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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Rewards to the Overcomer, continued
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. (Revelation 2:17)
Again the accent is on works. "I know your works." "You hold fast my name." "You have not denied my faith." "You have them who hold the doctrine of Balaam" (this involved things sacrificed to idols, and fornication). "You have them who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans." Whatever the teaching of the Nicolaitans was, it was their practices that Christ hates.
"Repent!" Repent means to turn away from what you are doing and go in some other direction.
If we are not willing to repent Christ will fight against us with the sword of His mouth, that is, with His Word. This is what is taking place today. Christ is fighting against the Christians in America with His Word. It is time to repent!
"To him who overcomes."
Can you see that the issue facing Christians is what they do, how they act? If the Divine salvation consisted of an unconditional forgiveness of sins past, present, and future (as is taught today), the admonitions of Christ in the Book of Revelation would be irrelevant. It is no wonder these two chapters are not preached more often!
How could Christ hold some things against us if God saw us only through Christ or if we were forgiven unconditionally? Truly today's Evangelical teaching is "another gospel."
The member of the church in Pergamos who follows Christ with a pure heart will be given some of the hidden manna to eat, a white stone, and a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the person receiving it.
These rewards sound far out but they are actually very present and practical. All of the rewards to the overcomer are steps in attaining the first resurrection from the dead. They are rights and abilities giving access to closeness to God and opportunities for service in His kingdom.
The hidden manna is the body and blood of Christ. It is hidden from the nominal Christian. It is Divine wisdom, life, and strength given only to those who are fighting the Lord's battles, who are doing His will in every matter.
The white stone is a voting pebble signifying that the person receiving it has passed from the ranks of the called to the company of the chosen chosen because he has turned aside from all else and chosen Christ.
The new name is given to the new person we have become in Christ. The old adamic nature, that bearing our first name, is forever gone (thank God!). The new nature formed in us receives its proper name.
The new name is known only to the person receiving it. Overcoming is a highly personal matter. It is never "to them who overcome." You cannot bring wife or husband, son or daughter with you.
What Christ has done in your life is the heavenly romance wrought in the dens of leopards, on the mountains of spices. You do not and cannot share with another that which Christ has made you and the name He has given the new creation. Maybe later but not now unless you wish to play the fool.
To be continued.