“For there was a tabernacle made… which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant” (Heb. 9:4)
Three items were placed in the ark in the most holy place. Each item within the ark had a distinctive meaning and is a spiritual type and shadow of a spiritual substance.
Golden Pot of Manna
“And Moses said unto Aaron, take a pot and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the Lord, to be kept for your generation…As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron lait up before the testimony to be kept.” (Exo. 16:32,34)
The manna which was placed in the ark was imperishable unlike the manna which the children of Israel ate those forty years. It was supernatural manna, kept within the ark for generations without decay.
There were two types of bread in the tabernacle: bread on the Table of Showbread and the hidden manna within the golden pot in the ark. The Table of Showbread was located in the holy place – the second realm of our spiritual progression. Here the priests had to continually replace the bread laid out since it was perishable. Similarly, the manna which the children of Israel ate in the wilderness was only for a day and had to be gathered each day.
Notice that the manna from heaven which Israel ate those forty years was a product of their murmuring saying: “in the land of Egypt, when we sat by flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full, for you have brought us forth into the wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger” (Exo. 16:3). Flesh-pots refer to a comfortable and self-indulgent life. This is also a realm where religion guised as a service to the Lord is presented to man as a means of gratifying His soulish desires. Sustenance for the self-life and for external needs was the reason for the children of Israel’s murmuring. The fruit is soul development, the preservation of flesh.
The children of Israel refused to move from the flesh-pots of Egypt to the golden pot of manna. They refused to be a kingdom of priests unto God. They wanted men elevated over them to lead them and supply them continually. And so it is today among those who gather around the flesh-pots of the church system.
The scripture is clear that the earthly sanctuary were shadows of a heavenly reality (Heb. 8:5; Heb. 9:11; Exo. 26:30). The perishable manna points us to the spiritual condition of many in the church system who draw their sustenance from an external source. They depend on the service and ministry of their appointed priests. They draw from their conferences, their Sunday services, television programs, and the anointing of their ministers for a regular fix, but only after a short period to be hungry again and to go back to gather another serving of manna. They eat perishable manna; that which is not of the Spirit but of the letter. Just as the children ate the manna and died they consume the letter that kills and reject the Spirit that gives life.
The perishable manna of which Israel ate also signifies an in-part spiritual provision. It was not God’s best for not only did it fail to produce incorruptible life in them but it also ended. It was only to a point. For we read that: “the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan” (Exo. 16:35). Canaan is the Promised Land and our spiritual inheritance. What greater inheritance, what greater crown of glory do we have than Christ? For we know that when that which is perfect (Christ) comes to fill His temple then will the in-part or fragmentary be no more. “For we know in part… but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away” (1 Cor. 13:9,10).
Of the golden pot of manna in the ark, our Lord Jesus declares: “This is the bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eats of this bread shall live forever” (Joh. 6:58). This hidden manna is the incorruptible life of Christ. No one can come into an incorruptible life until one begins to partake of this hidden manna. For the life of Christ alone is an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled that does not fade away reserved in heaven for us. For the corruptible must put on incorruption in order for the mortal to be swallowed up by the immortal. The hidden manna is the impartation of the spirit and life of Christ that proceeds from the words of His mouth in our innermost being. It is the incorruptible seed of God’s word that lives and endures forever and causes the birthing of an incorruptible man.
Just as the manna was hidden in a golden pot and concealed within the ark behind the veil, the life of Christ is hidden deep in the recesses of our spirit. For your life (Zoe: divine life) is hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:2). The “hidden manna” is hidden for the very reason that it is concealed from those who fail to hear and see by the Spirit. Notice how Jesus qualifies the promise: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says…to him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna” (Rev. 2:17).
One cannot find this manna in the religious church system’s Sunday services or their soul-driven conferences and TV programs. His life is hidden from the religious masses. The veil that blinds them can only be taken away in Christ. For only behind the veil can once encounter the ark and the hidden manna of God’s incorruptible life. Only those with spiritual ears who have pressed into the secret place of the Most High and that hear the voice of the Spirit of Truth can eat of the hidden manna. Divine life proceeds from the heavens of our spirit man. What the Spirit utters is that which quickens us to put on the divine nature of His incorruptible life.
This privilege of partaking the incorruptible life of Christ (hidden manna) is only bestowed to the overcomers, for Jesus declares: “to him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna” (Rev. 2:17). Overcomers are those who have passed through the wilderness to enter and inherit Canna. They no longer partake of the perishable in-part manna. Overcomers are those who are caught up above the church order and all its religious entanglements to behold the indwelling life of Christ and to eat of the heavenly manna. These are sons who press into the secret place to share of all the riches of the life of Christ until the incorruptible life of Christ shines forth. Praise be to His name!