The Fifth Dimension
Monday Morning, April 19, 1999
Don’t read this if you are happy with the fruit of what is called “church” in your environment and your family. Honestly, it’s no fun to not be liked. So, if you’re prone to be happy with things as they are, then seriously, don’t read any more. This isn’t a tease to get you to read it. It’s an honest request that you not read it. However, if you’re looking for some insights as to how the Life of the Body of Christ can lead to deeper relationships with God and each other...and are willing to pay any price for “the pearl” of His manifested Life...then prayerfully read this analogy below.
The Trouble With Our Scheduled Religious Activities
How would one describe the root problem with having a “religious meeting” or “bible study” or “prayer breakfast” or “worship service”...on some regularly scheduled basis? Is there a problem with having Christian events at some preset time on the calendar every week or every month? This is an almost universal practice in our generation and society. So, what’s so wrong with doing a “spiritual” thing every Tuesday at 7 o’clock, or on a weekend morning at 9:00 every week?? WHY does that lead to Ishmael instead of Isaac, and leaven instead of Life? Why does the regularly scheduled religious thing create a major problem? (We’re speaking of those events, in particular, having to do with seeking or serving or learning of God.)
WHY is it almost a CERTAINTY that a “regularly scheduled” “God thing” is destructive and weak? To use an analogy from the shadow of God’s Creation, one way to describe it is this: It is obvious that the second dimension “owns” or “controls” the first dimension. A line contains and “owns” all of the single points on that line. A plane has dominion over all of the points and lines on that plane. The third dimension controls the second dimension. All locations in the second dimension are owned and in submission to the third dimension. Likewise, all material world objects in the third dimension are subject to the fourth dimension: time. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is a function of time, and demonstrates the fact that the material world and its three dimensions are governed by the fourth dimension, time.
The SPIRITUAL REALM is the FIFTH dimension, we could say. It is not “up” or “down.” You can’t find the Spiritual Realm with a telescope, or by digging a hole deep into the earth. Nor is it simply “invisible” to our naked eyes because our eyes can’t see the infrared or ultraviolet frequencies where the Spiritual Realm lies. The Spiritual Realm is “unseen” because it is in another dimension. It is in a realm that cannot be measured or judged using men’s native tools from within the third dimension. We’ll call this “place” that the Bible calls “heavenly realms,” the fifth dimension. This is where angels, the Throne Room, the “many mansions,” “paradise,” and “the third heaven” (Paul’s description) are located.
With all of that as backdrop, it is easy to see that matters relating to the seen world, such as exercising (or some such thing), might possibly be externally “scheduled” in advance on a regular basis. There is not as much danger in doing this as there is in doing so with events primarily intended to interact with God and about God. (Although, it is still often a shortcut to the Highest way in many cases. And any obsession or inflexibility when Spiritual matters are at stake is idolatry.) The third dimension can be legitimately “governed” by the fourth dimension, time. If an area of endeavor is not innately and directly about the pursuit of things relating to God and His Kingdom, then there is certainly more “room” to function out of the human “DayTimer” mentality. (Of course, ALL issues are ultimately indirectly “Spiritual” areas.) Go ahead if you must, and allow some seen world (third dimensional) issues, such as “running every other day” to be governed by the fourth dimension, time. But we mustn’t dare to act as if the issues of the fifth dimension (issues directly relating to Father and His angels, and His Truths) are to be submitted to our convenience and our schedules of time and place. God is God, and the NEW Covenant has no such shallow externals as that.
We must not ever act as if “prayer” or “worship” or “fellowship” or “Bible study” can be governed by a lower dimension—time. Being together all night until dawn (Acts 20) and every day (Acts 2) must be legitimate possibilities, every single day and week. God doesn’t need our permission to do whatever He wants, giving us no notice at all. And if we’re likely to bellyache about not having “notice,” or if we’re prone to skipping whatever doesn’t fit into our plans, we’d better take another look at what GOD says the definition of a Christian (Lk. 9:57-62, etc., etc.), and a Church, is. To make the fifth dimension subject to the fourth dimension is a tragic mistake. The fifth dimension having dominion over the fourth and the third dimensions (time, and the material world) is essential, always.
