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with Him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross” (Col.2:12-15, NLT).

We must remember the key words of this passage relating to the rebirth into freedom as ‘Immanuel humans’ promised by the Father, “He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities by His victory on His cross” once for all. (Eph.6:12) It means the power which energized the fallen ‘Adamic human’ through rebellion and sin and ruled over mankind since Adam’s fall has finally lost its power and authority over humanity forever through the Loving acts of the Triune God we witness in the 3 Ascents. Note how Paul greets the Christians in Corinth by establishing the Triune Life* as the basis of their relationship, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God (the Father), and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor.13:14).

God is Creator. In Baptism He Recreates Humans into The Likeness of His Son, Jesus. (Rom.8:29)

The Father’s role in the 3rd Ascent is to bring to reality the promise of human death and rebirth through the gift of baptism. This promise encapsulates the promise and purpose for Jesus to enter our sin-conditioned humanity through His incarnation as a baby in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago, and ultimately bring human immortality. (Matt.1:20; 1 Cor.15:50-54) Jesus said this about taking up and adopting His new humanity, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:44). It is true also about coming to the Father, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Having this sure and eternal promise from the Father, we now come to the 4th Ascent…

Salient Feature: Briefly, let me give the essence of relationship we have covered between the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit with humanity, before moving forward to the 4th Ascent. Essentially, humanity has received three gifts from the Triune God. The Spirit gives us the gift of miraculous insight so that humans can see the need to extricate themselves from the fallen ‘Adamis humanity’ and turn to Jesus. It is much like, and is a copy of, ancient Israel being miraculously rescued from Egyptian slavery. (Exo.6:6, 13:14) The second gift through Jesus is the gift of forgiveness and the new ‘Immanuel humanity.’ (2 Cor.5:17-21) The third gift from the Father is one of miraculous death and rebirth through Baptism so humanity can now walk and exist in Jesus’ new humanity empowered by the Spirit of God, and immortality at the resurrection of the dead. (Col.2:12-15; 1 Cor.15:53)

4th Ascent, Humanity – Living The ‘Immanuel Humanity’: The 4th Ascent reveals how Jesus new humanity is manifested in humans. Many don’t realize the depth of how humans are existentially redeemed and saved simply because they now live in Jesus’ new ‘Immanuel humanity.’ Paul said it like this, “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). Humans are now sealed in God’s unseen spiritual ocean of Love which gives them the enabling power to live as reborn humans so the negativity of sin propagated by satanic rebellion cannot affect them as Jesus always mediates for humanity in His High Priestly role in heaven today and forever. Scripture says, “Therefore, He (Jesus/High Priest) is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf” (Heb.7:25; 2:17-18; 4:14-16; 10:14). It is a life of grace, freedom, honor, and destiny in the Triune Love of God.

Because of Jesus’ mediation as High Priest, we are given to utilize our divinely conferred gifts as platforms for good toward all, while keeping us in the bond of His unfathomable Love. God is able to be all things to everyone through the collage of gifts He bestows upon humanity. Paul said this, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (gifts) (Eph.2:10, italics mine; Tit.2:14). He adds, “Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you” (1 Cor.14:1, MSG). All our gifts are woven into the tapestry of God’s Love, so that we are in touch with everything there is to know about God’s purpose for each of us as persons with unique gifts in Jesus’ ‘Immanuel humanity.’ (Read my post on Jesus’ parable about human gifts, titled, “Invest In Gold–True Gold!” at: http://bulamanriver.net/3145)

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person molding vase
We Use Our Varied Gifts to Serve One Another in Love. Read About The Fruits of Love With Which Humans Exercise Their Gifts: http://bulamanriver.net/9199 (Wiki Commons)

We have seen how God inaugurate the rebirth of humanity through baptism. The primary gifts humanity receives from the Father are the gifts of His Son and His Spirit – both are expressed in the ceremony of baptism through death (Jesus/cross) and rebirth (resurrection/Spirit). Gifts by way of talents grow out of these twin primary and Personal gifts of Jesus and the Spirit. Once more Paul explains to the Romans the rationale behind the new birth with baptism, “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. Since we have been united with Him in His death, we will also be raised to life as He was” (Rom.6:5-11, NLT). Paul says “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph.2:10). The Scripture speaks of Jesus life on earth in this way, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him” (Act.10:38; Rom.6:4). God handiwork is expressed through the talents He gives us to do good to all in our human relationships.

We utilize the Love-fruits of the Spirit in the exercise of the good works we do for others with our talents. God reveals to us clearly what Love means so we are without excuse. We see this revealed to us in 1 Corinthians 13.  Here is a summary of  God’s Love-fruits: *patience, *kindness, *contentedness, *the fruit of being modest and unboastful, *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, *joy, *peace, *goodness, *faith, *gentleness, *self-control, *the fruit of zeal and spiritual fervor, *The fruit of gratitude and thankfulness, *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) You may go to: http://bulamanriver.net/9199 to find Love-fruits and their antithesis to help us see the work of the enemy.

This promise of death and rebirth through His Son was initiated by God the Father in the 3rd Ascent by the ritual of baptism by which to signify the death of the fallen humanity and rebirth of the new humanity. The Scripture tell us, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Gal.3:27). The Bibles goes on, “For you died to this life (‘Adamic humanity’), and your real life is hidden with Christ (‘Immanuel humanity’) in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory” (Col.3:3, NLT, italics mine). Paul reminds us of the most profound and sacred reality of the new birth when we are raised from our baptismal watery grave, “And God raised us up with Christ (in baptism) and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:6, italics mine). When Christ was raised from the dead, He subsequently ascended back to His Father in heaven. (Act.1:7-11) How amazingly wonderful to realize God has taken mankind unto Himself by seating us with Christ at His right hand in heaven where Jesus our High Priest forever mediates for humanity, the firstborn ‘Immanuel human’ both human and divine.

Photo Of Stream During Daytime
Humans Become Metaphorical Rivers with God’s Love Flowing Through Them to Water People with Their Gifts. Jesus said of ‘Immanuel Humans,’ “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” (John 7:37-39; Rom.5:5). All Rivers Flow Out of The Mountain of God’s Divine Love-Being.

Now, through the new humanity of Jesus, humans are constantly reliving the Love activity of the Triune God through and in the 3 Ascents living as true ‘Immanuel humans.’ Recall how Paul blessed the Corinthians by committing them in the Triune Life, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God (the Father), and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor.13:14, italics mine). How awe inspiring to live with the consciousness that you are now living your truth as a person who stands free in your own right fashioned in the very image of the divine, with the destiny of living God’s Love-image for His grand designs of dominion over all creation through His Son and in the power of His Spirit. (Gen.1:26-27; 2 Cor.13:14) Yes, as part of God’s new glorified humanity, you and I can look forward to an awesome future in God’s universal kingdom. Jesus will welcome His followers with the words, “Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” (Matt.25:14).

Petition: Friends, thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus’ new humanity the Father has given us to adopt. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest ceaselessly mediating for us. I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Jesus as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of a gloriously magnificent future for humanity. You can privately and quietly pray this prayer in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human Christ died for, not as a member of any religious sect or denomination: “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 rebirth into Jesus’ Immanuel Humanity through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon me. May Your Love guide and protect me and my loved ones always, and bring us and all humanity into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.” Welcome to the Life of Love in God’s eternal Triune Being and Family. Then keep in touch with God’s word for you by visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation. Or you can email me with your question at the address shown below.

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

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The Resurrection to Immortality – the Hope of Humanity. Jesus said, “For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:40). (Wiki Commons)

Blessing: We wish you all the most successful New Year and a life of destiny, and may you experience the new birth into Jesus’ new humanity, as He came to unite mankind into the divine life of God. 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 in Christ as you live the Triune Love of the Father. Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Farewell for now,

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant In Christ)

*Triune Life or Triune Love: The “Triune Life” is a way of life. Its foundational tenet is based upon the Love of God, because Love is the nature of God. (1 John 4:8Rom.5:5) I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the three-dimensional life, the human experience of God’s Love is always moving in an inward, outward, and upward motion where all the three Persons of the Godhead are in relational oneness with humanity. (2 Cor.13:141 Pet.1:1-2)

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) 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. You can read more at: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.                                                                   

**BulamanriverTo 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.

"Bula" Man-River
Bulamanriver Book Cover

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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CHRISTMAS – THE STORY OF THE HUMAN “REVERSE INCARNATION,” BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings again, Friends around the World!

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 The Wise Men Guided to Bethlehem Bearing Gifts for the Baby Jesus,And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!” – Matt.2:9-10. (unsplash)

It is that time of year when we pause to reflect on the birth of Jesus, the Son of God, who entered our sin-conditioned humanity, and death-conditioned world, in order to save us and bring true life and immortality to humanity. (John 3:16-17) It is a spiritual process called, “Incarnation.” Today, I will discuss the term, “Reverse Incarnation.” First, let me explain what “Incarnation” mean. Literally, incarnation means “in-fleshing,” or the “taking on human flesh.” It means God came down and dwelt among humans by taking on human flesh. The incarnation is the central biblical teaching that God assumed the human fleshly form and became man in the form of Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinitarian God. That is the essence of the story of Christmas.

Christ was truly God and truly human. The divine and human natures of Jesus do not exist beside one another in an unconnected way but rather are joined in Him in a personal unity that has traditionally been referred to as the hypostatic union. The union of the two natures has not resulted in the diminishing of either, rather the identity of each have been preserved in the Person of Christ. (Eph.2:14-18) Thereby, all of humanity is identified in Christ and the divine life. Hence, Jesus messianic name, Immanuel, means “God with us,” or the Triune God has united Himself with humanity, and vice versa. In so doing, Jesus brought into being a new heritage in the nature of humans – the “Immanuel humanity” of Jesus. Paul expounds on the truth about Jesus’ new humanity, saying, “For He (Jesus) Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility” (Eph.2:14-18). Here, Paul uses the division of the Jew and Gentile as the difference between the old humanity of fallen Adam, and the glorified new humanity in the risen Christ. He said, “God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ…and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms” (Eph.2:4, 6). All humanity is made one new human species in Christ.

Christmas, Crib, Christ, Jesus, Birth
The Angel Announced to the Shepherds that were Keeping Their Flock of Sheep, “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” – Luk.2:10-12 (unsplash)

Therefore, the reverse incarnation is the incarnation of sinful humans into the image of Jesus’ divine/human form. If Jesus’ incarnation means “taking on human flesh” from His divine form and existence, then human reverse incarnation means “taking on the divine Spirit” from our human fleshly existence. Paul explains the human reverse incarnation in his letter to the Romans, “For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son (reverse incarnation), so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” Rom.8:29, CSB, italics mine). The Son stands as the firstborn in the line of humanity He restored to the new human species in Christ.

Yes, God predestined humanity to be conformed to the image of His Son. It is a process by which fallen humans take on the new nature of Christ, and by so doing attain the hypostatic union of the divine and the human flesh, and be preserved for human immortality which Jesus inaugurated in His own human resurrection to immortality, or as Paul affirmed, “Jesus might be the firstborn (of new humanity with inherent immortality) among many brothers and sisters” (Rom.8:29, italics mine). The reverse incarnation of humans is not possible without the primary and central incarnation of Jesus Himself that we read the Bible about Jesus’ birth, declaring, “So the Word (Jesus) became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing Love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (John 1:14, italics mine).

Thomas F. Torrance said, “Everything would be emptied of evangelical and saving import if Jesus Christ were not fully, completely, entirely man, as well as God” (The Trinitarian Faith, Pg.146). Yes, Jesus was fully God and fully human, a completely new human to appear upon earth. The writer of Hebrews tell us this, “Since the children have flesh and blood, He (Jesus) too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For this reason, He had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Heb.2:14-18). How precious is the Father’s grace and how magnanimous Jesus’ selfless sacrifice toward all humans. And that brings us to the wonderful story of the birth of Jesus, the season traditionally celebrated at this time of year called Christmas.  

Creation of Humanity Through the First Adam

God had created only two humans from whom all human families have descended. The first Adam and the second Adam. (1 Cor.15:45) The first Adam was created from the dust of the earth by God’s Spirit as recorded in the Book of Genesis, “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Gen.2:7). Eve was taken out from Adam’s side so all humanity flowed from the first Adam. (Gen.2:21-23) The second Adam came through the birth of Jesus by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, as announced to Joseph and Mary His human parents by an angel, “An angel of the Lord appeared to him (Joseph) in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit” (Matt.1:20). Jesus proceeded from God the Father and the Triune Godhead. He said, “I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I” (John 14:28; 10:29). This birth of Jesus is called the incarnation.

All humans are born into the sin-condition of the devil through the first Adam. For reference, we will call the first fallen Adam, the ‘Adamic human.’ When Jesus appeared as the second Adam, He appeared and came in His messianic nature called, Immanuel, which means, “God with us,” or the union of the divine and the human flesh or His incarnation. (Matt.1:23; Isa.7:14). We will name the second Adam, the ‘Immanuel human.’ Since Jesus appearance, humanity has taken on the manifestation of the ‘Immanuel human’ by faith. He made one new humanity in Himself. (Eph.2:15) The Immanuel humanity*** of Jesus reveals the primary stage of reverse incarnation a human undergoes upon earth, then culminates in the resurrection to immortality at Jesus’ second coming. (Read 1 Cor.15; esp. Vs: 50-58).

Paul said, “God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who Love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored (‘Immanuel human’)” (Rom.8:29). By saying, “The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored,” affirms Jesus was firstborn of the new humanity God created that is conformed to Jesus’ new ‘Immanuel humanity’ who carries the seed of immortality inherent in the person. The first ‘Adamic human’ carried the seed of death through the sin-condition of the devil.

This is the simple message of Christmas: whereas the first Adam gave us the ‘fallen Adamic humanity’ and death through sin, Jesus came to bring mankind’s reverse incarnation into His ‘Immanuel humanity’*** so we can be saved in this earthly life, and be given human immortality like Him in the next life through Jesus’ resurrection and become part of God’s eternal offspring. The Scriptures affirms, “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). By saying, “chose them to be like His Son,” it affirms the rebirth into Jesus’ new ‘Immanuel humanity.’ Whereas humanity was on a one-trek path to death and oblivion through the first fallen Adam, now mankind can look forward in hope to the new purpose through the second Adam in Christ with eternal life as the promise of human destiny. Jesus took our humanity, cleanse and made it holy, and led the way to immortality through His own perfect life, His sacrificial death upon His cross, His human resurrection, and ascension to His High Priestly Office today. (Matt.28:2-7; John 3:16-17; Act.10:38; Heb.4:14-16) Satan will be put away and deceive and tempt humanity no more. (Rev.20:10)

This is the heart and core of the message of Christmas, and it is a message of hope and glory for all humanity regardless of our station in life. The message of Christmas of human reverse incarnation is not just for Christians, but for all humanity. The word ‘Christian’ ought not to elucidate an organized religion, rather, it simply means a ‘follower of Jesus Christ,’ which can apply to any human being regardless of our different backgrounds, origins, and history. One can be a Christian and not be part of an organized religion or denomination. Christianity is actually a personal relationship between a person and God through Jesus.

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The New Humanity God Created is Descended From the Second Adam, Jesus’ Lineage, The “Immanuel Human” (Wiki Commons)

The ultimate goal of the reverse incarnation is the gift of eternal life from God, as John states, “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 (immortality)” (John 3:16, italics mine). We have read Paul’s commentary in 1 Corinthians 15: “The perishable shall have put on the imperishable, and the mortal shall have put on immortality” (1 Cor.15:54, BLB). But how is the reverse incarnation made to happen and actually manifested in human beings? It begins on the human level, then progresses through a person’s human lifetime, before attaining the resurrection to immortality as its ultimate destiny. (John 3:16; 36; 11:25)

Jesus spoke about this reverse incarnation in the most solemn and seminal moment when He said, “You must be born again of the Spirit.” (John 3:5-8). Yes, reverse incarnation involves a ‘rebirth.’ It is not a physical rebirth but a spiritual one, as Jesus clarified Nicodemus’s question. (John 3:4-7) For it is the spiritual side of our humanity (Human mind) which controls the bodily functions. How wonderfully ironic that as we remember the birth of Jesus at Christmas, it actually pictures the rebirth of humans into Jesus’ new ‘Immanuel humanity’ in the reverse incarnation.

To be “born again” means to put to death the fallen old self that is inherited from the first Adam, the ‘Adamic humanity,’ and be give the new birth to the new self in the second Adam, the ‘Immanuel humanity’ of Jesus. This death and rebirth convey the essence of human reverse incarnation and takes place in the human mind. (Rom.12:2; 2 Cor.10:5, NASB) It is inaugurated through the ritual of baptism. Baptism is the induction ceremony that initiates the ‘reverse incarnation’ (new birth) of the Immanuel human. Paul said, “You were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with Him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities” (Col.2:12-15, NLT). The Father’s purpose was for Jesus to enter our sin-conditioned humanity was to rescue mankind from the sin-condition, and transform humans through the ‘reverse incarnation’ and make human immortality a reality. (1 Cor.15:50-54)

Let us now take the three-step process called the Ascents which we have used in previous posts, to depict the work of the Triune God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in this process of the reverse incarnation of humanity. The 1st Ascent relates to the work of God through His Spirit, called “Repentance.” The 2nd Ascent brings us to the work of the Son, called “Forgiveness, the Gospel of Jesus, the Messiah.” The 3rd Ascent is a person’s relationship with the Father is called “Faith in the Gospel.” The 4th Ascent is the manifestation of the Gospel, which is the “Reverse Incarnation of humans.” The word “Gospel” literally means “Good News.” The good news Jesus brought from the Father to humanity is God’s work of saving humanity by destroying the sin-condition in the ‘Adamic humanity’ (first Adam), and give humans new life in the Love-condition of the ‘Immanuel humanity’ through a rebirth of reverse incarnation in Christ (second Adam).

First Ascent, Repentance – Spirit.  The 1st Ascent reveals the human relationship with God through the Holy Spirit. The 1st Ascent speaks of Repentance. The Bible reveals the three-pronged role of the Spirit (John 16:7-15). The first one is the consciousness of sin in the world. With the consciousness of sin comes repentance or change. The Spirit leads humans to repentence. What does repentance and reverse incarnation have in common? In its simplest form, repentance means a person acknowledges his/her place in the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’ from the first Adam who sinned in Eden. (Gen.3:1-6) Yes, humanity must repent of the sin-condition into which he was incarcerated by the evil one through Adam, and desires above all else to receive forgiveness through Jesus’ mediation. (Act.2:38) By receiving Jesus, a person receives the new nature of Jesus – the ‘Immanuel humanity’*** in the Spirit’s power. (***- read footnote)  

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“Wait for the Gift My Father Promised” Act.1:4. Dove, Symbol of the Holy Spirit of Love and Power from the Father. (unsplash)

So, repentance is about entering and becoming part of God’s ministry of reconciliation where humanity is reunited back to God from his/her fallen state of existence in the ‘Adamic humanity’ into the saved-condition in Jesus’ ‘Immanuel humanity.’*** We read Paul’s words concerning God’s ministry of reconciliation, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come (Immanuel humanity): The old has gone (Adamic humanity), the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 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.5:17-21, italics mine). The essence and heart of the ministry of reconciliation and thereby the reverse incarnation is stated clearly by John, “For God so Love the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believed in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). So, the work of the Spirit in the 1st Ascent is to lead humanity through repentance to Jesus in the 2nd Ascent where mankind obtains forgiveness, in order to receive the gift of immortality from the Father. (1 John 5:11-12; 3:36)

Salient feature: Here, we see the first step in the process of reverse incarnation through the three-pronged intercessory work of the Spirit of the conviction of sin and leading humans to repentance. Then follows the act of Love for God and humanity. The third is the judgment of the instigator of all sin, the devil. (John 16:8-11) Before His crucifixion, Jesus reminded the disciples of a vital promise from the Father, “I am going to send you what My Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luk.24:49; also John 14:26). Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit as the “power from on high.” Jesus and the Spirit work hand-in-hand as one with the Father to bring salvation to humanity. It is the Spirit who leads humanity to repentance by leading us to our need for forgiveness and reconciliation through the Savior, Jesus.

Second Ascent: Forgiveness, Gospel (Good News) of The Messiah – Jesus. The second step in the human reverse incarnation is the relationship with Jesus whose work is to save humanity by cleansing humanity of all sin and saving us from the sin-condition through forgiveness and present mankind perfect to the Father. The essence of the good news or Gospel of the Messiah is revealed in the Person of Jesus Himself. He was tasked by His Father to bring to humanity God’s forgiveness through repentance (Ascent 1/Spirit). One of the most memorable passage of the Bible is, “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). Forgiveness is the state of absolution from the fallen sin-condition of humanity through the devil, and entering the saved risen Love-condition of Jesus’ new humanity through the Spirit.

In this passage we see the essence of the Christmas story, and the story of human reverse incarnation. The Gospel or Good News is none other than the Person of Jesus Christ Himself. He is the Good News of God the Father He gave mankind when He was born in Bethlehem. The Gospel of Jesus Christ IS the very Person of Jesus who gave Himself to humanity by conferring His new ‘Immanuel humanity’ we now take upon ourselves by a reverse incarnation through faith! This is a rebirth from the fallen humanity of Adam to the new risen humanity of Christ.

Jesus is the personification of the Good News to humanity as a whole. He is the prophesied Immanuel, the promised Messiah from God Almighty who came and lived a perfect life, died for mankind’s sins, was resurrected and ascended to His former glory, only this time glorifying our humanity in Himself, and was made mankind’s High Priest forever. (Isa.7:14; Act.10:38; Mar.16:6; Heb.2:17; 3:1) In John’s Gospel, Jesus revealed three life-saving truths the Spirit will bring to the human consciousness. (John 16:8-11) One of them reveals how humanity will be saved from the incarceration in the sin-condition the devil has imposed upon humanity, God’s arch enemy. Jesus said, “Concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me” (John 16:9, RSV). In other words, there is only one way of defeating sin and be rescued from the prison of the fallen ‘Adamic humanity’: to have faith in the Messiah God has provided for our forgiveness, the new ‘Immanuel humanity.’

Sin is not the human failure to be obedient to a set of laws and regulations, or any other definition of sin we may espouse. Rather, sin is simply the human denial, either by ignorance and/or rejection, of the Messiah God has mercifully provided for our forgiveness and sealed in the saved-condition in the Spirit’s Love. We can be obedient all we want humanly, but without Jesus’ work of mediation on our behalf, we remain unsaved still. The Spirit gives humans the power to obey Lovingly rather than legalistically. So, we see how faith becomes the centerpiece of God’s work in the reverse incarnation made possible through Jesus’ mediation as Savior and High Priest. Through Jesus we are given the divine life through the Spirit to empower us to do the will of God through Love (not the law). The ‘law’ is simply the limited legalistic expression of God’s Love. However, divine Love is manifested more deeply and intimately in the spiritual sense than the legalistic law ever could. As Paul said, “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace (Love). (Rom.6:14, NLT, italic mine). Humans encounter a relationship with the divine Godhead through Love, not the law. The law defines sin, and sin condemns. Sin can’t tell you how to live, only Love can do that. Paul says after all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer (old covenant/legalism). You’re living in the freedom of God’s Love (new covenant/grace). The difference between law and grace (Love) is like night from day.

