The word “manna” is familiar to all believers in the Lord, and each of us has some knowledge of it. Here I want to share with you my understanding of “manna.”
The Bible records: After Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they stayed in the wilderness for forty years. During that time, God sent manna from heaven to feed them every day. Although the Israelites misunderstood and blamed God at the time, He didn’t treat them according to their ignorance, but still granted them His mercy and graced them—sending down manna to feed them. This makes me see God’s almightiness as well as His great tolerance and love for mankind. If not for God’s mercy and grace, at that time none of the Israelites in the wilderness would have survived. In those days, the manna sent by God from heaven was material food and also what the Israelites needed most to survive.
When the came to do the work of redeeming mankind, He said: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven” (John 6:51), and “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The Lord Jesus said that what He brought to man was the living bread, from which we can see what God supplies to man is not only his material needs but even more the life in the spirit. During the Lord Jesus’ three and a half years of working among man, He spoke many words in accordance with the needs of man in that age. And “the living bread which came down from heaven” at that time no longer meant material food; it meant the Lord’s word.
Jehovah God also said: “And he humbled you, and suffered you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you knew not, neither did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live” (Deuteronomy 8:3). These words clearly tell us that s are vitally important to us mankind. We do not live by the material food alone, but are in more need of the provision of God’s words. However, when we are following the Lord, we mostly enjoy His grace, yet have no true experience of these words of God: “man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live.”
I noticed these words in Revelation: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna …” (Revelation 2:17). And the words “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches” are said seven times. Since they are especially emphasized in Revelation, that means what the Spirit said to the churches must be very important, and that God wants everyone to hear His utterances. But here it is said: “To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna.” Now that the Lord Jesus’ words have been revealed to all of mankind, they cannot be the “hidden manna.” Then what does the “hidden manna” refer to?
In John 16:12-13, the Lord Jesus said: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” After reading these two verses, I realized: When the Lord returns, He will speak again, bestow more truths to us mankind, and reveal all the truths and mysteries we don’t understand in . And these truths are exactly what we need in our spirit and will allow us to genuinely appreciate that the words “man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live” are real.
Now the church is in desolation. We feel very thirsty and hungry like being in the wilderness. Yet we are not physically hungry like the Israelites but thirsty in spirit, and what we need is the work of the Holy Spirit. Even though we have prayed to the Lord many times, it is to no avail. If this keeps up, we will have no way to go and end up dying of hunger. Now we are in this kind of circumstance. So, what is God’s will? Is He using the desolation in the church to warn us that we should not sit and passively await destruction anymore but should actively search for His new words—the hidden manna, so that we can receive the supply in our spirit?