It is so encouraging to see the Lord’s promise to the overcomers in the church in Pergamos, who are enjoying Christ as the hidden manna to be transformed into a white stone, approved by God, suitable for God’s building, having a name written on it that only the overcomer and the Lord knows.
May we be such overcomers in the church today, those who have an ear to hear what the Spirit says to the churches, see the actual condition in the church, and overcome and stand against any worldliness in the church so that the Lord would have a shining testimony on earth.
The church in Pergamos was a real actual local church to which the Lord has written in Rev. 2, and at the same time it was a section in the church age in which the church and the world were joined in marriage.
However, the Lord’s word to the church in Pergamos applies to us also today, since there’s so much worldliness in the church today and the Lord’s word as a sharp two-edged sword pierces, divides, and purifies us so that we may be a pure testimony of Jesus on earth.
We may not be those who hold the teaching of Balaam, teaching the word of God or false doctrines for gain, but we may practice the teaching of the Nicolaitans, which is having a system of hierarchy in the church or in our perception of the church.
May we be those who repent as we hear the Lord’s word and come to the Lord, allowing Him to pierce, shine, and purify us so that we may be the overcomers He desires in this age.
How can we overcome the worldliness in the church today? It is by spending much intimate, personal, and hidden time with the Lord to eat Him as the hidden manna.
We need to have no distance or separation between us and the Lord but deal with anything that would hinder our fellowship and come to Him, eat Him, and seek to gain Him in a deep and hidden way so that we may eat Him, digest Him, and assimilate Him to be constituted with Him in our whole being.
We need to eat the Lord as the hidden manna and be incorporated into the Triune God; we need to learn to eat Jesus in a personal and intimate way so that He would become the source and motivation of our living, and our expression and actions would be Him living in us today.
Enjoying Christ as the Hidden Manna and being Transformed into a White Stone for God’s Building
It is very interesting that the Lord put together the matter of “eating the hidden manna” with “receiving a white stone”; this shows that our enjoying Christ as the hidden manna produces transformation.
The Lord promises the overcomers in Pergamos to eat of the hidden manna and to give them a white stone; this indicates that, if we eat the hidden manna, we will be transformed into white stones for God’s building.
The more we enjoy Christ in a hidden, private, spiritual, and intimate way to gain Him, digest Him, and assimilate Him, the more we are transformed into materials for God’s building.
The church as the building of God can be built up only with precious materials – see 1 Cor. 3:12 and Rev. 21; the way for us to become the precious materials for the building up of the church is eating Christ as the hidden manna.
Eating Christ produces a transformation in our being; the more we eat Christ as the hidden manna, the more we are transformed into white stones. In ourselves we are mere clay, made of dust, unsuitable for God’s building, but as we enjoy Christ as our life supply, we are transformed into precious stones for God’s building (2 Cor. 3:18).
We should not follow the worldly church but eat Christ as the hidden manna to be transformed into stones for God’s building. Eating Christ as the hidden manna causes us to be transformed into approved materials for God’s building, as indicated by the color white of the stone.
The worldly church is rejected by the Lord, but those who eat Jesus as the hidden manna are approved by Him and become building members of the Body of Christ. How much we need to be transformed into white stones for our being!
In a real sense, the degree to which the church is built up depends on the degree to which we eat Christ as the hidden manna so that we may be transformed into precious stones for God’s building. The building of the church depends upon our transformation, and our transformation issues from the enjoyment of Christ as our life supply.
In addition to exercising our spirit in a strong and deep way, we need to be the people who are in the word of God more and more; we need to be the messengers in the churches, those who have an ear to hear what the Spirit speaks to the churches and who receive a fresh message from the Lord to the churches in our intimate fellowship with Him.
We need to advance in our eating of Christ so that we may be those who experience the transformation into precious stones and live in the reality of the Body of Christ.
May we be those who aspire to be the overcomers, those who pay the price to eat Christ as the hidden manna so that we may be inwardly transformed into stones for God’s building, to be approved before the Lord and suitable for the building up of the church as the Body of Christ!
