THE “HELPER MANDATE” GIVEN TO MAN AT CREATION, BY KIANG P LEE

What is the “Helper Mandate?” When God created the first humans, Adam and Eve, He gave them the “helper mandate” to keep their relationship bound in the bond of Love. I would like to share an excerpt from my book, “Bulamanriver – The Miracle of Triune Living,” which speaks on this subject.

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Human Hand-Symbol of “Help” Mankind Give One Another and to Creation (Pic: Wiki Commons)

The Genesis “Helper Mandate”

“The first act of man in his relationship with another human is to use his God-given purpose to promote “creative living” with his fellowman. The purpose of gifts is to be creative as God is Creator. If gifts originate from the divine source, then man’s relationship with one another is mediated by the One who is inherently part of the gift – the Gift-Giver, Jesus – through the “living waters” of the Bulamanriver.* The creative aspect of this relationship was given at the beginning when Adam was created and the original “other” human was taken from him. There God uttered the first of three Genesis Mandates for man through Adam and Eve: to be a fitting “helper” for each other. Though the primary context for this instruction is marriage, the meaning is twofold. 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” can be applied in every context, not necessarily matrimonial. I call this the “helper mandate.”

“Paul encouraged the Corinthians, saying we are “helpers of your joy” (2 Cor. 1:24, KJV). Further, he told the Romans, “Owe no man anything, except the debt of love” (Rom. 13:8; Gal. 6:2, KJV). Jesus reiterated man’s “helper mandate” when He said we are to “love our neighbors as we love ourselves” (Mark 12:31, emphasis added). The famed 23rd Psalm depicts God as the “helper” of mankind. So we see in all this that the “creative living” outline cannot be denied: to be a “helper.” The primary purpose of our calling therefore is ultimately to “help” one another and bring all mankind to unity with the “Triune God in Jesus.

Genesis “Dominion Mandate”

“We cease to be “helpers” when we violate man’s “dominion mandate.” What is the “dominion mandate”? It is the second Genesis Mandate that has two parts given to mankind by the Creator: how he is to interact and conduct himself with creation, and with his fellow humans. The first part is the “helper mandate” in man’s relation with his fellowman, while the “dominion mandate” explains man’s relation in his dominion over all creation, which doesn’t include dominion over another person (Gen. 1:26-31; 2:19-20). We are to “help” not “dominate” our fellow humans. Only God is man’s ruler because He is man’s Savior. We are to be man’s “helper,” not “ruler.”

“A person’s relationship with another is either creative or uncreative, productive or unproductive, but is hardly ever neutral. We make the mistake of trying to merge the two when it can’t be done, and we can be one or the other depending on which river we ride. There is no Savior of mankind except Jesus (John 3:16). Every single human is given equal and shared dominion over the earth under the Creator (Ps. 24:1; Eccl. 5:9, NKJV). The passage from Genesis makes clear the dual mandate of man’s dominion over the entire creation, and the mandate of being “helpers” of his fellowman.” (End of Quote). You may read more by obtaining a copy of my book on my website: www.bulamanriver.com.

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Throne – Symbol of “Dominion.” Jesus said, “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Rev.3:21) (Pic: Wiki Commons)

Only when man can learn to live the creative life and “help” his fellowmen can he be given dominion to rule eternally with Christ. (Rev.5:10; 22:5; 3:21)

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

Blessing:

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

Kiang,

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

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 InformationThank you. 

“AS A MAN THINKS IN HIS HEART, SO IS HE” BY KIANG P LEE

Greeting Friends! I would like to share with you an excerpt from my book, “Bulamanriver – The Miracle of Triune Living.” (Chapter 5) The gist of it is related to the title stated above. It is my hope you will find it uplifting and beneficial.

“Thoughts become forms created in the mind to help us make choices. Forms are the result of “creative thinking” which leads to “creative action” and materializes into “creative works” (Eph. 2:10). The mind is also the “factory” for creating destructive thoughts. Everyone possesses two mindsets: one manages the conscious thoughts while the second manages the subconscious mind.

Divine Spark, 012215Thoughts Matter – What Does Yours Look Like? (Pic: Wiki Commons)

“That is how God made the mind to function, and it is well researched in scientific circles (Pro. 20:27). The subconscious mind is the underlying thought process which governs the conscious thoughts. It’s the sponsoring or core thought process. It’s the mindset that collects all your thought data and creates “form” out of them to be acted upon.

“Think about the law of gravity. We grow up discovering how to compensate for it as we learn to live within the limitations it allows us. All our acts and movements are done to compensate for it, so much so that we don’t give it second thought. We take gravity for granted, and becomes second nature to us. When we are up on a high elevation, we find something to hold onto for we are well aware what gravity is capable of doing to us. In a sense, our mind has its own “gravity” – our subconscious mind. Our conscious thoughts, all sixty thousand of them, have to compensate for this “gravitational” pull of our subconscious mind and what it is telling us. We gravitate to our subconscious-sponsored thought unconsciously. In other words, if there is a clash of thoughts between the conscious and the subconscious, the subconscious will win every time.

“For example, think about the important topic of money. A person may have a long-held belief that it is wrong to be rich. Perhaps his idea of money stems from his mistaken understanding of a passage from the Bible which states “For the love of money is a (not ‘the’) root of all kinds of evil; for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves with many sorrows” (1 Tim. 6:10, NKJV). His belief and idea about money is soldered into his subconscious mind. Yet, in his conscious thoughts, he plans to buy the most lavish and expensive things for his family. There is a clash of mindsets. What’s being pursued his sponsoring mindset will not allow him to achieve in a truly abundant way—at least not until he harmonizes his subconscious mind with his conscious thoughts about money.

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“This change happens at the “flush-out” stage, more commonly known as the point of forgiveness and repentance. (I will attempt to stay away from ‘religious’ terms so that the mind will not fall into the groove of legalism; that is how powerful words are to the subconscious mind.) The only other way is to pursue it deviously for his clash of values forces him down that path. Anything that’s acquired through such a manner is done out of fear and ultimately ends in lack and want. No matter how it may appear, it is all pretension and is hollow and will not be lasting.

“Money is not evil by itself – it’s the wrong use of money that’s evil. The bottom line on money is this: if money is a defense, and it is, and Jesus is our true defense, then money and Jesus are one and the same. Money becomes something virtuous for it is used to reflect Jesus. We don’t adore money but Jesus, our true defense (Eccl. 7:11-12). It would be pointless to have as much money as you would like if it cannot protect or defend you. True defense comes from Jesus, not money.

“We fail to learn to live within Love’s spiritual “gravity” as quickly as we do with physical gravity. It’s a process of thought and thought forms. On the physical level, we learn very quickly that we need a chair to break our fall when we sit, but we fail to equate the goodness of our heart with creatively living in our relations with God and man, which brings true success.

“Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. That’s an average of 2500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour. That’s incredible. (http://www.successconsciousness.com/) So how do we take these many conscious thoughts that enter and influence our minds at a rate that boggles the mind and make sense of them? A Christian’s subconscious (sponsoring) thought is God’s Love. Love is the subconscious mindset that should govern all our thoughts. Love is another word for super-abundance.

“Therefore, the sponsoring thought always ends with abundance through the divine Love. Jesus said, “Those who have – more will be given; those who don’t – what they have will be taken” (Matt. 13:12 emphasis added). He is speaking of our underlying philosophy about life that’s welded to our subconscious mind, whether it is anchored in Love and abundance or fear and lack. The subconscious-sponsoring thought is the sieve that filters all our conscious thoughts to produce one inevitable form – abundance or want. The subconscious mindset determines if your thoughts fall on “good and rich ground” or difficult and poor ground. (Mar.4:8) Love is to our thought environment what gravity is to our physical environment. No matter how high we aim, our foot will rest ultimately on the ground of our sponsoring thought.

“If the Bible can be defined in one word, it is Love (Matt. 22:37-40). The Bible is the written Word of God, and Jesus is the Personified Word of God. So we have both the literal and the Personified Word of God. (John 1:14; 6:63) Paul says, for example, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear each other and forgive one another if any of you have a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on Love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Col. 3:12-14). This is the manner our thought process is to function, and it can only be done Trinitarianly in the power of the Triune God through the power of the Spirit.

File:Love What is It.JPGGod’s Divine Love – Empowers Man’s Subconscious Mind (Pic: Wiki Commons)

“Now, this triune thought process is what create forms in the Spirit’s power in the “living waters.” (John 7: 38-39) They may not be the forms in the appearance of your personal “gift-life” for you and your family – that comes later as an outgrowth of this. Love is the rock-solid foundation upon which dreams are built. Your dream-life God alone will show you in due course; no one else can. This is the principle behind the basic premise that the little things done right will result in the bigger things taking care of themselves (Matt. 25:23, 6:33-34; Luke 16:10, 19:17).

“Therefore, the Bible is the basis from which we create forms of thought that lead to greater benefits, and they come without regret because they are founded on the principles of God’s Love. The Bible says we should pay heed to the foundation upon which we build our lives – whether it is on shifting sand or on the solid Rock, Jesus Himself (Matt. 7:24-27). The foundation determines whether the structure will stand the test of time and remain secure and stable. The Bible is the foundation of our thoughts for creating plans, desires, goals, and objectives – in one word, basic form of the Love of God.

“The Bible brings form and stability to our lives as long as Love is in our subconscious mindset and shapes the basis of our thought processes. Love is “creative action” because it is deliberately formed in the thought and acted out. To think like a Bulamanriver* is to think like God. To think like God is to think Love in all its manifestation (1 Cor. 13:1-13; Rom. 12 & 13; Gal. 5; Col. 3 & 4). Then we are to maintain this sound mind that comes consistently from the Spirit to keep our thoughts motivated by Love’s fruits (2 Tim. 1:7, NKJV).” (End of Quote) 

Truly, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov.23:7).

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

Blessing:

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

Kiang,

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

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 InformationThank you.

HOW TO LIVE THE “TRIUNE LIFE,” BY KIANG P LEE

“No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the Vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me” John 15:6

Greetings Friends! What does the “Triune Life” mean in practical, livable terms? I hope my share with you in this blog will enlighten you to the Christian life as it ought to be lived according to Scripture.

