STONES Andy Hollifield 2-10-17
Some days it is hard to know exactly what the Lord wants me to write until I get started. Yesterday was not one of those days but today is. I began to think about the white stone in Revelation 2:17 that Christ will give to us containing a new name written that only he and the one that receives it will know. That is after he promised to give us of the hidden manna. I don’t pretend to know all about the hidden manna or the white stone but I got enthused thinking about that new name. The Lord got me to thinking on this Wednesday night after the book of life was mentioned. The point was made that there is only one book of life yet there are several books(more than one) that those that aren’t written in the book of life will be judged from. Don’t get all nervous because I am talking about Revelation because anyone that knows me knows that I am not capable of getting too deep. What I actually got to thinking was about the night my name, MY NAME, got written down in that book. It got written because of the precious blood of Jesus Christ that he shed on Calvary’s cross for you and for me. That Tuesday night in October 1973, that book was opened one more time and MY NAME was written down. I am not even there yet but I already have something over there. More important than any rewards, any loved ones that have already passed on, or anything else, is the fact that MY NAME was written down. I have my own line in that book. My own space where it has MY NAME written down forever more. In the Lamb’s book of life, MY NAME is already recorded on MY LINE there in heaven. There is a song called God’s Record Book that very accurately describes the book of life. My name can’t be blotted out, misplaced, or overlooked, and it’s sealed forever more. That is all a blessing in itself and if you have accepted the Lord as your personal Savior, it’s your promise too.
I got to reading some on that and I began to read about that white stone. That got me to thinking about “stones” in the bible. The word “stone” is used 191 times. “Stones” is used 178 times. There is also a reference to “these stones”. That is used 13 times and I want to look at that for just a minute or two. I believe it will be a blessing to you. In Deuteronomy 27:4 The bible commands Israel to take great stones when they cross over Jordan river into the promised land and build an ALTAR. He had special requirements for this altar. First, it is to be plastered and all the law written upon the stones. This was the only place I found where God ordered an altar to be plastered. He also commanded that no tools be used on “these stones”. The next time the bible speaks of “these stones” is in Joshua 4:verses 6,7,and 21. In this instance, He told Joshua to pick out one man of every tribe of Israel and have them pick up a stone on their shoulder from out of the middle of the Jordan river. Not just from anywhere but from where the priest feet stood as the people passed over. They were to set “these stones” up for a TESTIMONY in the place where they lodged that night. It was to be so future generations would know how that God had delivered his people. When the young children saw the stones and ask what they meant, the story was to be told. In Jeremiah 43:10, God ordered that great stones be hid in the clay in the brick-kiln in Egypt in front of Pharoah’s house. They were buried and that was the spot where Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon would set his throne when he conquered Egypt. God built the THRONE on top of hidden stones. Now this may just be me but I want you to consider something. Isn’t it funny that the first mention was for an altar for praying to God? The second was for a testimony about what God had done. The third was for a throne for their conquering king to reign on. Our Christian life is in the same order. We start by humbling ourselves before God (altar) and then give testimony as to what God has done for us. Last but not least, we will find ourself bowing before the throne of our conquering king (Christ) in glory. I don’t know if that did anything for you but I like it. God doesn’t do anything by coincidence. The remaining references are in Matthew 3:9 and Luke 3:8. Those two scriptures refer to the place where John is warning the Pharisees and Sadducees that even if they could silence the gospel, and stick with their traditions concerning Abraham, God could raise up children to Abraham out of “these stones”. The last reference was where Satan was tempting Jesus and challenged his deity and told him “command that “these stones” be made bread. Isn’t that ridiculous considering that Jesus is “the bread of life”?
The one last reference I want to mention is the one I started with Revelation 2:17. Have you noticed that every use of the word “stone” has gotten to be less and less? The white stone is mentioned one time. I personally believe it is because that stone is special and it is given as a special gift between the giver and the recipient. White in the bible always represents purity. Jesus is referred to as the “rock” of our salvation. In ancient Greece according to history, guilt or innocence was determined by jurors casting stones. Black meant guilty while white meant acquittal. That one is pretty good but there is one more possibility I want to mention. A Roman custom of giving a white stone with their name engraved in it, was a prize for victorious athletes. The stone was also considered as a ticket for a special awards banquet. The spiritual application would be that we will be presented with our white stone when we arrive home victorious to participate in the marriage supper of the lamb. Here is another one for you. It may be as simple as our modern weddings. At some point before the wedding takes place, we give our bride “a rock” Maybe, our groom is giving us a rock.
We have got a lot to look forward to don’t we? If you have never accepted the Lord as your Savior, he has a stone for you and you are invited to the banquet. You can be a part of that great reception. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!