Q&A are frequently asked questions (FAQs) from my book, “Bula Man-River, The Miracle of Triune Living.”
1. What is “Bula” man-river (Bulamanriver)?
“Bula” is a Fijian word which means “living” or “life.” In Fiji it is used to greet one another, and when used with a second word “vinaka,” then “bula vinaka” is saying hello with a blessing which means “good life” to you. “Man-river” derives its meaning from Jesus portrayal of the life of a believer, “Whoever believes in Me as the Scriptures has said, rivers of living waters will flow from within them” By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him would later receive” (John 7:38-39). “Bula” man-river is an authentic Christian and is the union of man with the Triune God – the Source of the miraculous life. Man is a spiritual river, and can either be “Bula,” or “Bulu” – life or death!
2. What is “Bulu” man-river?
He is a non-believer. “Bulu” is another Fijian word which means “burial” or “death.” This river produces want and death in the person. “Bulu” man-river is the union of man with his fallen, unsaved self who lives under the deception and sway of the devil.
3. Why is man portrayed as a man-river?
Man is a riverbed. What flows in the riverbed determines what the man-river gives to his valley and community. It can either be “living waters” (“Bula”), or deathly waters” (“Bulu”). One brings life, while the other gives death. Consequently, the man-river flows where people (community) interact with the waters which define the person or man-river. A river is set on a unchangeable course to water prescribed valley and community. So is the man-river.
4. What do you mean by “Triune Life”?
“Triune Life” means a life lived according to the image and likeness of God. (Gen.1:26-27) It means a believer who lives the 3-dimensional life with the Triune God, as opposed to the ‘solitary’ 1-dimensional life man lives in himself. It means God, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, lives and walks in you the Bulamanriver*. Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune God, who took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead. To live the “Triune 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)
5. What is the “Flush-Out?”
The “flush-out” is essentially the point when a man-river (person), believing Christ as Savior and Mediator, activates the life-blood of Jesus and flushes out the “deathly waters,” and replaces it with the “living waters” of the Spirit. With this miraculous act, like Israel coming out of Egyptian bondage, the believer is renewed and enters the saving condition of the “Bula” man-river in Christ.
6. What do you mean by Biome thought-life?
In nature, a biome is a collection of different types of ecosystems that interact with other systems and gives birth to life. The spiritual biome is the thought-activity the Word (Jesus), and the Spirit. Both interpenetrating the life of the “Bula” man-river and produces “living waters” for the enrichment of the spiritual valleys and communities.
7. What is Creative Action or the Creative Life?
God’s Love is the foundation of the creative life in the “Bula” man-river. The Spirit’s fruits of Love articulates Love’s creative energy in the “Bula” man-river for developing Loving relationships with the Triune God and our fellowman. When relationships are motivated by fear they become twisted, for relationships are made for Love based on the Triune existence of God who Himself is Love. This Loving energy is not inert but is alive, for the fruits touch on the positive emotional response of people in the relationships believers engender in their respective valleys.
8. What does Abundance mean to the “Bula” man-river?
Abundance and material wealth or prosperity is not one and the same thing. For the “Bula” man-river abundance refers to the wholeness of the Triune God in all His magnanimous Love. It is the expression of His grace toward man, which includes both his physical and spiritual well-being. Material abundance comes to the believer through his or her “life-gift” and destiny, not independently from it. The source of all material wealth is derived from God’s superabundance in His Love.
9. Purpose, Dreams, and Destiny and the “Bula” man-river
Gifts comes locked in a person’s DNA. When God breathes life into a person, that life comes with assigned talents to magnify both the gifted and the Giver of dreams. Life and gifts go together. There is no life without gifts, and no gifts without life. All the gifts of man reflect
“the image and likeness” of God, and the magnanimity of His Love for man. Life and gifts comes fused together and are inseparable. Therefore, a person’s “life-gift” or dream is always magnetizing to him or her. 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 niche, his niche finds him. Yet life attracts pain, distress, the fear of failure, and we fail to realize tests are keys to our dream-life.
10. “Bula” man-river and Relationships with People in his Valley
The “Bula” man-river’s relationship hinges on the three Genesis mandates God gave man at creation. They are the helper mandate, the dominion mandate, and the Triune mandate.
11. Health and the “Bula” man-river
A person’s emotional state arising out of his spiritual life, will affect his or her body’s health and ability to respond to illnesses. Marauding cares with its damaging emotional aftermath comes to us through the spirit of ownership in the three drivers of life of health, wealth, and happiness. The “Bula” man-river rightly treats them in the attitude of stewardship and joy in his union with the Triune God.