The most basic and pivotal knowledge man can have is to understand God is Trinitarian. For the Christian, the mention of the name of God, must always convey His Tri-Personal Being in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is not a “solitary” God as some religions espouse, He is a Trinitarian God. If a person’s concept of God is inaccurate and untrue, then there will always be something lacking and amiss in his relationship with God. No matter how much knowledge a person may claim to have of God, his dedication is misplaced and it does take its toll in the appeal and subtlety of Love’s nuances which will make all the difference. Even a person’s prayer can be amiss because his concept of God is flawed. File:Holy Trinity Icon.jpg

Rublev’s Famous Icon of the Trinity (Wiki Commons)

In this blog site I have always advocated living the “Triune Life.” In the Q&A section I explained the “Triune Life” as 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 the believer. 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; Heb.8:10-12). Only a blessed life can result from such an obedient life made possible by the Spirit.

But how does man, how does the believer, live the “Triune Life” in a day-to-day practical sense? I will share a passage from Scripture showing how the “Triune Life” is lived in the real-world sense. This is taken from John 15 in Jesus’ explanation of the vine and branches. Jesus, the second Person of the Triune Godhead said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. You are the branches. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in Me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples” (John 15:1, 4-8). What a beautiful metaphor of the “Triune Life” we have in the Tri-Personal Being of God that’s depicted here. And Jesus warns us the Gardner (Father) will “cut off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (V.2).

In this metaphor we see the Father and the Son mentioned clearly. And how about the Holy Spirit, since this is the “Triune Life” involving all three Persons of the Trinity.  In fact, the role of the Spirit takes the major portion of the passage, from John verses 9 to 17. Jesus made the Spirit’s involvement plain in Verse 26, “When the Advocate (Holy Spirit) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—He will testify about Me.” Jesus continues to attest to this in Chapter 16, where He further vouch for the Spirit and promises, “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you,” and “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth” (V.7 & V.13). In Verses 9 through 17, Jesus speaks of the Spirit’s work in the believer, “As the Father has Loved Me, so have I Loved you. Now, remain in My Love” (v.9). The work of Loving entails the work of the Spirit.

How does a believer remain in Jesus’ Love? Jesus said “If you keep My commands, you will remain in My Love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His Love.”(V.10) We read the covenant promise earlier where the Spirit empowers us to obey God’s commands. (Ezek.36:27; Heb.8:10-12) Is Loving God and keeping His commands something we can do with our own human power and effort? Of course not! We were not born with this kind of divine Love in us to Love God in return as Jesus does the Father. This is where the Spirit enters the scene for He is the embodiment of God’s Love in man. Paul makes this clear, saying, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). That is the only way to Love God back and be true to His calling (command). There is no other way but through the Spirit’s presence and power (Love). The fruits produced and seen hanging off the branch (man) are the fruits of Love which reveal the Holy Spirit’s presence and work in the believer.

Paul explained to the Corinthians what these fruits are in detail, revealing the distinctive shades of God’s Love (1 Cor.13): the fruit of patience, the fruit of kindness, the fruit of contentedness, the fruit of being modest and 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. The Bible’s claim of God’s nature is made abundantly clear by John, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). He is not made of Love, He IS Love!

The fruits of Love amplified above tells us how the three Persons of the Trinity conduct Themselves towards each other from eternity. And now man (branch) is grafted into Jesus (vine) making the Love relationship with the Triune God and with his neighbors (other branches) possible.

Of course, it has to start with man receiving Jesus as personal Savior through repentance and forgiveness. On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up in the Spirit’s anointing and said, “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).

Jesus Role in the “Triune Life”

Let us see Jesus’ role in the “Triune Life.” Jesus said, No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5). To remain in the Son means to never stop believing in Him as our permanent and ongoing Mediator. It means to experience the Love of the Father for the Son which has been from eternity. (John 17:24). It means to be showered with the Father’s Love through the Son  and become a blessing. This is how the “Triune Life” is lived out with the Son’s participation in the life of the believer. Paul affirms, “In Christ you are made complete” (Col.2:10). File:Regent Grape Vine with bud.jpg

Jesus is the Vine with Branch offshoots extending (Man) where Fruits Hang off (Pic: Wiki Commons) 

Father’s Role in the “Triune Life”

Let us see the Father’s role in the “Triune Life.” Jesus said, “My Father is the Gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples(V.1-2, 8). This is how the “Triune Life” is lived with the Father’s commitment in the believer’s life. The Bible says, “we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness” (Heb.12:9-10). All blessings comes ultimately from the Father of lights, James tells us. (Jam.1:17). 

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The Gardener Pruning The Branches to Make it more Fruitful (Pic: Wiki Commons) 

Spirit’s Role in the “Triune Life”

What about the Spirit’s role? As we have seen, although it is not explicit in this passage, it is implicit through the fruits hanging from the branches. The Spirit supplies the sap (Love) which flows like a river from the good soil the Gardner (Father) tends through the Vine (Son) and into the branch (man) which bears the Spirit’s fruits of Love. Jesus said“Anyone who believes in Me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’ (When He said “living water,” He was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in Him.)” (John 7:38-39). So, this is the “Triune Life” where we see the Spirit supplying the flow of God’s Love in the believer. Paul further enlightens us about the Spirit’s work, saying, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16 NASB, also 6:19).

Jesus said you can see the presence of the Spirit, or conversely His absence, by the fruits of people’s actions, “You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. 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). You can say that if a believer is bearing the fruits of the Spirit then he can be likened to the “Tree of Life” that sustained Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, for it represented the Holy Spirit.

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Fruits, Evidence of the Work of the Spirit in the Believer (Pic: Wiki Commons)

There was another tree in Eden which our first parents were forbidden to go near: the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” (Gen.2:17) This tree bore fruits that were of exact reverse to the Tree of Life. Here we see two trees, one representing the “solitary life” (the Tree of Good and Evil), and the other represents the “Triune Life” (the Tree of Life). The “solitary life” is the life of self-determination where one does what seems right in his own eyes without the guidance or participation of the Tri-Personal God. It is the life of a person who is cut-off (branch) from the “Tree of Life.” The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represent Satan and the fruits of this worldly way of life which leads people to their ultimate demise.

We must now ask this relevant question, what is the purpose of producing much fruit, for this is how the Father is glorified through man. (John 15:8)  In my book, “Bulamanriver, The Miracle of Triune Living,” I said on page 111, “Think about the fruit trees lining the riverbanks. Do we see the trees feasting upon their own fruits? That would make the trees self-destructive. In his fallen self, man thinks inwardly like that. He thinks what he has received from God is for his own “cannibalistic” appetite. No, the fruits are the imaginative life of God’s Love, sown as seeds that take root in the lives of others. We give, not clasp onto the Spirit’s fruits, so the “creative life” is always ready to regenerate new life through giving. The fruits are for the valley people (where the river flows), for their sustenance, and for others who come and “see and taste the goodness of the Lord,” the Creator flowing in you (Ps. 34:8 emphasis added). (End of quote) Love is always outgoing, it is never inward and self-indulgent. File:Gezi2.jpg

Dove, Symbol of the Holy Spirit (Wiki Commons)

Many see the Christian life like a fully paid never-ending vacation cruise where they will indulge in the blessed life of plenty. The Bible says no such thing, although the blessed life comes to man through a route that’s altogether different from what man imagines. The Spirit’s fruits is not for man’s selfish appetite, fruits are for the benefit of others so people are drawn to the Father by them. This is how we glorify God in our lives – by bearing more and more fruits for others to experience God. Jesus said, “My Father is the Gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:1-2). Yes, the believer lives a disciplined life in order to produce more fruits for the sustenance of the people God wants to show and give His Love.

The disciplined life brings its own blessing. The Bible states, “The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, without painful toil for it.” (Prov.10:22) In other words, God’s blessing comes without the harmful stress of our human solitary efforts without His input and favor. The Lord’s blessing comes as the outgrowth of His and our calling, not because we are seeking to be blessed selfishly through greed and/or covetousness.

We live in an overtly self-indulgent world, which is diametrically opposite to the type of mindset needed to bear much spiritual fruit. The church at Corinth taught us that the mere presence of the Spirit does not equate to bearing much fruit in the believer. Paul said to the believers in Corinth, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (Eph.5:18). Man’s free will (freedom) is a divine prerogative originating from God’s nature of Love. Humans can only be trained to Love through  freedom, not coercion. In all facets of the Christian life, fruit-bearing is the aim and purpose of life which requires deliberate (free) and conscious reliance on the Holy Spirit. This is what Jesus’ metaphor of the vine and branches teaches and depicts the  authentic Christian life. It is regrettable that the reason many Christians do not live fulfilled lives is because they have lost the true concept of God and His triune activity in man, and how to have a Loving relationship is cultivated through the “Triune Life.”

What else does the fruits of the Spirit represent besides the different shades of God’s Love which demonstrates to us how to live the “Triune Life?”  The fruits are also metaphor for each of our gifts, talents, skills, abilities, and virtuous flair we are called to manifest God’s Love for and to others. Paul testifies to the end result of what Jesus did as our Savior after dying for human sins, “When He (Jesus) ascended on high, He took many captives and gave gifts to His people” (Eph.4:8). What Paul says here about gifts answers to Jesus’ promise of the Spirit, “Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you” (John 16:13). So, first and foremost, the primary gift is the gift of the Holy Spirit who comes and dwells in the believer as His temple. (1 Cor.3:16) God’s concept of a temple in which He dwells is not some brick and mortar edifice which can be destroyed by hands, but it has always been the heart and soul of man, as we read, “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).  After a sinful life is washed clean by Jesus’ blood, the human life becomes the temple where God and man meet and communicate.

From this vantage point where man becomes God’s temple, the Spirit distributes various material gifts (art) that is needed to feed people with God’s Love (fruits). So we read the work of the Spirit in believers, “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He distributes them to each one, just as He determines” (1 Cor.12:7-11). Paul further 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).

But gifts are not necessarily ecclesiastical or religious in nature. For the majority of Christians the gifts they have are of a ’secular’ nature, but it is the same Spirit working in all to bring glory to the Father. Paul said, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to each of us…in proportion to our faith, let us use them” (Rom. 12:6, ESV). Paul again said, “[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. (Phil.2:13, AMP)

We are given the freedom to be whoever we want to become in our hearts. A person can be a plumber, or engineer, a doctor or gardener, an architect or builder, a marine biologist or fisherman, a basketball player or botanist, an entrepreneur or employee, or whatever the gift may be. Gifts may evolve as the Spirit supplies the faith according to a need. None of us is a superhuman who possesses all gifts. God has distributed gifts in every single human so that all of humanity reflect God’s image through the myriads of talents we see in people. It’s obvious that we all need each other because we all lack something in our lives which somebody else may have the gift to fill our needs and wants. That is how God made humans to need and help one another and show His Love to all mankind.