Death of Jesus the Messiah, Savior and Mediator of Mankind in the Expression of the Father’s Love. (Wiki Commons)

Let’s get down to the brass tacks of why Jesus is the Personification of the Gospel, for He is the Gospel (good news) in reality. Our faith in the Good News (Gospel) affirms the following truths about Jesus:

• Unlike Adam who was created from the soil of the earth, Jesus was fully human and fully God who proceeded from the Trinitarian Being of God. (Gen.2:7; John 1:1-2; 14) There are only two humans God created: the first Adam (Adamic humanity), and the second Adam. (Immanuel humanity***) (1 Cor.15:45; Eph.2:13-18).

• By naming Jesus “Immanuel,” meaning “God with us,” God assimilated Himself with humanity through Mary, and equally unified humans with the Triune God. (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:18-23)

• Only Jesus’ birth ushered in the new “Immanuel (God with us) humanity” which substitutes the fallen, depraved “Adamic humanity” of Adam. (2 Cor.5:17-18; John 3:3) (You read about the “New Humanity of Jesus” at: http://bulamanriver.net/9718)

• Only Jesus, through His perfect sinless life, His death upon His cross, His resurrection and ascension back to the Father, and by taking up His role as humanity’s eternal High Priest in heaven, could give Himself as the means by which humans can put to death our ‘beyond cure’ corrupt “Adamic humanity.” (Jer.17:9; Mar.7:21-23; Heb.4:5) Humans will not become perfect after the new birth, we have residual weaknesses inherited from the Adamic humanity. But we have Jesus mediating for us in His High Priestly Office so we can “have the mind of Christ,” and be “clothed in Jesus’ (“Immanuel humanity)” for this is how God the Father “reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (1 Cor.2:16; Gal.3:27; Rom.3:14; 2 Cor.5:18). There is no other way to put the fallen Adamic corrupt humanity to death, and be given the new birth in His “Immanuel humanity” except through the Holy Spirit and His eternal mediation as humanity’s High Priest. (1 Cor.1:30; 2 Cor.5:21) Thus, God the Father imputes Jesus’ glorified life upon humanity making salvation possible by blessing and clothing mankind in Jesus’ glorified “Immanuel humanity.” (Read about Jesus’ High Priestly Role at: http://bulamanriver.net/11230)

Cross, Christ, Faith, God, Jesus, Clouds
Jesus’ Death was Not Solitary, But Trinitarian in Every Sense. (Pic: Pixabay)

• Only Jesus makes the new birth in the “Immanuel humanity” experience possible by sending the Holy Spirit to enter and make God’s temple out of human life. The Spirit sanctifies human believers by Personifying Jesus’ “Immanuel humanity” in place of the fallen corrupt “Adamic humanity” of Adam. (John 3:3-7; Act.2:38; 1 Cor.3:16; 2 Cor.6:16)

• Only through Jesus’ “Immanuel humanity” has mankind been finally given to stand in his/her own right to repent and be forgiven. It is impossible for the fallen “Adamic humanity” to repent on his/her won. (Jer.17:9; 30:15)

• Only Jesus can bring humans to immortality through the Spirit. (John 11:25; Rom.8:11)    

Third Ascent: Faith in the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ, the Messiah – Father.  The Third Ascent belongs to the Father, and represents the work of the Father in the Trinitarian Love activity. More than simply believing, Faith in the Gospel of Jesus means to take ownership of salvation afforded and set up in the Messiah God has provided to make possible the process of reverse incarnation. To take ownership of Jesus’ messiahship (Good News) and all that Jesus means to our human salvation as shown in detail above in the 2nd Ascent are realities in Jesus the Father has given humanity when He gave His Son for us. The role of the Father in the third ascent is to supply the ‘living faith of Jesus’ necessary to take ownership of Jesus’ work of Savior and Mediator in heaven today and the work of the Spirit in human life upon earth (repentance/Love, 1st Ascent). The famed passage from John, says, “…and whosoever believe in Him (Jesus) shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). All have been saved and waiting for Faith to step in to fully manifest and actualize human salvation in Jesus. The Bible speaks of the gift of Faith as worth its weight in gold. (1 Pet.1:7) So, we see two vital divine components that are compared to ‘gold’ – Faith and human gifting, as we’ll see ‘gifts’ expounded in the 4th ascent, and they are both bound to and proceed from God through Jesus. (Matt.25:14-30; 1 Pet.1:7)

Space, Galaxy, Universe, Planet, Cosmos
God Almighty the Creator, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” – Gen.1:1 (unsplash)

Let me extrapolate on the sin-condition of the arch enemy, Satan. Humanity exist today in the devil’s sin-condition in the world. The sooner we understand that, the truth about sin will become clearer to us. It is not possible for fallen humans (‘Adamic human’) to defeat sin and remain perfect in such an existence. How can sin defeat itself, as Jesus aptly said, “A house divided against itself will fall” (Luk.11:17). It is the “condition” that spawns the kind of action that “condition” will allow. The opposite of the sin-condition is God’s Love-condition. For example, the ocean is the “condition” which enables marine life to exist and live in the seven seas. No other species can exist in its oceanic environment. Neither the beasts of the forest, nor the birds of the air, except the fish of the sea, can live in such a watery condition and surrounding.

Free Stock Photo of Trust Faith Indicates Believe In And Trustful
“Look to Jesus the Author and Finisher of your Faith” – Heb.12:2 (unsplash)

We realize sin and rebellion became part of humanity’s lot and way of life by default at Adam’s behest. (Gen.3:1-6) It is a way of life which breeds all kinds of negativism and evil in the world, springing from the very source of wickedness itself – the devil, Satan! (Ezek.28:11-19; Isa.14:12-14) Human history is littered with all forms of atrocities of man’s inhumanity to man where it embarrasses our sensibilities to even mention. No proper thinking human being goes out of his/her way to hurt himself/herself (commit sin deliberately). That is what sin does – sin is inflicting the slow but sure death upon oneself. (Gen.2:17) The Bible tells us, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom.3:23). To live in sin is to live in self-torture and self-denial where we suffer all kinds of stress, pain, trauma, tribulation, and eventually death. Disastrously, this has become a way of life. It seems like humans are ‘experts’ at getting himself/herself into harm’s way that we appear to be ‘programmed’ to live rebelliously in sin. Humanity is conditioned this way because we exist in the devil’s sin-condition through our fallen ‘Adamic humanity.’

Humans are in this never-ending logjam with sin, and the only way out is to have a permanent and ongoing Mediator and Savior. God knew this in advance, so when Adam fell He provided the way out through His Son, Jesus Christ; the second Adam. (John 3:16-18; 6:40; 1 Cor.15:47; Gen.3:14-15) Today, Jesus is humanity’s Savior and High Priest in heaven, seated at His Father’s right hand, doing exactly as the Father predestined for all of humanity: to permanently mediate for mankind so we may remain in right standing with the Father and the Triune God always and for eternity. Yes, God imputes His Son’s mediation upon humanity so we can experience the reverse incarnation in this life and take mankind into the next life of immortality with Him.  (Read about How God Imputes His Son’s Work to Save Fallen Humanity at: http://bulamanriver.net/564). There is one vital ingredient which comes with the ‘Immanuel human’ which makes this scenario a reality: the living “Faith of Jesus.” (Read about the ‘sin-condition’ and the ‘Love-condition’ explained in the Parable of the Ocean, at: http://bulamanriver.net/5437).

Free Stock Photo of Belief Shows Believe In Yourself And Hope
Underwater Photography of Coral Reefs
The “Love-Condition”/”Sin-Condition” Can be Compared to an Ocean in which Marine life is Likened to Believers Sustained by Its “Living Waters” or “Deathly Waters” Depending which ‘Humanity’ is in Control of the Person (Pexels.com) 

There is a faith that is entirely human and powerless in the spirit realm, however in this instance, we are speaking of the ‘Personal Faith of Jesus.’ Listen to how Paul explains the ‘Faith of Jesus.’: “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, italics for emphasis, KJV). In another passage Paul reminds us, “Even the righteousness of God which is by the faith of Jesus Christ to all and on all them that believe.” (Rom.3:22, italics for emphasis, AKJV) (You can read about “Jesus’ Personal Faith” at http://bulamanriver.net/2811)

The ‘Faith of Jesus’ is empowered by the presence of the Spirit in the human heart and mind. The human faith, on the other hand, is powered by the five physical senses and swayed by Satan, that is, of seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing, touching, and hearing. People will say, “I have to see, smell, taste, touch, or hear, in order to believe,” this is human faith. The human faith is unworkable in the spirit realm. When humans take up the new humanity of Jesus, they live the ‘miraculous life’ that is powered by the Spirit and God’s angelic realm, made reality by Jesus’ living faith. (Rom.8:26; 2 Tim.1:7; Psa.91:11) (You can read about my own personal miracle at: http://bulamanriver.net/2634)

Salient feature: There is always a battle under way between the human faith and Jesus’ Personal Faith. It is important to recognize the difference, and know what to do. Human faith is not entirely inadequate, when used properly, it is utilized to trust in Jesus’ living faith. God requires human participation in the work of reverse incarnation, so human faith is a person’s role in it by trusting in the true ‘Faith of Jesus.’ Sadly, too many of us are trying to follow Christ with the human faith alone and it is an impossible task. The ‘faith of Jesus’ is the personal gift from the Father in this 3rd Ascent. It is what empowers the life of the ‘Immanuel humanity’ who is the manifestation of the reverse incarnation. Hence, we read, “And it is impossible to please God without Faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him” (Heb.11:6).   

Free Stock Photo of Faith Word Indicates Believing Faithful And Believe Created by Stuart Miles
“I live by the faith of the Son of God, who Loved me, and gave Himself for me” -Gal.2:20. (stockvault)

Fourth Ascent: Reverse Incarnation, Humanity.  This Ascent reveals the human relationship with God. The 4th Ascent is about the reverse incarnation in humanity through the Triune Life*. Very simply the reverse incarnation is manifested in humans through the three relationships we have seen in the 3 Ascents above. The Spirit (1st Ascent) imparts knowledge and understanding of sin, inspires repentance and change by leading humans to the foot of the cross of Jesus (2nd Ascent) to obtain forgiveness. (John 3:16; John 16:7-15) The Father (3rd Ascent) reveals and confers the gift of the living ‘faith of Jesus’ for the purpose of activating the reverse incarnation. (Heb.4:2, 6; 11:6)

Adoración de los Reyes Magos, de Eugenio Cajés (Museo del Prado).jpg
“I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” – Luk.2:10-12. (Wiki Commons)

The story of Christmas carries this magnificent and beloved promise from the Father through His Son, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The 4-step process expounded in the Ascents above reveals what the story of Christmas means, and how its message is accomplished. Since the fall of Adam, humanity has lived under Satan’s rule and adopted his nature and his way of life which diametrically opposes God’s way of Love. Humanity, through deception and sin has existed in this satanic bubble (world) where the ego-centric self is the magnet to life and everything around him. Be that as it may, the enemy knows humanity can never detach himself from the underlying spark which connects mankind to his Creator by virtue of being created in God’s Triune Love-image. (Gen.1:26-27) No one can erase that divine connection, not even the enemy.

Yes, the ultimate purpose of Christmas is the Father’s Loving act of saving humanity from the devil through the act the reverse incarnation and thereby gifting humanity with immortality so mankind can live forever with Him, His Son Jesus, and the Spirit. Paul affirms this awesome promise where God is taking humanity to His desired conclusion, when he said, “This is true because He already knew His people and had already appointed them to have the same form as the image of His Son (Immanuel humans). Therefore, His Son is the firstborn (into immortality) among many children” (Rom.8:29, italics mine, GWT). What a truly marvelous future humanity has in store, and to look forward to with hope.

Here is the beautiful truth about how Jesus’ ‘Immanuel humanity’ is manifested in humans, upon earth and into eternity. The Scriptures says this about Jesus, Paul writes to the Colossians, “I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ Himself. In Him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col.2:2-3). Yes, the knowledge of who you truly are in your personhood (wholeness as humans) as a divinely gifted human being is hidden in Jesus as you take on His new ‘Immanuel humanity.’ All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery of Christ in you – “the hope of glory,” as you live out as ‘Immanuel humans.’ (Col.1:27) Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world. He that follow Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12) The word “light” is symbolic of a person’s purpose in his/her gifting. To live a life without a purpose and destiny is to live in “darkness.” It is through the Light of Jesus (‘Immanuel humanity’) shining in our lives that we are made to see the “false-self” in the ‘Adamic humanity’ and given the light to see and receive the “true self” in Jesus’ ‘Immanuel humanity.’ Yes, we will live out who we are in our gifts, both now and into eternity. The Bible quotes Jesus saying, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to each one according to what he has done” (Rev.22:12). Each person is the keeper and custodian of the gift conferred upon him/her by the Creator.

Consider, when Paul was inspired to write that humanity will be conformed to the image of God’s Son, Jesus, it primarily means we will take upon us all that He is in His Sonship so humans become God’s sons and daughters; His gifts and abilities so we can live with purpose in each of our talents; His generosity so humans are influenced and guided by His unfathomable Love; His powers through His Spirit so we are equipped and strengthened in this life and for eternity. That is what it means when Scripture says that “all our treasures (wholeness as persons) lie hidden in Him” (Col.2:2-3, italics mine; Rom.8:29). God has conferred total fullness of the “Immanuel humanity” in Christ, and a measure of that fullness is given by the grace of God to every human believer. As Paul wrote, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col.2:9). The first gift we receive from God is the gift of the Holy Spirit who was given on Pentecost and continues to empower humans today. (Act.2:1-4; 1:8) Jesus said the Spirit will manifest His gifts in humans, “The Spirit will take from what is Mine and disclose it to you” (John 16:15; Act.1:8).

Life and gifts (gold) comes fused together and are inseparable. No human can claim to be without a gift given him or her by the Creator. It is a matter of having the light of Jesus to see who we are and being true to ourselves. A gift is like a magnet. That’s to say, a person’s “life-gift” is the magnet in the person’s life. We have heard the adage, “Life is a gift.” Indeed, for the gift that comes with life is what makes life a gift. Think about this: A musician does not find his music, his music finds him. An author does not find his subject to write about, his subject finds him. An entrepreneur does not find his business niche, his niche finds him. In other words, in the life of the ‘Immanuel human’ the divinely conferred gift will manifest itself. Do we go around allowing various motivations to influence our actions that is not true to our gifts? When that happens, it is evidence of living in the sin-condition of the ‘Adamic humanity’ from the enemy. When we live in the Love-condition of the Spirit in Jesus’ new humanity, He gives us the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus (God’s Word) to guide us to our gifts. (John 1:1-3, 14) Hence, the ‘living faith of Jesus’ plays a vital role. When all is said and done, gifts are the manifestation of Jesus’ Himself in His fullness in each and every human. Paul tells us, “Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you” (1 Cor.14:1, MSG).

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Gold, a Metaphor for Gifts Conferred upon Humans by God as Jesus Affirms In His Parable in Matthew 25: 14-30 (Wiki Commons)

(Read my post on Jesus’ parable about human gifts, titled, “Invest In Gold–True Gold!” at: http://bulamanriver.net/3145)

Many people experience life as square-pegs-in-round-holes, or being misfits, because they are blind to and not living their ordained gifts. They live a life that is not true to themselves. To live a life without one’s true destiny is a life of abject failure – although one may have the impression of “success,” it is really a guise and hollow at its core where people find no true meaning and joy. What is your measure of “success?” Is it money, power, prestige and pride, material stuff? The parable of the gold Jesus gave to His hearers affirms that every person is born with a unique gift conferred upon him/her at birth for the purpose of living his/her purpose in life, be happy doing it, and bringing glory to God as a result. (Matt.25:14-30) You can read the story of Joseph in the Bible which provides an excellent template for how God endows humans with gifts as He gave Joseph his gift through his dream. (Gen.Chap:37; 39-47)

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Gold Coins – Metaphor for Human Gifts as Jesus taught in His Parable, Matthew 25:14-30 (Wiki Commons)

Just because gifts are from God does not mean that gifts ought to be ecclesiastical or religious in nature, which many have wrongly assumed. A person can be a plumber, or engineer, a doctor or gardener, an architect or builder, a marine biologist or fisherman, a scientist or truck driver, or whatever the gift. Gifts evolve as the Spirit supplies the faith. Peter was a fisherman. Jesus turned his gift to become a fisher of men instead of fish. God has blessed each and every one of His children with variety of gifts, from being a home-maker to a business executive, from a painter to a programmer, from an pilot to a sailor, from and student to a teacher, God made us all beautiful in our diversity. We are all cut out to be something unique before the Creator, however small it may seem, they all fit into a larger scheme of things that may not be evident immediately. To live with a defined purpose through our gifts is to live a life of freedom and joy. Jesus supplies the faith which gives us eyes to see our purpose in the bigger scheme of things in God’s grand plan for each and every person.

And here is the purpose about the diverse gifts given to us all. God gave them to be used to build bridges of Love with God first on a personal level, and with our fellow humans. (Mar.12:30-31) Yes, we are bridge-builders! Whatever the gift, it is given as platforms to build bridges and proclaim this wonderful message of God’s Love incarnated in His Son and manifested in humans through His new humanity. We are given the platform of our gifts to proclaim His Love in the service of humanity. For example, we are not all experts at fixing a leaking roof, so we turn to a roofer or handyman to do the work for us. An electrician helps out with issues that has to do with problems of electrical power which we may know nothing about. We turn to a teacher to educate us about a subject we would like to be more proficient at. No one could enlighten our knowledge about plants better than a botanist. There are countless things in life we will discover, sooner rather than later, that we need people who are experts in their field (gifted) who can lend a helping hand. That is how God created humans to live and care for one another utilizing their respective gifts in Love, just as God does in His Triune Being.

Some may be tempted to despise and have little respect for what they possess and do. But however small it may seem, it contributes to a larger picture we must always visualize and not be blind to. The Bible warns us about a negative attitude towards our God-given talents, when God asked, “Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings? They’ll change their tune when they see Zerubbabel setting the last stone in place!” (Zech.4:8-10, MSG). Yes, your gift may seem like a “small and insignificant thing,” but all out gifts are like the “last stone” that makes the capstone (finishing stone) of God’s temple possible. Peter said that your are all “living stones” being built into a spiritual house for God’s dwelling. (1 Pet.2:5)

Your gift is like the rudder of a ship, it may seem small compared to the size of a ship, but it is not insignificant by any measure for it turns the huge vessel in the direction the pilot chooses, even in the face of strong winds. We must never look down upon what is divinely endowed in us. Every gift is sacredly conferred, as Paul said of Christ, “Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift” (Eph.4:8, MSG). But this is the person who will be scorned and shamed, the one who lives ignorant of his/her purpose – like a rudderless vessel he/she will be buffeted about by every wind that blows and travels aimlessly in all directions. For surely, that ship will end as a wreckage and headed nowhere.

But here is the main takeaway concerning human gifts: sadly, humans have traded their gifts for money, selfish gain, and for self-centered reasons, whereas, God intended His gifts to be utilized for Love, and to promote His Love-nature in human relationships. (Read the fruits of God’s Love explained at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199) Am I saying we ought to provide services through our gifts without gratuity and generous response for services rendered? No, the Scripture says, “Don’t muzzle a working ox, (i.e.) a worker deserves his pay” (1 Tim.5:18, italics mine). It is really a matter of perspective, what is our primary motivation? Is it expressly for monetary and/or forms of unethical gain? Greed is insidious and possesses the cunning and subtlety which quietly takes over and turn our lives for the worse. Our primary motivation is of utmost importance, for that is what drives our thoughts and actions. God wants each of us to utilize our gifts for Love first, above and before all else. He created humans to be reflections of His Love-image. (Gen.1:26-27)

When money becomes our sole objective we turn our gifts into a mercenary tool that breeds greed and covetousness, rather than a tool for God’s Love to promote generosity and goodwill. Don’t allow your gift to become an object for inward and selfish gain and allow fear to rule your life. When we let His Love guide us, we will know how to use our gifts properly and wisely. We are admonished not to let greed become our motivation, as Paul told Timothy, “not greedy for dishonest gain” (1 Tim.3:8). On the other hand, Jesus admonishes us, “Seek the Kingdom of God (Love) above all else, and live righteously (as ‘Immanuel humans’), and He will give you everything you need” (Mat..6:33, NLT, italics mine).

God is able to be all things to everyone through the numerous collage of gifts He confers upon humanity revealing the greatness of His majesty. All our gifts are woven into the tapestry of God’s Love-Being, so that we are in touch with everything there is to know about God’s purpose for each of us as persons with unique gifts. Then we will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ and walking in His ‘Immanuel humanity.’ As John said, “God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16).

Peter said “You are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple” (1 Pet.2:5). That is how important you are to God for you are in His service, you are part of His temple. Paul said, “Surely you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you! God will destroy anyone who destroys God’s temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you yourselves are His temple” (1 Cor.3:16-17). He said, you are “God’s own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God who called you out of darkness (fallen ‘Adamic humanity’) into His own marvelous light (‘Immanuel humanity’)” (1 Pet.2:9, italics mine). What a privilege to live out our lives in service to the Creator’s grand purpose for humanity.

Again, when considering human gifts, reflect on the metaphor of God’s Love with the ocean’s reef system teeming with all kinds of marine life, I shared earlier. When people are reborn ‘Immanuel humans’ they are wrapped up and sealed in God’s unseen spiritual ocean of Love which gives them the enabling power to live as reborn humans so the negativity that sin propagates cannot touch them as Jesus always mediates for humanity in heaven: “Therefore He (Jesus) is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf” (Heb.7:25; 2:17-18; 4:14-16; 10:14). Because of Jesus’ mediation we utilize our gifts as platforms for good and keeps us in the bond of His unfathomable Love. Paul said this, “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; Tit.2:14).

Shoal of Fish
Humanity is Sealed in the Love-Condition in The Spirit’s Ocean of God’s Enabling Love Which Gives Humans Power to Use Their Gifts for God’s Kingdom above all else, and Live Righteously. He will Give All That’s Needed for Life – Matt.6:33. (Pexels)

Petition: Friends, thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus’ birth, His life, death, resurrection, and High Priesthood, with you today. I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Jesus as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of a gloriously magnificent future for humanity. You can privately and quietly pray this prayer in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human Christ died for, not as a member of any religious sect or denomination: “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 rebirth into Jesus’ Immanuel Humanity through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon me. May Your Love guide and protect me and my loved ones always, and bring us and all humanity into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.” Welcome to the Life of Love in God’s eternal Triune Being and Family.

Photo Of Stream During Daytime
All Rivers Flow from the Mountain of God’s Presence. Rivers symbolically Represent Humans, With the Living Waters of The Spirit Flowing to the People That Live in the Valley to Water, Feed, and Replenish With Their Gifts. (See John 7:37-39) (Pexels)

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: We wish you all a joyous Christmas, and may you experience the new birth into Jesus’ new humanity, as He came to unite mankind into the divine life of God by His birth. 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 in Christ as you live the Triune Love of the Father. Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant In Christ)

Peace & Joy greeting badge vector

*Triune Life or Triune Love: The “Triune Life” is a way of life. Its foundational tenet is based upon the Love of God, because Love is the nature of God. (1 John 4:8; Rom.5:5) I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the three-dimensional life, the human experience of God’s Love is always moving in an inward, outward, and upward motion where all the three Persons of the Godhead are in relational oneness with humanity. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2)

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) 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. You can read more at: 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.

