WHAT THE OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS SAW
The opening of the veil is a revelation; behind the veil is the mystery hidden in God. However, in the Bible throughout the ages the seekers of God, from Adam to John the Baptist, were only groping at the veil. We cannot say that they did not touch anything. Nevertheless, the things they touched were mostly fragmentary and incomplete; some were not quite accurate, while others were not quite thorough. For example, many words in the Psalms came out of the groping by the saints in the Old Testament. Hence, some of the things they said were correct and accurate, while other things they said were incorrect and inaccurate. This is because they were like blind men feeling an elephant, each grasping a different part and none being able to grasp the whole picture.
WHAT JOHN THE BAPTIST, PETER, PAUL, AND JOHN SAW
At the beginning of the New Testament, when John the Baptist came, it seemed that the veil was going to be opened, yet it was still not opened. In John the Baptist we still cannot see much of the mystery hidden in God. Then while the Lord Jesus was on the earth, once when He was in the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked the disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of Man is?” They said, “Some, John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” This means that those people were like blind men feeling the elephant. The Lord Jesus went on and asked, “But you, who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:13-16). What Peter saw was wonderful, yet probably only a crack was opened between the veils for him to have a peek (v. 17). This is why afterwards he still said so many foolish things.
Another time that Peter spoke a foolish word was in Acts 10. While Peter was praying on the housetop, a trance came upon him; he saw a certain vessel like a great sheet descending from heaven, in which were all the four-footed animals, the reptiles of the earth, and the birds of heaven. Then a voice came to him, saying, “Rise up, Peter; slay and eat!” At that moment he spoke a foolish word: “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything common and unclean” (vv. 9-16). The vision in the region of Caesarea Philippi is like the rising sun that has not yet appeared in full; the vision on the day of Pentecost is like the sun at noontime. Nevertheless, in Acts 10, Peter, being confused again, lost the vision. Although a vision came to him, he could not take it. He received a vision, but he could not understand it.
It was in Paul that the revelation of the mystery was greatly laid open, unveiled. But as a whole, there was still a small part that was not yet unveiled. It was not until the writing of the book of Revelation by the elderly John that the revelation of the mystery was completely laid open. Revelation means the opening of the veil. The book of Revelation completely opens the final details; that is, it opens the seven seals (5:5) which sealed up the scroll, the mystery of God, held in the right hand of the Lord Jesus. In the record of Revelation, the seven seals are opened one by one. After the opening of the seventh seal, there are the seven trumpets (8:2), which are the contents of the seventh seal. The book of Revelation first opens the veil and then blows the trumpet. To trumpet means to proclaim loudly, to make clear. It is not enough only to open the veil and break the seals; there is still the need for a loud trumpeting, a shouting. After the opening of the seventh seal, there is the blowing of the seven trumpets one after another. Furthermore, the seventh trumpet includes the seven bowls (16:1). At this time, the veil is completely opened.
THE VEIL COMPLETELY OPENED IN THE LORD’S RECOVERY
Today to the Lord’s recovery the veil has been completely opened, but to many of the clergy in Catholicism and the pastors and ministers in Protestantism it may still be closed. If you ask them, “What is the book of Revelation?” They will probably answer, “It is better not to touch it or pay attention to it; otherwise, you will get into trouble.” Not only so, the Catholic Church and some of the Protestant denominations have even gone back to the Old Testament. For example, the robes that their priests wear are altogether patterned after the Old Testament. This proves that they have closed the veil again. Therefore, Catholicism is a “veiled religion,” a religion without revelation. The characteristic of the Lord’s recovery, however, is that the veil has been completely opened from the first chapter of Genesis to the last chapter of Revelation. If you have spent time to study the publications put out among us, especially in the last ten years, you will see that the veil has been fully opened among us. Take the latest publication, God’s New Testament Economy, as an example. This book has a total of forty-four chapters, the last nineteen of which are on the final scene—the New Jerusalem. I can say that the New Jerusalem, not only in its contents but even in all its details, has been fully explained and completely opened to you. This is why it is included as part of your curriculum, and I fully agree with this.
(The Revelation and Vision of God, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)