Now and again you hear of the “hidden manna”. It’s one of those buzz-words that people toss around, usually in connection with some pet doctrine, perhaps about prophecy. In any case, it is usually used to make themselves feel somehow “special”. But what IS it?
Revelation 2:17 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.
First of all, YOU DO NOT HAVE THE HIDDEN MANNA. Neither do I, and neither does anyone else; I don’t care what they tell you! How do I know? Because God says that He will give it TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES! And you haven’t done that yet!
Revelation 2:26And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
To overcome, you must keep his works UNTIL THE END! You haven’t WON the race yet, even Paul hadn’t!
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:…
So, no matter who it is, unless they’ve died and been resurrected into the family of God, they haven’t overcome. And since they haven’t overcome, the hidden manna is off limits to them. And there is a very good reason for that – but to understand that, you first have to know a bit of the history of it, and more importantly… what it represents.
Exodus 16:32-34And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commandeth, Fill an omer of it [Manna] to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt. … As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.
Later after the Ark of the Covenant was finished this bowl of manna was stored inside of it, according to Hebrews 9:4. There it remained for some time, it doesn’t say how long but it had disappeared by the time 1 Kings 8:8 was written. Moving right along to the point, why did God tell Israel to save this manna? To be kept for all generations, so that they could see the bread with which God fed Israel in the wilderness!
But the problem is… Israel never saw this manna again – not even the High Priest! The high priest went into the holy of holies once a year, on Atonement, and then there was a cloud around the mercy seat. He NEVER was supposed to open the Ark. And when the Israelites of Bethshemesh peeked into the Ark (where the manna was!) in 1 Samuel 6:19, 53,000 of them died! So Israel, for whom the Manna had been saved, specifically SO THAT they COULD see it, was not allowed to see it! And so from the time of Moses, THIS MANNA WAS HIDDEN! Why?
John 6:48 I am that bread of life.
Jesus explicitly told us that He was that bread of life – that Manna. Jesus was also the “Lord” that David spoke to (Psalm 110:1), and the God that Moses spoke with on the mount. There, Jesus – the real Manna – told him:
Exodus 33:20And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live
So anyone who saw Jesus in His glory died. Right? So can it be a coincidence that when the men from Bethshemesh looked on the bowl of Manna (which Jesus Himself said represented His body), they died? They died because NO ONE can see Him and live!
But God left a minor detail out of that verse in Exodus 33:20. “No one” really wasn’t the right term, for what He meant was that none of THEM – including Moses – could see his face and live… however…
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for WE shall SEE him AS HE IS.
So only those who are fully resurrected and born into the family of God will see Jesus in all His glory! On the other hand, anyone who is carnal and rebellious, as ancient Israel was, would drop dead on the spot if they saw Him!
But someone who is resurrected by God, and who has the spirit of God so firmly anchored in them that they CANNOT sin (1 John 3:9), can not only see that Manna which is hidden from the rest of the world for their own protection (lest they die), but can even EAT of it!
This manna, quite literally the food of the Gods, is the spirit of Christ – which we will have in full measure after – ONLY after – we have overcome! And yet for now, we have a downpayment of that spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22) – a tiny taste of that manna, which God gives to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32). And the more you obey Him, the more of that Manna you will receive.
To the rest of the world, this manna is hidden – their eyes are blinded, so that they CANNOT see it! (Isaiah 44:18). And Christ being preached is foolishness to them! (1 Corinthians 1:23, 2:14) And so they cannot see the Hidden Manna, MUCH LESS eat of it! While those of us who DO obey God now can receive a foretaste of that spirit – a taste which, if we like it, we can build upon and receive more of it! But you cannot FULLY drink of that spirit, and eat a full measure of that manna, until after ALL SIN HAS LEFT YOU! And while you walk this Earth THAT WON’T HAPPEN!
And so it is only those who have remained faithful throughout this life will be able to see His body! And only those who OVERCOME are able to eat of that HIDDEN manna!