"Bula" Man-River
Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

***Immanuel Humanity: There were only two humans that God had a direct hand at creating for human procreation and posterity upon earth – the first Adam and the second Adam, Jesus. (1 Cor.15:22, 45-47; Eph.2:14-16; Gen.1:27; 2:7; Luk.1:26-35) Eve was taken from Adam’s rib so all humanity flow from the first Adam. (Gen.2:21-23) Jesus is the firstborn Immanuel Human (the second Adam). The Immanuel Human was introduced to mankind through Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension. Paul makes the truth of Jesus’ new ‘Immanuel humanity’ quite clear, “For He (Jesus) Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility” (Eph.2:14-18). Here, Paul uses the division of the Jew and Gentile as analogous of the difference between the old humanity of fallen Adam, and the glorified new humanity in the risen Christ.

The night Jesus was taken to be crucified, He shared what is commonly called the Last Supper with His disciples. More than just a mere supper, Jesus was about to make an astounding revelation and inaugurate a powerful ritual concerning the new birth into His new Immanuel Humanity. All of mankind has descended from the first fallen Adam and needs saving from the sin-condition by a rebirth through Jesus, the second Adam. (John 3:16-17; John 3:5-7; Act.2:38; John 6:53-58; Eph.2:15-16)

Last Supper, Wafers, Communion Wafers
“Take and eat; this is My Body.. Then He took a cup drink from it, all of you. This is My Blood of the Covenant” (Matt.26:26-28).

He introduced a divinely ordained ritual with two powerful emblems concerning the truth of the spiritual human rebirth. Commonly called the Communion in the Christian community today, the ritual consists of the two emblems of the bread and wine. In regard to the bread, the scriptures says, “Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body” (Matt.26:26). With respect to the wine, the passage says, “Then He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt.28:27-28). Earlier in His ministry, Jesus told His followers, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53). Jesus was speaking metaphorically concerning His new Immanuel Humanity. (Isa.7:14) This is not a physical rebirth but spiritual one as Jesus explained to Nicodemus. (John 3:4-6) Paul said, “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor.15:45).

The Last Supper, Leonardo Da Vinci
The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci (Pixabay)

The bread represents Jesus’ body, and the wine symbolize His blood. The two emblems adds up to the whole new humanity of Jesus. Jesus continued in the passage quoted earlier, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me” (John 6:54-57). So, whenever humans take the emblems they are manifesting belief of conforming to the image of Jesus’ new glorious Immanuel Humanity. (Rom.8:29; Eph.1:5) Jesus said His followers were to keep this ritual until His return to earth at His second coming. (Matt.26:29, ISV). In other words, humanity is called to adopt Jesus’ new humanity in this human earthly life until His return, when at the resurrection of the dead mankind will be given to inherit everlasting life in a glorious immortal body like His. (Rom.8:29; 1 Cor.15; 1 Thess.4:13-18)

Cross, Sunset, Sunrise, Hill, Sky, Sun
Jesus’ Death was Not Solitary, But Trinitarian in the True Sense. (Pic: Pixabay)

Jesus unmistakably reveals that being baptized into God’s Spirit is what gives birth into Jesus’ new humanity, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:5-7). John the Baptist told the people this about Jesus, “I baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mar.1:8). At His baptism in the Jordan River, Jesus was setting the example of repentance and forgiveness with the Spirit descending upon Him showing how a person is reborn into the Immanuel human. (Matt.3:16-17; Act.2:38; Eph.1:13-14) Jesus told his followers, “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (Spirit) to you” (John 16:7).

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1024px-Fountain_of_Eternal_Life_%2825631163902%29.jpg
The Resurrection to Immortality – The Ultimate Destiny of the Immanuel Human (Wiki Commons)

Humans will not become perfect at once after the new birth, mankind possesses residual weaknesses inherited from the Adamic humanity. But we have Jesus mediating for us in His High Priestly Office so we can “have the mind of Christ,” and be “clothed in Jesus” (‘Immanuel humanity’). This is the manner by which God the Father “reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (1 Cor.2:16Gal.3:27Rom.3:142 Cor.5:18).

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.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING – CALL TO THE JOYOUS LIFE, BY KIANG P LEE

 “Always be Full of Joy in the Lord. I say it again–Be Thankful!” Phil.4:4

yellow flowers decor

Greetings Friends! To be Thankful is the essence of the human spirit which stands infallible and knows no borders. It is the spirit which undergirds human existence and relationships. It is the epitome for good in all people. Sometimes gratitude does not come easily because of our biases and prejudices. To say “thank you” is to express the dignity and decency of our common humanity replicated in the Creator’s likeness. “Thank you,” (English) “Danke” (German), “Mahalo” (Hawaiian), “Merci” (French), “xiexie” (Chinese), “Terima Kasih” (Malay), “Takk” (Norwegian), “Kamasahamnida” (Korean), “Paldies” (Latvian), “Gracias” (Spanish), “Spasibo” (Russian), “Dhayavad” (Hindi), “Dziekuje,” (Polish), “Obrigado” (Portuguese), “Vinaka” (Fijian), and hundreds and thousands of languages and dialects all speak the language of this larger-than-life divine attribute. Let’s find reason to be “Thankful” today.

This year Thanksgiving Day falls on Thursday, November 28, 2019.

“The First Thanksgiving” by Jean Leon Jerome Ferris (Wiki Commons)  

Joy and gratitude go hand in hand. They are both human emotions that only humans created in God’s image can respond to, live by, and appreciate. We experience joy because humans are made in God’s likeness. (Gen.1:26-27; Neh.8:10) Yes, the Bible states, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh.8:10). The Bible states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy” (among) others. (Gal.5:22)  Joy is a shared fruit, it can only be experienced in a communal setting, that is one of the basis how we explain God is Tri-Personal (three in one), and not solitary as many believe. God is three Persons unified in One Triune Godhead. When you examine every one of the fruits of Love in the Holy Spirit, you will find one common denominator – they can only be lived out through a shared communal experience. I take you to 1 Corinthians 13 and other passages –

Selective Focus Photography of Joy Free Standing Letters With Lights
“The Joy of The Lord Shall Be Your Strength” – Neh.8:10 (Pexels)
File:"Rest and be Thankful" bench - geograph.org.uk - 116817.jpg
“Rest and Be Thankful” Bench at Gortin Glens Forest Park, UK (Wiki Commons)

The fruits of Love are: *patience, *kindness, *contentedness, *the fruit of being modest and unboastful, *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, *joy, *peace, *goodness, *faith, *gentleness, *self-control, *the fruit of zeal and spiritual fervor, *the fruit of gratitude and thankfulness, *the fruit of friendship, *the fruit of sharing and generosity, *the fruit of prayerfulness, *the fruit of hospitality, etc. (1 Cor.13Gal.5:22-23Rom.12:9-2)

All these fruits spell one common attribute, they can only be shared in a communal setting and thereby God reveals Himself in all His Trinitarian Love and glory. These Love-fruits speaks volumes and gives us a peek into the different tones of God’s Love. They are not rules or codes to live by as legalistic requirements. Rather they tell us who God is, and how God in His Tri-Personal Being as Father, Son, and Spirit have lived in One unified shared Love-experience from eternity. That was and continues to be His purpose for creating humanity. And God desires to share His “Triune Love”* with humanity. They reveal the holy emotions of the Triune God. These are not human emotions, they reveal the divine emotions of God. And high on top of the list is joy and thankfulness.

Celebration, Christmas, Decorate
“Joy” – A Divine Fruit and Attribute (pixabay)

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we understand that thankfulness is a fruit which springs from God’s Love nature, and it can be experienced only in a mutually co-dependent setting as He is the same in His Tri-Personal Godhead as Father, Son, and Spirit. Thankfulness springs from joy, for without it we can’t experience gratitude genuinely and completely.

I referred to human joy earlier. They remind us that humanity is intrinsically part of God’s Love image, but we are not entirely like Him because we live as fallen humans. Hence, human joy is predisposed to fade away and not last. But there’s a divine joy that humans can receive which brings sustained emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. It is a joy that brings lasting happiness, inner peace, a state of grace, and all things good in life. For it is the Spirit who gives us the power of this divine joy to rejoice despite the circumstances and environment which depresses people to no end. The Spirit is the deposit of God’s Love and its fruits in humans.(Rom.5:5)

Recall, man once lived in complete joy with his Maker, but the enemy took that away and severed that Loving relationship. (Gen.3) Through Adam’s fall at the hands of the devil, that fullness of life in God’s presence was taken from humans. But Jesus restored it by reconciling alienated man back to God. (John 3:16-171 Cor.1:30, NLT) Now we have this God-given ability to experience and share this beautiful fruit of joy which springs from God Himself through His Spirit.

Float with “Horn Of Plenty” in the Theme of Gratefulness (Wiki Commons)

Peter outlines how this is made possible in 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). Genuine thankfulness can only spring from a joyful heart where the Spirit is made to indwell human life. (1 Cor. 3:166:19)

The only thing that can steal our joy is sin, just as it did with Adam and Eve. Therefore, when we follow God’s Love, joy is multiplied spontaneously and we become more gratuitous in our hearts because we are genetically wired to the Triune God as part of His Love-kind and likeness. Because we live in Satan’s world which promotes depression and misery through sin, we get affected by it because of our fallen nature environmentally and through association. God knows this. So, He made a way of escape through His Son to forgive past, present, and future transgressions. Jesus died for us on the cross not only for past sins, but also for present and future transgressions through His High Priestly role today. Since Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He ascended back to His Father to continue to mediate for mankind as High Priest. (You can read more about this aspect of human restoration by clicking, http://bulamanriver.net/17978. Also, http://bulamanriver.net/15813, and http://bulamanriver.net/11230).

God lives in joy and thankfulness and shares His way of life with us through His Son. Jesus’ role as man’s High Priest in heaven today makes our spiritual wholeness possible, and shows us we are brought into divine completeness with the Father always. There is every reason to rejoice and be filled with joy when we realize the enemy has no power over us through sin, but we exist in the Spirit in righteous living: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom.14:17). 

The Trinitarian Love and Life of God Where Eternal Joy and Gratitude is a Way of Life (Wiki Commons)

Probably one of the shortest verses of the Bible says simply, “Rejoice always!” because God is that way Himself. (1 Thess.5:16) When we are filled with joy we are thankful. Paul’s encouraging word to us is, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit (Love)” (1 Thess.5:16-19). Joy, prayer, and thanksgiving should characterize the life of humans. We are warned to not quench Love, for these are the fruits of “Love deposited in our hearts through the Spirit” (Rom.5:5).  

The original pilgrims had come to a new world we have come to call America today. They escaped Europe to seek freedom from religious and political persecution and repression. Since the arrival of the pilgrims, people have never ceased to come to America’s shores escaping tyranny of all forms and seeking the freedom the new world offered. Today America is known as the melting pot of diverse cultures and peoples. And whether we realize it or not, we are all on the same pilgrimage of our own in the pursuit of our freedoms, but a different kind of voyage. There is one word which defines the freedom the original pilgrims sought and the freedom we seek today. That word is joy! To live in a world free from persecutions where one can live in personal freedoms and the right to choose one’s beliefs whether religious, political, etc. To have the freedom to live and do as one sees fit for his/her loved ones is the basis of happiness and well-being. Our pilgrimage today seeks a freedom from all kinds of personal, societal, and other forms of bondage which has been brought to bear upon us because of sin. Like the pilgrims of old, removing ourselves from this persecution and prison of sin will bring us joy, meaning, and the human divine destiny. For no matter where we live, if we are still bound up in the sin-condition of the devil, we are not free, but tormented still. Freedom from sin is true freedom and joy and every reason for humanity to celebrate and be thankful. Only Jesus brings humanity true freedom, as Paul affirms, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal.5:1). (To read more about truly ‘living free’ go to: http://bulamanriver.net/16956)

The Landing of The Pilgrims Escaping Persecution and Thankful for Freedom in the New World (Wiki Commons)
The Statue of Liberty in New York. America Stands for Freedom and Hope in the World (Wiki Commons)

Thanksgiving Day always bring immense joy and gratitude to families gathered for turkey dinner, especially if we have family members we have not met or seen for some time. Family fellowship and bonding is about one of the highest human joys that can be experienced. So, let us be truly thankful this Thanksgiving season for each other and always aware that gratitude has been made possible because we have been given the privilege to live in a place of joy in the “Triune Love”* with the Father, Jesus, and the Spirit.”

Love, Text, Valentines, Word, Heart
God’s Love-Nature, The Source of Joy and Thankfullness (Pixabay)

May you all have a happy and joyous Thanksgiving celebration with those you love and cherish.

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

Thanks, Friend, Card, Friendship, Word

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 this Thanksgiving and 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 (Your Servant in Christ)                             

*Triune Life or Triune Love: The “Triune Life” is a way of life. Its foundational tenet is based upon the Love of God, because Love is the nature of God. (1 John 4:8; Rom.5:5) I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the three-dimensional life, the human experience of God’s Love is always moving in an inward, outward, and upward motion where all the three Persons of the Godhead are in relational oneness with humanity. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2)

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living (Loving),” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) 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. You can read more at: 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.

"Bula" Man-River
Bulamanriver Book Cover

Mission Statement: Read the Triune Life 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.

LIVING THE ‘SURRENDERED LIFE’ DAY-BY-DAY, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings to all my readers around the world. If you are new to this site, I welcome you and we are so happy you could join us. I hope that your time with us will be one that is well invested. Basically, what this site is about is to make sense of life on a daily basis from the spiritual foundation of life, which sadly most humans have no clue, much less know its truth and benefits. I am not talking about religion as we know it with all its legalistic and hypnotizing rituals. This is about coming to terms with a part of our humanity that is real and has been passed over through ignorance and plain superstition. We have neglected this awesome truth to our own dire detriment. Whether you believe it, or not, does not change the fact that humans are spiritual beings. Incidentally, humans once believed the world was flat, but that did not alter the truth our earth is an orb and sphere. So, we are not just physical mortal beings like the animal kingdom, rather humanity was created by an all-knowing God who says He is Love by nature and substance and made us to be come like Him in His Love likeness. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:16)

“God Is Love” 1 John 4:16. (Wiki Commons)

In my posts, I have used the Bible as the basis for proving this claim that humans are basically spiritual beings. This claim is not just because I am a Christian, and granted I am, but crucially because it is the most reliable source humanity can have access and utilize outside of himself/herself to decipher the spiritual aspect of our humanity, which we would not otherwise have a clue about. You see, anything of a spiritual nature cannot be detected by the human senses, so it has to come by revelation through the human mind. The Bible is the source of that revelation.

I ask you to keep an open mind and view the Bible not as a Christian or Jewish book, but a guide for all humanity from God the Creator, irrespective of religious beliefs, culture, race, nationality, or from whatever station in life we embrace. Many of the issues we face together today as humans on the world stage are of a spiritual nature and underpinning. They are not just physical issues that can be explained away wholly by physical reasoning alone. Paul said, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood (contending only with physical matters and human reasoning), but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this (present) darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. Therefore, put on the complete armor of God” (Eph.6:12-13). Yes, the human struggle for meaning and survival upon this planet earth has always been spiritual at its core and fabric.

Whether it is in time of peace or war, in circumstance of good or adversity, it is all driven by unseen spiritual forces working to contrive the mind, human energy and dynamics, in the spirit of Love and fear. This spiritual component is the underlying cause and motivator of human activity. And yes, even in our individual lives with our own families and loved ones, this spiritual component spares no one, and is the underlying determinant to the kind of life one lives. Once mankind acknowledges this basic truth about our humanity, we can begin to turn the corner for the better as far our common heritage and history and begin to face a future with hope and promise. So, it is my hope that as longtime readers and visitors that you keep an inquisitive and open mind. I write to you not as Christian (though I am), but as one human being to another.

You can read about the many subjects covered since 2013 by going to the blog monthly index at right of the website, and clicking on the topic displayed therein. In recent months I have touched upon the undermentioned subjects in a methodical way I have called, the “Triune Love”* or “Triune Life.”* You can go to the list below to get the title of each post:

With that said, this month I will cover a topic that is related to and goes hand-in-hand with the subject of regeneration I covered last month. The topic this month is the “Surrendered Life.” This dovetails well with regeneration. Both these acts reflect God’s redemptive activity in humanity. Without the surrendered life, God’s redemptive activity in regenerating humanity (salvation) will not be possible. The surrendered life is like the lifeblood of the life of regeneration we saw in last month’s discussion. For that matter, the surrendered life is what energizes and activates all the topics we have covered so far as itemized in the four subjects shown above. Every step or ascent in the four-step process in each activity shown above is driven and wrought through the surrendered life.

Surrender is Not About ‘Giving Up’ But ‘Owning Up’ to Our Fallen Nature And Morph Into a Totally New Person in Christ. (Pic: Butterfly Going Through Morphing Stages of Its Life)

What is the surrendered life? Essentially, it means we have a pliable heart and attitude toward God so as to allow Him to have His way of Love with us. And God’s way is defined with one word, LOVE! The Bible states categorically, “God is Love” (1 John 4:16). Because God is Love, it is impossible for Him to conjure any evil intent for us because it would be against His nature to do so. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God declares His Love for humanity with these promising words, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you” (Jer.29:11-12). Yes, it is to our Loving God and Father that we surrender our lives to His care and providence.

Why is the surrendered life necessary for human salvation? It is necessary because the fallen Adamic Human from whom we all are descended is born with this rebellious heart which cannot submit its will to the Loving will of God. Rebellion was inherited from Satan when Adam fell in Eden to his temptation and sin. The surrendered life empowered by God’s Spirit helps change the status quo and defeat the power which energizes sin – rebellion! Because of this fallen Adamic Humanity inherited from the first Adam, God sent His Son to bring the new humanity in Jesus, the Immanuel Humanity.***

In Jesus’ new humanity, a person is made to live the surrendered life. The surrendered human life was inaugurated by Jesus Himself when He appeared as the Immanuel (“God with us”) to carry out His Father’s purpose for Him, “I’m here to do Your will, O God, the way it’s described in your Book” (Heb.10:7, The Message). Yes, that is how Jesus ushered the surrendered life for humanity with the words, “I am here to do Your will, O God.” To do God’s will and live the surrendered life is to live a life of miraculous proportion, and be part of and become recipient in the divine sanctuary. (1 Cor.3:16)  

Love, Water, Blue, Clouds, Light
Love & Freedom Are Flip Side Of God’s Nature (Pixabay)
Pay, Web, Advert, Debt, Tax, Finance
Freedom is Love and Love is Freedom (Pixabay)

Unfortunately, for many people the word ‘surrender’ conveys a negative connotation and meaning. For some it indicates the negative portrayal of “giving up” one’s rights and freedoms, like the freedom of expression or worship. Many people who live in nations that have authoritarian systems of governance see surrender as a form of subjugation where the people’s rights are trampled upon. They don’t have the freedom to choose how to live. However, we are not speaking about surrender in the context of human relationships, but the spiritual relationship with the Triune God who said, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for” (Jer.29:11). Yes, truly the Godly surrendered life is the doorway to the life of true freedom. The enemy (Satan) wants you to surrender to him and live a life of incarceration, pain, suffering, and ultimately death. That is the difference about surrender, it is about who we surrender our lives to – the spirit of fear (devil) or Love (God)?

In the spiritual sense, to live by God’s will and grace (Love) is what the surrendered life is all about. It means “owning up,” not “giving up.” “Owning up” means we acknowledge the human shortcoming and inadequacy at doing God’s will in human life because of the rebellious spirit in the fallen Adamic Human inherited from the first Adam. The surrendered life is not about “giving up” one’s freedom. “Owning up” is about true freedom and means mankind can now live the new reborn human person, the surrendered life, through the finished work of Christ our Savior, the second Adam and Immanuel Human.*** Paul said it like this, “God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who Love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored” (Rom.8:29, The Message). Yes, the surrendered life is a life conformed to the image of God’s Son, Jesus – humanity restored! Jesus introduced mankind to the new gloriously magnificent humanity that is conformed to the divine image of Love.

Jesus is the firstborn Immanuel Human, the only human who blazed the trail for humanity by living the surrendered life for us. (Rom.8:29; Eph.1:11) Jesus said this about the whole objective of His life, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work” (John 4:34). In another instance, He said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but to do the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38). Jesus inaugurated the surrendered life, and through Him humans are made to live a life surrendered where the will of our Loving Father and Creator can be done in mankind.

Through the Triune Life and Love*, humanity is made to live the surrendered life. Living the Triune Life* means to live the three-step process called the ascents. The three-steps process depict the surrendered life humans live through the Tri-Personal Being of God. The first ascent represents the human relationship with the Holy Spirit. The second ascent depicts our relationship with the Son of God, the resurrected and glorified Jesus. And the third ascent portray the human relationship with our heavenly Father. These three ascents automatically dovetail into the fourth ascent called the manifestation. In this case, the manifestation is the surrendered life made reality in human life.

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but to do the will of Him who sent Me” – John 6:38. (Pixabay)

We will see how every aspect of the surrendered life is framed within the Tri-Personal Godhead. The three ascents which lead to the surrendered life are as follows: first, the ‘fruits of Love;’ second, ‘responsibility;’ third, ‘judgment.’ Remember, the eternal and inherent trinitarian Love principle: the act of One is the act of Three, and the act of Three is the act of One. Through the Tri-Personal Being of God, the divine Love moves in an inward, outward, and upward motion in humanity. Thus, whenever a person lives the Triune Life*, the surrendered life in the divine Love-life is manifested in humanity. Let us begin:

First Ascent: Fruits of Love – Holy Spirit. The 1st Ascent reveals the human relationship with God through the Holy Spirit. The ascent speaks of the Fruits of Love because the Spirit is the manifestation of the divine Love in humans. Paul said, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). Now, we see the connection between the Love God has deposited in the human heart and the surrendered life. So, the very essence of the surrendered life is the expression of God’s Love in human life. The Spirit is the power of God’s Love in humans which makes the surrendered life possible. Love is not some vague, indefinable, mystical, substance we imagine comes upon and fill us with good impulses and conviction, no! Love’s reality is seen and experienced in the fruits which identify the divine Love, hence, the ascent’s title: “Fruits of Love!” So, the fruits of Love and the surrendered life go hand-in-hand. In other words, the surrendered life has a face, an appearance, by which it is identified: the Fruits of Love! This raises the obvious question, what does the fruits of Love mean? What does Love look like? This is vital since the Love-fruit is the key to living the surrendered life?

