Matthew 24:1-2 (Satan and the Hidden Glory of God)

Recall one of the most great and central truths in all of Scripture that is rooted in the divine nature and that was most manifest in the person of Jesus Christ: By veiling our own glory there is a much greater glory to be had—indeed a glory that has no limits and increases without bound.  For in concealing our own glory we reflect the very nature of God and so display the hidden nature of His glory, which glory we come to share as we are transformed into His image from glory to glory (2Co 3:18).  For as demonstrated by the life of Christ, as we forgo our rights and submit ourselves to the authority in the divine order God has established, even if it causes us to suffer, by humbling ourselves and hiding our own glory in sacrificial service we honor and glorify our head.  We then become partakers of that glory because of the covenant relationship that binds us to our head, whether that head is our parents, husband, employer, nation, the Church, Christ, or God Himself:  As our head is glorified we are glorified with him; as he is raised up we are raised up with him; cf. 1Pe 1:3-9, 4:13, 5:10.  For the nature of God reflected throughout His creation and repeated throughout Scripture is that “he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Mat 23:12, Luk 14:11, 18:14); see Jam 4:10, 1Pe 5:6.

Where in Scripture do we also find this principle of veiling one’s own glory even among God’s angelic beings?  See Isa 6:2, Eze 1:11,23.  Consider also the important role the cherubim seem to have in the veiling of God’s hidden glory, for both the curtains of the tabernacle and its veil that screened or covered the ark from view were made with cherubim (Exo 26:1,31, 40:3,21), as were the walls and doors of Solomon’s temple (1Ki 6:29,32,35).  Recall too that the mercy seat itself from where God would speak to Moses (Num 7:89) was covered with the wings of the cherubim (Exo 25:18-20, 1Ki 8:7).  In this context, what is the significance that Scripture seems to imply that Satan himself was once the seal of perfection among all God’s creatures and possessed magnificent beauty and glory as the anointed cherub who covers, but through pride in his own beauty and splendor fell into sin to become the devil?  See Eze 28:12-18, Isa 14:11-15.

Notice from the text notes in Eze 28:14,16 that to cover may also mean to guard in the sense of protect as it is there translated by several versions; cf. Psa 5:11, 91:4, 140:7 for the same Hebrew word.  In what way by hiding one’s own glory does a creature guard or protect the hidden glory of God, and in what way does displaying one’s own glory detract from it?  Think: by concealing our own glory we draw attention to God and to the hidden nature of His glory by reflecting His nature, but by flaunting our own glory we draw attention to ourselves and so conceal the nature of His true glory which is to be exalted by humbling oneself.  Consider then that by displaying our own glory we actually rob God of His glory, not just because we are exalted instead of Him, but because we are hiding the true nature of His glory that is found in humility.  By so robbing God of His greater, hidden glory, is it then possible for the creature to be exalted with Him to an even greater glory?  Cf. Mat 6:1-6,16-18.  Much rather, because the nature of God is reflected throughout His creation so that it is only through humility that one is ultimately exalted, what must be the inevitable result for those who in pride exalt themselves?  See Mat 23:12; cf. Luk 14:7-11.

Who then is the greatest guardian of God’s hidden glory?  Is it not those who are the most glorious, but like God hide their glory in humility?  And who is most guilty of robbing God of His glory?  Is it not those who are the most glorious but do not veil their glory in order that they might glorify themselves and be glorified by others?  And who then is guilty of the greatest evil?  Is it not those who are the most like God, possessing great glory themselves, who by veiling their own glory could possess even greater glory and glorify God as guardians of His true glory, but who instead would dethrone God by robbing Him of His glory so as to stand in His place to be glorified as if God Himself?  Cf. Joh 10:10.  What does this then teach us about pride as the greatest of all sins that can cause even the most glorious being in all of creation who had the seal of perfection to fall from the heights of heaven to the depths of hell to become the devil?  In what way then is Satan an exemplar of all those who rather than veiling their own glory as a keeper and guardian of the hidden glories of God instead exalt themselves and flaunt their own glory in order to be glorified by others?  What does this teach us about those who are most like the devil, and why Jesus’ harshest condemnations were spoken against those like the scribes and Pharisees, or the rich man in the parable of Lazarus?  Cf. Mat 23:33, Luk 16:19, 18:10-14, and consider also that both the king of Babylon and the king of Tyre were such magnificently glorious but proud kings that the prophetic narrative concerning them seems to point beyond them to the devil himself.

Consider then that a hallmark of the kingdom of God is to reveal the glory of God by veiling one’s own glory in humility, trusting that God in His own way and time will manifest His hidden glories through the divine order He has established, thus resulting in an even greater glory.  In contrast, the nature of Satan and his kingdom is to conceal the hidden nature of God’s glory by flaunting one’s own glory in pride, being misled by the deceptive nature of sin that one can ever be exalted by robbing God of the nature of His true glory, thus resulting in great humiliation.  See again Mat 23:12.  What does this remind us about the danger of flaunting our own glory, rather than in humility concealing it?  What does it also teach us about a deeper meaning of the Christian woman’s head covering during public worship that like baptism, foot washing, and the Lord’s Supper is a symbol pointing to these central truths of the faith that are so great and contrary to our nature that even angels long to look into them?  Cf. 1Co 11:10, 1Pe 1:10-12.  Considering again that the greatest guardians of God’s glory are those who are the most glorious but veil their glory in humility, what does this teach us about those whom God potentially views as the most glorious, and why, so as to entrust to them the visual sign in the Church of these great truths?  Cf. Mar 10:43-44, and consider the many more ways than men that women are servants and the slave of all.  How do these things help us to better understand the great evil of the feminist movement, and whose spirit is behind it, that rather than liberating women with the glory they deserve, in fact not only deprives them of a much greater glory, but also robs the Church of its most able ministers of the hidden glories of God?