“Therefore, sine we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech – unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 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. Now, the Lord is Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 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 by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:12-18).
With this hope, we use great boldness! Someone will think, “Unlike Moses”? If only I could have at least a “fingernail” from Moses. But Paul says that we use such boldness, unlike Moses. Who can boast today that you are “like Moses”?! And Paul is talking about something greater.
A blinded mind is a mind without sight. The mind can’t see the Scriptures. The blinded mind can’t see Christ in the Scriptures. The veil lies on the heart. Have you seen a pounding heart when doing surgery? Have you seen how it beats inside a man? Imagine if you put a black covering right on it – this is how the veil on the heart would look like when reading the Word. But when they turn to the Lord, the veil is removed. All of us with an open face, as in a mirror, behold the glory of the Lord …
These models on the catwalk have masks on their faces. Very expensive masks! Shining with gem stones. What is more expensive, this mask or a human face? These beauties on the catwalk wear gorgeous masks. These are people who don’t see God, they wear masks. They are also Christians, only they have different kinds of masks.
What kind of mask is there on your face?
“Since we have such hope…” – what kind of hope? It’s all about this hope. Apostle Paul proceeds from it, talking about an unveiled face. What hope is he talking about? Above in Scripture we read: “How will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?!.. For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. ” That is, the remainig ministry of the Spirit – and having this hope, we use great boldness.
Moses, when he saw the likeness of God’s glory, from the back, he put a veil on his face, because the people were afraid. I don’t know what kind of veil was on his face. Imagine that now I will also put a cloth on my face – probably not just a rag, but some pretty fabric – so that it smells delicious inside, so that there are rhinestones on the outside, I will sprinkle it at the ends, embroider a lily on it with gold threads, then I will fix a headdress for the next meeting, I may feel it as a little “uncomfortable”, I’ll make it shoulder long, then I’ll think that it can go down to the floor… Gradually I will make a denomination out of this mantle. And so it happens. First glory, then denomination. First Wesley, and then the Anglican Church, first Luther, and then the Lutherans.
Moses hid the glory, but we are not to. The veil is removed by Christ. Take off the veils! If it were Moses now, maybe he would hide the glory, but if it were Paul, he would reveal the glory. Today we must understand that glory has to be revealed. Do you understand? This is a completely different concept of walking in the Spirit. Reveal the glory. They turn to the Lord, and the veil is removed.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Spirit and freedom are joined in one. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. I feel how the controlling powers want to press me, squeeze me: how I am supposed to look, how I am supposed to behave, what the pulpit is supposed to look like, how the preacher is to behave at the pulpit, how I should speak, and so on. There are many positive things that restrain me. But there are many negative things that restrain me: how may people think of me, whether I can open my spirit, open it wide, or still I will get under condemnation, under envy, I will get under judgments.
“With unveiled face we… because where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” “With an unveiled face, as in a mirror” – you look in the mirror – and you are all unveiled, you are not hiding, but looking at yourself. David wrote that he was “wonderfully created.” “Beholding the glory of the Lord”… Let us behold the glory! Stephen saw the glory, Moses saw the glory, John saw the glory, Ezekiel saw the glory – we must see the glory! Behold the glory! Beholding the glory, we are transformed into the image – “from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
A very serious age has come. An age of masks. Closed-face fashion. Let’s have a look at the Venetian masks. There is a Venice carnival. The history of masks dates back to the Greek theater in honor of the god Dionysius. This is a rather complicated system of masks. We find similarities with our time there. It was an idol worship in honor of the god Dionysius. When Rome conquered Europe, Romans adopted the Greek tradition of wearing masks on holidays and in their drama plays.
The solid tradition of wearing masks was established in the 13th century. From December 26 to the Lent, the Venetians began to make parties wearing masks. Actually, this is the time of fasting, but they began to arrange festivities in masks, the main purpose of which was to hide your face in order to sin – and you were not visible. At these parties, the upper and lower classes mingled. It was profitable – to hide the identity – for the purpose of prostitution, illegal trade, political assassination, gambling. (Sounds like the news from today’s newspapers). And in 1436 they established rules for making masks. So much this movement began to progress. People became elusive, it was impossible to determine who was hiding behind the mask. That is, there was a time when masks could be worn all year round. You go out in Venice – and all around are wearing masks. Then it turned into carnivals. But at first it was allowed, until they realized that this was a curse for everyone, they got scared, began to make laws for masks, because people committed lawlessness with impunity.
There is a teaching on the Venetian masks – these are eight vertical masks and eight horizontal. Each mask has its own name and essence. Imagine: sixteen legalized types of masks. The horizontal is the earthly plane, and the vertical is the spiritual plane. There is a lot of mysticism around this. If you meet a vertical mask, you meet your «self».
The “Doctor Plague” mask (with a long beak) was specially invented to prevent people from catching airborne diseases. Doctors came in such masks to patients. Therefore, if such a mask came to you, then you are about to die.
Thus, they established an occupation of making masks. Because all this had to be systematized. The profession of making masks was officially recognized and received its own charter. But it is interesting that between 1530-1560, only eleven masters joined the guild, including a woman.
The first law came out in the 13th century – masks in everyday life. The Venetian Republic fell at the end of the 18th century, and masks were allowed by law for most of the year. Then these masks just wouldn’t be taken off the people. Imagine – people loved to wear masks, and even a law was issued that masks could be worn for most of the year. The aristocracy used masks during government meetings. Think prophetically about this. In the 18th century Venice fell as a republic. This is something incredible. This is a feast during a plague. If you got there – what would you experience?