God The Holy Spirit, Symbolized by the Dove-Friend of Humanity and Personification of God’s Nature and Love (Wiki Commons)

Paul tells us clearly in the Bible what the Spirit’s Love-fruits are. 1 Corinthians 13 is the most recognizable place in the Bible to start, besides others. God’s Love-fruits flows peaceably in the Spirit’s “living waters” who occupies humans in the surrendered life. (John 7:38-39; 1 Cor.6:19) These fruits, which Paul reveal to us 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). These Love-fruits are not part of God’s Person like accessories. No, they tell us who God IS, for God is Love. (1 John 4:8)

The Love-fruits of the Spirit reveals to humanity the broad spectrum of God’s Loving nature. Living by the principles of Love means to live by the fruits of the Spirit (Love/Rom.5:5). The fruits reveal God’s holy emotions He displays as He relates within His Tri-Personal Being and with humanity through His Spirit. Essentially, the Love-fruits tell us how God’s mind and thought-process works, and how our human minds ought to and must be inclined as we live in Jesus’ new redeemed humanity,’ “Immanuel humanity”*** in every way, shape, and form. In the Bible God shows him displaying these fruits in His relationship with humanity. “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, and His mercy endures forever” (read all of Psa.136). Speaking of God’s compassion and faithfulness, the Bible states, “Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lam.3:23). Humans ought to pray thus, “O LORD, be gracious to us! We wait for You. Be our strength every morning and our salvation in time of trouble” (Isa.33:2). Then, “Lord, You are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in Love and faithfulness” (Psa.86:15). His profound Love for humanity is revealed by John, “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). How awesome and beautiful is God’s Love for humanity.

Valentines, Valentine, Heart, Love
“God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them” 1 John 4:16. (Pixabay)

God’s purpose in the surrendered life is so humans may become Love as God is Love. (1 John 4:8, 16) To make this possible God has made a promise to give humans His very Love-nature through the presence of the Holy Spirit. (Act.1:4; John 16:7; Rom.5:5) Through Jesus God promises, “And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But remain in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luk.24:49). Jesus further added, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). By saying the “Father will send the Spirit in My Name,” it means the Spirit comes through the mediation of Jesus as Savior and High Priest. (Heb.2:17; 3:1; 6:20)

Essence of Relationship: The Holy Spirit is the life and power of God who makes possible the divine life of Love in mankind. The apostle Peter gives us the way the Spirit is made to come and indwell humans and make the surrendered life in God’s Love possible. Peter told the people who inquired, “What shall we do?”: “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.2:37-38). And this brings us to the next ascent…

Second Ascent: Responsibility – Jesus. The 2nd Ascent reveals the human relationship with God through the Son of God, Jesus Christ. The Ascent speaks of responsibility. What does responsibility mean in the relationship between Jesus and humanity and the surrendered life? Firstly, it means that Jesus came as the Immanuel, the “God-with-us” human, or the Immanuel Human, for the purpose of taking our fallen humanity, and rescuing mankind from sin and death. (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23; John 3:18; Rom.6:23) So, Jesus is responsible for human salvation as the Savior and Mediator of mankind.  Through Jesus, God the Father removes the curse of eternal death and substitute it with the promise of immortality. (John 3:16-18; 3:36; Rom.5:12) In other words, Jesus has taken responsibility for humanity by living the surrendered life in our place so we can do the same. Paul said this, “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.5:15). Further he affirmed this, “He (Jesus) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Rom.4:25; also Isa.53:5; Rom.5:8; 2 Cor.5:21).

God The Son-Savior and Mediator of Mankind (Wiki Commons)

Secondly, by cleansing and saving humanity from the sin-condition, in the same breadth He opens the way for the Father to send His Spirit (1st Ascent) to enter and make human life into the very temple of God where His nature and Love is manifested, and in that…the surrendered life. Jesus said, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7, NASB; 14:26). So, Jesus is responsible for opening the door for the Spirit to enter human life. Jesus said, “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture (Spirit/Love)” (John 10:9). Paul explains what Jesus’ responsibility does, “Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16, BSB). So, Jesus is responsible for turning humanity into a temple where the Spirit empowers the surrendered life so God can dwell in humans through His Spirit.

Third, Jesus is responsible for the “new birth” humanity undergoes so humans can become children of the divine who are “Love-beings” through the indwelling of the Spirit (Love), like God is Love. By dying upon His cross, Jesus took our fallen Adamic Humanity from Adam and put it to death, so the body of sin will no longer rule over humanity and human life. Through Jesus’ resurrection three days later, humans are given the new birth in the glorified Immanuel Humanity*** of Jesus. The spirit of rebellion and sin that was nailed to the cross is now replaced with God’s Spirit of Love and divine life making the surrendered life possible. Listen to how God imputes His Son’s mediatory work as Savior and High Priest to bring about this new birth. Paul articulates this miraculous and most fascinating work of Love of the Father, to the Galatians, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So, the life I now live in this earthly body, I live by faith of the Son of God, who Loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20). The Bible makes clear about the rebellious sinful self who was crucified on Jesus’ cross and no longer live, and the reborn new Loving self in the Spirit who manifests Jesus’ new surrendered humanity.

Statue of Liberty, New York
Statue of Liberty, Symbol of Freedom. “It is for Freedom that Christ has set us Free” (Gal.5:1).

So, we see how God imputes the death of His Son upon humans so that we too are now dead to the fallen Adamic human, but alive in Jesus’ reborn Immanuel Humanity*** through His resurrection. Only Jesus’ Immanuel Humanity*** alive and living in a person can live the divine surrendered life. Jesus affirmed this new birth we are given as a gift from the Father, when He said, “Unless a person is born from above, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to—to God’s kingdom” (John 3:3, MSG). Jesus repeats this amazing truth, “Unless a person is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5, RSV). This new birth in the Spirit brings to life Jesus’ Immanuel Humanity.*** Immanuel means Jesus’ “God with us” humanity who makes the surrendered life in the divine will possible. (Matt.1:23)

Fourth, Jesus took responsibility for humanity by being the first human to live this reborn Immanuel Humanity*** who was a complete Love-Being like God His Father is Love. (1 John 4:8; Rom.8:29). The Bibles says Jesus life of Love in this way, “Jesus arrived from Nazareth, anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, ready for action. He went through the country helping people and healing everyone who was beaten down by the Devil. He was able to do all this because God was with Him” (Act.10:38, MSG). Today, every person who receives Jesus as Savior, God imputes Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension upon them, thus initiating the new birth into the surrendered life.

This is Jesus’ responsibility – to Personify the divine Love in each human by living and walking the surrendered life of Love. Through Jesus’ new humanity in the human person can Love the Father as He Loves humanity, and to extend the Love relationship to fellow humans. Remember, responsibility is not about you trying to do something for the Lord, but it is about letting the Lord living in us in His redeemed Immanuel Humanity*** to live the surrendered life.

Essence of Relationship: From the foregoing we see the essence of responsibility undertaken by Jesus on behalf of humanity to bring about the surrendered life: Jesus cleanses humanity from all sin thus opening the door for the Father to freely give the Spirit and bring about the new birth in humans. Jesus has taken responsibility for the divine Love-life of God to become part of the new humanity in Jesus’ Immanuel Humanity. *Just as the Father imputes Jesus’ cross to forgive humanity from all sins, He similarly imputes Jesus’ now glorified life as High Priest in Heaven to continue saving us by living the surrendered life of Love through us in the Spirit’s power. (Heb.2:17; 3:1; 6:20)

Jesus’ surrendered life through His self-sacrificial work now brings humanity to the Father of humanity in the 3rd Ascent…

Third Ascent, Judgment – Father. The 3rd Ascent depicts the human relationship with God the Father made possible through the mediation of the Son and the Spirit. (Rom.8:34, 26). The Father’s role in the surrendered life is Judgment! What is Judgment? What does it mean, and what has it to do with the surrendered life?  

God the Father-God of Creation and Giver of Life (Wiki Commons)

Judgment is about making choices on how to live the earthly life. Life can be lived that’s surrendered to the will of God, or to the will of the enemy, rebellion against God. The Bible gives us advise about making good decisions, “My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion” (Prov.3:21). We have heard that knowledge is power, but knowledge is powerless without wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to discern good knowledge from evil ones, and act upon what is good and reject evil. God says, “Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight and strength” (Prov.8:14). Solomon, the wisest man in the Bible, said this, “For wisdom (discernment/judgment) is better than jewels; and all desirable things cannot compare with her” (Pro.8:11, read all of cap.8). From the above we see that good judgment springs out from divine wisdom. God tells us “For the LORD gives wisdom: out of His mouth comes knowledge and understanding” (Prov.2:6,7). So, God gives humans the wisdom to make sound judgments in life. And the ultimate sound judgment a person can make is one where in every circumstance he/she is surrendering the human will to the divine will of God’s Love.

The Trinitarian Godhead (Rublev’s Icon, Wiki Commons)

The Bible warns that God is especially displeased with people whose judgments are not surrendered to His Loving will, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth (Love)” (Rom.1:18-32, ESV). So, what has Godly wisdom to do with the surrendered life? The surrendered life is the result of the choices we make in life, and choices are either wise or unwise. True wisdom is when every situation in life is judged and carried out in relation to the surrender of the human will to God’s Loving will and purpose.

God, Lord, Creator, Almighty, Holy
God Is Love” (Pixabay)

Paul speaks above of “all ungodliness and unrighteousness” which are the works of God’s adversary, the devil. Jesus speaks of God’s judgment as the end of Satan’s work of deception and the sin-condition he holds humanity incarcerated and slaves. Listen, “About judgment because the prince of this world (Satan) stands condemned” (John 16:11). Jesus was referring to three aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit in humans. Jesus was laying out the promise of the Father to send the Holy Spirit. Then He lays out the three aspects of the work of God which the Spirit was responsible for carrying out. Jesus said, “Unless I go away, the Advocate (Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8-9)

So, the three aspects of the Spirit’s work is revealed to humanity and represent the true definition of sin. Second, He was to show the true meaning of righteousness. And third, He was to show humanity what judgment means. Then Jesus continues to explain what these three aspects mean, “About sin, because people do not believe in Me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned” (John 16:8-11).

Each aspect dovetails into the next and finally tells us how judgment is made to connect with human reality. The first perspective is about sin. It says the Spirit will “prove the world to be in the wrong about sin” (John 16:8-9). It means God wants the world to know the true definition of sin. People have many definitions about sin, and the Spirit was sent to correct all our wrong notions about sin. The Spirit is teaching humans that sin is simply the human refusal, whether through ignorance or disbelief, to trust in the Savior God has provided for our redemption and forgiveness – Jesus the Messiah! (John 3:16-17) That is the meaning of what Jesus is conveying concerning role of the Spirit, “About sin, because people do not believe in Me” (John 16:9). Jesus said, “Unless you believe that I Am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins” (Rom.8:24). When it comes to human sin there is only one important thing that truly matters – the One who saves humanity from the punishment of sin and death – Jesus! Jesus was emphatic about His purpose in the Father’s plan of salvation for humanity, “Unless you believe that I Am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). Satan will cause people to commit sin through temptation, deception, and lies, by living in the devil’s sin-condition. Humans will sin. Humans can have endless human legalistic definition of sin, but all that knowledge will not save us, except one that was revealed by John, “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). Here, we see the Spirit’s work is to leading humans to their Savior Jesus, so they can be saved.

Board, Learn, Note, Skills, Career
Knowledge is Power (Pixabay)

Concerning the second aspect, Jesus said, “About righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see Me no longer” (John 16:10). Although people will no longer see Jesus physically, He remains present with them through the Spirit’ power and presence. Here, the Spirit teaches humanity about the truth about Jesus heredity in the Triune Godhead and His work of being the everlasting Mediator for humanity in heaven – Jesus said, “I am going to the Father.” Today, Jesus is mankind’s High Priest in heaven who forever mediates for humans so they may remain in God’s Loving presence forever. The Bible states, “Therefore, since we have such a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we profess… He had to be made like His brothers in every way, so that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in service to God, in order to make atonement for the sins of the people. Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, set your focus on Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest whom we confess.” (Heb.4:14; 2:17; 3:17).

Jesus did not remain a dead Savior upon His cross, He was resurrected and ascended to His glorious High Priestly Office in heaven, so He became humanity’s eternal Savior and Mediator. Paul said, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain” (1 Cor.15:14). That’s to say, if Jesus was not raised from the dead, then there is no ascension to the Father in Heaven, and there is no High Priest. And if there is no High Priest, there is no everlasting mediation going on today for human salvation. Peter replied, “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). The work of Jesus as our eternal High Priest who eternally mediates for humanity before God the Father is the only definition of righteousness – the human righteous condition in Christ which opens the door for the Spirit to enter human life! Righteousness is not the human attempt to live righteously, but the mediation of Jesus on behalf of humanity in heaven today so we remain righteous before the Father.

What we see here is that through the work of the Holy Spirit of leading and bringing humanity to Jesus, and consecutively Jesus’ role of being the sacrificial Lamb, and the resurrected and ascended High Priest, humanity has been unified with the Father and the Triune Godhead forever. Mankind stands forever saved in the Loving arms of God as Father of all humanity. It is in this saved condition of mankind, that Jesus uttered these words, “About judgment, because the prince of this world (Satan) now stands condemned” (John 16:11). Here, we see the devil condemned because he no longer holds humanity incarcerated in his sin-condition. Satan’s adversarial stand with God was to prevent God’s plan in humans from coming to fruition. That plan was to make humanity God’s very own children. Now, mankind stands saved in Jesus’ righteous-condition in the Father’s arms. It means since the fulfillment of this three-pronged work of the Spirit, Jesus, and the Father, God’s judgment of condemnation is upon the devil, not humanity. Humanity has been saved, and continues to be saved in Jesus’ High Priestly Office and role in heaven, and the Spirit’s power upon earth.

Here, judgment is spoken in respect of the final judgment of condemnation. (John 16:9). If we do not receive Jesus, then Satan’s sin-condition stands as testimony for our condemnation before the Father. As long as humanity stand saved in Jesus’ righteous-condition, then human judgment is about redemption, not condemnation. John explained, “Whoever believes in Him (Jesus) is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemn already” (John 3:18). Also, we see here that judgment in the third ascent is assigned to the Father who has judged Satan the devil.

Essence of Relationship (salient feature): So, we see that the essence of the Father’s Judgment is that in His Son Jesus, humans has passed from eternal death to eternal life. (John 3:16) With the devil’s power over humanity through the sin-condition abrogated, the surrendered life in Love can be lived through our saved-condition in Christ. This takes us to the 4th Ascent…

Fourth Ascent, Manifestation of Surrendered Life – Humanity. So, we see in the three ascents in the Tri-Personal Being of God has led to the manifestation of the surrendered life in humanity. In other words, the surrendered life is the spontaneous outgrowth of living the Triune Love and Life.** So, I will highlight its inherent mechanics, this is the handiwork of God in human life. Humanly speaking, it is impossible for a person in his fallen state of existence (Adamic Humanity/first Adam) to surrender to the Spirit (ascent 1, Fruits of Love), whose role is to lead humans to, and personify Jesus’ glorified Immanuel Humanity*** in mankind. Jesus, in turn takes responsibility (ascent 2) for the divine Love through His mediation as Savior and High Priest so the Spirit’s power may rest in humanity continually.

The embodiment of the Jesus’ responsibility is characterized by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, “We always carrying around the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus also should be manifested in our body” (2 Cor.4:10). In other words, the demise of the fallen Adamic Humanity is an ongoing activity in the incarnate life of Christ, the Immanuel Human*** (second Adam). This redemptive activity of Jesus is ongoing in His High Priestly role carried out before the presence of Father (Ascent 3, Judgment), who in turn fills humanity with His divine wisdom and understanding through the Spirit who inspires sound judgment so discretion and integrity constitute the spiritual backbone of the person’s life.

The Work of Redemption in the ‘Surrendered Life’ is the Inward, Outward, and Upward Activity of Love of the Divine Triune Godhead. (Wiki Commons)

Remember, there were only two humans that God had a direct hand at creating for human procreation and posterity upon earth – the first Adam and the second Adam, Jesus. (1 Cor.15:22, 45; Gen.1:27, 2:7; Luk.1:26-35) In my previous posts I have made reference to the two humans as, the Adamic Human and the Immanuel Human.*** The first Adam fell through disobedience at the hands of the devil’s temptation, while the second Adam (Jesus) defeated Satan in His temptation and saved humanity through His perfect sacrifice upon the cross. (Gen.3:1-6; Matt.4:1-12; Heb.2:9) (You can read about Jesus’ temptation at: http://bulamanriver.net/11339 )

As followers of Jesus by faith, humanity have been given a rebirth into Jesus’ Immanuel Humanity*** (second Adam) through the Holy Spirit. (John 3:5-7) Remember, the Spirit was responsible for the creation of the second Adam, and it is no different with believing humans. (Luk.1:26-35; John 3:5-7) This rebirth constitutes the rationale for why human life is now centered in the life of Jesus Christ. (Read my post on Jesus’ New Humanity at: http://bulamanriver.net/9718). So, when we speak of the ‘Christ-centered life’ it relates to a person’s spiritual new birth and subsequent lineage to the second Adam (Immanuel Human) by the Spirit’s power. (John 3:5-7; Eph.1:13-14) That being said, let me illuminate further upon Paul’s words we read earlier about Christ’s life in humans. (1 Cor.4:10). The surrendered life is a life of true victory where a human being is forever living vicariously in the present perfect glorified life of Jesus Christ (Immanuel Human/2nd Adam). (John 15:4; 1 John 2:6).

You see, there is a basic truth about human life we often overlook – that is, human life is imprisoned and subjugated to many human vulnerabilities due to our human mortality expressed through pain, suffering, and finally death. That’s to say, humans are conditioned to the curse of sin in the various forms of debilitation, attrition, and eventually death. And this can occur to anyone at a whim. Death can overtake human life in many ways and at any time. According to Worldmeters.info, 48,315,800 humans have died so far this year in the world today, and counting. Mankind’s vulnerability is further articulated in human pain, suffering, trials, and all forms of torment and affliction, physical, psychological, and spiritual. In addition, people die of natural causes as well. All these are reflections of one thing – the curse of the sin-condition of the devil, for the Bible states, “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom.6:23). Satan rules this world under the sin-condition for a short time until God’s appointed time. Ultimately, “The devil who deceived was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Rev.20:10; see also 2 Cor.4:4; 1 Pet.5:8; Rev.12:7-12; 20:1-2, 10) Yes, there we see the Bible’s revelation concerning the devil’s work of deception coming to its deserving end.

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Earth-Humanity’s Home in the Universe. Mankind was Created To Live In God’s Love-Likeness. Love is Eternal and Infinite. (Wiki Commons)

The surrendered life changes the status quo concerning human vulnerabilities where mankind has bypass death and enter the new life in Christ. (Rom.6:4; Col.3:1; 1 Cor.5:17; 1 Pet.1:3) In the surrendered life humans experience the reality of the exchanged life in Jesus’ glorified Immanuel Humanity.*** Now, Paul is saying that even though the sin-condition surrounds and instigates all our vulnerabilities with its negative consequences, they are copies of Jesus’ own passion when He took human sins and crucified them to His cross. But Jesus did not remain dead on His cross, He was resurrected and glorified our humanity in His now glorified Immanuel Humanity*** in the Spirit’s power. So, today humanity stands glorified in Jesus’ glorious place as the second Person of the Godhead and mankind’s eternal High Priest.

Therefore, just as He was raised from the dead by His resurrection, we too are given new life in Him. Paul asserts this truth, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor.5:17). That is the essential meaning of Jesus’ resurrection – that humanity can live a new life in the new humanity of Jesus. So, what does this new life in Christ do for humans? It mitigates all the repercussions of the sin-condition through Jesus’ now glorified Immanuel Human*** High Priestly role in heaven today. (Heb.4:14-16) Humanity live in Satan’s world that is bound in his sin-condition we cannot escape. But humans are not part of his sin-conditioning because of the new-birth in the Spirit’s Love-condition in Jesus’ Immanuel Humanity. (2 Cor.6:17; Rev.18:4)

Here, we are seeing the Father’s Love openly displayed in what He does. He is assigning and imputing Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension, upon mankind for human peace and salvation from the enemy’s sin-condition. (Gal.2:20; Rom.4:25; Rom.5:6, 8; Rom.6:5-10) Paul said, “Rather, be glad that you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may be full of joy when His glory is revealed” (1 Pet.4:13, GNT). God’s glory is revealed first by the presence of the Spirit and God’s Love to defeat sin. The Bible says, “Love (Spirit) covers a multitude of sins…for God is Love” (1 Peter 4:8; 1 John 4:16; Rom.5:5). He empowers us in His Spirit so we can be enveloped in His Love and joy so we be not discouraged by the world driven in the devil’s sin-condition, but to be lifted by our experiences through His Son. How wonderful to know that all our human responses, good and bad, are constantly mediated in Jesus High Priestly mediation so we can stand perfect in the Father’s presence. As Paul said “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me” (Phi.4:13).

The Bible gives us the reason why the surrendered life is vital to God our Father, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation” (2 Corinthians: 3-7). Paul concludes, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). God’s comfort stems from His inestimable grace and is something so inexplicable in its sublimity one cannot express in words.

Essence of Relationship (salient feature): Yes, the reason we live Christ-centered lives is because humans are reborn and clothed in His redeemed Immanuel Humanity, and living as He would live here and now in each of us and in this world. That is the essence of the surrendered life.

Butterfly Going Through Morphing Stages of Its Life as Humans Do Through Jesus’ Death and Resurrection in the Spirit’s Power (Wiki Commons)
Depiction of the Resurrection of Jesus to His Role Of Mediator and High Priest in Heaven Today (Wiki Commons

Friends, thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of God’s good news with you today. I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Jesus as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of a gloriously amazing future for humanity. You can privately and quietly pray this prayer in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human Christ died for, not as a member of any religious sect or denomination: “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 rebirth into Jesus’ Immanuel Humanity through Your Holy Spirit. May Your Love guide and protect me and my loved ones always, and bring us and all humanity into Your divine realm. I praise and thank You, Amen.” Welcome to the Life of Love in God’s eternal Triune Being and Family.

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.

soccer field
God Calls All Humanity to be Reborn a New Human In His Son Jesus and Live in The Power of His Spirit. (Unsplash)

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

 Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant In Christ)

*Triune Life or Triune Love: The “Triune Life” is a way of life. Its foundational tenet is based upon the Love of God, because Love is the nature of God. (1 John 4:8; Rom.5:5) I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the three-dimensional life, the human experience of God’s Love is always moving in an inward, outward, and upward motion where all the three Persons of the Godhead are in relational oneness with humanity. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2)

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living (Loving),” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) 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. You can read more at: 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.

"Bula" Man-River
Bulamanriver Book Cover

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

***Immanuel Humanity: There were only two humans that God had a direct hand at creating for human procreation and posterity upon earth – the first Adam and the second Adam, Jesus. (1 Cor.15:2245-47; Gen.1:27; 2:7; Luk.1:26-35) Jesus is the firstborn Immanuel Human (the second Adam). The Immanuel Human was introduced to mankind through Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension. The night Jesus was taken to be crucified, He shared what is commonly called the Last Supper with His disciples. More than just a mere supper, Jesus was about to make an astounding revelation and inaugurate a powerful ritual concerning the new birth into His new Immanuel Humanity. All of mankind has descended from the first fallen Adam and needs saving from the sin-condition by a rebirth through Jesus, the second Adam. (John 3:16-17; John 3:5-7; Act.2:38; John 6:53-58)

Last Supper, Wafers, Communion Wafers
“Take and eat; this is My Body.. Then He took a cup drink from it, all of you. This is My Blood of the Covenant” (Matt.26:26-28).