12. What is “Core Gift” and “Life-Gift?”
Man is given two principal gifts in Christ: one is the “core gift” of the Spirit, and the second is the “life-gift” in his calling and destiny. His “core gift” makes him a “Bula” man-river, and his “life-gift” takes him where the “living waters” flows for the benefit of the valleys and communities.
13. What is God’s Triune Love?
First and foremost, man originated from a Being who is One in His Trinitarian makeup and character. (Gen.1:26-27) Man is the anthropomorphism of a God who is Triune. The Father is not God without the Son and the Spirit. Nor is the Son God without the Father and the Spirit. Neither is the Spirit God without the Father and Son. Because of this basic truth of God’s Triune nature, we were made to live and function like He does in His Tri-Personal Being. That’s to say, in the Trinity, each Person “occupies” the others’ personalities. This occupation brings about a relational oneness or “Triune Life” as I often refer to in my blogs. As each of the three Persons of the Trinity becomes “home” for the other two, so do we when we live the “Triune Life” in Christ. (Rom.8:29) As each inhabits the others, each is host and guest to the other in this Triune lifestyle and existence. It is so reciprocal that each one feels more at home with the others’ personalities than His own. Trinitarian persons, which we have become through and in Christ, do not exist in isolation; they live in and through one another, which makes their personalities relational. Each has intimate access to the others’ deepest thoughts and feelings perpetually. Hence we read Jesus’ declaration of this “Triune Life”: “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” (John 14:10). It’s a life that’s never lived solitarily, but collaboratively, each inhabiting the other as host and guests in Loving relationship. Man will only live to his detriment without this shared “Triune Life.” The power which makes this kind of living possible is God’s divine Love.”God is Love,” and Love is God. (1 John 4:8)
The Trinity, After Whose Likeness Man Was Fashioned (Wiki Commons)
But what is Love and how does it move in the lives of people? How do we know Love when we see it? In order to understand we have to go back to the original mandate given to man at creation in Genesis. Let’s hear the mandate once more. After God created teem of living creatures in the oceans, and every winged creature, the beasts of the earth and everything that creeps, each after their kind, He said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule (have dominion) over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule (have dominion) over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen.1:26-31).
The words I have italicized in the passage above spells out the “dominion mandate” over this earth the Creator God gave Adam and Eve, our first parents. Please note, there is not a word mentioned here of humans having dominion or rule over other humans. The passage speaks of man’s dominion over all creation, except another human. This was quite deliberate, why, because there is only One Ruler over man who is made in the Creator’s likeness – God, who alone Personally directs man by His Spirit. No human is superior to another human because they bear the same image of God which makes them all equals. Then God places unique gifts in each man, woman, and child, and through those gift directs His human children in Love. Yet, as humans we have absolutely no power to confer gifts upon human beings (perish the thought), and we have the audacity to rule and dominate them, without a clue as to who they are, nor their God-given gifts? Paul makes this clear, “In a marriage relationship, there is authority from Christ to husband, and from husband to wife. The authority of Christ is the authority of God.” (1 Cor.11:3, MSG; also Heb. 8:10-11; Isa. 30:20-21). In that order the head of every man, woman, and child, is God, and He has never relinquished this role to a human. God makes this profoundly clear in the way we live everyday, “We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer” (Pro.16:1). We all seek success in everything we do in life, but a wrong answer means failure and disaster, for us and our loved ones. But if we acknowledge and allow God to weigh our motives, intents, and purposes, then He rules over us and leads us to success, victory, and happiness. If another human is capable of doing what God does, then he’s obligated to rule humans; but it’s impossible for man to do what only God can do. Thus, God’s sovereignty over His creation is unquestionable. Only God has gifted every human who has ever lived and thereby knows the intents and purpose of each person, and how to lead the person to his/her destiny. So, why do humans seek to rule over and dominate other humans and infringe upon God’s direct Personal area of responsibility? Do we dare act upon what we are unqualified nor have the capacity to do? The truth is people dominate other people because they have taken on another spirit, not God’s Spirit.
It is crucial as much as it is pragmatic that God gave Adam the original “other” human to live the role of a suitable “helper” with him. So, Eve was not created like Adam was, but out of Adam, depicting the basic Trinitarian nature of personal co-habitation in one another. (Gen.2:20-24) When Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man,” the Spirit helped him to utter the basic Trinitarian principle of co-habitation of persons as one being, like the Triune Being of God. Children are birthed under the same Triune principle. Though the primary context for this instruction to Adam and Eve was matrimonial, Eve epitomizes every human. Since Eve was the only “other” human besides Adam, by extension she also represented our “neighbor,” whoever he or she may be. For the “helper” decree can be applied in every context, not necessarily matrimonial. Hence, the mandate to not rule but “help,” our fellow humans.
