In part 1 of this article, I shared on the Lord’s message to His Church, commending her, for her steadfast faith, in the midst of all the challenges and the persecution that she has been experiencing. On the other hand, the Lord also warns the Church, of the dangers of following the teachings of Balaam, which are the enemy’s enticement to sin, which leads to self-destruction.
I spoke of the aggressiveness of the enemy in promoting sin, in order to trap the children of God. However, the Lord makes a promise to the ones who overcome, that He will give them some of the hidden manna, the white stone and a new name. The Lord says:
To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword.13 I know where you live — where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city — where Satan lives.
14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. 15 Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.17 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. — Revelation 2:12-17
How do we overcome this aggressive enticement to sin, from the enemy?
The Bible tells us that we have overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony. This trap, this enticement to sin, has already been taken care of, upon the cross, by the sacrificial lamb Jesus Christ. He nailed it upon the cross, He died for us, was buried and when He rose the third day, He rose with us, conquering this sin, this weakness, nullifying it, rendering it useless, powerless, lifeless, and worthless.
In other words, it does not have any hold on us anymore, no matter how aggressive the enemy can be in promoting it, in dangling it under our noses. All we need do now, is gaze upon the man Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. We need to submit to Him, remain in Him, the true vine; obey His voice, His Word and follow His commands; which are simple, reviving, enlightening and which bring joy to the heart.
We do not have to conform to the teachings of Balaam. We do not have to fear them that promote the evil agendas, because God is with us. By His Spirit, we can overcome all temptations as well.
The importance of collective efforts
A few years ago my eldest daughter who was an SRC deputy president at UCT, encountered great attack for writing on her private Facebook page, “We are institutionalising and legalising sin. Lord have mercy on us.”
Because of the aggression of the enemy in fighting God’s agenda in our societies, this innocent statement made by my daughter became international news. Of course she was responding to the US Supreme court’s ruling on same sex marriages. Even though she did not say that on her Facebook post, it was still offending enough to those who do not like the Bible, the Word of truth.
They demanded that my daughter apologise to them, which she refused. They demanded that she be fired from the SRC and from UCT, which they did not win, except that she was removed from being deputy president. She was given a lower position in the leadership, in which she continued to serve, until the end of the term.
They went on to tell her scholarship provider to drop her and not pay her fees anymore, but they did not win. They made great efforts, worked in unity, invested time and money, in an attempt to tarnish her reputation and destroy her future.
Upon graduation, she struggled to get a job, because of what was written about her all over the media. That she was a homophobe, a hater, etc. When she eventually did find jobs, they contacted her employers to try and get her fired. Of which they still did not win.
I am talking here about the collective efforts of those that work against the Word of God and His children. This is just a snippet of the story. I leave it to my daughter to write her own story one day. I cannot even begin to describe what this looked like in the spirit realm, when this whole thing was happening.
On a brighter side, we were greatly encouraged and strengthened by the men and women of God who rose up and defended my daughter during this trying time. My daughter and I received personal calls from the fathers and mothers in the kingdom of God, from across this nation, and internationally.
Some of them went personally to her office and prayed with her. Some came to pray with me. Prayer groups were formed, just to focus on this matter. Some wrote letters to the then Vice Chancellor at UCT to defend my daughter, lawyers stood up to take her case, and many other good things came out of what looked like a mess.
We overcame, together. This does not have to end there; however, the children of God are still being persecuted. This collective effort is still highly needed.
Needless to say that, in this world where we are surrounded by this great fear of intimidation, many from the kingdom of God, still feel a need to apologise on behalf of my daughter. Which then means, we can never really speak truly and openly about the Bible. Because if we do, we will always offend somebody, with this Jesus of ours, who is a cornerstone, but who is also a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to many.
Are we still able to preach “Christ crucified”, no matter the opposition? Can we overcome this opposition?
The promised manna from the Lord
Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven, For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” — John 6:31-35
I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give for the life of the world, is my flesh. — John 6:48-51
This manna that the Lord Jesus is promising to those who overcome, is Himself. He is the manna that came to fill our hunger, to satisfy every desire and longing inside of men. He is not just an abundant provision, but an eternal one.
In Him there is life in abundance and life eternal. Even though the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, Jesus came so that we may have life, and have it in abundance. In Him there is grace to overcome. In Him there is revelation. In Him there is answered prayer. When we have been tried and tested, we will find joy unspeakable, full of glory, in this eternal manna, which is Jesus.
The promised stone
As mentioned above, Jesus Christ came as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. He paid the price and pronounced us “not guilty” on the charges that were upon us. He removed all accusation and condemnation. We were completely acquitted.
Now we are to remain in that “not guilty” verdict. This stone is a symbol of purity, which represents those who will overcome, those who will be His sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. When the scales are weighed, they are not found wanting. These are they, that are worthy of more revelation. They are worthy to be entrusted with more. This promised white stone is whom we have become in Him, Jesus Christ, as we are daily being transformed into His likeness, into His image, by the renewing of our minds.
And it shall be, on the day when you cross over the Jordan to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, that you shall set up for yourselves large stones, and whitewash them with lime. You shall write on them all the words of this law, when you have crossed over, that you may enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, ‘a land flowing with milk and honey,’ just as the Lord God of your fathers promised you. Therefore it shall be, when you have crossed over the Jordan, that on Mount Ebal you shall set up these stones, which I command you today, and you shall whitewash them with lime. And there you shall build an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones; you shall not use an iron tool on them. You shall build with whole stones the altar of the Lord your God, and offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God. You shall offer peace offerings, and shall eat there, and rejoice before the Lord your God. And you shall write very plainly on the stones all the words of this law. — Deuteronomy 27:2-8
The promised name
The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. — Revelations 3:12
The Lord also promises a new name, to these that will overcome. These pure-hearted ones that the Bible says, “they will see God”– Matthew 5:8.
The new name that He gives them, is His name. They get to receive His name because they have become one with Him. Their hearts beat as one with His heart. This new name is also a strong tower for them, these righteous ones. They run to it and they are saved. Jesus Christ Himself will delight in them, and they will be His bride.
The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give. — Isaiah 62:2
Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City” or “The Desolate Land.” Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God,” for the Lord delights in you and will claim you as His bride. — Isaiah 62:4 (NLT)
This new name given to them that pleases God and that keeps His covenant, also brings restoration and fruitfulness, even to the barren. The Bible tells us that this name is better than sons and daughters, this name is eternal. This name is Jesus Himself.
For this is what the LORD says:
“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
who choose what pleases me
and hold fast to my covenant —
5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls
a memorial and a name
better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
that will endure forever.“ — Isaiah 56:4-5