The Unveiling

Turn to the Lord, where hindrances to experiencing spiritual reality are removed.

The sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the words of the Lord God and the meditation of his heart?

As you spend time resting in the word of God daily, forgetting everything you know except Jesus the Messiah, are you aware of a growing desire for your every word and thought to please the Lord? Are you becoming conscious of the Lord’s response to your every word and thought?

Read the words of Scripture slowly and reflectively. Let them settle deep in your soul and take root as the Spirit of God brings them to life.

We are like clay jars that hold the treasure from God.

2 Cor 4:1-18 – God, with his mercy, gave us this work to do, so we don’t give up. But we have turned away from secret and shameful ways. We use no trickery, and we do not change the teaching of God. We teach the truth plainly, showing everyone who we are. Then they can know in their hearts what kind of people we are in God’s sight. If the Good News that we preach is hidden, it is hidden only to those who are lost. The devil who rules this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe. They cannot see the light of the Good News — the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is exactly like God. We do not preach about ourselves, but we preach that Jesus Christ is Lord and that we are your servants for Jesus. God once said, “Let the light shine out of the darkness!” This is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts by letting us know the glory of God that is in the face of Christ.

We have this treasure from God, but we are like clay jars that hold the treasure. This shows that the great power is from God, not from us. We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We do not know what to do, but we do not give up the hope of living. We are persecuted, but God does not leave us. We are hurt sometimes, but we are not destroyed. We carry the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the life of Jesus can also be seen in our bodies. We are alive, but for Jesus we are always in danger of death so that the life of Jesus can be seen in our bodies that die. So death is working in us, but life is working in you.

It is written in the Scriptures, “I believed, so I spoke.” Our faith is like this, too. We believe, and so we speak. God raised the Lord Jesus from the dead, and we know that God will also raise us with Jesus. God will bring us together with you, and we will stand before him. All these things are for you. And so the grace of God that is being given to more and more people will bring increasing thanks to God for his glory.

So we do not give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day. We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory that is much greater than the troubles. We set our eyes not on what we see but on what we cannot see. What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever. (NCV)

Note what words and phrases capture your attention. Why?

Note the contrast between those who know the Lord God and those who don’t.

God, with his mercy, gave us this work to do [of telling his Good News to others], so we don’t give up.
Showing everyone who we are…in God’s sight.
Jesus Christ is Lord.
God made his light shine in our hearts by letting us know the glory of God that is in the face of Christ.
We have this treasure from God. The great power is from God.
We are your servants for Jesus. Death is working in us, but life is working in you.
Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day.

Your restoration.

2 Cor 13:9 – For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. (ESV)

Restoration: thorough equipment; to complete thoroughly, repair, adjust, mend, make perfect; perfectly join together.1

God once said, “Let the light shine out of the darkness!” This is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts by letting us know the glory of God that is in the face of Christ.

I have looked upon the Lord.

Ps 63:2 – So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. (ESV)

I saw the Lord.

Isa 6:1-3 – In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (ESV)

He saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

Acts 7:55-56 – But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” (ESV)

We have seen.

John 1:14 – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (ESV)

Treasure from God.

We have this treasure from God — this light and power that now shine within us — but we are like clay jars that hold the treasure. This shows that the great power is from God, not from us.

We are alive, but for Jesus we are always in danger of death so that the life of Jesus can be seen in our bodies that die.

1 Cor 15:48-49 – People born of dust are like the man of dust, and people born from heaven are like the man from heaven; and just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, so also we will bear the image of the man from heaven. (CJB)

Do we know who we are? Do we know the light and power that now shine within us? Or do we only know the clay jar that holds this treasure?

We boldly say what we believe [trusting God to care for us], just as the psalm writer did when he said, “I believe and therefore I speak.”

I will keep on trusting.

Ps 116:10-14 – I will keep on trusting even when I say, “I am utterly miserable,” even when, in my panic, I declare, “Everything human is deceptive.” How can I repay Adonai [the LORD] for all his generous dealings with me? I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of Adonai. I will pay my vows to Adonai in the presence of all his people. (CJB)

So we do not give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day. We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory that is much greater than the troubles. We set our eyes not on what we see but on what we cannot see. What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever.