We use our gifts primarily for the sake of the gospel to glorify God. We desist from using our gifts for self-centered objectives just as nature teaches us that a tree cannot feed “cannibalistically” of its own fruits. Too many trade their gifts for motives of selfish mercenary gain instead of glorifying God. We can use our gifts for our own self-centered ends, or we can use them to serve others for God’s glory. The fruits of our gifts are given to others out of Love to fulfill a need as we willingly follow the direction of the Spirit. Whatever we do, Paul say we do “as if you are serving the Lord (first), not people” (Eph.6:7, my emphasis). 

I hope this answers the meaning of the “Triune Life” as revealed in Scripture. It means to remain in Christ so we can experience firsthand the Love of the Father for the Son, and vice versa the Son for the Father. Remaining in the Son’s Love will afford us the  Father’s Love and we become more blessed and fruitful in the process. And the Spirit carries out the Love activity of the Father and Son as He sanctifies us. (John 16:13; 2 Thess.2:13)

The underpinning of the “Triune Life” is living a miraculous life, for to be in the hands of the living Triune God is nothing short of miraculous. And we see this openly displayed and experienced by the people who lived in Jesus’ day when He walked this earth. Yes, lepers were made whole again, the blind see, the lame walk, even the dead raised to life, and all manner of disease of the body, mind, and soul. (Act.10:38) The miraculous life is really the essence of the “Triune Life.”

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

Blessing:

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

Kiang,  

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

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

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.

MAN IS A “TRIUNE” BEING, BY KIANG P LEE

 

Greetings Friends! What do I mean by “man is a “triune” being?” It means that man as a whole person is composed of three elementary substances in his makeup. First, he is physical and material (that ought to be obvious to all). Second, man has a spiritual component which gives his brain mind-power; and thirdly, man is destined for immortality, and therefore forever united to his Creator and Sustainer, who is the Author and Finisher of his eternal destiny.

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Man, Standing in the Shadow of God His Creator (Pic: Wiki Commons)

These three basic makeup are revealed in the Bible. Let us begin with the third element as this is the Creator’s chief purpose for creating man: ‘man is destined for immortality and forever unified to his Creator.’ Humans are made in God’s immortal image and therefore has the potential for immortality as his birthright. Thereby, man holds a unique place in creation and the created order. In the book of Genesis, the Bible states, “When God created mankind, He made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And He named them “Mankind” when they were created” (Gen.5:1-2; also Gen.1:26-27). Hence, man’s entire destiny is forever tied to who God is in His immortal Being. Also, besides being immortal God’s image and likeness reveal who He IS. God, in His divine Being, is Trinitarian, meaning, He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

God is not solitary as other religions espouse about their deities, God is three Persons in One Triune Godhead. (Matt.28:18-20) He is One but He is not solitary, He is Trinitarian. If God is Triune, then it follows that God is Love, for Love cannot exists in a solitary form of existence. (1 John 4:8, 16; John 3:16) Love can only thrive in communion where there is more than one person. All of creation has the Creator’s underlying interconnected Triune Being – there is no other way God can create.

Therefore, nothing exists on its own (solitary), but mutually dependent and interconnected to reflect God who is identical in His Triune Being. Science has discovered how the universe works through Einstein’s theory of relativity, or in other words, we are part of one ginormous interconnected universe. Love is not defined by our human narrative of it, but by a wholly divine meaning, for Love is the means by which our interdependent world exists, beginning with man who is made in God’s Triune image and likeness.

Consequently, the Bible speaks repeatedly about man’s responsibility to behave relationally in God’s Triune image and likewise show Love (integration and fellowship) with his fellow human. One such passage says, “owe nothing to anyone except the debt to Love one another” (Rom.13:8, NLT). So, man’s destiny on this earth and beyond is forever tied to God’s divine Triune Personage of Love. God’s image is Love and He is immortal. He is not made of Love, He IS Love from eternity to eternity. (1 John 4:8, 16)     

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Man, Made in God’s Interconnected Triune Image (Reblev’s Icon of Trinity, Wiki Commons)

On the first element of man’s makeup of material existence, the Bibles says, “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… You will return to the ground since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Gen.2:7; 3:19b). Though man has this temporary physical existence, he has this potential to become an immortal being, for therein lies his destiny. He is forever tied to the immortal image of His Creator. The Bible states, “For God Loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). So, in man’s physical existence man was headed to return to the dust from which he was taken because of sin, but by sacrificing His Son as the payment for human sins, God has secured man’s future of immortality with Him (third element).

On the second substance of man’s makeup, ‘man has a spiritual component which gives his brain mind-power,’ the Bible says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7a). In other words, though man’s physical makeup differentiates him from all other species of creation on earth, that is not what really sets him apart. What sets man apart is the freedom with which man uses his mind to think thoughts and thought-forms independently from one another, and how he wants to live his/her life. In other words, you are what you think!

You are set apart by your thinking not your physical appearance. It is your mind which decides who you are by the actions you take in life. The Bible tells us that we renew ourselves through our thought-processes, “Be you transformed by the renewing of your mind (your thoughts)” (Rom. 12:2).

Animals and other created species don’t think, they have preset instincts, but humans do because they are made in God’s image. To have mind power is the potential of humans replicated after the God-kind. When we see the great advances of human ingenuity in history and particularly in recent history, it’s truly mind-boggling to ponder and reflect upon. In areas of sciences, the arts, astronomy, technology, engineering, medicine, design and creativity, artificial intelligence, aeronautics and space exploration, etc, etc. All these and more reveal primarily the genius-mind of the Creator God after whom the human mind was fashioned.

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Man, Made to Reflect God with Human Mind (Pic: Wiki Commons)

So we know man got his ‘creative juices’ from the Creator God, but how does He channel it to man to do feats of such marvelous wonder? The Bible says that God “discerns thoughts from afar” (Psa.139:2). The Bible says further that “He knows the secrets of every heart” (Psa.44:21, NLB). How is it possible for God to know our thoughts? The Bible reveals God as omniscient (all-knowing/all-seeing), saying, “How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is infinite (beyond comprehension!)” (Psa.147:5).

Jesus walked this earth as God and man (Immanuel – God with us). The Bible shows He was able to read people’s thoughts, like, “And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them…” (Matt.12:25). Another passage says, “But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man…(Luk.6:8) John declares, “He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man” (John 2:25, NASB). While Jesus walked this earth as Immanuel He voluntarily suspended the use of certain divine prerogatives, but obviously these passages and others show He utilized His all-knowing powers.

Teacher of homiletics at the Dallas Regional Seminary, Reg Grant, said, “God has breathed into humans the breath of life, and in that breath we have absorbed the image of God in the immaterial essence of soul, spirit, mind, heart, and conscience, each contributing to the development of intellect, emotion, and will. Among all the animals that inhabit the planet, we humans possess the unique ability to think God’s thoughts.” (The Holy Spirit and Arts: www.bible.org) From the Trinitarian perspective Jesus is the Word (Logos) who speaks, and the Spirit is the Artist who produces, which the Genesis account of creation makes clear. Grant goes on, “The degree to which we yield to His appeal is the degree to which we will enjoy blessing and reward. Conversely, the degree to which we resist His appeal to conscience is the degree to which, among all creation, we will suffer loss and shame.”

What Grant says supports the biblical narrative about the human mind, “The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all the innermost parts of his being” (Prov.20:27). Man was made and exists in God’s image, therefore, He has created the fund of knowledge to which man must live and appeal to His plans for humanity. Man’s spirit when united with God’s Spirit makes the human mind possible.

The Spirit lies ‘dormant’ giving man the prowess and genius of the human mind, waiting until as such time as a person becomes a believer by receiving Jesus, at which juncture the Spirit becomes ‘active’ in His primary role of sanctifying man, thus, making the third element of immortality possible. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25). Now, the Spirit lives in the man (believer) as a temple where God comes to reside and take up residence, making the “triune life” of God livable, and will resurrect man to immortality at God’s appointed time. (1 Cor.3:16; 6:19; Rom.15:16; 2 Thess.2:13; John 15:1-17; 1 Cor.15) Paul said, “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you” (Rom.8:11).

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Man’s Destiny - Human Made Immortal Like Jesus (Pic: Wiki Commons)

These are the three elements which unites man to God so he can exist in His Triune likeness. And throughout man’s life, he will have the sure hands of the Father, Son, and Spirit at his side to bring him to his purpose and destiny as a person made in God’s very likeness.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write to me in the space below, or email me at bulamanriver@gmail.com.

Blessings, 

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

Kiang,

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

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

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

“SALVATION IS FROM THE JEWS (ISRAEL)” BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings Friends everywhere!

Can the Christian faith be fully understood and achieved without Israel? Is Israel an intrinsic part of salvation for the Christian? Many don’t think so. Many have discarded Israel as irrelevant to the Christian faith. They say Israel was part of the Old Covenant that was done away and been replaced by the New Covenant. They quote passages from Romans which says, “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are no longer under the law (Old Covenant – the basis of the OC was the law or 10 Commandments), but under grace (New Covenant -the basis of the NC is Jesus Christ)” (Rom.6:14). Or, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor.5:17). Yet another says, “By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear” (Heb.8:13). 

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Israel, Led by a Pillar of Fire to Freedom from Egyptian Bondage to Lead Humanity to the True God (Pic: Wiki Commons)

All these passages and others must be understood within the framework of God’s overall plan of salvation for mankind from start to finish, including Israel. So, how does Israel fit into God’s plan of salvation for Christians today, and by extension all humanity? Israel’s role under the Old Covenant was to inculcate into humanity the proper “human instinct” that ought to guide the human mind to God’s purpose for humanity. The basis of the “human instinct” is the law or the 10 Commandments. The law has two broad applications as it relates to Love for God and Love for fellowman. (Mar.12:30-31) Much like “animal instinct” the Creator equipped in non-human creatures to depict their own kind, the “human instinct” reflects the God-kind in humans - ”God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). We recognize God through the “Love-kind,” that is His divine nature.

Think for a moment that prior to Israel’s nationhood, all the nations around Israel and for that matter in the world, had developed their own way of life or their choice of “human instinct” and communicated principally through their religious practices. The true God was unknown to them, leave alone His ways. Now God steps in through the nation of Israel and reveals His way of life through the law (10 Commandments). This “human instinct” is to guide man’s every thought, word, and deed, which will lead him finally to the true God and His purpose for creating mankind.

It is worthwhile to note that no nation was converted to God by Israel, that was not their purpose. Their calling was to inculcate and drum into humanity beginning with Israel the basic “human instinct” of God’s nature of Love He wanted mankind to understand and live by. Rather than changing the nations around, Israel was on a continuous war-footing with them. Israel’s war-mongering neighbors was a depiction of man’s natural revulsion against everything about the true God and His way of life.

