Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Third Dimension

The Third Dimension

“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts,...”
“who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Why Three Times!? Righteousness and Justice and............!

Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.

Since the revelation of the concept of righteousness and justice first apprehended me several years ago, one account has been especially relevant - and that is the coming of the Gospel to the House of Cornelius in Acts 10. This lead directly to the Council of Jerusalem and the propulsion of the Message of Christ unto the world stage.

Crown Him with many crowns, as thrones before Him fall;
Crown Him, ye kings, with many crowns, for He is King of all.

Devotionally reading this account recently something struck me as particularly significant that had not grasped my attention before: Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky. Acts 10:15-16

This had to happen to Peter three times in order to prepare him to bring the Gospel to the House of Cornelius - a non-Jew. And from there to the remotest parts of the earth. But why three times? What is the significance of three? (Christ’s commission to Peter was threefold - John 21:15-19.)

Crown Him the Lord of life, who triumphed over the grave,
And rose victorious in the strife for those He came to save.

The messenger of God had appeared to Cornelius and said to him: "Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial (or reminder) before God.” In essence his deeds brought him to God’s attention for they were the beginning of true worship. A thin place was created in which the kingdom of heaven came close to the realm of this finite plane. Yet, close is not enough - for a veil still remains.

Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.

Of interest also is the fact that Cornelius was praying at the ninth hour or 3:00PM - and that he sent three men to Peter. And of even more importance from the same account: "God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible,...” Acts 10:40 Christ became visible or was made manifest on the third day. He had existed eternally as God, laid aside His privileges of being God to become man - and now has become fully in Oneness or wholeness the God-man - our perfect and complete High Priest always by this nature living to make intercession for us.

Crown Him the Son of God, before the worlds began,
And ye who tread where He hath trod, crown Him the Son of Man;

Cornelius was a god-fearer - a doer of righteousness and justice. He had the vertical and horizontal dimensions - but was yet lacking the depth. Without depth the other two dimensions can only form a shadow or outline - without substance. It is the third dimension that provides depth - reality, wholeness or hypostasis.

Fruit of the mystic rose, as of that rose the stem;
The root whence mercy ever flows, the Babe of Bethlehem.

Three is the symbol of the cube–the simplest form of a solid figure. Three, therefore, stands for that which is solid, real, substantial, complete and entire. When we turn to the Scriptures, this completion becomes Divine, and marks Divine completeness or perfection. Three is the first of four perfect numbers and denotes divine perfection.

Cornelius was not yet fully a true worshiper for he bowed down at Peter’s feet and began to worship him. He was not able to discern the difference between the finite and the infinite. Peter rebuked him saying that he too was only a man. The fullness had yet come to Cornelius’ household–it was very near.

Crown Him the Lord of peace, whose power a scepter sways
From pole to pole, that wars may cease, and all be prayer and praise.

The shadow makes us aware that the substance is there, but we cannot be satisfied with the shadow alone - we cannot stop there. “things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.” Col. 2:17NASB “the reality, however, is found in Christ.” NIV “but the body is Christ's.” ASV “but the body [that casts the shadow] belongs to Christ.” GODS WORD

We have to have a body to create a shadow, yet the shadow has no reality in itself. Relationship is only possible where there is height, width and depth. “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” James 1:17NASB The Eternal Son was made manifest that He might take us where He had been from the beginning of time–into relationship with His Father. “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.” John 1:18NIV

Crown Him the virgin’s Son, the God incarnate born,
Whose arm those crimson trophies won which now His brow adorn;

I am hearing these words coming from the internet radio as I write: “There is no shadow in Your Presence... Lord I come, I bring an offering of worship to My King. Jesus may you receive the honor You are due. No one on earth deserves the praises...”

The worship of a shadow - with form but no substance - is idolatry. “they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood--idols that cannot see or hear or walk.” Rev. 9:20NIV A form without depth has no power to deliver. “holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power;” 2 Timothy 3:5NASB Also: “BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME (Their worship is a farce, NLT), TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.” Matthew 15:9NASB

Crown Him the Lord of years, the Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres, ineffably sublime.

If the focus of our worship - the giving of ourselves in wholeness (Romans 12:1-2) - is on either righteousness or justice, we are being idolatrous. These are the eternal two witness - such as the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant - but they are only witnesses. They do not testify of themselves - but point toward another without whom they are incomplete. They have no glory in themselves. True worship does not draw attention to itself.

Crown Him the Lord of lords, who over all doth reign,
Who once on earth, the incarnate Word, for ransomed sinners slain,

All that was left was the presentation of the Divine Logos in the presence and power of God Himself - “we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.” Acts 10:33ESV This is the Full Gospel - whole and complete in itself. “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1NLT

And to bring us back to Cornelius’ household - the gospel having been proclaimed in its fullness - “So Peter ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus the Messiah.” Acts 10:48ISV The authentic presentation of the Gospel in word and deed had penetrated the veil. “by word and deed, in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; ...I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” Romans 15:18-19NASB

No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye at mysteries so bright.

Christ is not the messenger, He is the Message. Angels are messengers, He is the Eternal Word. “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,” Colossians 2:9ESV “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” Hebrews 1:3 NASB

Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.

Worship on a one or two dimensional plane - because of what He can do for us or what He can do through us - is not true worship at all. We attempt to conform God into our image - that is, what we perceive Him to be.

When we receive a revelation of the third dimension - who He is - then and only then do we enter into true worship. And that is what He is seeking for we are being conformed into the image of His Son - His Son most accurately expresses who He is, not what He is.

Abraham and the lad went up on the mountain to worship. It is called worship not because God would provide for Abraham, but because He would provide for Himself (Genesis 22:5-8 NASB/ESV).

True worship is self-sustainable for it continues without end. Anything less will fail at some point. This is the great motivating factor of the Church of Jesus Christ - thrusting her into the remotest parts of the earth.

Now lives in realms of light, where saints with angels sing
Their songs before Him day and night, their God, Redeemer, King.

All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou has died for me;
Thy praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity.

PS: The Trisagion - an ancient hymn of the Church: “Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.”