To each of the seven churches He writes to in Rev. 2-3 the Lord promises a particular kind of reward for the overcomers; to those in Pergamos, who overcome the degradation in the worldly church holding the teaching of Balaam and of the Nicolaitans, the Lord promises to give them of the hidden manna and a white stone with a new name written on it (Rev. 2:17).
In each of the seven epistles the reward promised to the overcomers is the secret to their overcoming. What they are rewarded with in the future is what they are now in time, in their place and particular situation. The reward is our solution and way to overcome.
To him who overcomes in Pergamos, in the church joined to the world and who holds some evil teachings, the Lord promises to give of the hidden manna and a white stone, and upon the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.
This is a very precious point, since it relates to something called “the hidden manna”; in the wilderness God rained down manna from the heavens for everyone to eat and be enabled to go His way, but the hidden manna was different.
God commanded Moses to take a omer full of manna and put it in a golden pot, which should be in the ark of the covenant, which is in the Holy of Holies, the innermost part of the tabernacle. This portion of manna is in God’s dwelling place, in the Holy of Holies, inside the ark, in a golden pot.
Not everyone could have access and eat this portion of manna; all God’s people could eat the open manna outside in the wilderness, the priests could eat the bread of the presence in the Holy Place (a more advanced eating), but the hidden manna is a special portion reserved to the overcomers.
We need to advance in our eating of the Lord; we need to enter into a more intimate, personal, and spiritual experience of eating the Lord, receiving the hidden life-supply from Him that will transform our inner being into an approved white stone for God’s building.
The hidden manna is deep, inward, secret, and it is hidden, very intimate and personal; in order for us to overcome the worldliness in the church we need to have a very intimate fellowship with the Lord in our spirit as the reality of the Holy of Holies.
We need to advance in our eating of Christ; we need to be people who learn to eat Christ as the hidden manna, and this kind of eating Christ will produce in us a transformed being that is good for God’s building, and we will be incorporated into the New Jerusalem, the tabernacle of God with man.
Eating, Digesting, and Assimilating Christ as the Hidden Manna for God’s Building
The manna preserved in the golden pot was the center of the tabernacle – God’s dwelling place in the Old Testament. In a similar way, the Christ whom we have eaten, digested, and assimilated is the center of our being as a part of the church, God’s dwelling place today (see Heb. 9:3-4; 2 Tim. 4:22; Eph. 2:22).
We need to eat the hidden manna today not only to overcome the worldliness in the church but also to be constituted with Christ for God’s building. Christ as the hidden manna needs to be eaten, digested, and assimilated by us until He becomes us, He constitutes us, He purifies us, He replaces us, and He becomes our inward constitution that makes us fit for God’s building.
The only thing that can make us buildable with others is the Christ we have eaten, digested, and assimilated. The reason we can’t be built up with others is because we have a mixture of the self, disposition, and peculiarity, together with worldliness and sin; the way to deal with this mixture is by a deeper eating of Christ.
The way for any mixture to be purified from our being is by eating the hidden Christ in an intimate, personal, and deep way. Christ as the hidden manna is available for the overcomers to enjoy in God’s building; when we are in God’s building, we can enjoy such a Christ.
The best pattern of eating the hidden manna and expressing God is the Lord Jesus; in His God-man living He lived His human life in the divine-human incorporation with the Father, and as He constantly contacted the Father, he received from Him a particular supply that became the intrinsic factor of His living.
The Lord Jesus testified that the living Father has sent Him and He lived because of the Father (John 6:57), so in the same way when we eat Christ we live because of Him. When He was on earth, He was in the Father also; He lived His life in the divine-human incorporation with the Father all the time.
We need to learn how to get into our spirit, the reality of the Holy of Holies, and we need to learn how to eat Christ in a very deep, personal, and intimate way. How can we eat Christ as the hidden manna? It has very much to do with eating the Lord in His word.
The Lord Jesus testified that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4); He spent a considerable amount of time in God’s word, and even while He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, He was feasting on God’s word and He spoke God’s word.
When the Lord was on the cross, He must have been enjoying the book of Psalms, for the verses from the Psalms came out from Him as He was dying. The supply the Lord received from the Father became a sword to defeat the enemy and a comfort to His followers.
The Lord Jesus was a real and genuine man like us, having a similar experience with us; He had to learn to deeply exercise His spirit and get into His spirit in order to maintain the intimate contact with the Father and continually receive His supply.
This should be our practice also: we need to eat the Lord in an intimate, hidden, secret, and deep way as the hidden manna, and we will be supplied to express Him and become part of His building.