Read the texts again. Chew upon the words. Turn them over and over in your mind. Ask the Lord God what he wants you to receive from them and how he wants you to respond to them.

Do you closely identify with those who know the Lord God? Would you like to know a greater experience of the glorious power that is within you?

What hinders us from knowing the Lord God?

Lost. Dead. Minds blinded by the god of this world.

2 Cor 4:3-4 – And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing [lost, dead]. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (ESV)

Blinded, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
God has hidden spiritual things from the wise and understanding of this world.

Matt 11:25-26 – At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. (ESV)

Isa 5:21 – Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! (ESV)

The path to true wisdom.

1 Cor 3:18-23 – Don’t fool yourself. Don’t think that you can be wise merely by being up-to-date with the times. Be God’s fool — that’s the path to true wisdom. What the world calls smart, God calls stupid. It’s written in Scripture, He exposes the chicanery of the chic. The Master sees through the smoke screens of the know-it-alls.

I don’t want to hear any of you bragging about yourself or anyone else. Everything is already yours as a gift —  Paul, Apollos, Peter, the world, life, death, the present, the future — all of it is yours, and you are privileged to be in union with Christ, who is in union with God. (MSG)

Do not brag about yourself or anyone else.
Everything is already yours as a gift.
You are privileged to be in union with Christ, who is in union with God.

Do we have even the slightest perception of what has been given to us as a gift?

Read the texts again. Chew upon these words. Turn them over and over in your mind and allow their significance to be absorbed by mind, body, soul and spirit.

A secret and hidden wisdom of God.

1 Cor 2:6-8 – Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (ESV)

Mature: complete in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character. The state, completeness, mentally or morally, perfection.2

Until we are all joined together.

Eph 4:13 – This work must continue until we are all joined together in the same faith and in the same knowledge of the Son of God. We must become like a mature person, growing until we become like Christ and have his perfection. (NCV)

God, with his mercy, gave us this work to do [of telling his Good News to others].
We are your servants for Jesus. Death is working in us, but life is working in you.
This work must continue until we are all joined together
We must become like a mature person
Growing until we become like Christ and have his perfection.
Among the mature, a state of completeness,
A wisdom not of this age
A wisdom not of the rulers of this age
A secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.

Wisdom not revealed by flesh and blood.

Matt 16:17 – And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. (ESV)

What thoughts and questions and emotions arise? Does a word satisfy? Encourage? Convict? Prod? Instruct? Empower? Give hope?

Turn to the Lord who is the Spirit.

2 Cor 3:12-18 – Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (ESV)

Minds hardened
A veil lies over their hearts.
The Law cannot bring us into the presence of God.
Only through Christ is the veil taken away.

When one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.
The Lord is the Spirit
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

We all, with unveiled face
Beholding the glory of the Lord
Are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.

For this comes from the Lord
This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Veil: the inner veil of the tabernacle, metaphorically the corresponding veil in the Temple, metaphorically of the “flesh” of Christ, his body which he gave up to be crucified, thus by his expiatory death providing a means of the spiritual access of believers, the “new and living way,” into the presence of God.

A covering which Moses put over his face when descending Mount Sinai, thus preventing Israel from beholding the glory, metaphorically of the spiritually darkened vision suffered until the conversion to their Messiah.

A hindrance to the perception of spiritual realities, hindrances removed in the unveiling.3

Read the texts again. Chew upon these words. Turn them over and over in your mind and allow their significance to be absorbed by mind, body, soul and spirit.

Completely free to enter the Most Holy Place without fear.

Heb 10:19-23 – So, brothers and sisters, we are completely free to enter the Most Holy Place without fear because of the blood of Jesus’ death. We can enter through a new and living way that Jesus opened for us. It leads through the curtain — Christ’s body. And since we have a great priest over God’s house, let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, because we have been made free from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold firmly to the hope that we have confessed, because we can trust God to do what he promised. (NCV)

We are completely free to enter the Most Holy Place!
We can trust God to do what he promised!

Read the texts again, setting aside your own thoughts, perceptions, judgments, your own agenda, to allow response from your inner depths to surface. What do you discover?

 

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)

Become aware of your breath. The breath of the Almighty in you.

Breath by breath. Become conscious of the presence of the Almighty in you. Seek his strength. Seek his presence. Surrender to the influence of the breath of the Almighty. Enter the Most Holy Place without fear.

