The manna recalls the story of Israel in the wilderness. “Hidden” would refer to the golden bowl full of manna laid away in the Ark of the Covenant. This manna was a memorial to the faithfulness of Jehovah, who led and “nourished” His people in the wilderness. It is a pledge to the Pergamos church. He who watched over literal Israel in their journeyings would care for them in the weary march that was about to begin.
The manna, of course, typifies spiritual food, the word of God. Perhaps some might see a deeper meaning, that it referred not only to the written word, but to the living Word. Jesus was the true Bread of Life who came down from heaven to give life to the world. [John 6:47-51.]
This verse was a promise in the face of desolation and death, of a life that should be hidden – from all the power of persecution – with Christ, in God.
“I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” In ancient times, friendship was perpetuated by a white stone divided in half. Each person inscribed his name on the flat surface; then the parts of the stone were exchanged. The production of either half was sufficient to ensure friendly aid, even from the descendants. A king sometimes observed a similar custom. A white stone would be broken into two parts, half the king would retain and the other part would be given to a special ambassador. The ambassador could send his stone to the king at any time and it would insure aid. Thus, the divided stone became a mark of identification.
The white stone signifies a precious token of the Lord’s love with the new name being the Bridegroom’s name. The statement indicates a secret relationship between the great King of kings and the individual. “The Lord knows them that are his.” (2 Timothy 2:19, NKJV) Each overcomer has the personal favor of the Lord. Of this, no one will know save himself and the King. The overcomers may be said to receive this mark of identification – the antitypical white stone – now in this life.
This mark is the sealing of the Holy Spirit by which the Lord identifies the overcomers. While this verse says it will be part of the final reward of the Church, yet from the very beginning of our experience, we have this precious relationship with the Lord. The full seal of the Holy Spirit will be given in the resurrection when we receive the new body. Then we shall have the complete knowledge of the name by which we shall be known to the Lord and He to us forever.
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