Lord Jesus, teach us how to eat You in a deeper way as the hidden manna so that You may become the very constituent of our being. We want to eat You as the hidden manna so that You may be digested and assimilated into our being to make us buildable and building members of the Body of Christ, God’s dwelling place. Lord, make us the overcomers of today who overcome by a deeper eating of Christ so that we may live because of Him and express Him. We want to learn to exercise our spirit and remain in our spirit as we pray over Your word to eat You as the hidden manna.
Eating the Hidden Manna to be Incorporated into the New Jerusalem, God’s Tabernacle
While the church goes the way of the world, we as those who aspire to be overcomers need to come forward into the Lord’s presence, with no separation between us and Him, and we need to eat the hidden Christ as a special portion for our daily supply.
We need to eat Christ for our daily supply, and we need to enter deeper into God to be with Him in the Holy of Holies so that we may eat Christ as the hidden manna and be incorporated into the Triune God.
Our purposeful God has an economy in which He intends to have a universal incorporation of God and man, God’s building, God’s tabernacle; this incorporation refers to persons dwelling in one another, coinhering together.
The Triune God is an incorporation: the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are one, incorporated, coinhering in one another, by what They are and by what They do (John 14:10-11).
Through His death and resurrection, Christ enlarged this incorporation to include man; now all the believers in Christ are part of the universal divine-human incorporation of God and man who consummates in the New Jerusalem, the tabernacle of God (Rev. 21:2-3).
Christ as the hidden manna is the center of the tabernacle. The hidden manna is in the golden pot; the golden pot is in the Ark, made of acacia wood overlaid with gold; and this Ark is in the Holy of Holies. The hidden manna, which signifies Christ, is in the golden pot, which refers to God. The manna in the golden pot indicates that Christ is in the Father. The Ark is in the Holy of Holies, and the Holy of Holies is our spirit. Today our spirit indwelt by the Holy Spirit is the Holy of Holies. From this we can see that Christ as the hidden manna is in God the Father as the golden pot; that the Father is in Christ as the Ark with His two natures, divinity and humanity; and that this Christ as the indwelling Spirit lives in our regenerated spirit to be the reality of the Holy of Holies. This means that the Son is in the Father, that the Father is in the Son, and that the Son as the Spirit is the reality of the Holy of Holies. This implies and corresponds to the four ins in John 14:16-20. Verse 20 says, “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you,” and verse 17 says, “The Spirit of reality…shall be in you.” The Son is in the Father, we are in the Son, the Son is in us, and we are indwelt by the Spirit of reality. This is the incorporation of the processed God with the regenerated believers. Witness Lee, The Conclusion of the New Testament, msg. 410
Hallelujah for such a mysterious yet wonderful economy of God, in which He became the hidden manna for us to eat and be incorporated into God! Wow! Today we as believers in Christ need to eat Him as the hidden manna, and we will be incorporated into the Triune God as a universal incorporation.
When we eat Christ in a deeper, more intimate way as the hidden manna, and when we allow Him to be digested and assimilated into us, we will be incorporated into the New Jerusalem, the tabernacle of God. We shouldn’t be those joined to the world – as many are in the worldly church today, but we should be incorporated into the New Jerusalem by eating Christ as the hidden manna!
When we enter into the Holy of Holies, that is, when we exercise our spirit and remain in the mingled spirit as the reality of the Holy of Holies, we eat Christ as the hidden, deep, secret, mysterious, spiritual food, and we are incorporated in God the Father (the reality of the golden pot), we are in Christ (the reality of the ark), who is in our spirit (the reality of the Holy of Holies), who is in the Triune God (the reality of the tabernacle).
We simply need to eat the Lord: we overcome worldliness and we are incorporated into the New Jerusalem by eating Christ by eating Christ as the hidden manna!
Lord Jesus, we want to overcome the worldliness in the church by eating Christ as the hidden manna! Remove any worldliness from our being and reconstitute us with Yourself as the hidden portion of life supply so that we may be purified, filled, and even incorporated in God! Amen, Lord, incorporate us into the New Jerusalem, the tabernacle of God, as we eat Christ as the hidden manna! We choose not to be joined to the world but to be incorporated into the New Jerusalem by eating Christ as the hidden manna today!
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, The Conclusion of the New Testament, msg. 410 (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:
# Overcome! Overcome! / Overcome degraded Christianity! / All your working lay aside, / All the teachings that divide; / Eat the Lord whate’er betide— / Overcome! / Eating is man’s destiny / And the Lord’s recovery; / This defeats the enemy— / Overcome! / Come enjoy the tree of life, / Leave the doctrines, leave the strife! / Overcome by eating Christ— / Overcome! (Hymns #1273)
# In my spirit deeper still / I would touch the Lord I love, / Touch Him in His hidden depth / And His hidden manna prove. (Hymns #769)
# Will you be an overcomer? / Testimony bear! / Keep away from false religion, / ”Hidden manna” share. (Hymns #894)
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