2 Cor 13:14 – the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, [is] with you all! Amen. (YLT)

…because of the blood of Jesus’ death, we can enter the Most Holy Place, through a new and living way, Christ’s body.

Inhale.
Exhale.

You must rely on the breath of the Almighty, the Spirit of God who lives inside you, to make you understand Gods words, to discern the thoughts and intentions of your heart, to seek the interests of Jesus Christ and not your own.

With your inhalation draw the words of the Lord God deep within you.

With your exhalation empty yourself of all your own ideas, plans, thoughts, imaginations and words to make room for the words of God to take possession. Open yourself completely to what the Lord God wants to reveal to you about yourself and about him.

Ps 22:27-28 – All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. (ESV)

Inhale: (draw the words of the Lord God deep within you)

All the families of the nations shall worship before you

Exhale. (empty yourself of self to allow the words of God to take possession)

For kingship belongs to the Lord

Wait, watch, listen, be still, be willing for the Lord God to transform you from within, revealing who you really are. Strive and reach for the goal, alive to the energy that he powerfully works in you as you rest, completely dependent upon him to reach the goal, united with the Messiah.

As you receive the Word of God into that deepest place of your being, the Lord God is rescuing you, he is loosening your bonds to your old nature, he is delivering you from your illusions and foolish boasting. Through Jesus, our Messiah, God is gradually transforming you from within, revealing who you really are, becoming one spirit with him.

Inhale.
Exhale.
Breathe the Lord God’s words all day every day.

2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Restoration: NT:2676 <START GREEK>kata/rtisi$<END GREEK> katartisis (kat-ar’-tis-is); from NT:2675; thorough equipment (subjectively): KJV – perfection.

NT:2675 <START GREEK>katarti/zw<END GREEK> katartizo (kat-ar-tid’-zo); from NT:2596 and a derivative of NT:739; to complete thoroughly, i.e. repair (literally or figuratively) or adjust: KJV – fit, frame, mend, (make) perfect (-ly join together), prepare, restore. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

2Mature: NT:5046 <START GREEK>te/leio$<END GREEK> teleios (tel’-i-os); from NT:5056; complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter (as noun, with NT:3588) completeness: KJV – of full age, man, perfect.

NT:5047 <START GREEK>teleio/th$<END GREEK> teleiotes (tel-i-ot’-ace); from NT:5046; (the state) completeness (mentally or morally): KJV – perfection (-ness). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

3VEIL: 1. katapetasma (<START GREEK>katape/tasma<END GREEK>, NT:2665), lit., “that which is spread out” (petannumi) “before” (kata), hence, “a veil,” is used (a) of the inner “veil” of the tabernacle, Heb 6:19; 9:3; (b) of the corresponding “veil” in the Temple, Matt 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45; (c) metaphorically of the “flesh” of Christ, Heb 10:20, i. e., His body which He gave up to be crucified, thus by His expiatory death providing a means of the spiritual access of believers, the “new and living way,” into the presence of God.

  1. kalumma (<START GREEK>ka/lumma<END GREEK>, NT:2571), “a covering,” is used (a) of the “veil” which Moses put over his face when descending Mount Sinai, thus preventing Israel from beholding the glory, 2 Cor 3:13; (b) metaphorically of the spiritually darkened vision suffered retributively by Israel, until the conversion of the nation to their Messiah takes place, vv. 14,15,16. See under UNLIFTED.

UNLIFTED: anakalupto (<START GREEK>a)nakalu/ptw<END GREEK>, NT:343), “to uncover, unveil,” used in 2 Cor 3:14 with the negative me, “not,” is rendered “unlifted,” RV, KJV, “untaken away” (a paraphrase rather than translation); the RV marg., “remaineth, it not being revealed that it is done away,” is not to be preferred. The best rendering seems to be, “the veil remains unlifted (for it is in Christ that it is done away).” Judaism does not recognize the vanishing of the glory of the Law as a means of life, under God’s grace in Christ. In 3:18 the RV, “unveiled (face)” (KJV, “open”), continues the metaphor of the veil vv. 13,14,15,16,17, referring to hindrances to the perception of spiritual realities, hindrances removed in the unveiling.

(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

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