The Final Unmasking

For there is nothing covered, that not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

— Matthew 10:26; Luke 12:2

God is not a God that hides, but a God that reveals. His whole work in relation to the creatures he has made, is revelation—the giving them truth, the showing of himself to them, that they may know him, and come nearer and nearer to him, and so he have his children more and more of companions to him. That we are in the dark about anything is never because he hides it, but because we are not yet such that he is able to reveal that thing to us. That God could not do the thing at once which he takes time to do, we may surely say without irreverence. His will cannot finally be thwarted; where it is thwarted for a time, the very thwarting subserves the working out of a higher part of his will. He gave man the power to thwart his will, that, by means of that same power, he might come at last to do his will in a higher kind and way than would otherwise have been possible to him. God sacrifices his will to man that man may become such as himself, and give all to the truth; he makes man able to do wrong, that he may choose and love righteousness. The fact that all things are slowly coming into the light of the knowledge of men—so far as this may be possible to the created—is used in three different ways by the Lord. In Mark 4:22 and Luke 8:16, he uses it to enforce the duty of those who have received light to let it shine; they must do their part to bring all things out. In Luke 12:2, it is recorded how he brought it to bear on hypocrisy, showing its uselessness; and in the case recorded in Matthew 10:25, he uses the fact to enforce fearlessness as to the misinterpretation of our words and actions.

Commentary

Unveiled Faces
by Dave Roney

You will recall that in the Genesis account, when the man had sinned, it was not God Who hid from him but the man who attempted to hide himself from God.  Prior to that time both God and His creature had been utterly transparent one with another; there was no veil of any kind which separated between them in the three major areas of life, those of heart, of mind, and of body.  Likewise, until sin entered in, there was no separation between the man and the woman.  The preachers have sometimes said that, prior to sin, the pair was cloaked in some godlike cloud of glory which hid their nakedness, but that is to say that nakedness is, itself, somehow inappropriate or even, specifically, sinful.  And in such case glory, whatever that might appear as, would be corrupted; for it would become a covering for what, if exposed, would be sinful, therefore become a hiding veil, a lineament intended to conceal something.

And, whereas the man was changed His God remained the same; the One would always be completely open, which is to say transparent, meaning honest, revealing, displaying openly; mankind, coming from Adam, would thereafter fail in the manner of his forebear, seeking even more and more to conceal, to hide, to avoid and deny transgressions, hardening himself against Truth, to seek his own will and go his own way, to become a law unto himself, and to do that which was right in his own eyes.    

Above I mentioned the tri-fold dimension of man Adam, his heart, mind, and body, and the fact that he attempted, as does every man who has sin, to hide himself from God; he also attempts to hide himself from his fellows.  The hiding, which is a veiling, a covering, masks the reality of the man; it is not a thing imposed upon him by any other; he veils himself, deliberately.  I will use Adam here, for he is fully able to represent the case.  What first in him was corrupted?  It was his heart—for, “out of the heart come [i.e. springs, escapes out of it] the issues of life.”  Issues?—these are the raw, unsophisticated, primal, desires and cravings rising in the heart; springing up out of the heart, where do these then go?  They go straightway into the mind of man, and here they are formalized.  And where from the mind do the impulses travel?  They are sent as commands to the sensate body, and here what came out of the heart finds its outward expression through expressions, words and deeds.  The heart is, therefore, the main thing; it is, I think, what our Lord had in mind when he said “The light of the body is the eye: If, therefore your eye is clear, your whole body shall be full of light.” (Matt. 6:22)—it is likewise what He meant when He asked “Having eyes, do you not see?” (Mark 8:18).  The metaphor has naught to do with the physical eye, nor the mental eye, but the innermost eye, that of the heart.  

And the darkness of heart, the blindness of its eye, is its veil; and from that initial and deepest rooted veiling what the heart sends into the mind is likewise veiled in darkness, and do we then not understand why we say and do that which we ought not?  The sin-veil covering the heart is of differing fabrics, those gauzy, through which penetrates some light, others of so tightly woven that no light can penetrate; at times of richest gold-trimmed brocade for the prideful man, at others tattered rags for the man on the suicidal cusp; but all, regardless of how a man perceives them to be his, are yet but veils of darkness to him, covering his heart.  But now enter our Christ, for God would not leave us to ourselves:

“God is not a God that hides, but a God that reveals.”