He introduced a divinely ordained ritual with two powerful emblems concerning the truth of the spiritual human rebirth. Commonly called the Communion in the Christian community today, the ritual consists of the two emblems of the bread and wine. In regard to the bread, the scriptures says, “Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body” (Matt.26:26). With respect to the wine, the passage says, “Then He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt.28:27-28). Earlier in His ministry, Jesus told His followers, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53). Jesus was speaking metaphorically concerning His new Immanuel Humanity. (Isa.7:14) This is not a physical rebirth but spiritual one as Jesus explained to Nicodemus. (John 3:4-6) Paul said, “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor.15:45).

The Last Supper, Leonardo Da Vinci
The Last Supper (Pixabay)

The bread represents Jesus’ body, and the wine symbolize His blood. The two emblems adds up to the whole new humanity of Jesus. Jesus continued in the passage quoted earlier, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me” (John 6:54-57). So, whenever humans take the emblems they are manifesting belief of conforming to the image of Jesus’ new glorious Immanuel Humanity. (Rom.8:29; Eph.1:5) Jesus said His followers were to keep this ritual until His return to earth at His second coming. (Matt.26:29, ISV). In other words, humanity is called to adopt Jesus’ new humanity in this human earthly life until His return when mankind will be given to inherit everlasting life in a glorious immortal body like His. (Rom.8:29; 1 Cor.15; 1 Thess.4:13-18)

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The Second Adam God Created is Descended From Jesus’ Lineage, The “Immanuel Human” (Wiki Commons)

Jesus unmistakably reveals that being baptized into God’s Spirit is what gives birth into Jesus’ new humanity, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:5-7). John the Baptist told the people this about Jesus, “I baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mar.1:8). At His baptism in the Jordan River, Jesus was setting the example of repentance and forgiveness with the Spirit descending upon Him showing how a person is reborn. (Matt.3:16-17; Act.2:38; Eph.1:13-14) Jesus told his followers, “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (Spirit) to you” (John 16:7).

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The Resurrection to Immortality – The Ultimate Destiny of the Immanuel Human (Wiki Commons)

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

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LIVING UNDER GOD’S REGERATION DAY-BY-DAY, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings Friends around the world! If you are new, I hope this blog site will give you a much-needed lift and reason to hope today and every other day. Today’s post is about regeneration, but you can read about many other topics via the monthly index at the right of the page. Once again, I welcome you, and am most happy to share this journey of life with you.

Let me share the topic about regeneration today. I am sure we will all benefit from this vital subject when we understand it better and how it impacts us day-to-day. The word itself may sound like something from the world of science fiction. What does regeneration mean in spiritual terms? In practical terms, it means to renew and recreate, to remodel and rebuild, to reverse and restore, to cleanse and purify, to uplift and magnify. It is the opposite of degeneration and corruption.

The word regeneration reveals God’s work in humanity since the fall of humanity at the heels of Adam’s disobedience in Eden. (Gen.3:1-6, hover computer mouse, or click, on Bible passage to read) Humans were created perfect in God’s divine Love-likeness, until Satan took humanity on the path of degeneration. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:8; Gen.3:1-6) Since then, God’s work has been one of regeneration. (John 3:16-17) After the fall of Adam, humanity has not been able to replicate that perfect union between the divine life and mortal human life. Hence, we see God’s Love in His work of regeneration.

Mankind has no clue whatsoever that life was like living in perfect harmony with the divine. So, humans have no precedent or prototype to go back on and attempt to reproduce what Eden was truly like. Although Adam and Eve were the only humans who experienced that perfect life with the divine before their fall, and regrettably they had taken their knowledge and experience with them to their graves. Be that as it may, we have God’s Spirt to teach and help us. So, we see how regeneration becomes a vital aspect of God’s work of bringing humanity back to Himself and to Paradise in Eden. (Eden is metaphor for the perfect union of the divine life with human life, not necessarily a physical location.)

Eden Taught Us About Using Our Human Freedom In The Choices We Make (Pic: Wikicommons)

(A word on God’s steadfastness and authenticity: Many today reasonably ask why God could not have stopped Adam from falling into the hands of Satan’s lies, deception, temptation, and sin? (Gen.3:1-6) The reason is because humans were created in God’s image. My readers have read about my oft-quoted passage from the Bible that says “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). So, God’s image is Love, and humanity was created with God’s Love DNA in them. However, Love does not stand alone – Love has an identical twin, so to speak. Love’s twin is… Freedom!

(These are the two divine forces that energizes the divine nature of God. So, Freedom is also God’s divine image embedded in the human genetic makeup. The two forces are opposite sides of the same substance and reality of who God is in His divine nature. You cannot have one without the other. You can’t have Love without Freedom, nor Freedom without Love. They are one and the same spiritual substance of God’s divine nature. Today, humans walk this earth, oblivious to this awesome truth and reality concerning their divine heritage and the onus of living in the Creator’s eternal likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) Many are in need of coming out of the darkness of the enemy’s deception and receive the light of God’s work of reconciling humanity through regeneration and to bring about mankind’s awesome destiny.

(So, God cannot take away Adam’s freedom without impairing His Love-image in him. In truth, you cannot betray freedom without betraying Love as well, for both intuitively exist for each other. To abandon one would be a suicidal act, but God is never dysfunctional nor self-destructive. While God promises to protect His human children from harm and ruin, He cannot undercut Himself by waiving His divine freedom even in the face of human trials. What should Adam have done? Adam must realize that freedom comes with the responsibility to Love. Freedom must always be expressed and lived through Love. Freedom cannot stand alone without Love as its twin and helpmate. Freedom becomes disrobed and naked without Love, and vice versa. The two energies are complementary because they are the identical twins of God’s divine nature.

(God is Life and the Source of true life, and freedom is Love’s identical twin which energizes true life. Human life as a whole can be surmised as a life of making choices. Humans make decisions all the time, and central to its dynamic is human freedom. Whether a choice will bring good or bad consequences depends upon how humans use their freedom. God’s plan for humans is that a person would freely choose to Love Him. But Satan instilled fear (the opposite of Love) in our first parents. Love and fear are two opposing emotions with distinct ways of life. The two energies are always present where humans find themselves in a fork in the road where freedom is made to come to the fore to play its part. Which path will a person freely choose to follow? God gave our first parents all the fruits in the Garden to eat, with the exception of one, the tree of the fruit of good and evil. Chief among the fruits they were given the freedom to eat was the fruits of the “Tree of Life,” which symbolically represent the Holy Spirit and the divine Love. (Rom.5:5) God wanted to see our first parents exercise their freedom responsibly in Love. They chose fear in place of Love. It is a lesson humanity is still learning today. Freedom must be passionately defended with Love.

(Remember, the devil can never force a person to do his bidding. God’s divine freedom and Love protects the person from the evil one. Satan knows this, so he uses craft, cunning, lies and deception, as he did with Adam and Eve where they surrendered their freedom to him. Yes, only you can give the devil that power by surrendering your freedom to him. But God has called us to surrender our freedoms to His Love, and by doing so, defeat the enemy and fulfill the purpose for human destiny. (Gen.1:26-27))

Life is About Freedom and Making Choices (Wiki Commons)

But because God’s nature and substance is Love, and He created humans in His Love-likeness, it was impossible for God to deny Himself and leave humanity into the hands of the enemy, Satan. God made humans to become Love as He is Love, but Satan the devil was responsible for trying to thwart God’s plans for humanity. (Gen.1:26-27; 3:1-6; 1 John 4:16) So, in His unfathomable Love, He freely promised to send the ‘second Adam’ in the Person of His Son, in order to regenerate humanity and announce the good news of what Eden (the harmonious existence of the divine and the mortal) was like.

“God Is Love” 1 John 4:8 (Pic: Wiki Commons)

After the fall, Eve had told God what happened when questioned about their act of rebellion by eating the forbidden fruit, “The serpent deceived me, that’s why I ate it (forbidden fruit)” (Gen.3:11, 13). God then uttered a prophecy upon Satan concerning the woman, “And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel” (Gen.3:15). This was a prophecy about the coming of the ‘second Adam,’ or Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, who would regenerate and reconcile humanity back to God’s Love. Fear has become a way of life for humanity, that must change.

purple Freedom lighted freestanding letters on brown surface
Freedom is Love’s Lifeblood and Vice Versa – “It Is For Freedom That Christ Has Set Us Free” – Galatians 5:1.

Later, through the prophet Isaiah, God identified the ‘second Adam’ more precisely through His messianic title and name. The prophet wrote, “Behold, the virgin will be with Child and will give birth to a Son, and they will call Him Immanuel” (which means, “God with us”) (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23). Paul said, “The first Adam, made of earth, came from the earth; the second Adam came from heaven” (1 Cor.15:47, GNT). Paul added, “Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life” (1 Cor.15:22, NIV). So, Immanuel came out from heaven and is God’s Son, Jesus, who lived with Him (the Father) from eternity. He is God, eternally One with the Father and the Spirit. (John 1:1; 2 Cor.13:14)

Jesus was the ‘Immanuel’ who brought and united the divine life with humanity (“God with us”). He was born through Mary His human mother. (Luk.1:30-35) God’s purpose for Jesus was and continues to be about taking our humanity upon Himself, thus uniting the divine with the mortal. And by calling Jesus, Immanuel, He was responsible for bringing to reality of the beautiful truth, “God with us” (Matt.1:23). Now, mankind can say we have with us a human being who knew what it was like to live in perfect harmony with the divine as Adam did in Eden before the fall because He was there, and now He is here to take our humanity upon Himself, regenerate us, and return mankind to Paradise (Eden).

More than two thousand years ago Jesus was born, fully God and fully human, lived and walked this earth for the purpose of carrying out His Father’s plan of human redemption and regeneration. Even as a child, He informed His human parents, Joseph and Mary, “I must be about My Father’s business” (Luk.2:49). He lived a perfect human life doing good. (Act.10:38) There was a vital difference between the two “Adams” which we should take note. Whereas the first Adam lived in Eden perfectly in the light of God’s presence, prior to his fall; the second Adam (Jesus), being the manifest light of God, had to live and work in an environment darkened by sin in Satan’s world. Jesus came as God’s light in Satan’s dark world. He 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 said, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt.5:16).

Immanuel, The ‘Second Adam’ 1 Corinthians 15:47, GNT (Wiki Commons)

It must be said that be a light while being surrounded by light is vastly different when you are the sole flicker of light enclosed by darkness. But such was the life of Jesus, and He defeated the darkness of sin, and set the example for humans on how to do the same. But it comes with certain sacrifices, hence, Paul told Timothy, “Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim.3:12). Paul told the Romans, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship” (Rom.12:1). Sacrifice is needed when humans live as lights in a darkened world of the sin-condition. Persecution springs from darkness because light is invading the dark world of evil of sin with all forms of corruption. But Jesus encourages us with the words, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

So, we see how God’s work of regeneration emerged out of the utopian paradise of Eden that was followed by Adam’s fall. These are the three ascents in the work of divine regeneration in the Triune Godhead: Ascent 1: Grace; Ascent 2: Weakness; Ascent 3: Father’s Perfection. The manifestation which spontaneously spring from these 3 Ascents is: Ascent 4: Regeneration. The three ascents reveal the Triune Love of God being manifested in humans on a daily basis.

The Three Ascents Depict The Triune Love of God Moving In Unison, Inward, Outward, and Upward. (Wiki Commons, Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity)

My readers will recall from my previous posts that the three-ascents represent the relationship of the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, and how each work harmoniously with one another and Lovingly with humans. The 1st Ascent always reveals the Love-relationship with the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead. It is God’s ‘inward act of Love’ for mankind where the Spirit is actively working from within human life. The 2nd Ascent is the human Love-relationship with Jesus. It reveals God’s ‘outward act of Love’ for mankind by surrendering His Son to save humans from the sin-condition through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension to His present High Priestly Office in heaven. And the 3rd Ascent is the Love-relationship with God the Father, which is the ‘upward act of Love’ where God brings humans to have a one-on-one relationship with Him as our eternal Loving Father. So, each ascent harmoniously dovetails into the next, then spontaneously manifests the fourth ascent in humans of Living the ‘Regenerated Life’ upon this earth now and for eternity. 

What a person experiences through the three ascents is what I have called the Triune Love* or Triune Life.* It is a Love relationship with the Tri-Personal Being of God. I had coined the above term to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the three-dimensional life, a human is given the privilege to experience God’s Love and freedom which is always in motion in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory where all three Persons of the Godhead are in relationship with human life, and with others. The three-dimensional life is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life of the fallen human inherited from Satan through Adam’s fall. When a person lives the three-dimensional life, he/she experiences God’s divine life. And when humans connect with the divine, miracles inevitably take place. Yes, humans can experience the miraculous life. The ‘miraculous life,’ simply explained, is the crossroad where the divine life and mortal life intersect. 

I have laid out the four fundamental steps in God’s work of regeneration in which humanity is privileged to experience the divine nature through the miraculous life. We can give another word for this four-step process: redemption! At the end of each ascent, I will wrap-up with the “Essence of Relationship” which recaps the ascent’s salient features. Let is begin:

First Ascent: Grace – Holy Spirit.  God’s work of regeneration must begin inevitably with His unequaled grace. What does grace mean in relation to regeneration? Paul explained God’s grace in humanity when he was inspired to write, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Cor.3:16). So, God’s grace begins when God turns humans into temples for His Spirit to indwell humanity. That is the meaning of grace in God’s work of regeneration and redemption. This is the first step in regenerating humans: grace through the inward presence of the Holy Spirit in a person!

Just as Jesus began His ministry through the grace of the Spirit at His baptism in the Jordan River, so humanity follow in His footsteps. (Mar.1:9-11) We read Jesus own words in this regard, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate (Holy Spirit) to help you and be with you forever…He will bring Me glory by telling you whatever He receives from Me” (John 16:14). He repeated what He said earlier, but being more specific, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:16). By saying the Spirit “will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you,” reveals His role of sanctifying humans, illuminating God’s grace upon mankind.

The Dove, Symbol of The Holy Spirit, Inaugurated in Humanity By Jesus When He Was Baptized in The Jordan River. (Pic: Wiki Commons)

We see the work of God’s grace through the Spirit has a twofold role: first, He does the Father’s work of leading humans to Jesus. (John 3:16; John 16:14-15) Then after personally receiving Jesus as Savior He sends the Spirit, only now as a Friend to Personally indwell humans and make them God’s very temple. (2 Cor.6:16) Second, the Spirit now becomes an intimate and Personable Friend who resides in humans manifesting His role of sanctifying the person by personifying Jesus’ very life and faith in them. He becomes the “still assuring voice” who guides humans in the way of Love and freedom. (Isa.30:21)

Grace is not an empty word, the very Personal presence of the Spirit in humans and His sanctifying role and work constitutes God’s grace in the most Loving sense. The Spirit will articulate the life of Jesus just as He did with Jesus who fulfilled the Father’s purpose when He walked this earth. The Bible quoted Peter saying, “You know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we apostles are witnesses of all He did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem” (Act.10-38-39). Yes, this is what grace looks like: humans imbued with God’s power through His Spirit who is in the process of sanctifying and renewing the very human temple that God lives through.

Essence of Relationship: Without God’s grace where the Spirit is articulating the life of Christ, humans cannot experience the life of regeneration. It is unfortunate that most Christians view and apply grace narrowly in relation to human needs and material ambitions. However, we have seen here that the first meaning of grace, and its only meaning is the presence of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of sanctifying humans before God in Christ. God is regenerating humans spiritually to become His children. Grace is not for material or any physical mundane reason we may have or desire, and wants through our human perception. If God sees fit to bless us materially, then He will unequivocally intervene out of His generosity to bless His children. The Bible promises “God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil.4:19). God told Israel and to His people in every age and time, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you” (Jer.29:11-12).

Second Ascent: Weakness – Jesus Christ. What does weakness mean in relation to regeneration and Jesus? Before answering the connection between weakness and Jesus, let me explain the necessary introduction leading up to it. Jesus is the Door which gives passage for the divine nature to indwell human life and vice versa.  Jesus’ messianic name, “Immanuel,” was explained earlier. The divine nature is expressed and manifested in humans through the Holy Spirit. So Jesus, through His mediatory role as Savior of mankind, is the way that morphs human life now cleansed and made into the spiritual temple in which God could live and openly display His Love through the Spirit. 

Paul told the Galatians, “Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing He promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith” (Gal.3:14). To the Corinthians he said, “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?” (1 Cor.6:19). Paul added further, “For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: ‘I will live in them and walk among them’” (2 Cor.6:16). So, we see here that the grace of God expressed through the Holy Spirit is made possible by Jesus’ mediation as the One who rescued humanity from the sin-condition, thus giving passage for the Spirit to enter human life now made right with God, and to continue His sanctifying role.

Yet, no one can come to Jesus on his/her own volition, for it is by the grace of the Spirit who leads humans to receive Christ. So, like Love and freedom, Jesus and the Spirit complement each other and brings wholeness to the human life. (Rom.5:5; Gal.3:14) Both, Jesus and the Spirit are the outcome of the Father’s promise to mankind.

“And if Christ wasn’t raised to life, our message is worthless, and so is your faith” 1 Corinthians 15:14. (Wiki Commons).

The Bible reveals the Father’s role in saving humanity. John wrote, “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, NLT). Genesis records how the Spirit was separated from humanity through Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden, “So the LORD God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and He sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. After sending them out, the LORD God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And He placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. (Gen.3:23-24, NLT).

The ‘tree of life’ with its life-giving fruits was symbolic of the Holy Spirit role in the life of our first parents. Jesus is the ‘second Adam’ who came to undo the separation done at the hands of Satan through the ‘first Adam’ and reconcile humanity back with God. (Gen.3:1-6; John 3:16) Paul said, “The first Adam, made of earth, came from the earth; the second Adam came from heaven” (1 Cor.15:47, GNT). In other words, the first Adam was mortal, but the second Adam was also Spirit from the divine Triune Godhead. John, speaking of Jesus, said this as introduction to his Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5). So, we see Jesus’ origin in the Triune Godhead. He came for the purpose of reconciling fallen humanity with God.

Having said the above, what has weakness to do with regeneration, and what is Jesus’ role in it? Jesus is not only the doorway to the Spirit’s life of power and regeneration, but He is the manifestation of the human life that has defeated all human weakness that was spawned through the sin-condition of the devil from the ‘first Adam.’ By defeating the devil in His temptations, and dying on His cross, Jesus has once for all eternity defeated all human weakness and sin as the ultimate human Savior. (Matt.4:1-12; John 3:36) (For further reading, you can read my post about Jesus’ temptations at: http://bulamanriver.net/11339).

To be weak spiritually means humans are absolutely powerless over sin. God sent Jesus to supply all the power required to defeat the sin-condition in which the devil has held humanity incarcerated since the ‘first Adam’s fall. Jesus has broken the power of sin once for all time through the mediation of His perfect life and death on His cross. He was resurrected and is humanity’s everlasting Savior in His eternal High Priestly Office today. Remember, Jesus did not remain a dead Savior upon His cross, He was resurrected and ascended to His High Priestly role in heaven today. Paul said, “And if Christ wasn’t raised to life, our message is worthless, and so is your faith” (1 Cor.15:14, CEV).

Essence of Relationship: So, the role of the Spirit is to transport humans to Jesus as Savior and more exponentially to His mediatory office of High Priest in heaven, where humanity is sanctified and received by the Father. God the Father in turn imputes the Son’s victorious life upon humanity through the Spirit’s power, thus, defeating all human weakness which arise from Satan’s sin-condition.

Here is the prinicple of imputation which exists within the Tri-Personal Being of God that we must not forget: “The act of One is the act of Three; and the act of Three is the act of One.” Author Jon T. Murphree explains this beautiful truth in an incisive manner when he wrote, “From eternity past, Love has characterized the Triune God. Each Person of the Trinity identifies with the others. Each One transposes Himself into the others without confusing His own personality with the others. Through Love, diversity and unity are so inextricably interwoven that the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other” (Book: “The Trinity and Human Personality”). This principle of imputation is at the heart of the Trinitarian life of God, where humans become privileged recipients by living the “Triune Love/Life.”* (Rom.4:6, 11, 22, KJV; Rom.3:22-24; 1 Cor.1:30; 6:11; 2 Cor.5:21)

This work of imputing and ascribing Jesus’ glorified life upon humans is the ongoing sanctifying work of the Spirit who lives daily in the human temple. Jesus is continuously doing His mediatory work and propels humans to enter the ‘Father’s Perfection’ we now see in the Third Ascent…

Third Ascent: Father’s Perfection – God the Father. What is the “Father’s Perfection?” The “Father’s Perfection” is a statement of ongoing redemption which is happening in human life bringing the reality of the human saved condition in Christ through the Spirit’s power. God is utterly and absolutely holy in His divine Being. It tells us that after undergoing the preceding ascents in the Son and the Spirit, a perfect holy union can now be accomplished and established between the divine and the mortal with the Father in the Triune Godhead. Holiness is often misunderstood. There is the erroneous perception that holiness means to be totally disconnected from the mundane reality of life. We have the imagery of a monk sitting on the mountaintop meditating, or other hermitic and self-mortification lifestyles. Nothing could be further from the truth. Holiness means to be passionately connected and identified with our reborn Immanuel Humanity in Christ, while having the capacity to express the reborn self through a life of regeneration in the real world of human relationships. The Father’s Perfection mean to live in the aura of God’s Tri-Personal Love and Presence. (1 John 4:8) What does this union do? Paul informs us, “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Rom.8:16). (To read more about the Immanuel Humanity of Jesus go to: http://bulamanriver.net/9718 ).

Holistically speaking, this family union with our heavenly Father evolves into the ‘miraculous regenerated human life’ of the Immanuel Human. The outcome of humans being wholly immersed in the Triune Love* of God by way of the 3-Ascents is the life of regeneration in perfect Loving union with the Tri-Personal Being of God. God’s Loving work of redeeming humans as His children is a life-long process of Love whereby His ever present grace through the power of His Spirit is being manifested in Jesus’ glorious Immanuel humanity in heaven. Jesus’ mediation role as High Priest today is what undergirds God’s redemptive Love in humanity. Our heavenly Father, as the sovereign Authority in the Godhead, is the Author of human regeneration and redemption. (Luk.2:48-49, KJV; John 4:34; 5:36)

Today, Most People Associate Paradise with A Beautiful Beach in the South Pacific, and other exotic tropical locations. Every Uplifting Experience to The Human Senses is Intended to Give the Human Mind a Foretaste of God’s Perfection In His Loving Presence – True Paradise!

The prophet Isaiah proclaimed the Father’s Perfection this way. He quotes God as saying, “Come now, let’s settle this, Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow. Though they are crimson, I will make them white as wool” (Isa.1:18). The Psalmist proclaimed, “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness” (Psa.4:1a). He is our Father who proclaims our innocence by declaring us righteous and perfect before Him each and every day. The Father’s mercy is new every day through the mediatory work of His Son and His Spirit. The Psalmist said, “Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity” (Psa.32:2). Humanity is actively living Christ’s glorified humanity because the Father imputes Jesus’ mediation for our spiritual wholeness every day and every night. It means all our human inadequacies in whatever shape and form is eternally mediated for and by our Elder Brother Jesus in heaven. It is a mediation Jesus performs eternally as High Priest on behalf of humanity.