It was a heavy responsibility to shoulder for Israel, so much so there was constant conflict and tension between Israel and God.  Karl Barth called it a “Love/hate” relationship. Israel desired the freedom they saw in the other nations around them who did what seemed right in their own eyes where they chose their own pattern of “human instinct.” In many instances Israel defied God and followed other nations. God corrected and brought them back and reminded them of their purpose and calling. But the pagan form of “human instinct” did not bring them the freedom they sought after, because true freedom would come by way of the prophesied Messiah which Israel played out in their ritualistic observances like the Passover and the day of atonement. Paul said, “It is for freedom that Christ (the Messiah) came to set us free” (Gal.5:1). Instead, many of Israel’s neighbor-nations took the most horrendous form of living like sacrificing their own children to their gods.

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Moses with The Ten Commandments Written with God’s Hands (Pic: Wiki Commons)

Today, we can say the basic revelation of the “human instinct” (law/10 Commandments) has been sufficiently and indelibly imprinted in the human psyche that man cannot deny or dismiss it. Much of the laws of democratic nations finds its basis upon the 10 Commandments. And Israel’s existence today continues to remind mankind of the basic “human instinct” God wants to instill in humanity. That is Israel’s purpose which continues to this day. However, we ought to be guarded as our moral decline seems to slide at an alarming speed. Jonathan Sacks, the recent recipient of the coveted Templeton Prize, said in his acceptance speech that “inner directed” individuals with discipline are needed who are not fazed by moral reversal which have spelled the fall of every other empire and superpower in history. You may read Lord Templeton’s acceptance speech titled “Rediscovering Our Moral Purpose” at www.standpointmag.co.uk  

But true freedom, which Israel yearned for, would come by way of the New Covenant through Jesus Christ. In other words, freedom was the essential message of the New Covenant. True freedom’s means to be free from sin which is violation against the law. Freedom is not the right to choose your way that seems right to you. Ultimate freedom is where a person is living the Love of God in his or her life. Freedom from sin basically means the provision of a Savior in Jesus who absolves all infractions against the law. Hence, the New Covenant was ratified and sealed in Jesus’ blood that was shed for the forgiveness of human sin. As humans we can never be perfect in keeping the law because we sin by commission or omission. In other words, because we will stumble in staying true to God’s basic “human instinct,” He has provided a permanent Mediator in heaven who intercedes and absolves us from all infraction.

So in the final analysis, it is more about staying true to what Israel was called to teach humanity about the “human instinct” formed in God’s likeness than each infraction of the law because we have Jesus as a permanent Mediator at the Father’s right hand. Many times we focus on the infraction but miss the big picture. Israel’s purpose was not to keep reminding people of their infraction, although it is a fact which cannot be denied. But it was to reveal the basic “human instinct” God wants mankind to have, and His provision of a Mediator when there is infraction, thus bringing freedom.

Now, the New Covenant is expressed through the Holy Spirit, just as the expression of the Old Covenant is the law. The Spirit dwells in the believer and makes the person a temple for God, ushering freedom in Christ. (1 Cor.3:16-17) Both, the Spirit and the law are Love expressions, one inculcates our “human instinct” while the second brings “human freedom” through the provision of a Savior and Mediator. The Love expression of the Spirit is further broken down into the “fruits of the Spirit” which expounds God’s Love in greater detail. (1 Cor.13)

While the law brings death through sin, the Spirit brings freedom through Jesus and His cross. When the scripture say the Old Covenant “is obsolete and outdated,” It is not saying the law (“human instinct”) is no longer applicable or done away with, rather, it is stating the obvious truth that it’s death blow (sin) has been negated permanently in Christ who brings everlasting absolution to humans so the “human instinct” (Love) can be part of our nature in this life until we are made one with God in the resurrection to immortality in the next life.  Once immortal, man will have shed his sin-susceptible humanity and clothed in God’s holy spirit nature. (Rev.21-22)   

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For Centuries Sofers (Jewish Scribes) Have been Faithful to Their Mission of Proclaiming the Oracles of God for Mankind (Spaceboyjosh, Wiki Commons) 

Freedom is a double edged sword. Because man is naturally garbed in his God-given freedom to freely express himself or herself, it goes without saying that man is ignorant of, or can be misled, or both, about the “human instinct” we ought to adopt based upon God’s Love. Human history proves man has no conception of God’s “human instinct” based upon His law and His Love. So, why give man this double edged sword of freedom which history proves he constantly falls upon to his own demise. The reason for freedom must become obvious to man – in order to create children made in His own image and likeness, man must freely choose to Love God, just as He chose to freely Love us. Freedom is part of God’s divine nature and because we are made in His image we inherit freedom from God as His children. The Bible tells us “God is Love,” and the flip side of Love is freedom. Paul said, “It is for freedom that Christ came to set us free.” (Gal.5:1). True freedom is to be free from the shackles of sin, not the right to do what one likes and fall into all kinds of harmful pitfalls. People today have many ideas and concepts of freedom, much of which are erroneous and damaging. True freedom is to be clothed in Love, and that can only happen when man is immortal like His Creator. There is no Love without divine freedom and no freedom without Love. They both go hand in hand, and you cannot have one without the other. Love and freedom is who God is in His divine nature. 

When a rich young man asked Jesus what he must do to attain eternal life (salvation), He quoted the Commandments to him. (Matt.19:16-19) The man answered, “All these I have kept since I was a boy, what do I still lack?” (Matt.19:20; Luk.18:21). Jesus then responded, “You still lack one thing. If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me. When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth” (Matt.19:21-22). In other words, the one thing the law lacks is its ability to  give one a free heart to truly Love God. And history proved that is what Israel lacked and needed most in its relationship with God. Jesus acknowledged this saying, “These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me” (Matt.15:8). That is what the New Covenant brings through the Spirit’s power (Love). Jesus was referring to a person’s freedom to give his or her heart to God. His encounter with a ‘rich young man’ was incidental, he is talking of a principle which affects us all in every station of life – the freedom to be able to give one’s heart to the Lord’s purpose and man’s ultimate destiny (“come follow Me”).   

So, is Israel irrelevant to the Christian’s salvation? How would we know sin without the law? If it were not for the law (10 Commandments) which defines sin, how would we know what Jesus died to save us from? So Israel points us to the law and sin so we stand condemned under the Old Covenant, but that does not mean the law and the Old Covenant is bad and evil, as I said, it’s main purpose is to drum and instill into man the basic “human instinct” which guides our lives to God’s nature of Love. (Rom.7) So while the law condemns us, Christ appeared with the New Covenant of grace in the Spirit which brings us absolution, grace, peace, and freedom.  Paul said it this way, “God demonstrated  His own Love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom.5:8). So, both the old and new is now fused into a single expression of God’s salvation for man. Hence, Jesus said, “Salvation is from the Jews (Israel)” for the part they play in preserving the law to our day. The law does not save us, Christ does, and that’s how the two are blended into one, so we do not live under the old but New Covenant. Of course, the most vital reason “salvation is from the Jews” is because Jesus Himself is a Jew descended from the tribe of Judah. (Heb.7:14) So, we see that the law and the Messiah are from the same source. The two are made one in Jesus. 

So, when we see creatures of all kinds living and behaving through their built-in instincts the Creator has endowed in them, it reminds us that man also is endowed with his “human instinct,” but unlike creatures of non-human species, man has a mind fashioned in God’s image to freely choose to follow Him. That’s the huge difference. God’s desire above all else is that man choose to freely Love Him. That is why Love and freedom are prerogatives which man alone can exercise.

Israel do not believe Jesus was or is their prophesied Messiah. They look to a yet future Messiah that will come in glorious triumphant appearance to deliver and free them. However, it will turn out to be an utter shock and amazement for them to discover the Messiah and Jesus are one and the same Person. Paul said that God has brought this blindness upon Israel in order to bring the whole world (Gentiles) into the faith so all may be saved. (Rom.11 read all, esp. 25-29)  

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

Blessing:

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

Kiang,  

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

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

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

“WE WILL SHINE LIKE THE STARS FOR EVER AND EVER” (DAN.12:3) BY KIANG P. LEE

Greetings once more friends! The Bible is self-evident in its declaration that God’s purpose for creating man is to bless him with immortality so man can enter His divine presence and become His eternal children.

The Most Important Question About Life  

Is the belief in eternal life something viable for mortal humans, or is it just imagining a fool’s paradise? Why do millions believe death is not the end of our existence? Most religions have some form of belief in life after death. The ancient Egyptians practiced elaborate ceremonies to prepare the pharaohs for their next life. On the other hand, many more believe that like animals, once we die that is the end of everything, there is no afterlife. Someone said everyone is afraid to die, so this is how we deal with this fear through belief that there is a magical realm in which you will forever be reunited with your loved ones, and above all experience complete bliss for all eternity. Of course belief in immortality goes with the belief in the existence of a God who has the power to give immortal life to man. It is not my purpose to discuss the pros and cons of this topic which has been subject of debate for centuries, but to provide the Christian view of immortality which millions claim to believe, which same belief is revealed in the book of the Christian faith, the Bible.

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Fountain of Eternal Life, downtown Cleveland, Ohio, USA (Wiki Commons)

Christian View of Eternal Life

Though religions have different forms of belief about eternal life, they are not all identical with the Christian belief. The Christian concept of immortal life, based upon Bible revelation, is that eternal life is attained through belief in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and by a resurrection from the dead to immortal life. (1Thes. 4:16-17; 1Cor.15:12-58) Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lay down His life for the sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:7, 11, 27-28) The hope of the dead is the resurrection.

