MILK AND SOLID FOOD
The thought in Hebrews 5:12-14 is similar to that in 1 Corinthians 3:2. The believers could only take milk, though it was time that they were ready for solid food.
In 1 Peter 2:2 the believers were told to long for the Word the way an infant does for milk, “that ye may grow thereby unto salvation” (Gk.). For them to grow up unto salvation was for them to be transformed from clay to living stones. The result of their getting the nourishing milk would be not only transformation but also building. “Ye also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house” (v. 5, Gk.). The result of our eating is that the church is built.
Food for Overcomers
At the end of the Bible, the food that is offered to God’s people is the very food presented to man at the beginning. “To him who overcomes, to him I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” (Rev. 2:7). Overcoming in these epistles to the churches at the end of the first century means allowing nothing in the frustrating, degraded environment of Christianity to keep us from eating. The reward to the overcomers is to eat of the Lord as the tree of life in the paradise of God. This is an incentive for us to leave the knowledge and teachings of religion and return to enjoying Him.
In the epistle to the church in Pergamos the Lord promises the overcomers to eat of “the hidden manna” (2:17). A portion of the manna, the food of the children of Israel in the wilderness, was preserved in a golden pot concealed in the ark (Exo. 16:32-34; Heb. 9:4). The hidden manna, signifying the hidden Christ, is a special portion reserved for those of His seekers who overcome the degradation of the worldly church. While the church goes the way of the world, these overcomers come forward to abide in the presence of God in the Holy of Holies, where they enjoy the hidden Christ as a special portion for their daily supply. May we all be among those who seek the Lord, overcome the degradation of the worldly church, and enjoy Him as a special portion today. Then in the coming kingdom He as the hidden manna will be a reward to us.
A further promise to the overcomers in Pergamos is: “And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows but he who receives it” (Rev. 2:17). By eating of the hidden manna we are transformed into a white stone for God’s building. Here again eating is linked to transformation and building.
The call to the overcomers in Laodicea is: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with Me” (3:20). To dine is to eat a full meal, not just a snack. This promise suggests the eating of the rich produce of the land of Canaan by the children of Israel. Christ is a rich meal to us.
The Lord in these closing epistles steps into the degraded situation of the churches and seeks to recover the proper eating of Himself as our food supply. His people have been distracted from taking Him in as their food to the teaching of doctrines for knowledge. Thus He turns their focus to eating.
In the last chapter of the Bible the tree of life appears again. “And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month, and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2). Even the final promise in the Bible concerns eating. “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city” (v. 14). The right to the tree of life means the enjoyment of Christ for eternity. It is the portion of those who keep their conduct clean through the cleansing of the blood of the Lamb.
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 30, by Witness Lee)