Is it not written of our Lord in the book addressed to the Hebrews, “He entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever?”  Did He not pass through the great heavenly veil “not made with hands” which was rent from top to bottom even as was the earthly material one?  The innermost chamber, tabernacle or temple, was the holiest place of all, that place where God's earthly presence dwelt.  By His Atonement He has opened the private place to the public, has made it so every person can see into it who “has eyes which can see.”  Has, by the sprinkling of His own blood, said to us “Come, now; sit on the Mercy Seat itself!”  But there is, as well, another way I see all this.  

He stands, nail riven and bearing His marks, not only as He once did before the great heavenly Tabernacle which, its veil forever rent, He entered into the Holiest of all, but now before the veiled hearts of men; and as those men “come to their senses,” are willing to cast out the money lenders from their temple-hearts, and become willing to cleanse their temple, and with eyes that suddenly are seeing, the veil over their hearts is rent from top to bottom, by His Will and theirs working in harmony, as these, for the first time, behold their King, Brother, Sovereign, and rejoice to see His day.  For, if a man's body is likened to the outer courtyard, and his mind to the holy place, then his heart is to him his  Holy of Holies.  Christ has entered in behind the rent veil of the heavenly that He might enter in through the rent heart-veil of the children of the Father, thus to reign over, but also with, them.

And this Divine Will, though never imposed upon the heart by force, is itself of such force, is so utterly good, so faithful, so determined to succeed, and of such immeasurable infinite loving patience, that He will stand before a man's veiled heart unto eternity itself crumbles to dust should it take that long to redeem His brothers and sisters.  Death?  Do you think the veil of Death can prevent Him; do you suppose, based on what you've been taught, that it is in this life only that men have chance?  Away with that!  He has conquered Death; Death will die, has in fact even now suffered its defeat, that Life might reign!  No veil shall forever hide His face from the creature or the creation:  

“His will cannot finally be thwarted; where it is thwarted for a time, the very thwarting subserves the working out of a higher part of His will.  He gave man the power to thwart His will, that, by means of that same power, he might come to do His will in a higher kind and way than would otherwise have been possible to him.  God sacrifices His will that man may become such as Himself, and give all to the truth; He makes man able to do wrong, that he may choose and love righteousness.”

In the face of the human babe is the nearest, dearest, representation we have of the Babe Himself; is there a doctrine of “original sin?”  Let it be gone!  The Justice of God demands from Him first that He be fair; and what fairness could there be, among men, to lay to the charge of the innocent the sins of another?  All the qualities of Christ are there apparent; the babe is harmless, is honest, seeks naught but its true needs, has nothing in it of spite or jealousy—it's face, its heart, its very life is completely unveiled, innocent, true, and will remain childlike until such time as, by its decision, sin shall enter into it.  When you look into the face of the babe, you are looking into the face of original man, not original sin—you are, as much as the creature is capable of mirroring—looking into the face of Christ, Who was made just like us except He, when He reached the age of reason, chose never to sin.  Thus, as He began life on earth He remained, ever the Child, pure and without guile, which is to say without veil.

And there is this final thought relative to the human infant.  When God formed him in the womb He was creating the tri-fold tabernacle of its humanity, doing it in the form of a tri-fold creature, possessed of heart, mind, and body.  And even as when the Tabernacle was first constructed in the wilderness womb, it was fashioned pure, as pure as men could make it, and dedicated to God, and the service of it was also pleasing to Him; it was only later that when, in a manner of speaking, the infant-Tabernacle had grown, especially become the adult-temple, that its defilement became full.

So it is with men, born innocent, become unrighteous, to be restored, redeemed, and reconciled back to God through the love and work of the Child, Who takes His own blood into the Holy of man's Holiest place, his heart.  He enters in through the rent veil of man's Self-will, which by His Atonement He has rent from the Divine side, which the man has rent from his creature side.  It is not for the man his “Final Unmasking,” for the Lord still has much work to do in him; it is the beginning of “The Final Unmasking.”  No dreadful thing is this, nothing we should fear—as though at the judgment bench all our “dirty laundry” will be exposed to our neighbors.  No such thing!  Ours is not a God Who humiliates His children; to the contrary He is ever working to produce in them the likeness of His Son, their Atoner, to say truthfully of them as of Him, “This is My beloved child in whom I am well pleased.”

The unveiling has begun, in this life; it shall continue for those obedient, who follow and do the will of our Master, until His great Day of all days—then shall the unveiling be complete, when our hearts are become one with His, even as is His and His Father's One.  Until then we shall find more and more of the child-heart growing within us, we becoming more and more the image of Christ, longing for the Day when our faith shall be made sight, when every shred of our veiling is gone.  And until we can, as our Lord, finally say “It is finished,” the Apostle encourages us:

“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.”  (2nd Corinthians 3:18)