Bible ‘Silent’ about Afterlife

The Bible is virtually silent about the afterlife or what we will be doing there, but what is revealed is brief and magnificent in its splendor. We read this in Revelation 21 and 22. The Bible has much to say about what we ought to be doing here and now in this earthly life. For what we do on earth will ultimately determine our eternal future. Jesus said as much as we extend a hand of Love to our fellow humans, or lack of it, we are in reality doing it to Him. (Matt. 25:31-46) In other words, our actions have eternal consequences. In fact the entire Bible is about how to live life on earth, not the afterlife. If there’s an afterlife whether in heaven or hell as many presume, what then is the purpose of the resurrection which is clearly revealed in the Bible? The Bible teaches that the resurrection is man’s entry point into immortal life, not at death. (1 Cor. 15) It says prior to this we were all ‘asleep’ – for those who are dead – “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of the 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, then the saying that is written will come true, ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory’” (1 Cor. 15:51-54). Sleep is the symbol of death. (1 Kings 2:10; 11:43; Job 14;12; Psa.13:3; Act.7:60)    

Resurrection at The ‘Last Day’

Whether we believe someone is in heaven or hell, it presupposes the judgment has taken place. But the Bible speaks of the judgment of all in the last day – yet future. The resurrection presupposes the dead will be raised in the future to be judged. Jesus said, “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) Martha spoke to Jesus about the resurrection as it concerns Lazarus, “I know he (Lazarus) will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (John 11:24; also, Rev.20:4-6, 11-13) There is no hint of a life after death until the resurrection. Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life.” (V.25) The Hebrew thought on the other hand, predating the Greeks, is based upon scripture (Bible) which upholds the dead to be in their graves awaiting the resurrection. (Eccl.9:10; Psa.6:5; 16:8-11) The New Testament speaks eloquently about the resurrection to immortality. (1Cor.15:12-58; 1Thess.4:13-18)

Immortal Soul” Originated in Greek Philosophy

The common teaching in Western thought about the afterlife actually originated in Greek philosophy. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were prime proponents of the concept of the “immortal soul” which predated Christianity. Socrates explains death saying, “Is it not the separation of soul and body? And to be dead is the completion of this; when the soul exists in herself, and is released from the body and body is released from the soul, what is this but death.”** These are not words from the Bible, but by pagan philosophers. Socrates explained that the immortal soul, once freed from the body, is rewarded according to good deeds or punished for evil. The term “immortal soul” appears nowhere in the Bible. By presupposing the afterlife, and thereafter reward the good and punish evildoers, it follows that Western thought have the afterlife presented in two broad concepts: heaven for the good, and hell for the evildoers. This is not of Hebrew or biblical origin, but Greek philosophical thought.

Greek Paradigm

As a blogger claims, existence of a “immortal soul” (or immortal life), if it were assumed to be true would mean that death, the greatest absolution known – become suddenly meaningless.  And that’s just the point, Jesus said, ”I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die.” (John 11:25) Jesus was not affirming the “immortal soul” concept, He qualified the afterlife by a resurrection. In Western thought, we have used Greek philosophy as the paradigm to filter and interpret the Bible, at least on this subject. Yet, the Bible warns us about adding to, or taking away, from the truth it reveals. (Rev.22:18-19) This passage from scripture was spoken in the context of mankind’s eternal inheritance (immortality) which God gives to mankind.  

Pope’s View on “Hell”

The Catholic Church has changed its teaching about a literal hell, when Pope John Paul II said, “Hell is symbolic and figurative of the complete frustration and emptiness of life without God. Rather than a physical place, hell is the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the Source of life and joy. Hell is a condition resulting from attitudes and actions which people adopt in this life.” Hell is not some place where evil doers are made to suffer in torment in an undead condition. Life on earth is a ‘hell’ for many. Only the fallen angels exist in an undead state for they were created spirits, man was made of the dust of the ground. As a blogger says, if we spent our mental and physical effort in consideration of future generations like we spend it on a form of afterlife, the world would be a better place to live. If the concept of the afterlife inherently demands of a judgment, then morality will be one’s compass in life, because handing judgment to a higher power forms part of moral consciousness.

 

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Fountain of Eternal Life, downtown Cleveland, Ohio, USA (Wiki Commons)

“Hell” – Hard Concept to Stomach

Hell is a difficult concept to stomach with a God who openly declares Himself a God who is Love in His Triune nature. He is not made of Love, He is Love. (1John 4:8) I don’t believe as humans we would want such a fate on another even if we have only an ounce of God’s Love in us. To suffer in hell fire in an undead state for eternity is unimaginable. So, are we suggesting man who is intrinsically evil, is more compassionate than God? God forbid! There is something amiss with this worldview as it contradicts God’s very basic nature of Love. God did say He made man from the dust, and to the dust he is to return. (Gen.3:19; also, Eccl.3:19-20; Psa.146:4; 115:17) That’s about a death as eternal as any if you think about it; but existing in an eternal undead state is not biblical. (Eccl.9:5; also, Job 14:12) Hell is the grave (sheol) where man return to dust, not some unknown place where evil-doers suffer in an undead state. In Hebrew thought to be ‘alseep’ is the symbol of death. If I believe in the immortality of the soul the Greeks believe, then I’m expected to believe in a hell for the undead. 

“I Am The Resurrection And The Life!”

Immortal life in the Bible cannot be stated more clearly, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25a) Paul says, “There shall be a resurrection (future) of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.” (Act.25:15) We are not judged immediately after death, there’s a future judgment day coming for all in the last day. The resurrection to immortality presupposes the existence of an eternal God who confers immortal life to man. Like all life forms which produce after their kind, the Creator God is no different. He is Creator of the universe and this earth which He made specifically for humans, and for man’s grand purpose. This demonstrates His sovereignty over all creation. The scripture reveals His purpose of creating mankind is to form man ultimately in His immortal image and likeness. At creation God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, so they may rule…So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” (Gen.1:26-27) This raises an obvious and legitimate question, what is God’s image? God is immortal in His Tri-Personal Being as Father, Son, and Spirit.

Why Jesus?

Why is Jesus central to man’s destiny to immortality? Now, consider that Jesus was the only human to ever have been begotten by the Holy Spirit. Because Jesus is eternally of one indivisible substance in the Triune Godhead, He could not stop being God when He took upon Himself His human form through Mary His human mother. He was fully God and fully man. In other words, God and man are made one in Christ. The divine and the mortal become one in Christ. Hence, the prophet Isaiah was inspired to state a unique name for Jesus: Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23). Faith in this revelation about Jesus’ origin makes our faith in God’s purpose for man possible for He has given Himself as a ransom for our salvation.

It is logical to conclude that the Spirit, who is of and from the same hypostatic union with the Son in the Triune Godhead, was instrumental and responsible for the human conception of Jesus. For how else could the Son have sprang but from an eternal home. Micah spoke of Jesus’ coming and origin, saying, “His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Mic.5:2, NASB). As a man, Jesus voluntarily suspended the exercise of certain prerogatives of His divine attributes in order to assume our humanity through Mary. (Phi.2:7; Heb.4:15; Matt.26:51-54)

He lived a perfect life, was crucified as mankind’s Savior, was resurrected and ascended back to God and back to the glory He had with His Father in the Triune Godhead. By His bodily resurrection, He glorified our humanity in Himself and joined it to the Triune Life of God forever. He is the true and worthy human substitute doing the work of humanity’s High Priest from within the Triune Being of God for man’s physical and spiritual salvation.

Jesus – Only Human to Attain Immortality

Only one human has so far attained to the resurrection to immortality: He is Jesus, the Savior of mankind. This is the Gospel account of it, “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He is risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay.” (Matt.28:6) Here, we have an angelic messenger testifying to Jesus’ resurrection and by extension God’s plan to resurrect humans to immortality like Jesus’ own resurrection. Jesus paved the way for man’s immortal life by His own human resurrection to immortality. Paul gives the answer to man’s immortality, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son (human made immortal), that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (Rom.8:29, emphasis added)

So, human immortality is to resemble Jesus’ own immortality when He was resurrected from the dead. Jesus is the firstborn human made immortal, among the many that will follow in the future resurrection to immortality. He is the “firstborn” and only human who has attained human immortality. The “many” to follow awaits His second coming, Paul comforts the church with this hope, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God: and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (1Thes. 4:16-17) This is man’s only hope for immortality!

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Man’s Destiny-To Shine Like Stars In the Nebulas (Pic: North American Nebula, NASA, Wiki Commons)

Man’s Purpose To Reign With Christ

Immortality is the heart and core of the Gospel message. It is the basis of man’s eternal reign on earth. (Gen.1:26b, 28). Man is to rule the earth in Love according to God’s image. Rulership is the prerogative of the Creator God He shares with man. So though we may deny man’s potential for eternal life, we cannot deny the human essence to reign because we exercise dominion everyday over this earth. Please note, it is not dominion over another human which is precluded in the Genesis dominion mandate. (Gen.1:26b, 28) As far as humans are concerned, we do not exercise rulership but relationship with people. Human relationship is governed by a continuous fulfillment of the “debt of Love” because we are all made in His image of Love. (Rom.13:8) Man was made to have dominion over all creation with the exception of man. How can the ruler be ruled? Jesus washed His disciples feet to show the humility needed to relate with our fellowmen. Jesus did not ‘rule’ His disciples, He served them, so ought we to do likewise. 

Immortality and Reign – Flipside of the Same Life

Rulership and immortality are prerogatives of God and flipside of the sole expression of God’s Being. To rule means one has the ability to sustain his reign eternally. When it comes to God, you cannot accept one and deny the other – that’s His image. God rules eternally in Love. If you accept one, you accept both. Otherwise, what’s the point of dominion if death is the end-all. Humans like to express this bent in his makeup for the afterlife by building monuments and legacies for themselves to be preserved for posterity. Humans think this way because he is made in the divine immortal likeness of the Creator. This poses a dilemma for those who don’t believe in man’s future immortal life. Man has exercised dominion over this earth, but the earth has remained while man has returned to its ashes from whence he was taken. Yet, the earth exists solely for man’s divine purpose. The Scripture says the earth groans and waits in eager expectation for the manifestation of man’s immortality as children of God. Why, because the earth’s ongoing meaning for existence in the universe is forever tied to God’s and man’s future upon it. “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.” Yes, they will dwell in the new earth and in the Holy City, the new Jerusalem coming from heaven as God’s gift. (Rom.8:18-23; Rev.21:1-4) 

All human dynasties die eventually, only Jesus’ dynasty is eternal. Paul enlightens us, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (kingdom/dominion), if indeed we suffer in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory (immortality).” (Rom.8:17, emphasis added) So we see rulership and immortality are one expression of God which He shares with those who become His children in faith. As the scripture say, “If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” (1Cor.15:44) If there is to be reign, then there must of necessity be immortal life to eternalize man’s reign. He said this about man’s reign, “I appoint to you a kingdom, as My Father has appointed to me.” (Luk.22:29) 

