"Unveiling" the Sons of God
Jan 27, 2007
When Romans 8:19 speaks of the "manifestation" or "revealing" of the sons of God, the Greek word used is apokalupsin, from which we get our word "apocalypse." This is also the title of the Book of Revelation, called The Apocalypse. The literal meaning of the word is UNVEILING. According to Strong's Concordance, the root word, apocalupto, means "to take off the cover, i.e., disclose."
This concept of unveiling is largely hidden when we translate the word "manifestation" or "revealing," because the VEIL carries much meaning throughout the Bible. Veils were used to hide a woman's face (Gen. 24:65). There was a veil in the tabernacle and the temple to separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place (Ex. 26:33), as well as to hide the glory of God from the people. When the glory of God came down upon Mount Sinai, a cloud veiled His glory as well (Ex. 24:15).
In the New Testament, we find that Jesus' flesh was a veil that hid the glory of God, for Heb. 10:19, 20 says,
" (19) Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, (20) by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh."
When Moses came off the Mount, carrying the second set of stone tablets of the law, his face was glowing (Ex. 34:29). This occurred after Moses' eighth trip up the Mount, and so it prophesies of the eighth day of Tabernacles. In other words, the glory of God will be unveiled in the sons of God on that last great day of the feast.
But in Moses' day the people were afraid to approach him, even as they had been afraid to approach God earlier on the day of Pentecost (Ex. 20:18-21). Even as they were not ready to experience Pentecost at that time, neither were they ready to experience Tabernacles. The fulfillment of both feasts would have to await a future time--first Pentecost in Acts 2, and then Tabernacles at the end of the Pentecostal Age.
Thus, Moses put a veil over his face when speaking to the people (Ex. 34:33) to hide the glory of God and reduce their fear. This veil did not obstruct Moses' ability to see; rather, it obstructed the ability of the people to see the glory of God. We read of this in Paul's commentary on this story in 2 Cor. 3:15, "but to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over THEIR heart."
Those who reject Christ, in effect, have a veil over their eyes and hearts. In that condition, it is not possible for them to become the manifested (unveiled) sons of God. The veil is removed when a man turns to Christ, Paul says in verse 16. And then Paul concludes in verse 18,
"But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit."
In other words, we are to learn from Israel's mistake in Moses' day. Instead of being fearful of the glory of the Lord, we ought to behold Him and His glory. Israel was not ready to do so, because they had refused to hear God's voice at their Pentecost in Exodus 20. Without accepting Pentecost (i.e., "hearing"), they could certainly not experience the greater glory of Tabernacles.
In the New Testament, we find that the vast majority of Judea and Galilee followed their leaders and rejected Jesus as Messiah. In so doing, they showed that the veil was still firmly in place over their eyes and hearts. But yet we find a small remnant who reversed Israel's pattern by drawing near to God in the upper room to experience Pentecost. Their numbers grew later, and these eventually became known to us as the "early Church."
The real question for us today is how many Christian believers will actually experience the glory of Tabernacles, which is the unveiling of the sons of God? The pathway is not complicated. It is set forth in Scripture as three steps, depicted by Passover (justification by faith), Pentecost (the earnest of the Spirit), and Tabernacles (the fullness of God).
The Gospel of the Kingdom is complex, but each complexity is composed of simple things that are not difficult to understand. There is a unique simplicity here in the midst of complexity, like a simple cell in the body. It is simple until you want to look closer at it through a microscope. Then you can view complexity after complexity and never reach the end of the marvels of creation.
The unveiling of the sons of God is really a simple idea, though not widely taught. Like Jesus' body, our bodies also veil the glory of God. We are temples of God (1 Cor. 3:16), and He indwells us by His Spirit. But other men do not normally see the glory of God that indwells us, because we each have a veil--our flesh.
The unveiling of the sons of God is the moment when that veil is removed, and the glory of God can be seen in us by all men. That is the true fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles. Some think that Tabernacles is something we have already experienced, but this is not so. Tabernacles is not about being indwelt by the veiled Spirit of God. That is a function of Passover and Pentecost. Tabernacles is about being UNVEILED.
When the sons of God come down from heaven, as it were, like Moses came off the Mount, they will have glorified bodies, even as Moses' face glowed. The glory that even now resides in us through Passover and Pentecost will then be unveiled for the world to see.
Unfortunately, because most of the world is unprepared for such a thing, they will be afraid even as Israel was afraid in Moses' day. And this is why the sons of God will again have to appear to men veiled most of the time. Like Moses, the sons of God will have to assume flesh and bone, even as Jesus did after His resurrection (Luke 24:39).
When Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, He veiled His glory once again. They never recognized Him immediately when they saw Him after His resurrection. They only recognized Him after He said something or did something. In other words, He could appear in whatever form He wished, looking different each time.
Why did He do this? Because Ezekiel 44:16-19 mandated that when the prophetic Zadok priesthood (i.e., Melchizedek Order) ministers to God in the Sanctuary, they must do so in their "linen" garments (spiritual garments); but when they go to the outer court to minister to the people, they must lay aside their linen garments and put on woolens--so that they take on the same form (minus blood) that the people have. The woolens represent the flesh body of the "sheep" of His pasture.
This is why Jesus appeared to His disciples in a body made of flesh and bone. But when it came time to return to the Sanctuary in heaven, He had to "change garments." At that moment, He disappeared (Luke 24:31). One cannot minister in the heavenly Sanctuary in woolen garments (the flesh).
This will be likewise the ability of the overcomers, the sons of God. The harpazo, the "catching away" in 1 Thess. 4:17, is not a "Rapture" as the Church teaches. It is the point in time where the overcomers are caught up to the throne to be presented as sons of God on the eighth day of Tabernacles. To do this, they must be unveiled by removing their woolen garments and dressed in their linens. It is the point where they are given two sets of garments and from then on have the ability to pass back and forth between the Sanctuary in Heaven and God's footstool on earth.
The "catching away" to the Sanctuary in Heaven and then back to earth (the same day) is the beginning of the time when the sons of God are unveiled. These are the first of the first-fruits to fulfill the Fruitfulness Mandate.