“Let’s get together every Friday night at 7:30 at so-and-so’s house for worship and intercession!” Not a good idea. Perhaps this analogy will help introduce the problem with this common practice, and point us toward a Higher direction. By the way, this higher way IS plenty practical enough for true disciples of Jesus. There are Churches that live this way every day, decades at a time, with large numbers of people and children, and all sorts of occupations. Rock-solid, Jesus-centered, Biblical Christianity. It is not “less” to live free of schedules, programs, hierarchies, and “the sound of man’s chisel in the temple courts.” It is so much MORE! Just as love is more than a well-intentioned life of good deeds strung together, one after another. Love is more and not less...and finds its own creative expressions, day by day by day. It doesn’t need a program. And so it is with Jesus and His Church, daily living out Reality. A program and a plan is a HINDRANCE to creative, miraculous, daily love with Him and one another. Man’s safety nets of programmed meetings choke God’s Love and creative life; it doesn’t “help” anyone really. It only helps everyone to stay as spiritual babies for years and years, and allows leaven in the batch. It allows the children and teens, and many of the adults, to live in lukewarmness or rebellion that God has sworn He will not receive. But there is an alternative. And a small portion of this Biblical, Living way to build has to do with putting to death programmed, calendar-ized meetings. This superior Love and Life way to build is not only True; it has proven True in the crucible of everyday life in our “modern” world, for many years.
Really. It is as wrong to have a “Holy Day” in this new Covenant as it is to offer animal sacrifices. Neither pleases Father in this Agreement He has made with us by the Blood of His Son. They are both, for the same reasons, the wrong Covenant. The Covenant of “visual aids” and external shadows to help us “See” the Father was very necessary. Abraham, Moses, and the others lived out the “Old Covenant” types and shadows that were “examples for our learning.” These externals of rituals, temples and sacrifices, and physical lands and wars...these all happened, the Bible says, to teach us of God’s Kingdom and to lead us to our Messiah. Yet, this covenant of externals, of “visual aids”...is “obsolete” according to God Himself (Heb. 10:5-18, 9:8, 8:5-13; Col. 2:16-17). There is something, SOMEONE now. He and His Ways are FAR more Real and fulfilling than 10,000 externals could ever be. For that reason, it is as wrong to make GOD and His Realm subject to time and place...as it would be for a man to bow down and pay homage to a tree or an animal. Why? Because it is perverting the decreed Order, to make the things of God subject to our whims, or to time, or to the material world.
God will have NO schedule, except His own, as dictated by the Living Head of His Church, Jesus of Nazareth. It is subject to His Current Thought ALONE, not the calendar, the clock on the wall, the little league baseball games, the basketball games, the “summer vacation” nonsense, the guitar lessons, the sleep schedules or interest levels or convenience of the created beings. We must simply allow Him to make the choices, “real time,” as to time and place and frequency, and what we do when we are together in small or large numbers.
Letting Jesus decide when and where and how we get together is only practical, of course, for those who are listening currently to a Risen Head of the Church. Paul spoke of a “mere men” way of living that doesn’t hear God or know His heart and mind. By the Spirit, Paul then contrasted that with those who truly are living for Him, and are therefore able to “judge all things” and even “know the Mind of Christ” (1Cor. 2-3:5). He went on to say that we will even judge angels. This is His determined Will for His People: that they would be intimately connected to Him and to each other, and that Jesus Christ would give direction, minute by minute, as surely as the physical head does to a physical body!
That’s His Plan and our destiny in this awesome new agreement. But we’ve got to live that way! If we’re ever going to see His immense Wisdom and the wonders of His Plan, we’ve got to listen and not fall back on some religious program. If we are truly only, as a religious practice, reminiscing together about an historic Christ and His teachings, then we “must” schedule things in order to be secure and functional. If we aren’t listening to Jesus for His guidance, we would, of course, need the schedules. If we didn’t have the externals (the schedules and plans and notes and structures and hierarchies), we would have total chaos and disjointedness—if we didn’t have a living Head to follow, or weren’t accustomed to letting Him BE the Head. This is not about UFO’s and science fiction! It is as basic as the fact that Jesus is ALIVE, and wants to be as much the Head of His Church as He was when He was here physically. It’s always been His Plan.
I know this is hard for most people to grasp. Most have never experienced anything other than what the “gentiles” do to manage their lives in the seen world. For most, it is quite intimidating to even think about trusting God for the daily functioning of His Church. But, don’t be too quick to be skeptical! The fruit of the common thought is incredibly bad, as a million honest saints have testified. Perhaps this is not entirely because of “bad hearts”? Maybe it has something to do with HOW WE BUILD!
A weekly scheduled religious meeting, whether in a home or in a religious facility, suffers unspeakably great loss from what could be. The lives of those involved in the externally managed religious lifestyle are numbed, and their Spiritual growth is stunted far more than they could ever know! And the families and children are lost forever to the world and the enemy of Jesus. In many cases, this never had to be. “Be very careful how you build!”
What if we were to follow a LIVING Jesus exactly the way that the handpicked twelve followed Him in the first century? How many meetings were on their calendar? What meetings did they have scheduled months in advance and expect Jesus to show up at? You know it never happened that way. Why? Because He was alive, and HE was Head of His Church. HE made those decisions. So, why would it be different now, if He’s really alive and risen from the dead? Didn’t He say that this Covenant intimacy that we have with Him is SUPERIOR to those days? (Jn. 14:18-21, 16:7).