Man’s Potential

Though man’s existence is temporary and ends in death, he has the potential for eternal life in the resurrection to reign in God’s eternal kingdom. Jesus said, “The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die.” (John 11:25b) Man’s immortality is secured in Jesus who, in Himself is the Personification of the resurrection. He said, “I AM the resurrection and the (true) life.” (John 11:25a) All life in the universe and this earth springs from, and is sustained by God, who is the Fountain of life, both physical and spiritual life. No human dies without His knowledge, not even a bird falls to the ground without His knowing, for all life springs from Him. He is omnipresent as He is omniscient. (Matt.10:29-31) Nothing created has life of its own, not even man. Only God is immortal and occupies true life. Life oozes out from Him, from whom all life forms are beneficiaries by His grace. Man is mortal, not immortal. Only the “uncreated” possesses immortality, the created possess mortality. Paul said to Timothy, “Who (God) alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” (1 Tim.6:6)  Of man, the scripture say, “For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same. As one dies, so does the other. They all have the same breadth, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.” (Eccl.3:19-20)

What Happens at Death

The Spirit of God is the life-energy which envelopes our universe and all life forms upon this earth. Nothing can exist outside of God’s life-giving energy. The Spirit is the ‘divine spark’ (soul) which give the human mind his intellectual and spiritual faculties. Man has no self-sustaining immortality in him. Of all creatures, only man was blessed with the ‘divine spark’ (mind) to keep him connected to his Creator, for the purpose of remaking man in His image. Because man was formed in His image, the ‘divine spark’ (mind) enables him to live inter-dependently with his Creator, not independently apart from Him as some self-sustaining entity. (Gen.1:26-27) To the Greeks, belief in the “immortal soul” essentially means “uncreated” – not created. (“The immortality of the soul: a protest,” – #46 – Immortality)

How man uses his thoughts ultimately forms his subconscious mind which controls his life, whether for good or evil. Love is freedom, so man has to choose his thought process and thought form which will form his attitude to life. (read my blog post, “Penny for Your Thoughts,” 3/18/14) Also, this spiritual union show the vitality of the “Triune Life” whose underlying motivation is the collaborative, humble, inter-personal, and mutual way of life of the Trinitarian God. An independent self-sustaining life is non-existent in the “Triune Life.” Upon death, man returns to the earth from whence he was taken, and the ‘divine spark’ returns to the Spirit who gave it. (Eccl.12:6-7; 9:5; Gen.3:19; Psa.146:4; John 3:13; Psa.115:17; 89:48) At the return of Jesus, man is raised to give account in the judgment. (1 Thes.4:13-18; 2 Cor.5:10; Matt.12:36)

 

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Fountain of Eternal Life, downtown Cleveland, Ohio, USA (Wiki Commons)

It All Comes Down to ‘Faith’

There is so much that can be said about this topic. It must be said the subject of man’s immortality has been debated for centuries, and will continue to be debated for a long time to come. Be that as it may, I have tried to expound its salient features as it concerns the Christian faith as revealed in the Bible. I realize people will say they don’t believe the Bible is the last word on the subject. That may be so, but whatever position a person may take, they do express faith like Christians do. His faith rest upon the authority he has chosen to support on the subject. It is for us to question the validity and integrity of the authority we uphold and support. For Christians, it is the inspired word of the Bible, which they believe is authored by God Himself. (2 Tim.3:16; 2 Pet.1:21) It has survived for centuries, despite attempts to destroy it. When all is said and done, it is about our faith, isn’t it? Atheism is a faith which expresses disbelief in the existence of God and the supernatural. So accusing one’s faith in God as a ‘crutch,’ while expressing faith in the god of atheism, is hypocrisy usually found in the blind. 

The Biblical Account of Resurrection to Immortal Life

I close with this passage from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, “If the dead are not raised then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ is not raised your faith is futile; you are still in your sins…If our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive…The body that is sown perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” (1Cor.15:16-18, 22, 42-44)

Paul goes on to tell us of that miraculous moment of truth when suddenly, like being awakened from a deep slumber, we find ourselves in an indescribable and transformed state of existence. What does it feels like to be an immortalized human and be profusely alive and not dependent on our humanity for existence? No one knows how that feels like, but here’s how Paul describes it, “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. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true, “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (1Cor.15:51-57) The weight and credence of the Christian faith rests upon the promise of immortal life.

What was the Question?

Let’s pose the question we asked at first, is immortal life viable? Paul said if there is no resurrection to eternal life, then what is the point of it all? “If Christ is not raised then your faith is futile (empty). If our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” (Vs.17, 16, 32) But if there is a Higher Power who made man in His Loving image, who is the Judge of mankind, and who confers immortality, then there is moral palpability in the way we live and in all we do.

Blessing:

Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessing of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you today and give you strength for authentic creative “Triune Living” as a Bula man-river.*

If you wish to read more, please obtain a copy of my book, “Bula Man-River – The Miracle of Triune Living,” from my web site: www.bulamanriver.com. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or email me on bulamanriver@gmail.com.

Kiang

**Five Great Dialogues, 1969 P.93

*The “Bula man-river” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. Man is the “riverbed” and the Spirit is the “living waters” that cover him and flows to all in his valley (destiny). (John 7:37-39)

To read the many facets of life of the “Bula man-river,” go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my book. Remember, when you purchase my book you lend a hand in Jesus’s Work, for all the proceeds go towards dispensing the Gospel worldwide. (Mark 9:41; Matt.28:28:18-20; Eph.2:10). Thank you for your support.

NOTE: All information from this website is copyrighted. Any use of its content should be acknowledged by citing the website, address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship.

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

“COUNT YOURSELF DEAD TO SIN” BY KIANG P LEE

“You too must continuously consider yourselves dead as far as sin is concerned, but living for God through the Messiah Jesus” (Rom.6:11)

Greetings Friends!

What does “Counting yourself dead to sin…” mean? This statement is a declaration of faith of the Christian which is taken from Romans 6:11. The verse has a second part to it which is utterly profound for it ends this way, “but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”  It is an interesting and deeply profound statement of faith for the believer. It is telling the believer to conceptualize and live the reality of his/her present life for trusting in God’s provision for the Redeemer in His Son. “Dead to sin” means sin has no power over you, because you now stand under the cross of Jesus which has power over sin. The verse tells you to accept this as the truth of your present condition because of your faith in Jesus. Everything hinges on the person’s faith. If you do not believe, you remain in your sin, meaning, sin’s power still holds you in its clasp. You are not free, but remain a spiritual slave to sin.

Faith is a powerful motivator in human life. Every human endeavor you can think of in the wide historical spectrum of man’s achievements could not have been possible without faith. Think about it, would man have landed on the moon if the people involved with that endeavor did not believe it can be done? No, if there was no faith, they would not have started to begin with.  Faith is the first step towards any endeavor. Faith opens the door of reality to enter and change our lives. This is more so true in the spiritual sense because faith is what keeps the spiritual world alive and in motion. How else can one experience the unseen (spirit) except through faith? Hence, the Bible states emphatically, “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).  

Let’s come back to the passage we are discussing in Romans 6:11. It is interesting that Paul uses the word “dead” and “death” in the verses surrounding this passage to convey a vital truth about human spirituality. Earlier he said, “For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His” (Rom.6:5). From this we understand what it means to be “dead to sin.” Jesus’ death on the cross as the perfect, sinless, sacrifice was the price God paid to save man from the human sin condition. For Paul later said that “The wages of sin is death” (Rom.6:33).

So, Jesus died to sin, or sin took Jesus’ life, so sin will lose its grip and death has no power over man. To be “united with Him in death like His” is to vicariously die His death with Him, so that just as God resurrected Him to glory, “we are certainly united with Him in His resurrection.” That is to say, if in Jesus’ resurrection He is perfect and sinless (and He is), then we are too, because we stand vicariously with Him in His glory. He embraced our humanity and glorified it in His eternal deity (Immanuel). Here is the real issue, where the rubber meets the road, do we believe what the scriptures say? It takes a living faith, not an ordinary vacillating human faith, to live in this reality Paul speaks of in Romans. 

Thus, Paul speaks of living faith in this way,  ”I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal.2:20). Obviously, there are two faiths, our human faith which is inept in the spiritual world, and the faith of Jesus which  brings God’s reality into our mundane human life. Both are essential, for we use our human faith to trust in the living faith of Jesus.     

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Crucifixion of Jesus by Eugene Delacroix (Wiki Commons)

Paul goes on to say, and note how often the word ‘death’ is repeated, “For we know our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should be no longer slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God” (Rom.6:5-10). What a life we are given to have in Jesus – perfect and holy like His Son so we can enter into the presence of the Father and share in their relationship of Love they had from eternity. (John 17:24b)

One might say, but how can this glorious life be my reality when I am a human and a sinner. Here is the issue: there is a human way of looking at ourselves, and there is the way that God looks at us through His Son whom He has surrendered for our everlasting redemption. God says to us, “You are complete through your union with Christ” (Phi.2:10). So, now it comes to a matter of faith if we will believe God’s word for us, or we believe our own words over His.

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

Blessing:

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

Kiang,  

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

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

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

GOD’S LOVE-PROTOCOL, BY KIANG P LEE

“God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:16, 8)

Greetings again Friends!

Whoever we are, and wherever we come from, we all observe a basic conduct or etiquette of behavior we would expect from people which governs our relationship with them. From a personal level where we develop friendships to a complex level between people and nations, this custom or conduct is called “protocol.” The dictionary defines the word as a code of correct conduct. You might say, it’s a right of passage to something or someone. On a personal level, it may not be so legalistic, but on a level involving organizations, companies, and nations, protocols are more detailed and procedural.

On a personal relationship level, the basic protocol would be a person’s basis for association with another. That’s to say, the next person regards you as a person with the inviolable right to life, self-determination, the pursuit of happiness, and you are an individual worthy of love, respect, and honor. This is the basis for genuine protocol for person-to-person relationships. You can say they are sacrosanct. If a person does not believe you are unquestionably entitled to these qualities of life, or thinks you do not deserve one or more of them, then your relationship with such a person will be problematic. Every wrongdoing or criminal act committed on a person is a violation against one or more of these human values and rights.

Many people are not what you may think they are, and you’ll find genuine friends through experience and observation as it relates to these basic personal values (protocol). For Americans, these are values enshrined in the nation’s constitution. That’s not to say the constitution is perfect. There’s more to God’s purpose than what any human hand can pen. Be that as it may, we can say there’s no national document (constitution) which lifts the aspirations of its people closer to biblical principles as the American one.

This is no different from our relationship with God. There is a basic protocol to be observed if our relationship with God is to be genuine and true, so the divine can respond to our plea for interfacing with it. There is a vital difference though, in human relationships we are relating with people who are all God’s human creation, whereas with God there is a divine/human, Creator/created, Father/child, relationship.