That is the essence of this ascent with the Father’s perfection. If it were not for man’s unconditional liberated state of existence through a person’s ongoing renewal through Christ and the Spirit, mankind’s state of perfection with the Father would not be possible. This redemptive work of the Father began with the gift of grace in the Holy Spirit, mediated in turn by Jesus as Savior and High Priest, whereby humans can be brought into perfect union with the Father, and ends with the renewal and the redemption of humanity.

Essence of Relationship: The essence of the Father’s Perfection is He imputes and ascribes His Son’s glorious divine/human life (Immanuel Humanity) upon humanity by His grace through His Spirit so we may remain in His holy Presence and Love forever. As Murphree says, “It is a oneness of harmonious relationship.” Paul makes clear to us what this principle of imputation does, “Yet he (Abraham) did not waver through unbelief regarding the Promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification (regeneration)” (Rom.4:20-25, italics mine).

So, we see how faith in God’s power of imputation of Jesus’ glorious life upon humanity plays a major role in the work of regeneration through the Spirit’s power under the New Covenant. The Old Covenant was founded upon the law (legalism), while the New Covenant is founded upon faith (Father’s Love/Jesus/Spirit). Jesus said this of this imputation principle, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, my emphasis). Humans can never overcome the world were it not for the Father imputing Jesus’ victorious life upon humanity through the Spirit’s power. Think about this for a moment, if we believe and trust the Father has imputed Jesus’ sacrifice upon humanity for our forgiveness, then it’s logical to say that He also imputes His victorious life for our ultimate salvation. Much like Love and freedom, you cannot have one without the other. At no point in this life of human regeneration is a person left to himself/herself to work out his/her own salvation. It is completely the work of the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit. We must believe it utterly, our salvation depends upon it. Paul said, “We have been justified through faith” (Rom.5:1). (You can read more about the “Faith of Jesus” at: http://bulamanriver.net/2811).

While Jesus our High Priest eternally mediates for all our imperfect human responses so humans may remain Immanuel Humans through His glorified life, mankind is thus perfectly redeemed before the Father. Hence, we get the title of the ascent, “Father’s Perfection.” This is what humans must believe and have faith in as Abraham believed God’s promise for him, and it was “credited to him as righteousness” (Rom.4:20-25). This is God’s only way for salvation for mankind under the New Covenant. There is nothing that can thwart God’s powerful Love of bringing humanity to His fellowship, His eternal family and Kingdom. He says, “Surely, as I have planned, so will it be; as I have purposed, so will it stand… This is the plan devised for the whole earth, and this is the Hand stretched out over all the nations. The LORD of Hosts has purposed, and who can thwart Him? His hand is outstretched, so who can turn it back?” (Isa.14:24, 26-27, BSP). How does humanity respond? “We confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?” (Heb.13:6, ASAB). God has given this sure promise through His Son, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU” (Heb.13:5). Believe it!

Fourth Ascent: Manifestation in Humanity – The Regenerating Life. Through the ‘Father’s Perfection’ humans are made to experience God’s regenerative action on a personal level in this manifestation phase? We experience regeneration through the expression of His Tri-Personal Being by way of the three ascents we have covered. John declares, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). The ‘Father’s Perfection’ speaks of the Father’s Love for humanity. We are not speaking of love that’s defined by our human narrative of it. No, this is God’s very substance and nature of which He is composed in His divine Being. Jesus said we will recognize true Love by its fruits. The word ‘fruits’ simply means a person’s ‘actions.’ A person’s actions can be either inspired by divine Love or human fear.

Love and fear, both stand opposed to each other, just as Satan is God’s adversary. After Satan tempted Eve, he instilled fear in her and she saw the tree of good and evil in a complete different complexion – through the eyes of fear of the enemy. Remember, the fruits of the tree of good and evil was not bad of itself. Through it God taught our first parents what is good and evil. It was their disobedience that was disastrous, not the tree. God had forbade them from eating its fruits for a period of time. We all forbade our children from doing certain things from time to time for legitimate reasons. Somehow Eve had broken loose from and forsook God’s Love, and hearkened to the devil’s fear. Adam followed suit. Humans still do the same today, albeit subconsciously. And God’s Love changed all that through the Immanuel Human of Jesus in us. That is how regeneration starts. God wants His Love to control the human subconscious so that a person’s thoughts and actions are filtered through and influenced by His Love which leads to regeneration, not the enemy’s fear which leads to rebellion.

Fear, the Devil’s Force for Evil, the Antithesis of Love, God’s Force for Good (Wiki Commons)

There is a love that is entirely human and bears no semblance to, nor correlation with, God’s divine Love. The Bible speaks of this flawed human love in this way, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (Prov.14:12; 16:25). In other words, it appears genuine to the human eyes, but it is not God’s flawless Love. Then the Bible gives a more dire picture of this flawed love by identifying its origin, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jer.17:9). This “human heart that’s most deceitful of all things” was inherited from Satan’s heart of fear and rebellion through Adam’s fall. (Gen.3:1-6; Rom.5:12) Jesus told the people of His day, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you” (Mar.7:20-23).

No matter how much effort for good a human may devote himself/herself in life to accomplish, all their effort comes to naught because the underlying sin-controlled human heart with its evil bent is always present to sabotage every good intention. And this happens spontaneously because humanity is cloaked in the enemy’s sin/fear-condition.

There is no other way to overpower this evil propensity, except one offered by Jesus: a rebirth! Yes, what is needed is a totally reborn human – a person who is cloaked in Christ’s glorified Immanuel Humanity. “You must be born again,” Jesus tells humanity. (John 3:3-7) Paul speaks of this rebirth, saying, “And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes” (Gal.3:27, NLT). The truth about human rebirth and the principle of imputing Jesus’ glorified life (Immanuel Human) in humans are one and the same.

There are only two humans God had a direct hand in creating through whom human posterity and destiny is framed within the Creator’s divine plan. There is the ‘first Adam’ from whom all humanity have descended. We saw how the ‘first Adam’ fell to sin at the hands of Satan’s temptations in the Garden of Eden. (Gen.3:1-6) And there is the ‘second Adam’ who was conceived by God’s Spirit and was born through Mary His mother. (Matt.1:20) The angel told Mary, “You are to call Him Jesus” (Luk.1:31). So, the ‘second Adam’ is Jesus Christ. The ‘second Adam,’ Jesus, unlike the ‘first Adam,’ had defeated all Satan’s temptations and brought victory to mankind. (Matt.4:1-11) Through the prophet Isaiah, Jesus was foretold to appear and given a prophetic messianic identity, “Immanuel,” (Isa.7:14Matt.1:23). (You can read about how Jesus defeated Satan in the temptations at: http://bulamanriver.net/11339 ).

Now, for the purpose of distinguishing between the only two humans God created, we shall call the ‘first Adam’ the Adamic Human, and the ‘second Adam,’ the Immanuel Human, after Jesus messianic title. Paul said about the two humans, “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor.15:45). He added, “Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life” (1 Cor.15:22). God sent Jesus, the Immanuel Human, to save mankind from the fallen, sinful, Adamic Human who was fathered by the devil. (Luk.1:31) The Immanuel Human is the “God with us” human, where God is our Father, Jesus is our elder Brother, and the Spirit is our Friend and Comforter. (Matt.6:9Heb.2:11John 16:7) Whereas, the Adamic Human is the “God without us” human.

All humanity was born into the fallen Adamic Humanity of the ‘first Adam.’ But God calls all humans to come out of our weak and fallen Adamic Humanity, and be given the new birth into the risen and powerful Immanuel Humanity in Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit. (Act.17:30Luk.24:47Matt.28:192 Cor.6:17

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Depiction of The Tree of Life…The New Born Human in The Spirit (Wiki Commoms)

This is how Jesus introduced the rebirth into Jesus’ Immanuel Humanity to His followers. The night before His death, Jesus shared what is commonly called the Last Supper with His twelve disciples. More than just a mere supper, Jesus was about to make an astounding revelation and inaugurate a powerful ritual concerning the new birth. He introduced the powerful ritual with its dual emblem about this all-important truth about human rebirth. The ritual, commonly called the Communion today, embodies the two emblems of bread and wine. His followers were to keep this ritual until His return. He said, “I tell all of you I will never again drink the product of the vine until that day when I drink it with you once again in My Father’s Kingdom” (Matt.26:29, ISV). Jesus revealed the two emblems and the connection to the new birth in the Passover meal with His disciples.

The Bible records the account in this fashion, “Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is My body.” Then, “And He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and His people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many” (Matt.26:26-28). The wine represent Jesus’ blood that was shed upon Calvary for human forgiveness, and reveals the life of a person. The Bible states, “For the life of the body is in its blood” (Lev.17:11). The bread was symbolic of Jesus’ body that was wounded for us. (Isa.53:5) So, we have Jesus’ body (bread), and His lifeblood (wine) which gives true life to the believer. Each time we partake of the bread and wine we are in Communion with and living in Jesus’ glorified Immanuel Humanity.

Today, Jesus’ followers are still partaking of the two emblems when they participate in the ‘Communion.’ Paul said, “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Cor.11:26). To “proclaim the Lord’s death” means that we undergo His death and resurrection, or, rebirth in Jesus’ glorified life. For Paul adds, “My old self (Adamic Human) has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me (Immanuel Human). So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who Loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20, italics mine). So, Jesus’ followers continue to take the two emblems to remind humanity of the death old life and rebirth to the new life we are given in Christ.

The ritual of the Passover or Communion is a picture representing the newborn human whose destiny is God’s eternal Kingdom. At the human resurrection to come, the reality of this new birth will be fully realized when immortal life is conferred upon humanity. (Rom.8:29; 1 Cor.15:50-58) In fact, the Communion is foreshadowing that reality of human immortality which is the ultimate human destiny. Paul said, “For this perishable [part of us] must put on the imperishable and this mortal [part of us that is capable of dying] must put on immortality [which is freedom from death]. (1 Cor.15:53, AMP). So, here Paul explains clearly what the new birth today (in human form) will ultimately lead to – immortality like Christ’s own resurrection to immortality. (Rom.8:29) Concerning the Kingdom of God, the Bible states, “The kingdom, dominion, and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven will be given to the people, the holy ones of the Most High. His Kingdom will be an everlasting Kingdom, (Dan.7:27, HCSB).

The Two Emblems of The Bread (Body) and Wine (Blood) Symbolizing The New “Immanuel Humanity” of Christ. (Wiki Commons)

What exactly is this new human body and what does it look like. Jesus corrected the misconception of His day, even those of the most learned who inquired, “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus answered, “So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life” (John 3:4, 6). So, Jesus was speaking about spiritual life, not mortal life. He said further, “Life is spiritual. Your physical existence doesn’t contribute to that life. The words that I have spoken to you are spiritual. They are life” (John 6:63, God’s Word T.) So, the two emblems of the Communion or Passover picture the spiritual life which now controls the mortal life of humans – the Immanuel Humanity.

So, based upon the two passages above, we are clear about two things, the new human is powered by the Holy Spirit, and fed by Jesus’ words. Now, to get more precise about the new human rebirth we ask, which part of the human body was created with a spiritual transmitter which broadcasts spiritual signals and communication with the divine realm? Yes, it is simply the human mind! God created the human mind to be the means by which the divine relates and communicates with the mortal realm. No other species upon this earth possess a mind like humans that gives humans that interactive ability with the divine realm.

Only the Human Species were Imbued with The Human Spirit and Mind to Receive the Divine Nature (Wiki Commons)

Paul tells us the human body was created to be a temple in which God resides through His Spirit. Paul said, “For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people” (2 Cor.6:16; also Lev.26:12; Ezek.37:27). Jesus said His Words are spiritual which feeds the Spirit who dwells in humans, who in turn manifest Jesus’ words in human life. That is how a person lives his/her reborn humanity day-by-day which brings about regeneration. Jesus said that the role of the Spirit is “He (Spirit) will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you” (John 16:14). The human mind is now occupied by God’s Spirit where the Jesus’ Words is received with the Spirit empowering the person to live by them. So, we see how Jesus’ Words is spiritual food which feeds the real newborn person who is spiritual through the indwelling Spirit of God. The human body is manipulated by its deeds through the decisions made in the human mind. The mind is manipulated either by the rebellious spirit inherited from Satan through Adam, or by the Holy Spirit inherited through Jesus Christ. (John 8:44; Act.2:38)  

There are only two humans God had a direct hand in creating through whom human posterity and destiny is framed within the Creator’s divine plan. There is the ‘first Adam’ from whom all humanity have descended. We saw how the ‘first Adam’ fell to sin at the hands of Satan’s temptations in the Garden of Eden. (Gen.3:1-6) And there is the ‘second Adam’ who was conceived by God’s Spirit and was born through Mary His mother. (Matt.1:20) The angel told Mary, “You are to call Him Jesus” (Luk.1:31). So, the ‘second Adam’ is Jesus Christ. The ‘second Adam,’ Jesus, unlike the ‘first Adam,’ had defeated all Satan’s temptations and brought victory to mankind. (Matt.4:1-11) Through the prophet Isaiah, Jesus was foretold to appear and given a prophetic messianic identity, “Immanuel,” (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23).

Now, for the purpose of distinguishing between the only two humans God created, we shall call the ‘first Adam’ the Adamic Human, and the ‘second Adam,’ the Immanuel Human, after Jesus messianic title. Paul said about the two humans, “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor.15:45). He added, “Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life” (1 Cor.15:22). God sent Jesus, the Immanuel Human, to save mankind from the fallen, sinful, Adamic Human who was fathered by the devil. (Luk.1:31) The Immanuel Human is the “God with us” human, where God is our Father, Jesus is our elder Brother, and the Spirit is our Friend and Comforter. (Matt.6:9; Heb.2:11; John 16:7) Whereas, the Adamic Human is the “God without us” human.

My prayer is that we will all come to fully appreciate the greatness of such a moment as this in a person’s life, and realize the wonderful future of being reborn into the divine trinitarian family of God. (You can read more about this vital topic of the two humans created by God and their importance to human destiny, by reading my post, entitled, “The New Humanity of Jesus” at – http://bulamanriver.net/9718

Here is the crux of the matter of regeneration. Jesus said, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5). The Kingdom of God comprise of humanity who have been made citizens of that Kingdom who have undergone regeneration through the rebirth by the Spirit’s power and reborn as Immanuel Humans. Jesus Himself, who was fully God and fully human, had to undergo the rebirth when He was baptized in the waters of the Jordan River water by John the Baptist. Upon rising from the Jordan, heaven opened up and the Holy Spirit appeared as a dove descended upon Jesus and empowered His humanity. He was setting the example for all humans to undergo a baptism in water to indicate the death and burial of the rebellious and fallen Adamic Human, and upon rising from the watery grave be given new birth in the Holy Spirit, thus becoming the newborn Immanuel Humans. The truth about our human rebirth, the principle of imputing and the incarnation of Jesus’ glorious Immanuel Human in mankind is the only solution to all of humanity’s ills instigated by the devil through rebellion in the sin-condition.

Jesus, Born the “Immanuel Human” to Save Mankind from Sin. Here Shown Being Presented Gifts by the Maggi (Wiki Commons)

What is the definition of the Kingdom of God? The Bible informs us that, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). So, His Kingdom is the Kingdom of Love. God and Love is interchangeable and means the same. Love is both the nounized and verbalized form of God. In its active, verbalized, and energized form Love is articulated in the fruits of Love. Paul gives us an inventory of these fruits in his letter to the Corinthians. Here is a cursory list, patience, kindness, compassion, honor, humility, tolerance, hope, faith, goodness, joy, gentleness, self-control, generosity, gratitude, friendship, hospitality, etc. (1 Cor.13; also Gal.5:22-23) I encourage you to visit my post titled, “Our Human Response In The Triune Life – LOVE!” at http://bulamanriver.net/9199). Therefore, the citizens of God’s Kingdom are regenerated in and by God’s Love-fruits. Love is the regenerating energy of God’s Kingdom.

These Love-fruits speaks volumes and gives us a peek into the different tones of God’s nature and emotions of Love. They tell us how God in His Tri-Personal Being in the Father, Son, and Spirit, have lived in One unified shared Love-experience from eternity as God, and desires to share His “Triune Love” with humanity. The Love-fruits reveal the holy emotions of the Tri-Personal God. These are not human emotions, they reveal the divine passion and desire of how God lives in an intuitive and spontaneous fashion in their Love-Being as One God. When the Spirit empowers these fruits in humans, they reflect the divine Love, for the Spirit is the deposit of God’s Love in humans. (Rom.5:5)

Hence, the new birth in the Spirit is vital to living this way of life. Humans may try to emulate these fruits, but only the Spirit can inspire the authentic divine Love in humans. The imitation of these fruits by the fallen human will always be found wanting and hollow. We know this to be true because Jesus said, “Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions” (Matt.7:16-20). In God’s Kingdom of Love there will be no diseased trees with bad fruits.   

Like The Divine Love-Fruits, Humans Share God’s Love with God and Fellow Humans (Wiki Commons)

 Essence of Relationship:  The manifestation of regeneration in humans means the application of the divine Love is a two-way street between the Tri-Personal God and humanity. This application we have seen depicted in the three ascents. Having understood how Love is made to enter human life through rebirth in the Spirit, the life of regeneration will always be a life of battle against the evil spirit which gives fallen Adamic Humans a life of rebellion! Yes, because there will be this constant battle between Love and rebellion, Jesus tells us, “Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me” (Luk.9:23). (To read more about God’s Love go to: http://bulamanriver.net/16467)

Jesus knows all too well the environment humans will live and face each and every day, because He has already lived it by encountering and defeating the devil. Jesus was the personification of the divine Love as God’s only Son who brought the Immanuel Humanity. (John 1:1-2) Jesus took our humanity upon Himself and became the only human who lived a life in perfect Love. Being Jesus’ disciple means to become Love as God is Love. In this passage, Jesus gives us two fundamental hallmarks about Love – self-denial and taking up our cross daily. Self-denial or self-discipline is the primary motivating force in the application of Love. And the Father imputes His Son’s glorified life upon humanity to make the regenerated life possible. Yes, this battle between Love and rebellion is the reason why Jesus’ life of self-denial in humanity becomes the indispensable part of living in the Spirit’s power of Love. (Rom.5:5)

Friends, thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of God’s good news with you today. I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Jesus as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of a gloriously amazing future for humanity. You can privately and quietly pray this prayer in your heart: “Father, forgive me of all my sins for I receive Your Son, Jesus, as my personal Savior. In Your incalculable grace, grant my promised rebirth through Your Holy Spirit. May Your Love guide and protect me and my loved ones always. I praise and thank You. Amen” Welcome to the Life of Love in God’s eternal Triune Being and Family. 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 Love. Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

 Kiang P. Lee (Your Servant In Christ)                                                                           

* Triune Life or Triune Love: The “Triune Life” is a way of life. Its foundational tenet is based upon the Love of God, because it is the nature of God. (1 John 4:8; Rom.5:5) I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the three-dimensional life, the human experience of God’s Love is always moving in an inward, outward, and upward motion where all the three Persons of the Godhead are in relationship with humans. (2 Cor.13:141 Pet.1:1-2) The three-dimensional life is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life in in humanity’s fallen self that was inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion.

Love is both a noun and a verb. We are called to Love because we were created in God’s Love-likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) It means as children of God we live the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as they live and walk in their inward, outward, and upward functions in humans. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2) Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living (Loving),” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit in us. (Rom.5:5) The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) You can read more at: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092

**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.

"Bula" Man-River

“Bula” Man-River Book Cover

Mission Statement: Read the Triune Life 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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THE NEW COVENANT – LIVING GOD’S “LOVE-COVENANT” DAY-BY-DAY, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings once again Friends wherever you are around the globe! Welcome to you, if this is your first visit, and for my regular readers, blessings! Today, let’s touch on something foundational about God and His Love for the whole world regardless of race, creed, nationality, culture, or beliefs.

The foundation of Christianity was established upon God’s Covenant to save all humanity. The Covenant or promise grew out of the Covenant (promise) God made with Abraham, the ancient patriarch. God had called Abraham to leave his home in ancient Haran in the land of Ur of the Chaldeans. Abraham left behind his tribe and kinsfolk, took his wife, close relatives, and servants, his possessions, and in childlike faith believed God’s promise and traveled in the direction of Canaan, not knowing fully how his journey would transpire and unfold. (Gen.12:1-5; Heb.11:8-10)

Then God told Abraham that because of his faith in His promise, the Messiah will be sent and born through his descendants, saying, “And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed Me.” (Gen.22:18; NLT; 12:3). The prophetic promise was repeated for emphasis later, “All the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him (Abraham)” (Gen.18:18). Thus, Jesus Christ the Messiah was born the Savior by way of the Abrahamic Covenant, and through whom the whole world finds salvation. (John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:1-4) It is a misunderstanding to say that Christianity is a religion founded by Jesus Christ. Christianity is not a religion nor a religious sect, but it espouses a “way of life.” And all of humanity is called by the Creator to enter into His Covenant in Christ and be saved from the wrath of the sin-condition of Satan in which mankind is incarcerated. The term Christian actually means to be a “follower of Jesus Christ” in the way of life He has taught and espouses. Hence, the Bible states that “God so Loved the whole world (Not just Christians) He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone (not just Christians) who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NLT, italics mine).

The genealogy of Jesus can be traced back to Abraham and to Adam is found in the Gospel of Matthew. (Matt.1:1-17) Without God’s Covenant to save mankind, humans would have remained lost and condemned under the sin-condition of the devil.

Ark of the Covenant
Ark of The Old Covenant, Given to Ancient Israel Through Moses. The Most Sacred Object in Israel Containing the 10 Commandments (unsplash.com)

There are fundamental steps in the making of a Covenant. First, there is the wording of the Covenant which expresses the desires and plans of the Maker of the Covenant. Then the Covenant has to be ratified, sealed, and delivered, in order to make it authentic and real. A Covenant or promise has two parties, where a promise is undertaken by the Maker of the Covenant, and the other party is the beneficiary of the Covenant under a loyalty compact. We will see and experience various aspects of the Covenant as we go over it through the framework of the ‘Triune Life three-step format’ I will lay out. I called these three steps: ascents, with each dove-tailing into the next and spontaneously expressing its manifestation in the fourth ascent. At the end of each ascent, I will recap the ascent’s salient feature called, “Essence of Relationship.”

Admittedly, we will see that the provision of the Covenant is such that its application requires a daily holistic approach and navigation making the “Triune Life”* indispensable through the three ascents. Only then, can a person satisfactorily interpret, engage with, and discover the intrinsic and intimate value of God’s Love that is expressed in His Covenant with humanity.

