Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Sarah’

Chapter Six

The Bride is…Without Veil

“But whenever a person turns [in repentance] to the Lord, the veil is stripped off and taken away.” 2Cor3:16

 

We have been looking at various characteristics of the Bride of Christ all in an effort to clearly and with accuracy – “Imagine the Bride.”  We have seen how she has a focus which is different from the church.  We have looked at the profit of breaking in her life.  We have seen how she practices being un-offended.  We have explored how she is like a “dance at Mahanaim.”  And in the previous chapter – how she “is a wall.”  Now in this chapter we will examine the distinct likelihood that contrary to custom, and unlike tradition — the future Bride of Christ will be without a wedding veil.  Not that she will have committed a fashion blunder – and forgotten her veil.  Nor will she recklessly break with bridal protocol and choose to forgo wearing a veil.  No, I believe that that Bride will not wear a veil because she cannot.  Thus, just as Jesus himself often came in a line of Truth that clashed with established precedent – when it comes to wearing a bridal veil, I believe the Bride will be just as unconventional as the Lord.

Before launching into the full discussion consider this additional point which establishes the importance of this issue – because it is about more than simply fashion, or protocol, or an outward statement.  Recall in Mt 22:11-14  Jesus is teaching the Pharisees concerning attire at the future wedding feast.  Jesus reveals that a man has slipped into the celebration without having on the appropriate wedding garment.  Jesus addresses the man kindly, calling him “Friend.”  He asks him how he came to be there without the proper attire, but that man is unable to respond.  The man is then gagged and tied up, and thrown into the darkness outside.  In the heavenly realm it appears that there is a great correlation between our spiritual state and what we get to wear at the marriage supper of the Lamb.  This is further validated by Rev 19:8, where the Bride’s fine linen and her right to wear it – is because of her righteous deeds and godly living while on the earth.

Hence, what we are and do here on earth is knitting a future wardrobe for us in heaven, and there will be no falsity in that process!  It is imperative that we recognize this fact now, and chose a course today which will store for us treasure in heaven, even bridal wear!  So then, onto the discussion at hand – why won’t the Bride wear a veil?

 

 

Divine Trouble-making and Destruction of Tradition

 

Jesus came to upset the order of things as a prelude to deliverance and freedom.  He upset ideas about what could properly be done on the Sabbath.  He literally over-turned and upset tables where temple priests were selling animals for sacrifice, thus terminating their practices and traditions of commerce in the outer courts. He upset the people over washing practices, and forever destroyed misconceptions that external rigors or oblations perfected or protected anyone from being defiled.   He taught that what defiles comes from within – well beyond where we can scrub clean.  He blasted ideas about monies promised to the synagogue being a legitimate excuse for anyone to not take care of their families.  It goes on and on.

Jesus came to upset the old order, and to usher in a higher, more perfect order.  Yet He is very clear in Mt 5:17.  He did not come to undo the law, but to fulfill and complete it!  Jesus’ very nature was to upset the old older – and yet fulfill all aspects of the law.  That is why it is not difficult for me to believe that at the future marriage supper of the Lamb, the Bride of the Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords – will be without veil!  Against every general bridal protocol and custom practiced historically and today – I believe there will be a great departure ahead.  To understand the significance of this we must investigate history concerning the veil and what is to come.  Let us begin our exploration in the Old Testament.

The Temple Veil

 

The veil within the Temple created a division between the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place, and as such served to both protect and separate.  It kept even the priests out of the Holy of Holies except for just one day of the year – the Day of Atonement.  In position, the veil hung immediately before the Mercy Seat, which was upon the Ark of Testimony.  Upon this Mercy Seat the cloud of God’s presence would appear and rest.  This Mercy Seat is where the Lord would receive the praise of His people.  It is also where He would manifest His Presence – the Shekinah Glory.  So the veil was a separator (of legal and protective importance) from the all-powerful presence of the most holy God.

Now however, you and me, believers in Christ Jesus – we are the very temple of God.  We are told in 1Cor 6:19 that our body is the very temple of the Holy Spirit – it is His sanctuary.  We were bought with a price, we are no longer our own.  When did this happen – this movement from a temple of stone and mortar to one of flesh and blood that is in-dwelt by the most-high God?  It happened at the Cross, when Jesus laid down His life to purchase us as His own.  Stay with me here now – this gets exciting!

