But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
- 2 Corinthians 3.15, 16
For the Lord knew when he made the world that man would transgress the commandment which was uttered to him. That is why the veil of heaven has been placed before the faces and eyes of men, so that they cannot behold the blessedness of heaven and the throne of God.
- Anonymous, In Tengua Bithnua, Old Irish, 9th century
We live in an increasingly secular age. As Charles Taylor explained, thinkers for the past 150 years have worked mightily to “disenchant” the world, to rid us of any notions of there being anything beyond what we can see, feel, hear, taste, or smell – anything spiritual (A Secular Age).
In many ways, those propagandists for a secular worldview have succeeded. For many people today, when it comes to spiritual realities, there’s just no there there. Or, if there is, it’s not something about which to give much thought. The unseen realm is veiled from them, and that by their own choice.
It’s not surprising that unbelievers have trouble with the idea of an unseen world. They’re just being consistent in their beliefs. If you start by insisting that nothing exists except whatever is accessible to the senses, then that’s where you’ll end up. Satan capitalizes on this situation by offering glimpses into the realm of darkness, a domain dangerously interesting to those whose minds are darkened with sin. It’s not that they’re incapable of seeing into the unseen realm; it’s just that they’re looking in the wrong direction.
We should not despise the unbelieving secularist; rather, we should pity him, and have compassion on him. He’s seeing as far as he can see, given the veil that covers his eyes. He can have no fruitful converse with unseen things because he chooses not to believe in them.
But what’s our excuse?
We who believe in Jesus Christ and call upon Him for forgiveness and renewal, what’s our excuse for not seeing beyond the veil into the unseen realm? We know Jesus is exalted at the right hand of God, and that we have been seated there with Him (Eph. 2.6). We are given glimpses of Him, exalted in glory, and are commanded to set our minds there (Col. 3.1-3). Generations of our forebears have left glowing testimonies in art, song, and literature concerning the radiant beauty of our exalted Lord and the mysteries that reside with Him beyond the veil.
What’s our excuse for not looking through the veil of this secular age to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and meditate in His presence (Ps. 27.4)?
Paul wrote that for all those who turn to the Lord, the veil that separates this world from that one, where Jesus reigns at the right hand of God, is removed. Now, with the eyes of faith, we can see much farther and much more clearly than we could before we came to faith (Eph. 1.15-23). We can see wonders and beautiful landscapes where Christ is enthroned in glory, surrounded by saints and angels, prosecuting His agenda in an economy of grace and truth that advances across the face of the earth and the pages of history.
We can see clear through to the end of history and beyond, to the new heavens and new earth, where righteousness dwells, and where we will one day live forever with the Lord in glory. Our ability to know full assurance of salvation, and to give evidence of that salvation in good works of love, depends on our seeing beyond the veil into that realm of unseen things (Heb. 11.1).
Many Christians are little more than practicing secularists with respect to this greater part of their lives. They sing about the wonders of Christ and heaven, but they live as though this is an experience for the then and there, and has little or nothing to do with the here and now.
They who may gaze upon the unseen beauty of Christ, but will not, may as well have the veil across their faces yet. Why should we live this way, when that veil has been removed?
The veil is removed in Jesus. The beauty of God and Christ, the glory of angels and saints worshiping around the heavenly throne, and exalted vistas of spiritual wonder and mystery await us in the unseen realm, as revealed in the Word of the Lord.
The secularist may confidently declare his belief in the non-existence of such realities, and choose to spend his days living in vanity under the sun.
But should we, who live under the heavens, allow the boasting of our secular age to keep us from living beyond the veil, and for the glory of our reigning Savior and King?
Psalm 99.1, 2, 9; 4, 5, 9 (Sine Nomine: For All the Saints)
The Lord is King! Let all the peoples quake!
He rules above the angels; let earth shake!
Amid His people Jesus Christ is great – Exalt the Savior! Exalt the Savior!
You have established strength and equity:
Before Your throne, O Lord, we bend the knee.
To You, O Savior, praise and honor be – Exalt the Savior! Exalt the Savior!
Heavenly Father, grant me comradeship with the angels in their thousands, to praise you and serve you day by day. Adapted from Colum Cille, Altus Prosator
The Landscape of Unseen Things
We are citizens of a heavenly Kingdom. Should we not learn more about this wondrous domain, and how to make our way around in it? To help you in this, we’ve prepared a series of studies of Jesus exalted in glory, saints and angels serving Him, and how we may access this realm beyond the veil. Order your copy of The Landscape of Unseen Things by clicking here, and begin living the full extent of your Kingdom citizenship beyond the veil in the presence of our exalted Lord and King. Or click here, and download a free copy of our extended meditation on Psalm 45, Glorious Vision: 28 Days in the Throne Room of the Lord.
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T. M. Moore, Principal
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Carey, p. 81.