But first, let’s start with the text of the Covenant. The whole text of the New Covenant can be found in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 8. The author was quoting from the 33rd Chapter of the Book of Jeremiah in the Old Testament. So the Covenant was the prophetic utterance by God to humanity. In its entirety, the Covenant contains God’s own words. He is the Creator and Initiator of the Covenant. Mankind has no input in its wording since its tenor was to elicit response to the human cry for help: “Save me!” God says through the prophet Isaiah, “You will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I” (Isa.58:9; also Matt.5:4; John 10:10) You can say humanity’s cry for help is mankind’s unsaid words in the Covenant. (Rev.21:4)

Recall how man found himself in this dilemma of needing to be saved. It started in the Garden of Eden when Adam ushered in the way of rebellion against God by obeying the voice of the devil and eating the forbidden fruit with his wife, Eve. In his fallen state of existence (sin-condition) humanity was cut-off from God, the source of true life and Love in His Spirit (Love-condition). Mankind continues on his single-track course to oblivion – that is where sin ultimately leads – death! (Rom.6:23) So, humanity needs rescuing, hence, in God’s unfathomable Love, He Covenants with mankind to provide the Messiah in His only Son whom He will send to save humanity. (John 3:16-18) The Covenant is the response to mankind’s call for help. So, the Covenant is all about rescuing mankind from his fallen state of existence (sin-condition) and putting mankind back on the path of God’s original promise to fashion humanity in His Loving Triune Love-image (Love-condition). (Gen1:26-27) 

The Covenant text begins with an introduction on why there was a need for a New Covenant to replace the Old Covenant. The Book of Hebrews states, “For if that first Covenant had been without fault, no place would have been sought for a second. But God found fault with the people and said, ‘“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant…” (Heb.8:7-8). So, God says there was fault found in the Old Covenant which made it necessary to introduce the New Covenant. What or who was exactly was at fault? God answers, “Because they (Israel and Judah) did not abide by My Covenant” (Heb.8:9, italics mine).

The New Covenant Finds its Origin in the Tri-Personal Being of God (Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity, Wiki Commons)

As we saw, a Covenant has two parties, the Covenanter or Upholder, and the covenantee or beneficiary. God’s desire and plan was to right the ship of humanity which sailed the wrong course through Adam’s fall. Through Israel, God wanted to bring the whole world back from the path of destruction. God remembered His promise to Abraham, and here stood the twelve tribes, the nation of Israel, his descendants. (Gen.22:18; 26:4; Act.3:25) The Old Covenant spells out Israel’s destiny to be God’s own nation and He would bless, protect, and uphold them, while Israel agreed to live by God’s way of life as specified in the Ten Commandments. (Exo.24:7-8)

The Covenant between God and Israel was ratified and made binding at Mount Sinai, after God freed Israel from a life of slavery in Egypt. The two parties must have faith in each other’s commitment to the provisions of the Covenant, for that is how the Covenant is made to work. Israel replied, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do!” (Exo.19:8) Israel journeyed to the Promise Land and became a nation of the twelve tribes of Israel under God. (Num.34:1-29; 1 Sam.8:7; Ezek.47:21) The Promise Land was to Israel their Eden, a land “filled with milk and honey” (Deut.26:9; Jer.32:21-23). Later, Israel wanted a king like the nations around them, so they replaced God as their King and chose Saul. God told the prophet Samuel, “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their King” (1 Sam.8:7). That foreshadowed the trouble times that was to come for Israel.

Israel’s history was cluttered with events and incidents relating to their unfaithfulness to God and the Covenant. High on the list of their betrayal had to do with the worship of the false gods of other nations around them. One of the false gods had brought Israel to the point of committing the most egregious act of child sacrifice. That certainly ranked among the most heinous acts in Israel. (Jer. 7:30–31; Deut. 12:29–31) Even so, God delivered Israel time and again when their enemies tried to destroy them. But like one who suffers from amnesia, Israel forgot God’s loyalty to His side of their Covenant. (Judg.3:7; 1 Sam.12:9) Israel failed again and again to keep their side of the Covenant. Being the aggrieved party, God agonizingly but reluctantly, ended His Covenant with Israel. However, in God’s eternal and undying Love for humanity, He will never forsake mankind He created in His own likeness. And His divine image is hardwired into the consciousness of human beings that it can never be erased.

So, in the same breadth, while ending one, He spoke about the New Covenant, where His Son as the Messiah will be at its helm to bring humanity back to “Eden” and God’s Loving presence. This New Covenant was subsequently inducted and sanctioned through His Son’s mediation as Savior and eternal High Priest. (John 3:16; Heb.3:1; 5:5) At the same time, the Covenant is made universal which encompassed the whole world and all humanity, including Israel and Judah. Such was God’s unfailing Love for mankind, and His staunch faithfulness to His original purpose for creating humans in His Love-image. (Gen.1:26-27; Matt.28:19) So, we see God’s rationale for establishing the New Covenant and ending the old one.   

Ancient Israel and Judah were Exiled from Their Land as Consequence of Forsaking Their Covenant With God. Israel Forgot that Through The Covenant, God Protected Them as His Own people. Through Jesus, God will Once More Bless Israel and Judah. (Wiki Commons)

Here is the text establishing the New Covenant, “This is the Covenant I will establish with the people of Israel+ after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Heb.8:10-12, emphasis added; also Jer.31:31-34)* (Gal.3:26-29; Rom.2:28-29)

Paul was quoting from the prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament. The mention of “Israel and Judah” is seen primarily in the context of the Old Covenant. Since Christ came, the New Covenant was introduced superseding the Old Covenant. (Heb.8:13) Therefore, all scripture must be understood from the perspective of the New Covenant. Therefore, God’s New Covenant is extended universally to the whole world, which includes Israel. Jesus gave His disciples their mission, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt.28:18-20; Rom.11:11-31).

The Covenant’s power rests upon God’s Word. As the uncreated Creator God, His Word exudes and manifest His eternal power. (Heb.4:12; 2 Pet.3:5) When humans believe God’s Word, like Abraham did when God called Him to leave his kinsmen and country to a land He will give him, Abraham’s faith in God’s promise set off the ‘event-switch’ which made God’s Word materialize to reality. When Jesus miraculously made the blind person see again, He said, “According to your faith let it be done to you” (Matt.9:29). The Words of the Covenant is consummated in reality by faith. Faith is the miraculous switch that turns on the power of God. (Heb.11:1; 2 Cor.5:7; 4:18) Paul wrote, “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous” (Rom.4:3). We are warned, “But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him” (Heb.11:6, AMP).

The word “righteous” has been heavily religionized, however, in modern terms, it means simply the opposite of living in the sin-condition which brings on suffering, pain, false hopes, lack, corruption, and eventually death. On the other hand, “righteous” means everything good, joyous, abundant, and uplifting. Because the Covenant is about saving humans from the negative consequences of sin, humans are supposed to experience the promise of God’s Love on a daily basis through faith in His Covenant. We need saving on a daily basis because Satan has permeated this world with his sin-condition that we cannot escape its effects except through God’s grace by His promises contained in the Covenant. Hence, the title of this post, “Living God’s Covenant Day-By-Day.”

God’s Covenant Founded Upon His Eternal Love (Wiki Commons)

The wording of the Covenant is bound inevitably to the purpose for which mankind was created in the first place. (Gen.1:26-27) Humanity was created in God’s Love-likeness. Adam and Eve existed in a place of complete grace in the Garden of Eden. However, they fell from grace when they ate the forbidden fruit by believing and following Satan’s lies. (Gen.3:1-6) This unspeakable event of man’s fall was the catalyst which led to the formulation of the Old and the New Covenants. 

Before we ride our train and fathom God’s Love in the three ascents, let us get out at the earlier station and make an important observation about the Old and New Covenants. According to the Old Covenant, Israel’s function and duty was to obey the laws, specifically, the ten commandments. (Exo.19:8; 24:7) Now, this is not the case with the New Covenant. I am not saying the commandments are not binding… stay with me. The terms of the New Covenant requires faith in what God says He will do. That is all, simple child-like faith.

For example, when God said in the New Covenant, “I will put My laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts” (Heb.8:10a), the Covenant nowhere says that obedience was its centerpiece via the terms of the Old Covenant as it use to be with Ancient Israel. (Exo.19:8) No, we are not bound to the terms of the Old Covenant which is no longer in force. We are under the terms of the New Covenant that is different from the old. Hence, Paul say, “Therefore we conclude that a person is justified by faith apart from the actions prescribed by the Law” (Rom.3:28). You see, the provision God utters above is an unmistakable and absolute statement about what He intends and will do in humanity. That means the Covenant requires that we simply take God at His word by faith! In other words, the terms humans keep in their relationship with God under the New Covenant is faith! Yes, it is simply to believe in child-like faith that what God says He will do, He will bring about and make happen by His power.

He goes on in the text of the Covenant, “I’ll be their God, they’ll be my people” (Heb.8:10b). Does the text say that we are to follow some specific rules about becoming His children? No, God simply said that He will do what He says He will do. And we simply believe His words for us! So, the terms of the New Covenant is faith! For Ancient Israel it was obedience. (Exo.19:8) I am in no way espousing disobedience, I am just stating the principle under which the two Covenants were established: one is legalistic, and the other is by faith, grace, and Love.

In any event, no matter how perfect a person may live, he/she will randomly make mistakes and disobey, whether by ignorance or through weakness, or both. Be that as it may, the absolute masterpiece of God’s plan for humanity is that He provides a Savior who will never stop mediating for mankind night and day as High Priest before Him in heaven. That is how much God our Father Loves us and keeps humanity in right standing before Him forever. (Read Romans 5) He gives us His Spirit who sanctifies us so we will not willfully rebel in His sight. The terms require that we believe everything that God says He will do in the Covenant, are already accomplished facts by faith. As Hebrews states, “Now faith means putting our full confidence in the things we hope for, it means being certain of things we cannot see” (Heb.11:1) So, we know them to be true because we have faith His words are truth.

God’s plan is to right the ship of humanity which took a wrong course when Adam was at the wheel. So, God’s objective of restoring humanity is identical in relation to the objectives of the two Covenants. The Bible states that Ancient Israel heard the Gospel as much as we have under the New Covenant today. However, here was the difference, for Israel “the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not united with faith in God by those who heard” (Heb.4:2, italicized for emphasis). Israel’s terms was one of obedience to the law. Israel’s lesson was to show that the best human effort could not defeat the enemy, nor save humanity. So, what they lacked, God makes available by faith under the New Covenant. The old was legalistic, and the new is by faith. One reveals life that was lived in legalism under the law, and the other is lived in faith under Christ in the Spirit’s power and Love. (Rom.5:5)

Paul said, “For we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor.5:7). The writer of Hebrews goes further, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Heb.11:6). To believe “God exists” is to believe in His power to do what God says He will do in the Covenant. Paul told the Romans, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law” (Rom.3:28, italicized for emphasis).

The Bible speaks of this faith as the very personal ‘faith of Jesus,’ not our half-hearted human faith. Paul said to the Romans, “Even the righteousness of God which is the faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that believe” (Rom.3:22, italicized for emphasis). (You can read my post on the “Faith of Jesus” at: http://bulamanriver.net/2811.) So, the application of the New Covenant through the three ascents are activities of faith and by faith.

Here are the three ascents (steps) of the New Covenant with its manifestation: 1 The Departure; 2 The Redemption; 3 The Offspring; and the manifestation, 4 The Covenant Life. The three ascents reveal to humans the inward, outward, and upward acts of God’s Love in a person’s life. Recall how the Three-Ascent Format works: the first ascent always reveals the Love-relationship with the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead. It is God’s ‘inward act’ of Love for mankind where the Spirit is active at sanctifying God’s will in a person’s life. The second ascent is the human Love-relationship with Jesus who saves humans from the sin-condition, through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension. This reveals the Father’s ‘outward act’ of Love for mankind. And the third ascent is the Love-relationship with God the Father, which is the ‘upward act’ of Love where He brings humans to have a one-on-one relationship with Him as our eternal Loving Father. So, each ascent dovetails into the next, then spontaneously manifests the fourth ascent in humans of Living the Covenant Life upon earth.  

(I had coined the term “Triune Love” and/or “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is depicted in the three ascents we saw above and will cover in detail. In the three-dimensional life, the human experience of God’s Love is always moving in an inward, outward, and upward motion where all the three Persons of the Godhead are in relationship with humans. The three-dimensional life is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life in humanity’s fallen self that was inherited from Satan through Adam’s fall).  

Before we begin with the ascents, let us read the text of the New Covenant as given in the Book of Hebrews. “The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will draw up a New Covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the Covenant that I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. They were not faithful to the Covenant I made with them, and so I paid no attention to them. Now, this is the Covenant that I will make with the people of Israel in the days to come, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. None of them will have to teach their friends or tell their neighbors, ‘Know the Lord.’ For they will all know me, from the least to the greatest. I will forgive their sins and will no longer remember their wrongs. None of the, will have to teach their friends or tell their neighbors, ‘Know the Lord.’ For they will all know me, from the least to the greatest. I will forgive their sins and I will no longer remember their wrongs.” (Heb.8:8-12, GNT).

A perceptive examination of the Covenant’s text will make us realize without any shadow of a doubt that the prescribed provisions contained in it can never be satisfactorily achieved through any human effort, nor does mankind have the wherewithal to bring the Covenant’s aims to its satisfactory end. God unreservedly makes statements about what He plans to do with humanity. Therefore, the New Covenant unequivocally requires the input of God’s supernatural intervention in human life. So, the manifestation of the Covenant in humans is underpinned by the miraculous life which humans are privileged to live and experience through the three ascents in a life of faith.

Miracles can be simply explained as the meeting point of the divine and the physical, where God meets mortal humans. Wherever the two intersect, miracles emerge. Hence, we are given to enter the three ascents where humans can experience the miraculous life through a relationship of Love with each of the three Persons of the Triune Godhead in relation to their roles and interaction with the provisions of the Covenant. We remember Paul’s inspired words, “For the Kingdom of God (Covenant) is not in word but in power” (1 Cor.4:20; 2:4). So, the Covenant are not mere words, but is backed by the Almighty’s divine Word of power. Yes, it is a life of pure faith, for it will take God’s miraculous intervention in a person’s life to bring the provisions of the New Covenant to completion. (Heb.4:12; Jer.23:29)

From the Covenant passage we saw in the Book of Hebrews above, we will be able to decipher which provision each Person in the Godhead activates through Loving relationship with each and every human who choose to participate in the Covenant. Before getting into the actual three ascents, let us summarize the Covenant text as it is presented in Hebrews. There are three areas laid out in a descending order from the God the Father, who is the Author of the Covenant. The three provisions/aspects are: the preamble, the redemption and the temple. When we get to the Three Ascents, we will move in an ascending format, hence, the term “ascent.” The reason is obvious since humans exist in their fallen state of existence where a person seeks reconciliation with God through an ascending movement to fulfill each person’s divinely ordained destiny by living and functioning within God’s Love-condition via the Covenant through the ascents. So, here is the descending order of the Covenant as it is presented in the text:

Act 1: Father – Offspring: First Part, a) Preamble: “The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will draw up a New Covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the Covenant that I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. They were not faithful to the Covenant I made with them, and so I paid no attention to them. Now, this is the Covenant that I will make with the people of Israel in the days to come, says the Lord” (V.8-10).

Second Part, b) Fatherhood: “I will be their God, and they will be my people” (V.12).

Act 2: Jesus – The Redemption: “I will forgive their sins and will no longer remember their wrongs” (V.12).

Act 3: Spirit – The Departure: First Part, a) The Temple: (a) “I will put My laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. (Spirit) (V.10)

Second Part, (b) The Teacher/Guide/Help: None of them will have to teach their friends or tell their neighbors, ‘Know the Lord.’ For they will all know me, from the least to the greatest.” (Spirit) (V.11)

From the foregoing, we have laid out the different aspects of the Covenant and assigned its various provisions to the three Persons of the Triune Godhead. We begin with the Father in the preamble (Act 1). The preamble shows the Father’s function and authority in abrogating the Old Covenant and instituting the New Living Covenant. He reveals Himself as our Loving Father.

The redemption (Act 2) reveals Jesus Christ’s role as the Messiah who came, lived the perfect human life, died as the only worthy sacrifice to save mankind, introduced immortality to humanity through His resurrection, and ascended to His High Priestly role at the right hand of the Father in heaven. (John 3:16; 1 Pet.1:19; Heb.4:14)

The departure (Act 3) tells us about the role of the power of the Holy Spirit in helping mankind depart the sin-condition and enter the new world of God’s Love-condition, where humans can now live in freedom. (Rom.5:5) The Spirit now lives in humans as God’s temple, making this new world of God’s Love-condition a reality for every person. He enters the human heart and mind for the purpose of sanctifying human life. (1 Cor.3:16; 2 Thes.2:13; 1 Pet.1:2; Gal.5:16-17)

We are reminded of the the Trinitarian principle: “The act of One is the the act of all Three, and the act of all Three is the act of One.” God is Love, therefore the substance which unifies Them as One God is Love! In Their Love there is never a trace of autonomy, coercion, or guile in their relationship.

I have outlined above the text of the New Covenant in the order it is presented in the text beginning with the Father in a descending order. Now, we will cover the role of each Person in the Trinity as they relate with humans following the 3-Ascent Triune Format, in an ascending motion starting with the Holy Spirit. In our fallen state, the Spirit launches God’s activity of Love in the Departure, then ascends to Jesus in the Redemption, then to the Father with the Offspring.

What we will see is how every aspect of the Covenant is framed within God’s Tri-Personal Being to give it structure and cohesion in the eternal Trinity. We are again reminded of the eternal and inherent trinitarian Love principle: the act of One is the act of Three, and the act of Three is the act of One. Author Jon Tal Murphree says this of the nature of God and the divine pattern of the Triune Life,* “Each Person of the Trinity transposes Himself into the others without confusing His own personality with the others…the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other.” (Pg,29, The Trinity and Human Personality). Peter elaborates on this Triune principle, “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure” (1 Pet.1:1-2, underscored for emphasis). Let us begin…

First Ascent: The Departure – Holy Spirit. The 1st Ascent is all about the human relationship with the Holy Spirit. What does departure mean in the context of the Covenant and the Spirit’s role of manifesting it to humans? Departure indicates withdrawal and separation. It finds its origin in the story of mankind. We have heard of our first parents who existed in a place of grace in Paradise called the Garden of Eden. But sadly and painfully, they evicted themselves from Eden through their rebellion by eating the forbidden fruit and following Satan’s way of self-centeredness and sin. (Gen.3:1-6) Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden, as recorded in Genesis, “So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and He sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And He placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the Tree of Life” (Gen3:23-24).

Eden was Paradise because it was conceivably the most unique environment where both spiritual and physical realities could exist side-by-side in God’s Love-condition. It was the closest to divine reality any human being could exist and experience. The Tree of Life represented the Holy Spirit which sustained our first parents spiritually in God’s Love-condition. So, our first parents may have existed in a form of celestial/human existence, until their fall from grace when suddenly their celestial cloak was taken, and their human “eyes were opened” to the naked truth of their mortality. (Gen.3:7; 3:22) So, humanity closed himself from having any access to the Holy Spirit (Tree of Life) and the celestial form they once enjoyed in Paradise due to the fall of mankind through Adam’s sin. Now Adam had made the choice for humanity to live under Satan’s sin-condition.

Dove, Symbol for the Holy Spirit (Wiki Commons)

Humans had freely chosen to depart from Eden, leaving behind the Love-condition for the sin-condition, albeit by the devil’s deception and cunning. However, in the New Covenant God our Father is calling humanity to return to their place of grace He always wanted for them. Now, humans are called to exercise the ‘reverse departure’ by leaving behind Satan’s sin-condition, his world of lies, corruption and sin, depravity and death, and return to God’s spiritual Eden of joy, unity, perfection, and Love.

Eden was symbolic of living in the presence of God and His Love-condition as Adam and Eve did in the Garden. So, in the same way Adam chose to depart Eden, God now calls upon all Adam’s children (humanity) to depart from Satan’s world and way of life of fear, sin, corruption, suffering, and death, and return to Paradise. God speaks this reality to the human conscience since the underlying human essence can never deny the mold of God’s eternal image of Love in which mankind was created. And this can be done only with the help of God’s power in the work of the Spirit who is the personification of the Love-condition where freedom lives and reigns. Paul was inspired to write, “Come out from among them and be separate (from Satan’s world), says the Lord; do not touch any unclean thing, and I will welcome you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor.6:17-18, italics mine).

God is calling humanity to return to Eden (God) because He has opened and made possible the way to return to Paradise. Now, humans can once more participate in eating the fruits of the Tree of Life (Holy Spirit) and once more enter the celestial form. Jesus alluded to the return to this spiritual life when He said, “You must be born again of the Spirit” (John 3:5-8). The Spirit is the personification of God’s Love in God’s world where His Love-condition reigns and inspires and sanctifies humans. (Rom.5:5; Rom.1:4; 1 Pet.1:2) God made the way back to Eden possible by sacrificing His only Son Jesus who came and took our sinful humanity upon Himself as the Messiah to save humanity. (John 3:16; Isa.7:14) We will leave this aspect for now, and cover it in detail in the Second Ascent (Redemption).

Suffice to say that no one human was found worthy, to reopen the pathway to return to Eden. This was the role of the Father in giving His Son. Jesus said this, “I AM THE WAY the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (Eden) except through Me” (John 14:6, emphasis and italics mine). Again, He said, “Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through Me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures (Spirit)” (John 10:9, NLT). Yes, Jesus, the second Adam, was the only human found worthy to open THE WAY back to Eden. (1 Cor.15:22, 47) The essence of God’s Covenant is: LOVE!

selective focus photography of You Are Loved book
The Essence of The New Covenant is God’s Message to Humanity: “You Are Loved” (Unsplash)

What Israel underwent before they departed Egypt and entered into their Covenant with God is the type of what humanity experience in their spiritual exodus today before entering into the New Covenant with God. If we were to spend a few moments reading the story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt from the Book of Exodus in the Bible, we will understand that if God had not performed His ten supernatural acts, Pharaoh would not have relented from his adamant refusal to let Israel free. Likewise, as the exact copy of Israel’s dreadful experience as slaves in Egypt, and their subsequent exodus from slavery to freedom by God’s power under the hand of Moses, humans today undergo the identical experience in the spiritual realm, under the hand of Jesus through the Spirit’s power. What Israel underwent physically in Egypt we now undergo spiritually in Satan’s world as slaves to the sin-condition today. The devil holds humans slaves to sin in this world, as Pharaoh held the Israelite slaves in Egypt.

So, Egypt was the forerunner of the reality of Jesus’ battle with Satan (Pharaoh) in His temptation in the wilderness of Judea. Just as there were ten supernatural miracles which freed Israel, likewise Jesus defeated Satan in His temptations in the Judean wilderness to free humanity from the evil forces of Satan’s world. (Matt.4:1-11) What Israel underwent under Moses in the Old Covenant, and what humanity experienced in Jesus’ temptation in the New Covenant are parallels. So, God recorded the example of Israel in the Bible so humanity can understand the hand of God in our lives, and realize the truth behind our own deliverance and departure from Satan’s incarceration through Jesus’ victory. Paul said this about Israel’s experience under the Old Covenant, “Now these things happened to them (Israel) as types and were written for our admonition, to whom the ends of the ages are arrived” (1 Cor.10:11, italics mine; Psa.102:18).

So, our position today and their story are types, parallels – they at the beginning, and we at the end. Then Paul warns us that we are capable of messing up as they did when God abrogated His Covenant with them. We are not exempt, but the beautiful part of the story is we are given to return to our spiritual Eden where we can partake of the Tree of Life under the New Covenant and obtain power of His Love to defeat the devil through Jesus’ eternal mediation as humanity’s High Priest in heaven today.