Immediately after Jesus gave up His spirit on the cross, the curtain of the temple (also known as the veil) was torn in two from top to bottom.  The earth also shook at this time, and rocks were split open.  Tombs opened and many bodies of saints who were dead were raised to life and walked around the city of Jerusalem.  But focusing on the veil – it was torn from top to bottom.  This was not something any man could do.  This veil was immense and very thick.  It was only the hand of God, of Jesus Himself, making a way and opening up what previously was shut to us.  Only He could perform such a feat!  He made a way before us – that is open forever!  Our access to God the Father will never again be for one day a year, but His Son has made a way for continual, open access.  You and I have freedom of access to the God and Creator of the Universe that can never be taken away or diminished!  You must get this – the veil blocked our freedom to come before God!  The veil then stood as a proponent of slavery or bondage under the law and opposition to freedom.  This shall become clearer as we proceed.

Two Covenants:Types and Shadows of Slavery & Freedom

 

In the book of Galatians, chapter four, Paul sets up a profound and striking parallel.  He revisits the story of God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis (especially Gen 22:17), and re-acquaints us with both of Abraham’s sons.  Abraham’s first son, Ishmael, is the progeny of his union with his wife’s maid Hagar — who is a slave or bond-maid.  Abraham’s second son, Isaac, is the offspring of his union with his wife Sarah — who is a free-woman.  Paul explains that this is an allegory.  Hagar and Sarah actually represent two different covenants, two different lineages.  One covenant had its foundation in the law given from Mt Sinai and concerns children destined for slavery.  This first covenant (Hagar) also corresponds to present day Jerusalem, for she is still in bondage/slavery with her children to the law.  The second covenant (Sarah) has its foundations in the Jerusalem that is above (the Messianic Kingdom of Christ) which is free, and she is the mother of free children – in Christ Jesus.

So there are two covenants and two lineages in operation and force today that we must recognize because they have great bearing on the discussion of the veil.  The children of the first covenant (from Hagar who was a slave) and even the present Jerusalem, remain under slavery even today.  They are of natural, physical decent; they have had an ordinary physical birth.  Hence they remain under the first covenant law – that which was brought by Moses.

The children of the second covenant (from the Jerusalem above/the Messianic Kingdom of Christ) are all free.  They have had a second birth, beyond natural decent – in fact supernatural!  They owe their freedom (and being born again) to the second covenant, brought by Jesus, Who came to make us children of promise – like Isaac!

Now carefully follow the path we are about to take.  Don’t wander off!  This is very profound because of the promise the Father gave Abraham back in Genesis.  Remember, God, as a Theophany (the pre-incarnate Christ) visited Abraham and Sarah and promised them a son – Isaac. Again – Isaac was the son of promise.  He was the son who had a miraculous birth because Sarah and Abraham were well beyond child bearing years.  It was God’s creative miracle that made it possible for them to bear Isaac.  But listen!  This promise to Abraham was given (Paul says in Gal 3:17) 430 years before the law was given by Moses!  Therefore, the promise of freedom and son-ship was given way before the Mosaic Law was ever established!  While the covenant of promise to Abraham could bring new life (Isaac), the covenant of the Law could only produce children from Mt. Sinai (of natural birth, bond-servants)!  However the covenant of Law can never supersede the covenant of promise because the promise was given first.

What does this have to do with a veil?  Look at 2Cor 3:16:  “…whenever a person turns [in repentance] to the Lord, the veil is stripped off and taken away.” Everyone who has come to Jesus and confessed Him as their Savior has had the veil stripped away!  The Bride is devoted and follows Jesus.  She is born again of a supernatural birth!  Jesus stripped her veil away when she came to repentance! She would not now go back and put that veil on again!  It would be like reverting to the Law as if it was the supreme arbeiter! This is why the Bride cannot wear a veil. You cannot be supernaturally birthed as a child of promise and then return to a natural birth.  You cannot be freed as a child of promise and return then to slavery.  You cannot put your hand to the plow and then look backward and remain fit for the Kingdom of God!

The word says in 2Cor 3:13, “Nor [do we act] like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze upon the vanishing [splendor which had been upon it].”  The best the Law can ever do for you is bring a splendor that vanishes;  it can only be a ministry of doom (decline).  The glory and splendor that abides and remains is the glory of the Gospel in the face of Jesus Christ!  This is a surpassing glory that never diminishes.  No veil could compete with it – nor is the veil needed anymore to protect or separate!  But even to this day, when the law is read to the Israelites, it affirms and fortifies the veil that still lies [on their hearts].  It has not been yet lifted [to reveal] that in Christ it is made void and done away with. (2Cor 3:10-15)

The final point is this.  Christ has made us free!  Through His sacrifice He has made us like Isaac — children of promise.  We are told to stand fast in that liberty, and to not be hampered and ensnared ever again and submit to a yoke of slavery which has been put off! (Gal 5:1)  The Bride will stand fast in this way.  She will never again submit to a yoke of slavery, for her Lord has made her free.  No veil (denoting slavery to the law) will ever cover or hide or obscure her again!  May we in Christ embrace this fact! To the Lord be the glory!

Read Full Post »