So what is this protocol which governs our relationship with God? The protocol answers the question of why God made humans in the first place, and to never deviate from His express divine purpose for human existence. What is that purpose? The Genesis account of creation says God made humans to reflect Himself in character and composition: “So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them” (Gen1:27). That means man’s destiny is to become Love as “God is Love,” and to inherit immortality as He is eternal, and to share His dominion over the earth forever. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:8, 16; John 3:16) God Himself is the mold and purpose for human creation: yes, He is Love, He is eternal, and He is the sovereign Ruler of all creation. Humans were created to become God’s children. Yes, He deals with each one of us as His own child with whom He can have personal, individual, relationship.

The protocol calls upon man to respond to His divine purpose in faith, and express a living faith through our actions. First, it requires we look to God as a Father who has begotten us because of His deep, abiding Love for us, who is in the process of bringing us into His eternal reigning family. Paul said, “There is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him” (1 Cor.8:6). He expects us to live expressing His Love for all humans. Paul said it like this, “Owe nothing to anyone–except for your obligation to Love one another. If you Love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law (or, to conform to His purpose for human life)” (Rom.13:8, NLT).

It sounds simplistic, but it is not as easy as it seems. It is difficult to “Love neighbor as you Love yourself” (Mark 12:31). And I will share with you why and how it is possible to make His Love a way of life, and how we can know we have eternal life in us.

Let’s begin with immortality. This is what the Bible says about it, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:16, NASB). When you will have taken on immortality, you naturally would have Love as an intrinsic part of your being. In other words, they are one and the same expression of life which can’t be separated.

This passage asks man to believe in simple faith in Jesus who has Himself said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:26). You see, central to the issue of immortality is the prerequisite of faith… “do you believe this?” we are asked. That’s all… it is quite straight forward and is as simple as a child can know.

Do you think when God made mankind to become His immortal children, He would make it an overwhelmingly demanding task, (as some believers postulate), or an easy task that’s as simple as believing, to become His children? Yes, God has said it is as easy as believing in His Son, period! John can’t be more clear and simple when God inspired him to write, “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 said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life.” (John 6:47). Further, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them” (John 3:36).

But we know that simple believing has become just as hard because of confusion. Confusion breeds doubt, the reverse of faith. When you think about it, doubt tells of a vital aspect of our humanity, it means you have a choice. And choice means you have more than one option. This is not altogether a bad thing. Since having an choice means  you have FREEDOM! Why is this important? Because Love and freedom originate from the same place – God’s very divine Being. You cannot have Love without freedom, nor freedom without Love. In other words, God wants for man to freely choose to Love Him. Love and freedom is an intrinsic part of His nature. “God is Love” (John 3:16). Paul said, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal.5:1).

God could well have made us like the other life forms so that we will respond to His purpose instinctively and automatically. But then, we would not be His children. We would be like beasts, fowls, marine life, and other kinds of life, but not children. So God gave His human children minds, which other life forms don’t have, so man can freely choose to Love Him.

So, God’s offer to be part of His eternal divine family is open to all mankind regardless of race, nationality, color, language, or whatever barrier we like to conjure. It is as simple as believing in what God has designed to accomplish in us through His own Son.

Why Jesus? Why is He central in God’s purpose of bringing humans into His divine family and imbuing man with Love and the gift of immortality? Is Jesus the only Savior of mankind? Is He the only one capable of undertaking the act of atonement for the sin of the world? Why is man’s faith in Jesus will bring to reality what God had set out to do when He first created humans in His likeness? Let’s dissect this…

First, God is offering something to man which only He can give: Love, immortality, and reign (Gen.1: 26-27). These are divine attributes which only God can confer upon another. And amazingly, that was God’s singular purpose for making man. He created man for the purpose of being vessels of His Love, to be inheritors of immortality, and to be given reign with His Son over this earth. Man cannot achieve his God-given destiny without God Himself being part and parcel of it. Thereby, only He knows the way to man’s destiny, and has made it abundantly clear to us in His word, the Bible.

Now, consider that Jesus was the only human to ever have been begotten by the Holy Spirit. There is an obvious reason why God did this, and it has everything to do with His Love for mankind. I will quote from Dr. Bruce Ware, an esteemed theologian and author in the evangelical tradition, “Christ alone was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14Matthew 1:18-25Luke 1:26-38), and as such, he alone qualifies to be Savior. Why does this matter? Only as the Holy Spirit takes the place of the human father in Jesus’ conception can it be true that the one conceived is both fully God and fully man. Christ must be both God and man to atone for sin, but for this to occur, he must be conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a human virgin. No one else in the history of the world is conceived by the Spirit and born of a virgin mother. Therefore, Jesus alone qualifies to be Savior.” (www.jesus.org)

Jesus, who proceeded from the Triune Godhead of the Father, the Logos (Son), and the Spirit, became a human without ceasing to be God. (John 1:14; 1 John 5:7) Because Jesus is eternally of one indivisible substance in the Triune Godhead, He could not stop being God when He took upon Himself His human form through Mary His human mother. He was fully God and fully man. In other words, God and man are made one in Christ. Hence, the prophet Isaiah was inspired to state a unique name for Jesus: Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23). Faith in this revelation about Jesus’ origin makes our faith in God’s purpose for man possible for He has given Himself as a ransom for our salvation.

It is logical to conclude that the Spirit, who is of and from the same hypostatic union with the Son in the Triune Godhead, was instrumental and responsible for the human conception of Jesus. For how else could the Son have sprang but from an eternal home. Micah spoke of Jesus’ coming and origin, saying, “His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Mic.5:2, NASB). As a man, Jesus voluntarily suspended the exercise of certain prerogatives of His divine attributes in order to assume our humanity through Mary. (Phi.2:7; Heb.4:15; Matt.26:51-54)

File:Holy Trinity Icon.jpg

Jesus proceeded from the Triune Godhead of the Father, the Logos, and the Spirit (Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity, Wiki Commons)

He lived a perfect life, was crucified as mankind’s Savior, was resurrected and ascended back to God and back to the glory He had with His Father in the Triune Godhead. By His bodily resurrection, He glorified our humanity in Himself and joined it to the Triune Life of God forever. He is the true and worthy human substitute doing the work of humanity’s High Priest from within the Triune Being of God for man’s physical and spiritual salvation.

So we saw that divine Love is God’s protocol which man must receive and accept in order to relate with God. That Love is expressed to man through His Son, Jesus. In other words, Jesus is the protocol man assumes which gives him the right of passage to enter into Loving relationship with God the Father. This is made possible through the power of the Spirit. Jesus told the disciples, “Very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). Paul said, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). In this we see man living the “Triune Life” in Christ instead of the “solitary life” in himself.  Here we see the very Love of God being made part of man through the infusion of His Spirit in man. Jesus said, “You must be born again of the Spirit” (John 3:6-7).

Paul said this, “He (God) predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Rom.8:29). God has conformed Himself to us by becoming human, now man must conform himself to God by becoming like Jesus through faith. Remember, faith is an attribute which only a human can activate through his decisions and actions. No other living species has this ability to express the attribute of faith. Even an atheist lives by faith believing there is no God. Atheists have been judgmental of Christians for their ‘blind’ faith yet are themselves guity of the same. By conforming to the image of His Son through faith, we receive the protocol to enter into the very presence of the Almighty Father.

What this says is we are made children of God only by conforming to Jesus’ likeness, who is God’s Son, and we are made brothers and sisters of Jesus. The mold of God’s “image and likeness” which man must conform is seen plainly and unmistakably in His Son. The scriptures tell us, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being (“image and likeness”), sustaining all things by His powerful word” (Heb.1:3; Gen.1:26-27).

What exactly does this conformation mean? Jesus explains it in His prayer to the Father before He was crucified, “…That the Love You (Father) have for Me may be in them and that I myself may be in them” (John 17:26). Do we see that? Moments before, Jesus said in prayer, “You (Father) have Loved Me before the creation of the world” (John 17:24). There’s only one divine activity of the Father and the Son from eternity – they each glorified one another in perfect Love! So, to conform to Jesus image means we step into His life, and He into ours, so the same Love the Father has for the Son from eternity is something we can apprehend and enjoy through Jesus. Jesus is the only human who knows how to Love the Father perfectly and completely. And the only way the Father Loves us perfectly is the way He has Loved His Son from eternity. And that is how Love enters a human life when we conform to Jesus’ life. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal.2:20). Yes, we have been reborn and given new life in Christ by the Spirit’s power. (John 3:3, 5-7)

Listen, unless we see and believe Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God who existed with Him in His Triune Being from eternity, and that He is the expression of God’s Love to man, yes, Jesus the Love protocol we must utilize to enter into relationship with God, we have not taken the first step of faith in life’s journey of transformation to God’s “image and likeness” by becoming Love as He is Love, and inheriting immortality as He is immortal. Jesus has eternally existed in the Triune Godhead with the Father and the Spirit. Before His death on Calvary, Jesus prayed to the Father these words, “And now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began” (John 17:5: also see Micah 5:2; Heb.7:3). So, Jesus was fully aware of His own deity while in His human form.

Paul said to the Colossians that Jesus is the only One who makes us complete before Almighty God, the Father. (Col.2:10) You may Go to our “Mission Statement” at this link and find out more about the meaning of “Triune Life”: http://bulaman.webblogwidget.com/?page_id=3381

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

Blessing:

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

Kiang,  

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

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

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

GOD’S PROTOCOL (PART 2) BY KIANG P LEE

“For the child within her (Mary) was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20)

Greetings friends!

In my last post I explained the term protocol as it relates to human personal affiliation and our relationship with God. We saw protocol as a code of conduct which gives one the right of passage, so to speak, to something or someone. We saw that the protocol between God and man is His divine Love. Love gives us right of passage to the conviction that all His actions are done for our ultimate good and welfare in mind. It began with human creation when He made man in His own image of Love and likeness in immortality. (Gen.1:26-27) We must never doubt His Love for us. So we read, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is (Love), and that He is a rewarder (of immortality to) those who diligently seek Him” (Heb.11:6).

We saw that man was given a mind capable of expressing faith and making choices one way or another between two divergent pathways: the “tree of life” (Love/other-centeredness); the “tree of of the knowledge of good and evil” (fear/self-centeredness). We read that man was given the freedom to choose. This was necessary for Love to grow between man and his God – through choices based upon Love or fear and sin. God desires that we freely Love Him as He has chosen to do likewise toward man. God did not have to create man. Man was not made to complete God in any way, shape, and form. God could have lived well alone in His Triune Being as He has from eternity. But it was simply out of His overflowing and unfathomable Love that He freely chose to create humans after His likeness. Do you think God relishes in witnessing all the aggravation, suffering and pain man has upon this earth? But He knows His Love will ultimately triumph over all, and our God-given freedom plays an all-important part in the human state of affairs. 