Referring to the 10 miraculous “signs and wonders” through Moses’ hand, commonly known as the 10 plagues upon Egypt, Henry Alexander White, in his book, “The Origin of the Pentateuch in the Light of the Ancient Monuments” (Pg,190), asks, “Were these sun-deities of Egypt real spiritual beings? John Milton in Comus and Paradise Lost has stated his opinion that all these deities were the fallen angels, cast out of heaven along with Satan. In our time, Dr. Charles Robinson, with others, has accepted virtually the same view. Against the gods of Egypt as veritable spiritual powers did Jehovah exercise His power” (Deut.32:16; Jer.32:20-22).

These gods of ancient Egypt still exist today but by other names and in different forms. They are fallen angels and cannot die. Humans are mortal and consigned to death because of sin. (Rom.6:23) The Egyptians died, so did the Israelites, and every human ever born have died and will die, for we are human and mortal. Here is the beautiful truth about what God has done for us to defeat these gods of Egypt under the new Covenant today. What happened to Egypt after the ten calamitous but liberating events for Israel in Egypt which happened in a period of about 10 months, is a copy of what happened to the devil’s dark kingdom in the spiritual world under the new Covenant when Jesus won the gargantuan spiritual battle after His baptism in Jordan and finally His death upon Calvary, in order to free humanity once for all. As the 10th plague pointed to the Messiah to come (Lamb’s Blood), it pointed to the reality of Jesus overcoming all the ten false gods Egypt worshiped.

As it was when Pharaoh released Israel under the Old Covenant, likewise today with the spiritual power structure of the devil’s dark kingdom over mankind under the New Covenant. The firstborn, which in ancient times signified rights and authority, portrayed for us physically what happened spiritually, when Jesus defeated Satan and relented and let mankind go once for all. The ten miracles give us an insight into the power structure in the devil’s dark kingdom: (Exodus 7:20 – 8, 9, 10, 11, 9 – 12:30)

Speaking in our present context, Paul said this about this self-same evil powers, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Eph.6:12). God declared, “Against all the gods of Egypt, I will execute my judgment; I am Jehovah” (Exo.12:12b). God did this again under the New Covenant defeating Satan’s power structure through His Son, Jesus. Having being infused with the Spirit’s power in the Jordan River, and faced and defeated Satan in the Judean wilderness, Jesus sealed Satan’s fate when He gave Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for human sin upon Calvary’s cross. (Matt.4:1-11; John 19:16-21)

Focus Photography of Flying Hummingbird
Pretty Bird Flying Freely – A Depiction Of Divine Freedom in God’s Love (Pexels)

What we see happening under the New Covenant is something no human could do except Jesus, the second person of the Triune Godhead. He reached down from His preeminent divinity and took upon Himself our fallen humanity, becoming fully human and fully God, and did for mankind what no human can ever do – save humanity from the sin-condition by defeating Satan! Satan is the personification of the sin-condition by which mankind is held bondage. The Spirit came upon Jesus in the Jordan River, empowering Him to defeat Satan, and thereby setting the model for humans to follow Jesus’ script for victory today. Today, as we fellowship and surrender in faith to the Spirit, God the Father imputes upon us Jesus’ own personal victory over the devil and his evil kingdom. This is where the faith of Jesus come to its own and bring on His victory. (Rom.4:20-25) Paul said this to the Romans, “Even the righteousness of God which is by the faith of Jesus Christ to all and on all them that believe” (Rom.3:22).

So, God has not left humans to themselves to fight Satan…how can they defeat an insurmountable enemy? It’s a task only Jesus could do, for He said, “In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world” (John 16:33). That means Jesus’ victory is abiding as we relive His triumph vicariously in the Spirit’s power. (Rev.12:9-11) When we believe, God imputes Christ’s victory over our lives just as God imputes righteousness upon Abraham for his faith in God’s promise. (Rom.4:20-25) So, we see how the Spirit empowers humans by manifesting Jesus’ victory in us. Jesus said so, “Unless I go away, the Advocate (Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you…He will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine (my victory) and declare it to you” (John 16:14, italics mine). Yes, Jesus’ victory over Satan is the paradigm and prototype for every human spiritual victory in the Spirit’s power. The Spirit will impute Jesus’ victory over the devil’s kingdom in each and every human being through faith. But before we spiritually depart our “Egypt,” humans must first be empowered by the Spirit. That leads us to the essential aspect of our relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Essence of Relationship: – The human relationship in the 1st Ascent with the Spirit fills us with gratitude for bringing God’s power to bear upon the evil forces which has held humanity captive from Adam and bring mankind to freedom. (Luk.4:8) Herald+ (Spirit) leads us to understand and accept that the Covenant of this magnitude and substance has to be ratified in order for it to be made binding. Unless the Covenant is ratified, the Covenant is of no value. Ratification of the Covenant means that it has God’s seal of approval and authority. God’s seal of authority which ratifies the New Covenant is the life and blood of Jesus that was shed upon His cross to save mankind from the sin-condition. (John 3:16; 1:29)

The Spirit’s role is to deliver humanity from captivity to sin and the evil forces by leading mankind to Jesus, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Yes, when we receive Jesus as Savior by faith, we enter into the New Covenant ratified in His blood. Under cover of Jesus’ sacrifice, His resurrection and ascension to heaven, humans are led back into the spiritual Paradise of Eden and the Tree of Life (Spirit). We remember Peter’s words to the people of his day, “The powerful name of Jesus Christ…There is salvation in no One else! God has given no other Name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Act.4:10, 12, NLT). This leads us to the second ascent of redemption…

Second Ascent: The Redemption – Jesus Christ. The 2nd Ascent always depict the human relationship with Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Triune Godhead. The Covenant states, “They’ll get to know Me by being kindly forgiven, with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean” (Heb.8:12). The Father had given Jesus the task of the promised Messiah to save humanity. But while Jesus was about His work, He did the equally important task of revealing the Father and the Holy Spirit clearly. By doing this, humans would understand the breadth and meaning of the Covenant as originating from the Tri-Personal Being of God.

So we read John’s statement about Jesus revealing the Father, “No one has ever seen God, but the One and only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father’s side, has made Him known” (John 1:18). Then He told the disciples about the Holy Spirit, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads you into all truth” (John 14:16, NLT). Further Jesus continues, “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you” (John 14:26, NLT). And concerning Himself as the Messiah, John was inspired to write, “In the beginning the Word (Jesus) already existed. The Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2, NLT).

Jesus revealed that His work involved reopening the pathway to the Spirit of life and power (Tree of Life). Then the Spirit’s work is to point humanity to Jesus, who in turn points mankind to the Father. He said, “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). Recall, it was sin that ended the human communion with God through His Spirit. (Gen.3:23-24) Now, through Jesus’ mediation as Savior, He defeated Satan in the temptations, lived a sinless life by doing good, was crucified for our forgiveness and atonement, resurrected our humanity from the dead, and ascended back to the Father’s right hand, where He continues in His mediatory work of our glorified human High Priest forever. (John 16:7-11; Act.10:38) Jesus is the High Priest of the New Covenant, as the Book of Hebrews inform us, “For this reason Christ is the Mediator of a New Covenant” (Heb.9:15; also read, Heb.1:3; 6:20; 7:28; 10:12).

Cross, Christ, Faith, God, Jesus, Clouds, Sun, Light
The Death Of Jesus Ratified the Covenant and Become High Priest in Heaven Forever Mediating for Humanity. Jesus’ Death was Not Solitary, But Trinitarian in Every Sense. (Pic: Pixabay)

Yes, Jesus has paved the way back to the Tree of Life (Spirit), and we witness what happened on the day of Pentecost when the Spirit was poured upon humanity. We read the account in the Book of Acts in the Bible, “On the day of Pentecost, all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability” (Act.2:1-4). Not only were the disciples given miraculous power to speak fluently to the people in their own language, but numerous miracles of healing were performed upon the people. (Act.2:43; 3:7-11; 5:12-16; 8:5-8. You can read the accounts for yourself by hovering your cursor over the passages of Scripture).

But the greatest miracle of all was uttered by Peter who stood up and told the people what they saw happening was the fulfillment of God’s promise of the gift of the Spirit which in effect fulfilled the provision of the New Covenant to bring humanity back Eden and God’s presence. Peter told the people after they inquired of the meaning of what they witnessed, “What you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people” (Act.2:16-17). And so, Jesus promise to the disciples that the Father will send the Spirit had come to pass. (John 16:7; 14:26)

Peter went further and told the people how they too can be imbued with the same power of the Spirit, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Act.2:38). That is the message of human redemption Jesus brought from the Father to humanity. (Act.17:30) Redemption means that humans have been given to find the way back to Eden (God), made possible through change (repentance) and baptism. Baptism is a ritual which conveys an outward sign of a person’s inward commitment to bury the old fallen self (in Adam) in the watery grave of baptism, and rise a new person in Christ empowered by the Spirit. Paul explained the meaning of baptism to the Romans, “Have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined Him in His death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives” (Rom.6:3-4).

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Baptism, The Outward Sign of inner Commitment to The Covenant Promise (Unsplash.com)

When Jesus hung upon His cross and was about to breathe His last, His final words were, “It is finished.” The words meant Jesus has completed what His Father had sent Him to accomplish as the Messiah. His subsequent resurrection and ascension back to His Father were formalities in God’s divine protocol. Jesus assured the disciples that the Spirit cannot come until He has accomplished His work of redemption that includes all of the above. When Jesus said, “Unless I go away, the Advocate (Spirit) will not come to you,” means the way back to the Spirit is conditional upon Jesus completing His work of Messiah given Him by the Father, and upon humans receiving Jesus as Savior in faith. Jesus can only “go away” after having completed His work of mediation on behalf of mankind. Then, the gift of the Spirit upon the people was conditional upon humanity receiving Jesus as Savior by changing their way from one of sin to God’s way of Love.  

Let us get back to the account of Israel in Egypt momentarily. The nine plagues God wrought upon Egypt, despite the anguish, misery, and distress upon the people of Egypt, Pharaoh stubbornly held on to Israel and would not free them from slavery. Then God said He was about to bring one final plague that will break Pharaoh’s obstinacy and resistance. In the tenth and last plague, God was going to take the life of the firstborn male in Egypt, both humans and animals. (Exo.12:12) As we saw the plagues was actually God’s judgment against the gods the Egyptian worshiped. So, the death of the firstborn males, was a judgment on the god Isis, who poses as the protector of children, God said, “I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the LORD!” (Exo.12:12). Only God can protect and provide security.

In this plague, God was teaching the Israelites a deep spiritual lesson that pointed to Christ. Unlike the other plagues, which the Israelites survived by virtue of their identity as God’s people, this plague required an act of faith by them. God commanded each family to take an unblemished male lamb and kill it. The blood of the lamb was to be smeared on the top and sides of their doorways, and the lamb was to be roasted and eaten that night. Any family that did not follow God’s instructions would suffer in the last plague. God described how He would send the death angel through the land of Egypt, with orders to slay the firstborn male in every household, whether human or animal. The only protection was the blood of the lamb on the door. When the angel saw the blood, he would pass over that house and leave it untouched (Exodus 12:23). Hence, the day of Passover has been commemorated by Israel throughout their sojourn. God told the Israelites, “This is the Lord’s Passover” (Exo.12:11).

The death that came upon the firstborn of Egypt, both humans and animals, was the death of all the Egyptian gods (1-9) and marks the complete triumph of God over the gods worshipped by Egypt. Finally, with Pharaoh shattered by the great cry of death over all Egypt, including his own household, he relented and let Israel go free. (Exo.4:23;11:5; 12:29-33) Henry A. White states, “These imagined deities, who had their being in the crude superstitions of the people of the Nile, were sealed unto everlasting contempt. Jehovah Himself had come in person and “smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. There was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.” (Pg.205) 

The Passover held a bigger picture which foretold the coming and death of the Messiah Jesus upon His cross. Just as the Passover was the sign of freedom for Israel under the Old Covenant, the cross is the sign of freedom under the New Covenant for all humanity. The cross of Jesus stands alone across the breadth of human history as the greatest act of Love by the Creator God who did not spare even His only Son, to save our sin-laden humanity.

Essence of Relationship: We are thankful to the Father for surrendering His only Son, and to Jesus for sacrificing Himself, so all the provisions of New Covenant can be made binding upon humans. Jesus’ blood that was spilled upon Calvary’s cross was and continues to be the seal of ratification which makes it possible for humans to enter into the presence of God the Father. Jesus explains what it all means, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father” (John 14:12). Yes, Jesus’ return to the Father fulfilled the Father’s promise of sending His Spirit of power to do greater works. This brings us to the third ascent…

Third Ascent: The Offspring – God the Father. The Third Ascent signify the human relationship with our heavenly Father. Offspring means to become children of God. Jesus sacrifice, His blood, has sealed and ratified the Covenant which now opens the door for humans to come before the Loving presence of our heavenly Father in heaven. We have returned to Eden, this is Paradise.

God Almighty, Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. (Montage of Planetary Images, Wiki Commons)

Out of the depth of their Tri-Personal Love, this one single act of God in saving humanity from his sinful state through His Son (2nd Ascent, Redemption), and keeping humans sanctified through His Spirit (1st Ascent, Freedom), has resulted in a singular obvious outcome and consolation: any person, regardless of race, nationality, language, ethnicity, belief, culture, can now be made a divine child of God. It is a spiritual birth to a newborn spiritual life in Christ that’s inaugurated through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension. This sanctified life is continuously manifested by the power of God through the Spirit. The Bible speaks of it in terms of the new birth. (John 3:5-8)

Hence, we read John’s revelation, “See what great Love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1). The New Covenant states, “I’ll be their God, they’ll be My people” (Heb.8:10). In other words, humanity has now become God’s very Offspring. Through the Spirit’s power to sanctify humanity, and Jesus’ role as mankind’s eternal High Priest and Mediator, humans are made His holy children. Paul said this, “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.” (1 Cor.1:30-31).

In this ascent our thoughts ought to dwell squarely upon these words of truth about human salvation: “But God demonstrated His Love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom.5:8). In other words, a person who is lost does not know he or she is lost unless and until someone points out the person’s aimless and wasteful state of existence. Until such time the lost “knows” his lostness and emptiness, he remains lost still. In the same way, a deceived person does not know his/her deception until the awareness of deception dawns upon him/her. Albert Einstein, the famed mathematician and physicist, and Nobel Prize winner, said, “No Problem Can be Solved From the Same Level of Consciousness That Created It.” You can say that is the present human dilemma, but for God’s immeasurable Love. Only God’s Love, which He utters in His Covenant can save humanity.

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Albert Einstein said, “No Problem Can be Solved From the Same Level of Consciousness That Created It” (Wiki Commons)

Humanity was of no benefit to God in any way. He could have lived well without mankind, instead of being burdened by human weakness and sinfulness. God could have lived well in His Tri-Personal Being as He had from eternity. Our input would not have made a speck of difference, except for His Love for mankind. That was all there was, it was all about His Love over and over again and nothing more or less. And so His Love for humanity flows unabated. It has nothing to do with you, me, or any other human, no matter how substantial a person may think he or she is – you and I were totally deceived and we never had the slightest clue of our lost state of existence. In our deceived state we could never lift a finger to save ourselves, not until we are ‘undeceived.’ God overlooked our ignorance and now calls each and every human being to understand that he or she is eternally Loved, and our Father has set His heart to free us. (Act.17:30) Paul admonishes us, “Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work He began…We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours. So let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom.13:11, MSG, BSB).

The Bible speaks of Jesus’ appearance on earth in this way, “The people living in darkness (spiritually lost and incarcerated as slaves) have seen a great light (Jesus); and on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light (free and joyful) has dawned.” (Matt.4:16; Isa. 9:2) Light enters in and removes the scales of deception and made to see what was, up to now, unseen and unknowable. If our heavenly Father had not stepped forward, in spite of us, we would have remained helpless and lost forever. But our heavenly Father Loves us beyond what we can ever imagine, and sees our potential to become His eternal offspring. But the greater aspect of God’s Love is yet to come in its manifestation of His Covenant with humanity in the fourth ascent.

Essence of Relationship: Our human response with the Father in the 3rd Ascent is to accept and receive His magnificent grace through His Covenant of Love with the heartfelt thankfulness it deserves. His Love is expressed in His desire to make humans His divine Offspring. And we are invited to accept His Fatherhood because He has ratified the Covenant in the blood of His Son which gives passage to our birth in His Spirit to become His eternal children. We are to believe, trust, and receive our adoption as His Offspring in faith. Paul give us this truly inspiring passage from the Book of Romans, “And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as His adopted children, including the new bodies He has promised us (immortal life)” (Rom.8:23). Yes, Our Father gives humanity the ultimate gift of becoming immortal humans like Jesus His Son. (Rom.8:29) We have so much to be grateful for that there are no words in any language that is capable of expressing them.   

Fourth Ascent: The Manifestation – Humanity The 4th Ascent is about the manifestation of the New Covenant in the lives of humans, and reveals the relationship of humans with the Triune God. This relationship is expressed in the preceding three ascents, which shows how each Person of the Triune God is directly involved with every human person.

We saw that humans have been made God’s immortal Offspring by the Father in the third ascent. No one can become an offspring of God if the person has not been given a new birth from the fallen self in Adam, and reborn the risen self in Christ, under the auspices of the New Covenant, ratified by His life that was sacrificed upon Calvary. We saw this beautiful picture explained in the meaning of baptism. (Rom.6:3-4) It means the person is now always sanctified in the Spirit through Jesus’ eternal mediation as High Priest in heaven. Jesus is sitting next to His Father performing His Loving mediatory role so we can remain God’s divine offspring. And arising out of humanity’s sanctified condition, we see the most beautiful expression of the Covenant: the ultimate design by and desire of the Father to give humanity as the affianced bride of His Son, Jesus Christ. Yes, the ultimate meaning of the New Covenant is that it is a Marriage Covenant between Jesus as bridegroom, and humanity as His bride. There is no more beautiful picture of the marriage union that the whole universe waits eagerly to witness.

Jesus Appeared as A Great Light to The People. He 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) (Pic: Wiki Commons)

Paul said that the human marriage between a man and woman is really a pretext and appeal couched in the mystery of the marriage between Jesus and humanity (Church). Paul said that in a marriage “a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh. This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church” (Eph.5:31-32, MSG). Jesus’ Love for humanity (Church) is marked by giving, not getting. Paul goes on, “Christ Loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant Church (bride), without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless… We are members of His Body, I am talking about Christ and the Church (humanity)” (Eph.5:26-27, 30, 32).  

There are two things to remember, the New Covenant, in its present form, shows that humanity is betrothed to marry Christ. Then, when Jesus’ returns, the Covenant will be consummated in the marriage between Christ and His Bride the Church or all humanity. (Rev.19:6-8) This will take place when immortality will have been bestowed upon humanity in the resurrection. Paul said, “I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality” (1 Cor.15:50-53). In a future post I will write about the three-ascent process about immortality. For now, we understand the New Covenant in our human form to be at the betrothal stage where mankind is in the process of preparing herself in the engagement period until the marriage takes place.

Jesus tells us this about God and His future marriage, “God’s kingdom is like a King who threw a wedding banquet for His Son” (Matt.22:2, MSG). Jesus alludes to this marriage scenario in a parable saying, He was going away and would return. (Mar.13:32-37) In this passage, humanity is told to be “watchful,” or be alert and of a sound mind and prepare for His return. He warned that some can get caught in their lack of preparation. (Matt.25:1-13)

In the Book of Revelation, we read this account of the great universal wedding, “Then I heard the sound of massed choirs, the sound of a mighty cataract, the sound of strong thunder: Hallelujah! The Master reigns, our God, the Sovereign-Strong! Let us celebrate, let us rejoice, let us give Him the glory! The Marriage of the Lamb has come; his Wife has made herself ready. She was given a bridal gown of bright and shining linen. The linen is the righteousness of the saints. The Angel said to me, “Write this: ‘Blessed are those invited to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.’” He added, “These are the true words of God!”” (Rev.19:6-9, underscored for emphasis). Here, we see mankind has made herself ready and given the most beautiful gleaming white gown for the wedding of the universe.

Then we read about the wedding gift the Father prepared for His Son and His Bride. John wrote, “One of the seven angels…said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal” (Rev.21:9-11). The New Jerusalem is described by John with such glowing manner as other-worldly, “The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick. The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass” (Rev.21:15-21). Yes, the wedding gift is the greatest eternal city of Jerusalem coming down from heaven down upon earth.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared… And I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Rev.21:1-2). (Wiki Commons)

So here we see the marvelously beautiful destiny for mankind in God’s realm and Kingdom. This is the true “Eden,” His eternal Kingdom, God had in mind when He first created mankind and placed Adam and Eve in His Garden. A loud thundering voice came from God’s throne in heaven which said, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Rev.21:3-4). What a magnificent and breathtaking everlasting future to look forward to: to spend all of eternity with our Loving Father, our Elder Brother Jesus, and our dearest Friend Herald the Spirit, with all humanity. What a glorious future humanity has to look forward in hope to an existence of being eternally fused into and unified in the one Family of God!

Essence of Relationship: Our task today in the manifestation phase (4th Ascent) is to respond with a thankful heart to our our Loving Father, His Son, and His Spirit. We respond in Loving relationship by returning their Love through the 3 Ascents we covered above. Briefly, the 1st Ascent shows our relationship with the Spirit, where we see how He initiates the New Covenant promise by delivering humanity from the many evil forces where humanity have been held captives. He leads us to Jesus, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). The 2nd Ascent reveals how a person receives Jesus’ sacrifice that was shed upon Calvary’s cross to deliver mankind from the sin-condition, thus, opening the way for the Spirit to come and sanctify human life, and ratify the New Covenant by God’s authority. (John 3:16). Paul said, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…do not submit again to a yoke of slavery (sin)” (Gal.5:1). The 3rd Ascent shows how we respond with heartfelt thankfulness to our heavenly Father for His Covenant of Love with humanity. His Love is expressed in His desire to make humans His divine immortalized Offspring by surrendering His only Son, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Bible informs us, “See how very much our Father Loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1, NLT). Then, we live in the much anticipated hope of the great, transcendent, universal wedding banquet the Father has prepared for His Son and His Bride (humanity). Yes, there is so much to be thankful about as we respond in profound gratefulness to our Heavenly Father.

Friends, thank you for investing your precious time with me today. I hope that in your heart of heart you can hold out and receive Jesus, and be part of a gloriously amazing future for humanity. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write to me in the space provided below, or email me on 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 Love. Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

 Kiang P. Lee                                                       (Your Servant In Christ)                                                                            

* Triune Life or Triune Love: The “Triune Life” is a way of life. It’s foundational tenet is based upon the Love of God, because it is the nature of God. I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the three-dimensional life, the human experience of God’s Love is always moving in an inward, outward, and upward motion where all the three Persons of the Godhead are in relationship with humans. The three-dimensional life is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life in in humanity’s fallen self that was inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion.

Love is both a noun and a verb. We are called to Love because we were created in God’s Love-likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) It means as children of God we live the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as they live and walk in their inward, outward, and upward functions in humans. Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living (Loving),” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead, who took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit in us. The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) You can read more at: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092

+Herald: The Name I personally call the Spirit in my relationship with Him.

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

"Bula" Man-River
Book Cover

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

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