"The Great Unveiling" (August 2003)
"For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." (Romans 8:19) During prayer meeting this week a word came forth from the Lord that we were going to be "exposed to the very bone before the town; stand firm; be ready; souls depend on you." After praying about this, I don't believe that this was a word only for the group of ladies that were there; I believe it is a word for the whole body of Christ.
Often, when we think of "being exposed" we think of it in a negative sense- being exposed for your faults, for some dark hidden secret, for skeletons in your closet, or for secret sin in your life. I don't see this as the case here. I believe there is a "great unveiling" that is about to take place. God is about to "unveil" His church to this world. What do I mean by that? This world has not seen a true picture of the church of the Living God in action. They haven't seen us as the Lord intended for us to be, but that is getting ready to change.
Our scripture tells us that all of creation is waiting for the "manifestation" of the sons of God. Who are these sons of God? They are those who through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ have given their lives to Him. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." (John 1:12) These are the ones who make up His church. So, creation is waiting for them to be manifested. Let's look at the word 'manifestation' for a moment. In the Greek translation it means- appearing, bring to light, be revealed, disclose, to take the cover off, an uncovering, laying bare. Now, let's look at the word 'expose' in Webster's dictionary- disclose, reveal. Let's also look at the word 'unveil'- disclose, reveal. The words- manifestation, expose, unveil- are interchangeable, they all mean the same thing. When I looked up the word 'expose', it also said- to put on exhibit. I like that meaning because I believe it gives a little more clarity to what I am talking about. The "unveiling" that is about to happen is in order for God to put the church on exhibit before this world. Why? So, that the world can see through the church who God really is. We are His representatives. They know what He is like by what they see in us. Jesus said, "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father." (John 14:9b) We should be able to say, "When you see me, you've seen Jesus because He lives His life through me" "As He is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17b) "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ." (2 Corinthians 5:20a) The word 'ambassador' means one who acts as a representative. When the church is put on exhibit, the world will take note that there is something different about them; something real; something glorious. This happened in the early church. "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus." (Acts 4:13) Literally, all creation is waiting for the church to reveal the glory of God to this world; this will happen at the "unveiling".
The unveiling will put us on public display (exhibit). Have you ever been to an unveiling ceremony of perhaps a statue or a painting? In an unveiling what is behind the covering is revealed to all those standing by- it is brought to the light for all to see. When it is exposed to the public it will be scrutinized by the onlookers; it will be examined and taken a closer look at; the workmanship will be either criticized or applauded; the details will be noticed including every flaw; it will be admired by some and hated by others; nothing is hid from eye's view. This is how the life of Jesus was- public; on exhibit for all to see, and God was glorified through it.
How is this "unveiling" going to happen? It will be a work of God so no one can say that they know exactly how or even understand it all because God's "ways are higher than our ways; they are past finding out". While I don't have all the answers to this question, I do have my beliefs on the matter. "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." (Romans 8:22) Why is creation groaning and in travail? "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." (verse 23) When Adam sinned against God in the Garden of Eden by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it brought a curse on mankind and all of creation. (See Genesis 3) This was not the will or plan of God so He provided a way of redemption from the curse of sin- it came through Jesus giving His life on the cross. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, 'Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree'." (Galatians 3:13) Before we were all under the curse of sin and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Because Christ came and gave His life, we now have a means of escape from the curse and can receive eternal life. There will come a day when God will restore all things as He intended them to be before the fall of man. This is what the creation and mankind is groaning and waiting for- the day when the curse will be removed once and for all. "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him." (Revelation 22:3) "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God'. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21:2-4) That's something to "groan" for; to long for with all your heart- no more sin, sickness, disease, poverty, sorrow, grief, heartache, plagues, depression, death, misunderstandings, everything that has tried to defeat and destroy us is gone! (Hallelujah!)
We are all groaning to come out from under the curse and live in the new heaven and new earth- a place of peace where we are in the Presence of God day and night forever. At that time God's sons will be revealed before all the creation to see- this is the "eternal unveiling". I believe there are two unveiling- the eternal one and one prior to the return of Christ. This is the one I have been talking about. "Who [the church] are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (1 Peter 1:5) Before the Lord's return we are told that there will be perilous times, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." (2 Timothy 3:1). "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory; And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up. And lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:25-28) "For the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains." (Joel 2:1,2a) We can tell by the signs of the times that the return of Christ is at hand, but before He returns there will be events and times like described in the previous verses that we will see come upon the earth. These things not only accompany the return of Christ, but they will also bring about the "manifestation" of the sons of God. How? This will be a "dark" time; the sons of God are "lights". "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light." (Ephesians 5:8) Light doesn't shine very brightly in light, but even a small light shines brightly in darkness. Jesus is the True Light. "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, 'I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life'." (John 8:12) We are His lights in the world. "Let your lights so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 6:16) The darkness to come will bring about the "unveiling" of the sons of God- the light of Christ in them. "The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is spring up." (Matthew 4:16) There is a call to the sons of God to, "open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." (Acts 26:18) "And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness." (Romans 2:19) "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world." (Philippians 2:15) "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9)
If you are wondering what is going on in the world, especially concerning "spiritual" matters, it's because there is an "upheaval" taking place. The creation is "groaning in travail" waiting for the sons of God to be revealed so that it can be delivered from the curse; also satan is unloosing everything in his power because he knows his time is almost up. "For the devil is come to you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath a short time." (Revelation 12:12b) This is why we are seeing such an attack on the moral fiber of our nation. This is why our freedoms to worship the True God are being taken away. This is why society is trying to remove God from the universe completely. It's during these times that the true sons of God will be "unveiled". Why do I say 'true'? Because not everyone who is "in the church" is "in the church". Not everyone who attends church or says they are a Christian actually is one. How will the sons of God be manifested? The same way gold is... through the fire. Gold will stand the test of the fire, if it's just gold plated or gold colored it will not. The true sons of God will be made manifested by their willingness to stand even in persecution and by their unrelenting stand for the truth. They will be the ones who "love not their lives unto death" (Revelation 12:11b), they won't back down just because they are threatened. They will be the ones who say, "Throw me in jail, but I'll not deny my Lord". They will be the ones who will go "against the flow", who won't compromise because of popular opinion, the ones who will forsake all for the "excellency of the knowledge of Christ", the ones who will give up whatever they have to in order to gain Christ. They will be the ones who will say, "No" when the world says, "Yes". They're the ones who won't fear what man can do unto them, but rather fear God instead. They are the ones who have a heartfelt devotion and love for the Lord and don't want to do anything that would displease, hurt, bring shame or reproach on Him. Summed up, they "love Him with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind", unashamedly and unapologetically. (Mark 12:30)
"Souls depend on you". God is going to "unveil" His true church so that this world might see His glory through it. But this "unveiling" will also be an act of mercy and grace toward those who don't know Him as Lord and Savior. Jesus showed people the Father and pointed them to Him. We will be unveiled for "them" so that they might be shown the Father and can come out of darkness into His marvelous light as well. "The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is spring up." (Matthew 4:16)
There is no question that the Lord will return, and it's pretty sure to be soon. There will be an exposure, an unveiling. The question is, "Will you be exposed as a true son of God- having a love relationship with Him without compromise", or will you be on the negative end of exposure- exposed as false, only religious; having mere lip service?"