In the previous post, we read this passage of scripture which reveals how God plans to bring us into His eternal family forever, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:16, NASB; also John 3:16-17). In other words, we see the depth of His Love by the way He sacrificed His Son so He can fulfill His purpose of making us into His likeness, which is the likeness of His Son.

Let’s continue from where we left off.  We ended asking…why Jesus? Why is He central in God’s purpose of bringing humans into His divine family and imbuing man with Love and the gift of immortality? Is Jesus the only Savior of mankind? Is He the only one capable of undertaking the act of atonement for the sin of the world? Let’s dissect this…

First, God is offering something to man which only He can give: Love, immortality, and reign (Gen.1: 26-27). These are divine attributes which only God can confer upon another. And amazingly, that was God’s singular purpose for making man. He created man for the purpose of being vessels of His Love, to inherit immortality, and to reign with His Son. Man cannot achieve his God-given destiny without God Himself being part and parcel of it. Thereby, only He knows the way to man’s destiny, and has made it abundantly clear to us in His word, the Bible.

Now, consider that Jesus was the only human to ever have been begotten by the Holy Spirit. There is an obvious reason why God did this, and it has everything to do with His Love for mankind. I will quote from Dr. Bruce Ware, an esteemed theologian and author in the evangelical tradition, “Christ alone was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25Luke 1:26-38), and as such, he alone qualifies to be Savior. Why does this matter? Only as the Holy Spirit takes the place of the human father in Jesus’ conception can it be true that the one conceived is both fully God and fully man. Christ must be both God and man to atone for sin, but for this to occur, he must be conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a human virgin. No one else in the history of the world is conceived by the Spirit and born of a virgin mother. Therefore, Jesus alone qualifies to be Savior.” (www.jesus.org)

Jesus, who proceeded from the Triune Godhead of the Father, the Logos (Son), and the Spirit, became a human without ceasing to be God. (John 1:14; 1 John 5:7) Because Jesus is eternally of one indivisible substance with the Triune Godhead, He could not stop being God when He took upon Himself His human form through Mary His human mother. He was fully God and fully man. In other words, God and man are made one in Christ. Hence, the prophet Isaiah was inspired to state a unique name: Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23). 

It is logical to conclude that the Spirit, who is of and from the same hypostatic union with the Son in the Triune Godhead, was instrumental and responsible for the human conception of Jesus. Micah spoke of Jesus’ coming and origin, saying, “His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity” (Mic.5:2, NASB). As a man, Jesus voluntarily abandoned the exercise of certain prerogatives of His divine attributes in order to assume our humanity through Mary. (Phi.2:7; Heb.4:15)

File:Holy Trinity Icon.jpg

Jesus proceeded from the Triune Godhead of the Father, the Logos, and the Spirit (Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity, Wiki Commons)

He lived a perfect life, was crucified as mankind’s Savior, was resurrected and ascended back to God and back to the glory He had with His Father in the Triune Godhead. By His bodily resurrection, He glorified our humanity in Himself and joined it to the Triune Life of God forever. He is the true and worthy human substitute doing the work of humanity’s High Priest from within the Triune Being of God for man’s physical and spiritual salvation.

So we saw that divine Love is God’s protocol which man must receive and accept in order to relate with God. That Love is expressed to man through His Son, Jesus. In other words, Jesus is the protocol man assumes which gives him the right of passage to enter into Loving relationship with God the Father. This is made possible through the power of the Spirit. Jesus told the disciples, “Very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). Paul said, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). In this we see man living the “Triune Life” in Christ instead of the “solitary life” in himself.

Paul said this, “He (God) predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Rom.8:29). God has conformed Himself to us by becoming human, now man must conform himself to God by becoming like Jesus through faith. Remember, faith is an attribute which only a human can activate through his decisions and actions. No other living species has this ability to express the attribute of faith. Even and atheist lives by faith believing there is no God. By conforming to the image of His Son through faith, we receive the protocol to enter into the very presence of the Almighty Father.

What this says is we are made children of God only by conforming to Jesus’ likeness, who is God’s Son, and we are made brothers and sisters of Jesus. The mold of God’s “image and likeness” which man must conform is seen plainly and unmistakably in His Son. The scriptures tell us, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being (“image and likeness”), sustaining all things by His powerful word” (Heb.1:3; Gen.1:26-27).

Listen, unless we see and believe Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God who existed with Him in His Triune Being from eternity, and that He is the expression of God’s Love to man, yes, Jesus the Love protocol we must utilize to enter into relationship with God, we have not taken the first step of faith in life’s journey of transformation to God’s “image and likeness” by becoming Love as He is Love, and inheriting immortality as He is immortal. Jesus has eternally existed in the Triune Godhead with the Father and the Spirit. Before His death on Calvary, Jesus prayed to the Father these words, “And now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began” (John 17:5: also see Micah 5:2; Heb.7:3). So, Jesus was fully aware of His own deity while in His human form.  

Paul said to the Colossians that Jesus is the only One who makes us complete before Almighty God, the Father. (Col.2:10) You may Go to our “Mission Statement” at this link and find out more about the meaning of “Triune Life”: http://bulaman.webblogwidget.com/?page_id=3381

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

Blessing:

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

Kiang,  

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

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

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

GOD’S PROTOCOL FOR RELATIONSHIP WITH MAN, BY KIANG P LEE

“God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:16, 8)

Greetings again Friends!

Whoever we are, and wherever we come from, we all observe a basic conduct or etiquette of behavior we would expect from people which governs our relationship with them. From a personal level where we develop friendships to a complex level between people and nations, this custom or conduct is called “protocol.” The dictionary defines the word as a code of correct conduct. You might say, it’s a right of passage to something or someone. On a personal level, it may not be so legalistic, but on a level involving organizations, companies, and nations, protocols are more detailed and procedural.

On a personal relationship level, the basic protocol would be a person’s basis for association with another. That’s to say, the next person regards you as a person with the inviolable right to life, self-determination, the pursuit of happiness, and you are an individual worthy of love, respect, and honor. This is the basis for genuine protocol for person-to-person relationships. You can say they are sacrosanct. If a person does not believe you are unquestionably entitled to these qualities of life, or thinks you do not deserve one or more of them, then your relationship with such a person will be problematic. Every wrongdoing or criminal act committed on a person is a violation against one or more of these human values and rights.   

Many people are not what you may think they are, and you’ll find genuine friends through experience and observation as it relates to these basic personal values (protocol). For Americans, these are values enshrined in the nation’s constitution. That’s not to say the constitution is perfect. There’s more to God’s purpose than what any human hand can pen.

(For example, those who hate and despise others for whatever assumed reasoning or bias, think happiness is reserved only for those who merit such a state of existence. Yet, the abiding principle of ‘golden rule’ applies to all, both to friend and foe alike. If one sows the seeds of unhappiness and discord in others (hatred and division), it is because he already has it first before he can sow it in others – what goes around, comes around! Jesus clarifies this, saying, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.”)

This is no different from our relationship with God. There is a basic protocol to be observed if our relationship with God is to be genuine and true, so the divine can respond to our plea for interfacing with it. There is a vital difference though, in human relationships we are relating with people who are all God’s human creation, whereas with God there is a divine/human, Creator/created, Father/child, relationship.

So what is this protocol which governs our relationship with God? The protocol answers the question of why God made humans in the first place, and to never deviate from His express divine purpose for human existence. What is that purpose? The Genesis account of creation says God made humans to reflect Himself in character and composition: “So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them” (Gen1:27). That means man’s destiny is to become Love as “God is Love,” and to inherit immortality and rule the earth forever. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:8, 16; John 3:16) God Himself is the mold and purpose for human creation. Humans were created to become God’s children. Yes, He deals with each one of us as His own child with whom He can have personal, individual, relationship. 

The protocol calls upon man to respond to His divine purpose in faith, and express a living faith through our actions. First, it requires we look to God as a Father who has begotten us because of His deep, abiding Love for us, and is in the process of bringing us into His eternal reigning family. He expects us to live expressing His Love for all humans. Paul said it like this, “Owe nothing to anyone–except for your obligation to Love one another. If you Love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law (or, to conform to His purpose for human life)” (Rom.13:8, NLT).

It sounds simplistic, but it is not as easy as it seems. It is difficult to “Love neighbor as you Love yourself” (Mark 12:31). And I will share with you why and how it is possible to make His Love a way of life, and how we can know we have eternal life in us.

Let’s begin with immortality. This is what the Bible says about it, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:16, NASB). When you will have taken on immortality, you naturally would have Love as an intrinsic part of your being. In other words, they are one and the same life and can’t be separated.

This passage asks man to believe in simple faith in Jesus who has Himself said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:26). You see, central to the issue of immortality is the prerequisite of faith… “do you believe this?” we are asked. That’s all… it is quite straight forward and is as simple as a child can know.

Do you think when God made mankind to become His immortal children, He would make it as difficult as possible (as some believers postulate), or as easy as possible, to become His children? Yes, God has said it is as easy as believing in His Son, period! John can’t be more clear and simple when God inspired him to write, “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).

But we know that simple believing has become just as hard because of confusion. Confusion breeds doubt, the reverse of faith. When you think about it, doubt means you have a choice. And choice means you have to choose between two opposites. This is not altogether a bad thing. Since having an option means you are living freely – you have FREEDOM! Why is this important? Because Love and freedom originate from the same place – God’s very divine Being. You cannot have Love without freedom, nor freedom without Love. In other words, God wants for man to freely choose to Love Him. Love and freedom is an intrinsic part of His nature. “God is Love” (John 3:16). Paul said, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal.5:1).

God could well have made us like the other life forms so that we will respond to His purpose instinctively and automatically. But then, we would not be children, we would be like beasts, fowls, marine life, and other kinds of life. So God gave His human children minds, which other life forms don’t have, to freely choose to Love Him.

However, when I said “confusion” it means there is a deliberate force at work which exists to derail God’s purpose in mankind. Why, so man may not reach his destiny of becoming God’s children inheriting His Love and immortality. So, it is not as simplistic as a choice between two opposites, but we are speaking of two “ways of life.” One is based upon Love and freedom, while the other is centered on fear and captivity (slavery).

So, God’s offer to be part of His eternal divine family is open to all mankind regardless of race, nationality, color, language, or whatever barrier we like to conjure. It is as simple as believing in what God has designed to accomplish in us through His own Son.

In my next segment, I will explain Jesus, and why He is central in God’s purpose to bring humans into His divine family.

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

Blessing:

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

Kiang,  

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

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

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