V.B.3.b The Hidden Manna


SUBPART B –  The Trumpets/ Witness of the Spirit Corollary

Article 3 – The Gospel Spirituality

Section (b) – The Hidden Manna

By Daniel Irving

i.   The Gospel Proclamation as the Former Mystery

ii.  The Hidden Manna

iii.  Justification as Truth Revealed; Sanctification as the Hidden Mystery

iv.  The Knowledge of God

Unleavened 1

Section (b)


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i.   The Gospel Proclamation as the Former Mystery

We are told by the apostle Paul the gospel was kept hidden throughout the ages to be  revealed at a time set.  Paul also tells us that the mystery concerned Jesus Christ, and was a mystery that had been alluded to by the prophets.  Paul tells the Romans:

Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith;                     Rom. 16:25-26

Why was the message concerning Jesus Christ kept hidden throughout the ages?  Paul explains to the Corinthians that it was necessary for the message to be kept secret until a certain event occurred.  Paul tells them the mystery he preaches is one in:

Which none of the princes of this world knew:   for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.    I Cor. 2:8

The event that had to occur was the suffering and the death of Jesus Christ on the cross in fulfillment of the Feast of the Passover.  God’s will was that His Holy Sacrifice enter the world and be offered in substitution for the condemnation due humanity on account of sin.  Until that time occurred, the truth of Christ was a mystery kept hidden even from the angels.  Peter writes:Sacred Ht 05

As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace  that would come to you made careful search & inquiry seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating  as He predicted the sufferings of Christ & the glories to follow.  It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things into which angels long to look.          I Pet. 1:10-12

Recall that even Jesus kept the fact of His suffering and death secret until shortly before arriving in Jerusalem, at which time He intimated these things to His disciples.  Upon His resurrection, He freely opened their minds to the truth that was formerly kept in mystery:

Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you  while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me  in the law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”  Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the 3rd day.  and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”                                Luke 24:44-47

Therefore, in the ages preceding the Lord’s resurrection from the dead, God’s plan of redemption was concealed – and only alluded to by veiled prophetic reference that would stand testament to the plan of God.  While the Christian era constituted a profound revelation of this mystery, it does not appear to have constituted a broad acceptance of the Christ whose death purchased the regeneration that is the resurrection from the dead.  Therefore while Paul repeatedly refers to the Gospel as the revelation of a mystery, e.g.:

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:                   Col 1:26

. . . that mystery is only “made manifest to His saints.”  This is because the mystery is only fulfilled by means of the sanctification of His Church.  Thus in the next verse, Paul writes:IMG_1276

  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:      Col 1:27

“To whom” will God “make know this mystery”?  To “His saints”.  However, while the witness of the forgiveness of sins through the name of Jesus Christ is an open witness to the world, the witness of the Word that is the revelation of Christ is not.  It was this aspect of the witness of God (ie. progressive aspect of; Spirit, Water, and Blood which confused the disciples at the last supper.  Thus we have this telling dialogue:

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?”             John 14:22

Judas – not Iscariot mind you – frames the question in an unusual way, as if to say; “Lord, what has changed?”  In the days of the Lord’s incarnation, the gospel of the kingdom was preached openly, just as the Lord would state that very night:

I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues, and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret.  Why do you question Me?   Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; behold, these know what I said.”                      John 18:20-21

Indeed, the Gospel message has gone forth abroad, and the kingdom of God is preached to all men.  This preaching is accompanied by the power of the Holy Ghost bearing witness of Jesus Christ, the efficacy of His cross, the cleansing of initial regeneration, and the reception of the Holy Spirit.  This is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God which continues as an open declaration for the believing heart to access.  But there is also a witness of the Holy Ghost that comes subsequent, permeates deeper, and acts to uncover our hidden thoughts, our true motives, and the depths of our being.[1]  Recall that the disciples themselves did not understand why the Gospel should continue to be a mystery even after its proclamation. Therefore the Lord tells Judas (not Iscariot) that He will be making another advent to them, which will be personal, and not public.  He says:

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; & My Father will love him,  and We will come to him, and make our abode with him.”          John 14:23

The Holy Spirit will bring us into the very knowledge of God through communion with the Son, in the Father.  Therefore John expresses a threefold witness of heaven:

For there are three that bear record in heaven,  the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.                 I John 5:7 

ii.  The Hidden Manna

What remains in mystery concerning the Kingdom of God relates to the sanctification of the body of Christ through its abiding within the Son, within the Father; the maturation of the children born unto God.  Until this substantially occurs, the child is not sufficiently mature so as to resist the spiritual principalities of this world.  While the children of God are recipients of the things of the Spirit, the life within them is vulnerable but for the word of God to nourish.  Paul told the elders in Ephesus:

And now, brethren, I commend you to God, & to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up& to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.                                                                                      Acts 20:32

We are strengthened in sanctification of the Spirit by feeding on the living Word of God; something unseen to the rest of the world; indeed, something unseen to the Spirit-baptized in Christ until awakened thereto by God’s grace.  As we are strengthened in the place of regeneration through continuous recourse to the Lord Jesus Christ as the object of our faith and His cross as the basis for grace, we begin to gain sufficient strength to resist sin and the darkness of this world.  Thus the gospel is a mystery that is revealed in sanctification.  The Lord refers to this principle as the hidden manna that He will give the overcomer:

