Revelation 2:17- The Lord rebuked the church of Pergamos
Revelation 2:17 – He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Spirit-led believers can understand the “mysteries of the kingdom of God” (Luke 8:8-10), some of which the Lord includes as promises to the “overcomers” in the letters to the churches in Revelation.
Click here for the full discussion on the “call to hear.”
Revelation 2:17 – To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat.
Click here for the full discussion on the overcomer.
The Lord rebuked the church of Pergamos for tolerating the “doctrine of Balaam.” This doctrine included eating of food sacrificed to idols, which spiritually compromised their Christian witness to the pagan society they lived in. Conversely, Christ offers manna, the heavenly food of angels (Psalm 78:24-25), to the overcomers. Manna was the bread from Heaven the Lord provided for Israel during their forty years, wandering in the wilderness:
Exodus 16:12, 14-15, 35 – “I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the LORD your God.'”…And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat….” And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.
When the miracle of manna ceased, as Israel entered the promised land, Moses commissioned Aaron to take some manna and place it in the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 16:33-34). There, the manna was “hidden” behind the veil, where the high priest entered only once a year:
Hebrews 9:3-4, 7 – …and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna…. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year….
The veil that hid the manna tore in two (Mark 15:38) when Jesus, our High Priest (Hebrews 2:17), died on the cross. Jesus has broken down this wall of separation between us and God (Ephesians 2:14-18). He has revealed Himself as the manna that was hidden, the “living bread” that is now available to us. Those who eat of the “bread of life” will never die:
John 6:48-51 – “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
Recall from Revelation 1:14 that the color white pictures the cleansing of sin:
Isaiah 1:18 – “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Psalms 51:5-7 – Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
When the Israelites crossed over the Jordan into the Promised Land, they set up an altar of whitewashed stones, with the words of the Law written on them:
Deuteronomy 27:2-3 – And it shall be, on the day when you cross over the Jordan to the land which the LORD your God is giving you, that you shall set up for yourselves large stones, and whitewash them with lime. You shall write on them all the words of this law, when you have crossed over, that you may enter the land which the LORD your God is giving you, ‘a land flowing with milk and honey,’ just as the LORD God of your fathers promised you.
The Law written on whitewashed stone is the first covenant. Under the new covenant, God will write His Law on the hearts and minds of believers:
Hebrews 8:6-7, 10 & 9:15 – But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second…. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people…. He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
The white stone then, symbolizes the promised inheritance of the overcomers, bought with the cleansing blood of Christ, who writes His Law on their hearts and minds.
As we said before, hear with our inner man. There is a battle, and we are God’s soldiers. The Spirit and the flesh are locked in battle. When we allow the Spirit of God to control our flesh, then we are His. He is our God, and we are His people.
The stone mentioned (in verse 17), most think was a diamond. It was probably the stone worn by the High Priest that had God’s name on it. It was hidden from view next to the heart behind the Urim and the Thummim. The other stones were symbolic for the Tribes of Israel, and all 12 of them were on the breastplate of the High Priest.
We have received the name of Jesus Christ if we are truly His. We are Christians. Whatever the stone is, I am happy to know that our name will be on it.
Jesus will feed us His hidden manna. Manna fell from heaven miraculously and fed the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land (in Exodus 16:14-15). Just as Israel received manna, God promises to give the true believer the spiritual bread the unbelieving world cannot see: Jesus Christ (compare John 6:51).
Whether this is spiritual or physical, I do not really care. It will be all we need to sustain us. The original Ark of the Covenant, which the earthly Ark was patterned by, has always been in heaven, hidden to earthly eyes.
The mystery Jesus is revealing is Himself in His fullness.
(1) He is the Tree;
(2) He is the Bread;
(3) He is the Manna;
(4) He is LIFE.
We too, like Pergamos must repent and come to Jesus with all that we are or ever hope to be. We are nothing until He fills us with Himself.
“White stone”: When an athlete won in the games, he was often given, as part of his prize, a white stone which was an admission pass to the winner’s celebration afterwards. This may picture the moment when the overcomer will receive his ticket to the eternal victory celebration in heaven.
“New name”: A personal message from Christ to the ones He loves, which serves as their admission pass into eternal glory. It is so personal that only the person who receives it will know what it is.
Revelation 3:12 “The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will never again leave it. Upon him I will write the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God (the new Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven from My God), and My new name”.
Revelation 2:17 – …and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.
Names in Scripture are rich with meaning. (See: “What’s in a Name?”) Jerusalem will receive a new name that will describe its restoration to the Lord, in contrast to being forsaken and desolate:
Isaiah 62:2-4 – The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD will name. You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married.
Those who overcome, or believers in Christ, they are a “new creation”:
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Like Jerusalem, overcomers will be remade and receive a new name. The new name will be a secret between the overcomer and God. This is possibly speaking of the special intimate relationship the Lord has with each believer.
It is interesting to note that if the “doctrine of the Nicolaitans” has roots in the Babylonian priesthood, the reference to “hidden manna” and a “secret name” would be a counter to their hidden and secret practices. Part of the enticement behind the Babylonian priesthood was to learn what was “forbidden knowledge” to others. While history confirms these secret practices in Babylonian rooted pagan worship, Scripture hints at them in the following passages:
Deuteronomy 27:15 – ‘Cursed is the one who makes a carved or molded image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ “And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen!’.”
2 Kings 17:9-12 – Also the children of Israel secretly did against the LORD their God things that were not right, and they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city. They set up for themselves sacred pillars and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree. There they burned incense on all the high places, like the nations whom the LORD had carried away before them; and they did wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger, for they served idols, of which the LORD had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.”
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Revelation 2-17 united church of god
We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.