Lord Jesus, we aspire to be the overcomers, those who overcome to eat Christ as the hidden manna to be transformed into a white stone suitable for God’s building. Lord, we don’t want to go along with the worldly trend in the church today but be those who eat Christ as the hidden manna and become a white stone, approved by You and suitable for the building up of the church. Lord Jesus, keep us eating You day by day, even eating You in a deeper and more intimate way so that we may digest and assimilate You and be inwardly transformed for God’s building!
Bearing a New Name, the Interpretation of the Experience of being Transformed by the Lord
When the Lord called Peter to follow Him, He changed his name from Simon into Cephas, a stone; when we were regenerated by the Lord, our name began to be changed from a natural name with a natural history to a transformed name with a history of being transformed by the Lord.
The overcomers in the church in Pergamos receive from the Lord a white stone with a new name written on it, which no one knows except the one who receives it (Rev. 2:17). Every transformed believer as a white stone bears a new name, which no one knows except him who receives it.
This new name is our spiritual biography, our personal history of how God and we go on in our ordained journey with Him, as He builds us into the New Jerusalem. God takes fallen descendants of Adam and brings them through a process of transformation to become a white stone for God’s building with a new name written on it, a name reflecting of the experience of the experience of being transformed by the Lord.
As we are eating the Lord, we are inwardly transformed, and a new name is being written on us. We may be like Peter today, being proud, quick in our temper, and thinking we are better than all the brothers, but through the process of transformation a new name is written on us, which is a reflection of what the Lord has been doing in our being.
Such a new name is the interpretation of the experience of the one being transformed, so only we knows the meaning of that name. The new name the Lord gives us is the new designation of what we have become, signifying what we have become in the Lord and for God’s building.
Revelation 2:17 is a word spoken by the Lord to us. Do not take it objectively but as your biography. Consider it as a word for you. In a sense, we are living in the age of Pergamos, for the so-called church has become worldly. But, being an anti-witness, we are here fighting for the Lord’s recovery. Therefore, the Lord gives us this word in verse 17, and we all need to understand it and say, “Amen, Lord. Thank You for this promise. I may eat of You as the hidden manna, and this eating will transform me from clay into a stone which will please You, be approved by You, and be used by You for the building up of Your dwelling place. Lord, I agree with Your promise. From now on, I shall eat You in a hidden way and be transformed to become a white stone for Your building.” Is this not a wonderful promise from the Lord? Yes, the church may become worldly, but the Lord has promised that we may become a white stone for God’s building. (Life-study of Revelation, pp. 152-154)
How encouraging this is! We should take the Lord’s word to the church in Pergamos as His word spoken to us and make it our biography by refusing to be taken away by the worldly trend in the church and seeking to eat the Lord as the hidden manna to be transformed by Him and have a new name written on us!
How wonderful it is that, even though outwardly the church may become more worldly than ever, the Lord has promised that we may become a white stone for God’s building!
We need to pray that the Lord would shepherd us into a deeper and more intimate experience of eating Him so that we may be a stone for His building. May the Lord purify us from any mixture, and may He gain the church in our locality as a golden lampstand shining for Him brightly in this dark age!
Thank You Lord for the promise of giving us to eat the hidden manna to transform us into a white stone for God’s building. May we eat You as the hidden manna so that we may be inwardly transformed into a stone which will please You, be approved by You, and be used by You for the building up of Your dwelling place. Amen, Lord, from now on we want to eat You in a hidden way to digest and assimilate You so that we may be transformed to become a white stone for Your building. Keep us in this process of having a new name written on us, a name reflecting our spiritual history with You!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Mark R. for this week, and portions from, Life-Study of Revelation, pp. 152-154 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Returning to the Orthodoxy of the Church (2016 fall ITERO), msg. 4 (week 4), The Church in Pergamos.
- Hymns on this topic:
# O Lord, do nourish us; You are the food we need; / As we are eating You, we’ll be transformed indeed; / We’re fully satisfied as on Yourself we feed, / So nourish us, O Lord, we pray. (Hymns #1135)
# I want to be marked for Thine own, / Thy seal on my forehead to wear; / And have that new name on the mystic white stone, / Which none but Thyself can declare. (Hymns #402)
# We must eat Jesus till God can / Have the fulfillment of His plan— / One man expressed for all to see, / One church in each locality. (Hymns #1146)