God’s WritingUpon Us
What a blessed life
it is to offer our all for
The Lord’s promise to the one who overcomes in the church in Pergamos, as recorded in the book of Revelation, is:
“I will give [him] some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”
— Revelation 2:17
As we saw in an earlier Note in this series, the white stone is the Lord’s declaration that He approves of the life we lived on the earth. This life that God justifies always involves Christ coming forth from within us, just as Isaac, a type of Christ (Matt. 1:1) came forth from within Abraham so that he was accounted as righteous (Rom. 4:22; see ”The White Stone”)
But there must be something further in our experience of justification, just as there was in Abraham’s. That is, we must offer the blessing we have received back to God, even our spiritual blessings, just as Abraham offered up Isaac (James 2:21-23). This shows that we are not for the blessing God gives us, but for God Himself. Thus, God will be able to bring in His kingdom through us.
Moreover, through such an offering our own spiritual experience will become much, much deeper and richer. Again, this is like Abraham’s experience, figuratively speaking. When he offered Isaac on Mount Moriah he worshiped God alone, but many centuries later all of God’s people would come to worship there, for that was the very place where the temple was built (Gen. 22:1-2; 2 Chron. 3:1; see“Abraham’s Offering for God’s Building”)
We see this same progression in the Lord’s promises to the overcomers when we come back to the book of Revelation. As wonderful as the white stone with a new name written upon it is, the Lord’s promise to the overcomers in Philadelphia, which comes later, is so much richer than that.
Philadelphia, of course, is the church that satisfies God’s desire; it is the church of brotherly love, as its name indicates. The Lord tells them:
“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”
— Revelation 3:8
The believers in Philadelphia, like Abraham when he offered up Isaac, are not standing for their own interest or blessing, but for God’s kingdom on the earth. And so the Lord promises the overcomers there:
“I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.”
— Revelation 3:12
It is as though the overcomer in Pergamos told the Lord, “Thank You so much, Lord, for my white stone, but I offer it back to You, for I am no longer seeking You for my justification alone; I am now living for Your purpose, for Your kingdom on the earth, so I want to see all of my brothers and sisters in Christ brought into the real experience of justification as well.”
In response, the Lord will no longer merely give us a stone; rather, He will make us into a pillar in the very temple of God. Nor will He any longer write upon something He gives us; rather, He will write upon us (cf. 2 Cor. 3:1-3, Heb. 8:10-11). Nor will He merely give us a new name; rather, He will write the name of His God, the name of the holy city, and His own new name directly into our being.
That is, while the people of the world bear the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:16-18; cf. 14:9-10, 16:2), we will have the name of God, the name of His city, and the Lord’s own new name written upon us, because the divine nature, the testimony of Christ, and the experience of Christ have all been wrought into our being. How much higher than just having a white stone, and how blessed is such a living as this!
In fact, in the entire Bible the first explicit mention of the New Jerusalem, which is the ultimate goal of all God’s work, is in this promise to the overcomers in Philadelphia.
And why here? Because wherever there is a group of such believers today they will have a foretaste of “the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” They will really sense, God’s testimony is among us even now!
May the Lord gain some in these days to offer their all for God’s building, so that He may raise up His testimony on the earth once again.
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— 11 May 2022 —