If we will follow Him and HIS Way, we will see His supernatural Wisdom and Life in ways that we could never orchestrate (Eph. 3:10). No matter how many times the “sermon” is practiced in front of the mirror, or how impressive the worship leader is with his practiced and planned songs and spiritual sayings in between songs, it isn’t the Real thing. (Now, granted, God does show His Mercy and bring some benefit from “all things” working for Good, and God can even speak through a donkey. But that doesn’t mean that it is His preferred Way. Nor does it mean that He couldn’t get ten times more benefit out of something closer to His heart and His Intent.)
Orchestration, choreography, emotional manipulation (“every head bowed as the music plays...”), man’s eloquent and powerful word crafting...none of these will change lives as Jesus can, if we’d live HIS way, together, every day. Man’s best efforts to “bring God down from Heaven” and give everyone goose bumps for an hour or two on Sunday morning will not produce much Eternal fruit, as has been proven in countries all over the world, in temples, mud huts, religious facilities, and in living room “services.”
It may seem unimportant to you to quit with the canned, “planned in flatland,” religious meetings and events. Some say, “What harm can it do? Everything we DO when we ‘attend’ the weekly event is ‘good.’ So what’s the problem!?” And, if you have always lived the other way, by human plan and schedule, you may be afraid of anything else. If you have grown up with, or have your ego (or stomach) fed by “the empty traditions handed down by your forefathers,” you probably are comfortable with everything...except the fruit. I assure you, it is far more important to learn the Way of letting Jesus be the current Head of His Church than you’ve ever imagined.
Even if the illustration of the different “dimensions” of Creation didn’t make sense to you right away, this will. He wants us to live as His Son did: “not doing anything that we don’t See the Father doing.” He wants us, as individuals and His Church to live by Him, i.e. minute by minute. The props are not helpful, but rather dull us to His Call, His Guidance, His Protection, His Teaching, and His Gifts within.
Consider the teenagers and the vast amount of independence, worldliness, and leaven that the “way that seems right to a man” produces. It is utterly convincing, if we’re honest and if we care, that we have built very poorly for a long, long time. Would you reconsider this point? Would you consider that the scheduled-on-the-calendar religious events, no matter what day of the week they are regularly scheduled, are definitely not as “Biblical” as you’ve always been told? It takes some serious verse plucking to make any case at all that Sunday was an official holy day in the New Testament (Gal. 4:9-11). In the sixty years of the Church that the Bible gives to us, the word Sunday (“first day of the week”) is only mentioned twice, and neither time is it presented as some “official christian worship service day.” Nor is there any record by the Holy Spirit of ANY day being held apart in this New Covenant as some regularly scheduled day for anything at all! Jesus did not meet with the disciples for a regular Wednesday night study of the Book of Isaiah, did He? Nor did the apostles do anything of the kind, any day of the week—unless the Holy Spirit just didn’t mention it. In the sixty years He carried men along to teach us Who He is, and what the Church is to be, there were no regularly scheduled religious meetings recorded. And Acts 20 and 1Corinthians 16, the two times the “first day of the week” are mentioned, are definitely not examples of “regular Sunday services.” These are isolated specific events, for particular reasons. There is no teaching from Jesus or His Apostles to authenticate a regular or “holy day” service for Christians on Sunday or any other day. This lack of Biblical mention by the Holy Spirit about a regular “Christian Sabbath Service” is incredible in view of how christianity is practiced today! What is commonly called “church” today, bears almost no resemblance to anything we can read about in the Scriptures. A scary thought.
Although this may all seem unimportant or abrasive to you, it is extremely important. If you spend your life riding in a wheelchair, you’ll never learn how to run and jump! In addition, the leaven that “leavens the whole batch” thrives on externals and schedules and hierarchies. Just like bacteria loves the warm, dark, moist places. Don’t give “leaven in the batch,” and the enemy a launching pad to destroy your loved ones, and to dilute your life into immaturity and relative fruitlessness! This is just what we’re doing when we build with man’s wisdom and for man’s convenience as we have been doing for so many years.
We either live dependent on Him for “every word that continually proceeds from the mouth of God,” with no more need of the rationalized borrowed-from-the-world “wheelchairs,” or we rob ourselves and our children of ever being forced to know the REAL Jesus. Removing the props allows us to see who we really are, and who others really are so that we can finally REALLY be of use to each other and to God. It’s amazing what can happen if we’ll live “seated with Christ” in His realm, and will not allow our lives to be governed by the calendar or the clock or the seen world. Try it! You have nothing, except the world, to lose. And perhaps you’ll have your children, and your fullest inheritance to gain.
Jesus replied, “Believe me, the time is coming when you will no longer worship the Father here or in Jerusalem.... But the time is coming and is already here when true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for anyone who will worship Him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-24).