The Venetians built a city that offered all kinds of adventure and entertainment. The masks represented freedom of action. Masks removed restrictions and entered everyday life. You could only gamble in a casino while wearing a mask.
Since the 70s, masks have experienced a renaissance. We are now also experiencing a resurgence of masks.
We will not list the entire mythology of masks, but here are a few types.
Bauta mask. Worn with a red cape and a three-cornered hat. Convenient for talking and eating. They were worn by members of the government.
Columbine mask. It was invented for women so as not to hide the beauty of the face.
Volto mask. A ghostly face. Worn with a three-cornered hat and a black cloak.
Moretta mask. This is a mask called “silent charm”. It was worn by women so as not to talk. The mask had to be held by the button with a bite, so that it hindered talking, for example, with monks in men’s monasteries. This is a good mask.
Mask “Doctor Death” or “Doctor Plague”. A symbol that death has come, but not always.
Mask “Jester”. It signifies a versatile man, there is even a sign of prosperity, and so on. An officer on special duties.
The whole society was moving in this. See, every mask has rules. When you meet a certain mask, you understand what type it is. You didn’t just put on some kind of mask. You have to choose it horizontally or vertically. The vertical implies mystical things.
We will not mention the names of all these gods. But what do we want to say. In fact, this is not a joke. There is a demonic background about it. Because there is a lot of mysticism, especially vertical. This is a role in the heavenlies. Horizontal masks are, for example, “Nifty Servant”, a sinful woman, there is total betrayal and debauchery there; or “Venetian Lady, Dama” – a symbol of all human vices. If you meet such a girl, then you understand that a normal woman would not wear such a mask. Putting on such a mask carries a specific message – who you are on the inside.
If you look prophetically, then today there is a return to these things. The whole world is in masks. Think about it. This still needs to be explored. I am giving you this challenge, prophets! Explore what happened in Venice, why it left and resurfaced, and why today is the time of return.
Let’s take a look at today’s masks. What is the difference? Glamorous masks, masks from the world’s leading companies. What do they carry, what message? Do you catch this thought? Don’t take it lightly, as if I just gave you a story.
The philosophy of masks was developed in Venice, horizontally and vertically, this is a cross, horizontally is a human type, and vertical is heavenly, mystical. If in Venice someone wore Doctor Plague mask, it meant he had to behave accordingly – he had to be a mystical figure; the mask of a “nifty servant” could only be worn by a depraved woman who “offer herself” to any passer-by, laughed indecently, that is, a decent woman would never choose such a mask, this is a harlot with a big letter H, Babylon; if a woman chose a mask with a button, it meant she could go to the monastery to communicate with God.
Man wants to wear masks – there is a certain psychological theme in this. Today, masks are coming into fashion, which also cover the whole face.
Let’s take a look at today’s role-playing masks. Young people need role play. Nowadays, they have taken up cosplay. These teenagers choose characters that don’t exist, fantasy heroes. They perform various operations, build ears, alter some parts of the body to resemble those heroes. A whole cosplay movement where they wear role masks. These are all movies or anime characters. These are serious things.
We must understand what is happening in this world. We just looked at three types of masks – starting with the teachings and mysteries of the Venetian masks, went through cosplay masks, we see masks during the “corona” – but all this is man who wants to hide his face! At the very beginning, we read the Scripture that like Moses who covered his face, we always want to cover our face. But Jesus reveals face. The Scripture says “glory unveiled.”
Unfortunately, the fourth type of masks are spiritual masks. There is a widespread mask in church – the mask of a spiritual person. It is very imaginative but nonetheless.
Don’t do Venice church! They had eight horizontal and eight vertical masks, and we have eighty horizontal and eighty vertical.
What role are you playing? “Prosperous”? What mask are you hiding behind? “Pastor’s wife” is a terrible mask, she is so quiet, but she commands all things, what she says – so be it. Or “ordained” or “not ordained” … We will not list all these masks. What do we do? You may ask: “I don’t understand who I am anymore! What should I do?!”
Walking in Him! Transforming into His image, transforming from glory to glory. Has your mask faded? Are you tired of playing a role? Young people have to hide their depression, a pastor – hides his quarrel with his wife. Or a man who never prays, comes to church praying… The “Apostolic” mask – there you have to put an effort, it is desirable that you buy a new shirt and change the car, and at least share a few miracles from your own life, etc. We are taking an asphalt roller over religion.
In fact, these are deep things. To play no role. Nothing at all should be played. We preach right and good things.
I want us to think and really be set free, because where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. We need to create an atmosphere in our churches where we can be ourselves. Where no role will be played. Where it is not conveyed what should be done, but everyone understands that this is how you need to behave here.
For example, coldness. Where everyone is afraid to say something wrong, because they will look at you so that you have violated the “concepts”. Here is a sincere brother, but perhaps you simply envy him… All this must be removed so that nothing of the past remains with us, so that we can free ourselves and be ourselves, because the time has come.
One of the greatest joys in my church is that I don’t have to pretend here. I can have fun and be happy. But I am not yet one hundred percent free. I want to participate with the Lord in building such a church that it would be a home. The house of peace, the house of shalom, where you would always be accepted, where you are loved, where you love, and not because you do this or you are this way, but because you are accepted at home the way you are.
No masks are needed for this! Even if your mask is very expensive, it cost you decades of drama play, you are an expert in playing, even if you have multiple masks. You say: “What will be left of me? Little babe?! ” New man and old. They will run in different directions, one will sink in a “swamp”, and he deserves that – this is old you; but let another grow – this is new man, this is no longer a mask, this is an experience with God and walking in Him!