Paul explains this “helper” decree we’re to have toward our fellowmen: “Owe no man anything, except the debt of Love” (Rom. 13:8; Gal. 6:2; Rom.5:5). Again, “We are helpers of your joy” (2 Cor. 1:24, KJV). Yes, we ought to be a source of joy to others – that’s what Love does. Why, because God created us and owes us the same debt of Love when He gave His only Son to die for us. John said, “Dear friends, since God so Loved us, we also ought to Love one another” ( 1 John 4:11). Yes, this is a debt we owe every human who walks this earth: “the debt of Love,” but never to dominate and rule another human which is God’s prerogative alone. Jesus said it this way, “love our neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). That means your neighbor is your equal – you can’t dominate anyone who is your equal. Human domination is forbidden irrespective of station, color, nationality, culture, or whatever walls of division humans are prone to put up. So, the original Genesis “dominion mandate” given to man precludes our domination over another human.
Divine Love, Not Man’s Love (Wiki Commons)
Those who channel their “dominion spirit” selfishly are spontaneously forced to make greed and avarice their way of life, instead of God’s Love. They think the only way is to compete and control, not realizing that the “dominion mandate” given to man precludes our domination over another man. Everything created is given to man to have dominion and rule with the exception of man.
“You are unrealistic,” one might say, “people are employed to serve under people who are above them. So how do we apply this principle in real life situations?” Yes, every company operates under this ‘servant/master’ relationship where there’s management and employees. So did Jesus when He walked this earth, yet He lived by the “dominion mandate” set by God, never domineering nor dictating His followers. In fact, He served His followers, never lording it over them. The leader is the greatest servant, he is servant to his followers. He asked His disciples, “Do you understand what I have just done?” What did He just do? He performed the most menial task a servant can do – getting down on His knees and washing the disciples’ feet. He told them, “You call me ‘Master’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you” (John 13:12-17). You see, you can be a manager of people and still be the greatest servant of all. How? You have to frame every person in the context of owing everyone the “debt of Love” (Rom.13:8). That’s how God behaves toward us, the least we could do is do likewise with others.
Jesus, Washing The Disciples’ Feet, Showing Leadership Through Love and Servanthood (Wiki Commons)
Man was not born with this Love, but he is given this Love through a spiritual rebirth in the Spirit. Jesus said, “You must be born again of the Spirit” (John 3:5-8) The Spirit is the deposit and presence of God’s Love in man. (Rom.5:5) Love is the glue which makes the “Triune Life” possible. “Triune Life” means a believer who lives the 3-dimensional life in habitation with the Triune God, as opposed to the ‘solitary’ 1-dimensional life man lives in himself. Love means trust. When Adam disobeyed God, his human spirit died. “You will surely die,” God told Adam when he ate the forbidden fruit. (Gen.2:17) Adam’s spirit died because of sin, for “the wages of sin is death” (Rom.6:23). Sin is the opposite of Love. The devil took reign of man’s heart for he is the originator of sin, rebellion, and death. (Ezek.28:15) Man’s fallen and dead state of spiritual being now becomes the basis of his thinking process and the trigger for human suffering we see in the world today.
We have to understand what Jesus meant when He said, “Life is spiritual. Your physical existence doesn’t contribute to that life” (John 6:63, God’s Word T.). Paul expounded on this when he said, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph.6:12). That’s to say, what we see in man’s physical world is the result of the goings-on in the spiritual realm affecting human actions. (see Job 2:1-4) This means man is not free as he thinks he is. Spiritually, he is incarcerated in the devil’s prison owing to Adam’s decision. Paul tells us the freedom we enjoy, “through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Rom.8:2).
The Human Mind – We Ask, Which Spirit Is in Control of Our Motives? (Wiki Commons)
The human mind is the seat of spiritual life of man. Of all creatures of creation God made, only man was made with the mind to enable him to have a spiritual existence. Through the human mind man was made to communicate with God. The human body is all material except for the brain which becomes the human mind with the spirit of man God breathed in him at creation. (Gen.2:7) That is the difference between an animal and human being – the human mind! The source of all man’s actions, be they good or evil, originates from a spiritual source – the human mind. Paul says, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). This passage speaks of a truth we often are unaware, since the mind is spiritual by nature, thereby, external spiritual forces can enter man and influence his actions – depending upon what spirit we allow to influence us. Man is a free moral agent, and therefore, he has to choose which spirit to submit himself.