To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna,      Rev 2:17

The Greek-word translated “from” (KJV) and “some of” (NASV)  is; apo’,[2] which correlates best to the English word “from”.[3]   The NASV renders this statement poorly.    The statement is not; “I will give some of”, but rather; “I WILL GIVE FROM THE HIDDEN MANNA”.Unleavened 4

What is this “hidden manna”?  This is the witness of the “Word of God”[4] as His witness leading to sanctification.  We receive the “hidden manna” when we have “overcome”.  What is typically misunderstood is we “overcome” not by our own strength.  Rather we overcome through   our own weakness, brought by the knowledge that our strength means nothing.  We overcome through faith in the overcoming of the Lord Jesus Christ.[5]  In this revelation even is our own overcoming.  Therefore this “hidden manna” is an aspect of “grace”, rather than something “attained unto” by human effort and merit.  Therefore if we perceive the gentle-influences of the love of God coming into our heart, we have access to this “hidden manna” from God, that is the “mind of Christ”.[6]

iii.  Justification as Truth Revealed; Sanctification as the Hidden Mystery

What often confuses theological discussion is the failure to define words.  One example is the often-used word; Truth. The Bible clearly presents Truth as having two forms.  This is first expressed by Moses when he writes:

The secret things belong unto the LORD our God:   but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever,  that we may do all the words of this law.           Deut. 29:29

Therefore there are two categories of Truth; that which is revealed, and that which remains hidden.  As to that which is revealed, what does Moses point to as its purpose?

. . . that we may do all the words of this law.           Deut. 29:29

If Truth is revealed, it has as its purpose, obedience; the conformity thereto.  Indeed, it is the faithful heart that will rightly ascertain the message at all.  Recall the Lord’s words:

If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine,  whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.                John 7:17 

The doing and the doctrine operate as virtually mutual principles.

“Therefore take care how you hear; For whoever has, to him shall more be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.”   Luke 8:18

We must be faithful in rightly receiving and doing what we rightly receive.

But if Truth is hidden, what can be its purpose?  It belongs to God to hold as a mystery until the proper time.  Therefore in prophecy, we often see the word time in the context of a new revelation of God’s purposes in Christ, e.g.

Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.                                                                                      Rev. 22:10

The true preaching of the Gospel constitutes the proper time for the revelation of God’s purposes in Christ:

To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness:   that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.      Rom. 3:26

Paul preached with the clarity of a trumpet, a mystery!

 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;       Eph 3:8

The revelation of the Gospel is justification by faith in Christ, while the mystery of the Gospel is sanctification by that same faith.  Therefore Paul tells the Colossians:

  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:                                                                                         Col. 1:27Bronze Gilding 02

Therefore Truth consists of the known and declared works of God, but it also consists of the hidden mysteries of God that are subject to His revealing.  Further, both of these principles are allotted to a set time.  There is a time for the former to go forth with efficacy and power, and there is a time for the latter to take hold and to manifest in the earth.  Therefore, the Lord designated the true worship of God as coming at a fixed time:

But an hour is coming, and now iswhen the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; For such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.  God is spirit, & those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”                                                                                      John 4:23-24

The true preaching of the Gospel is the openly known Truth of the life, the death, and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is no mystery.  But this truth must be empowered by the Spirit of Christ or else it remains dead orthodoxy.  Therefore – in the sense of justification by faith – Truth has a set moment to be communicated, and to be driven home to the heart of a man.  Therefore Jesus said, “an hour is coming, and now is.”  Today is the day of salvation for those who believe.

What is it to be revealed on the day of salvation?  Things formerly hidden, but revealed of God through Christ.

  And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.         Rom. 9:23 

Thus the appointed, Spirit empowered declaration of the revealed Truth precedes the Spirit-communicated revelation of the hidden Truth that cannot be spoken.  This is the True Worship of God.   This is the true worship of God because only this path leads men into the true knowledge of God.


[1] See commentary on Isaiah 3:17  “The Lord will uncover their secret parts.”

[2] G575  apo  apo’  A primary particle; “off”, that is, away (from something near), in various senses (of place, time, or relation; literally or figuratively): – (X here-) after, ago, at, because of, before, by (the space of), for (-th), from, in, (out) of, off, (up-) on (-ce), since, with. In composition (as a prefix) it usually denotes separation, departure, cessation, completion, reversal, etc.

[3] See commentary on Revelation 14:20  “for a distance of 200 miles” for study of this Greek-word.

[4] See commentary on Isaiah 30:20  “lthough the Lord has given you bread of privation & water of  oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, But your eyes will behold your Teacher.”

[5] John 6:29

[6] See commentary on Hosea 14:5  I will be like the dew to Israel;



About Lamp-Stand

I was converted to the faith of Jesus Christ in 1982 at which time I received water baptism and Spirit baptism. In the Spring of 2008 I was led of the Spirit through a process of repentance upon which I had an encounter with Christ that worked a profound change upon my inner being. I became aware that I had been forgiven a great debt of sin. I soon felt the Lord's direction that I close my office that my energies not be divided from the study of doctrine.
This entry was posted in 5B. TRUMPETS / WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT COROLLARY (Associational Aspects) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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