OUR NEED TO BE UNVEILED
Second Corinthians 3:18 says, "But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit." I like the term unveiled. I am concerned that we might still be veiled. In 2 Corinthians 3 to be veiled means to be covered by old religious concepts, thoughts, teaching, and knowledge. Simply put, to be veiled is to be covered by your own religion.
We have the concept from Christianity that when we come to a so-called church service, we have to come in a nice, polite, religious, and pious way. But the result of this is emptiness. Instead, suppose I come into the meeting saying, "Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Amen! Jesus! I love Jesus!" You may say I am crazy, but what is wrong with this? We should care not for being pious but for being nourished with Christ. In Christianity we were taught to be quiet, but we gain nothing from this. Eventually, I found out that when I say, "Lord Jesus," I get nourished within. We all need to care for being nourished with Christ, not for any religious forms. Coming to the meeting in a silent way is to come void of the Spirit.
I am doing something, by His mercy, to help His people be rescued from the falsehood of religion. Many are still under the veil of old religion. They are still under the covering of their old religious concept. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 3:15 concerning the Israelites, "Indeed unto this day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart." When they read the Old Testament, they were still under the covering, the veiling, of their old concept. But Paul said in verse 14 that "the veil is being done away with in Christ." In Christ, the veil is removed. As long as we are in Christ, everything we do is right. If I shout in Christ, this is right.
The Jewish people were so much for keeping the Sabbath that they sent out some Sabbath-day policemen to arrest all the Sabbath-breakers. Matthew 12 tells us that Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the grainfields. His disciples became hungry and began to pick the ears of grain and eat them (v. 1). They ate in a "wild way" without cooking, without a dining table, and without dining utensils. But in the fields they were fully fed. Then the Sabbath-day policemen, the Pharisees, came to tell Jesus that His disciples were breaking the Sabbath (v. 2). Those Sabbath-day policemen thought they were very scriptural. But the Lord Jesus said, "Have you not read...? " (vv. 3-4). We could paraphrase what the Lord Jesus said to the Pharisees in this way: "You are supposed to know the Bible and do everything according to the Bible. Have you not read in the Scriptures that David and his followers went into the house of God and ate something illegally? How about that?" God does not care for the keeping of certain regulations. God wants people to be satisfied.
You may come to a so-called church service nicely, quietly, and piously, but how do you feel within? Are you satisfied and filled up, or empty? When we come in a silent and dead way to the meetings, we have to admit that we are empty. We should forget about the religious regulations. Forget about "the Sabbath." You have to take care of your hunger. Get yourself satisfied. It is better to eat something raw in a wild way than to go hungry. We should care only for the satisfaction of God’s people, not for religious forms and regulations.
It is somewhat easy for the young ones to say that they hate religion, because religion is a kind of bondage. I hope that all the older ones among us would forget about being religious. The most religious person was Saul of Tarsus. But on the way to Damascus, a light from the heavens shone upon him and he fell down. He said, "Who are You, Lord?" At that time the Lord came into him, and there was no more religion with him. The veil was removed in Christ. I hope that all of us would have unveiled faces.
Some of the saints have many questions concerning certain doctrinal things. But if you were invited to a dinner and served chicken, would you ask about its bones or its tail? We do not care for the bones or the tail. We care for taking the rich meat of the chicken into us. You need to be simplified. There are many things that we cannot understand. I do not understand what air is, but I have been breathing it for many years. I have never graduated from breathing. To graduate from breathing is to die. Although I do not understand the air, I enjoy it every day by breathing it. Air is good for breathing. I know this and I do know I can breathe. God made me this way. In the same way, we need to breathe in Christ moment by moment by calling on His name.
We need to return to the simplicity which is toward Christ (2 Cor. 11:3). We need to pray, "O Lord, be merciful to us. Remove all the veils. Take away all the coverings. Lord, grant us a clear sky." We do not realize how much we have been veiled by the so-called Christian religion, by the religious concept we received from Christianity. We are stumbled because we are under the covering of religion, the veil of our religious concept. We should not care for anything religious. We should care only for Jesus! We need to have all the veils taken away so that we can behold and reflect Jesus (2 Cor. 3:18). As we are beholding and reflecting Jesus, the image of Jesus will be impressed upon us. Then we will not be regulated, corrected, or improved, but transformed from within with the element of Jesus. The living Jesus, who is full of organic energy, will transform us.
(The Living and Practical Way to Enjoy Christ, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)