The Progressive Life – By Elmer Shelhamer

Chapter 4

The Manhood State — The White Stone Experience

“He that hath all ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” — Rev. 2:17

Here we have a further unfolding of God’s wonderful plan. This is the same convert who, at the beginning, ate of the tree which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. Now he is eating hidden manna which is worth much more than outward food. Hidden things are much more valuable and much more expensive than those which are more easily obtained. In California we have great oil wells. When the drillers reach from eight hundred to one thousand feet, they strike gas. As a rule gas pays, but it does not pay so well as oil. So they keep drilling. When they reach another thousand foot level, they strike oil — sometimes from twenty-five to two hundred barrels per day. But, if they go another thousand feet, they strike a deeper and richer vein, producing from two hundred to one thousand barrels per day. Now the owner is a millionaire. But some men are not satisfied with even this. So they tell the drillers, “Go on!” And, if their huge rope, derrick and tools can stand the strain, they go down another thousand feet. Here is where they strike a “gusher”, which sometimes blows the tools out of the hole and shoots a stream of oil six inches in diameter as high as the derrick. Now the owner is a multimillionaire. It pays to go Down! DOWN! DOWN!!!

Oh, that we, in like manner, might do as our Lord has instructed us in Luke’s Gospel, “dig deep”, and strike the richer and more hidden treasure. As a rule, we do not find coal, iron ore, gold or diamonds on the surface. Shallow and cheap things are found in plain sight, but valuable things are hidden. Not only is this so in the material world, but in the spiritual. People who “dwell deep” are not everlastingly talking and showing themselves in public. It is so sickening at some of our great gatherings to see BIG SELF strut and sit on the prominent seats. Such people have never learned the inward consolation that comes from solitude with Jesus.

Modern society stresses the outward more than the inward. Why should a woman offer for sale all that she has? If she have any charms and depth of soul, why should she expose to a cheap, gaping world her inner beautiful self? Yea, the hidden life and things worthwhile are not on the surface.

How void of depth was that so-called great man who when running for president said in one of his campaign speeches, “I hope the time will come again when we can once more stand with our foot upon the brass rail and blow off the foam” — meaning, of course, the foam off a mug of beer. How frothy and effervescent such a statement! He evidently knew little about what David meant when he said, “Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.”

There are various interpretations regarding this “white stone” experience. But the best I ever heard was that allusion taken from the ancients. When a man was accused and brought to trial, if he were acquitted, the presiding judge took a large, smooth stone and with one tremendous blow with a stone hammer or iron cleaver broke the stone in two. On the inside of each piece he wrote the man’s name and the date of acquittal. One of these was filed away and the other given to the man who was declared innocent. You may know this half stone was very precious to the man, for if accused by his enemies he produced the stone which was evidence of innocence. If they charged him with forgery he would take his half to the seat of his former trial and there find the Other half which conclusively proved his innocence, because no two halves would fit together exactly like these. In like manner it is comforting, when Satan or others accuse us, if we can look inside and then look toward Heaven and have the assurance that we stand justified, yea, sanctified through the merits of Christ.

Again, this white stone experience might be called heart purity. When one receives the grace of pardon he may be so ecstatic that he shouts aloud outwardly. But as a rule when one passes through the deep inward crucifixion to carnality and receives the grace of entire sanctification, it may be so deep and solid that for the time being a shout is out of order. In pardon he receives peace that passeth understanding, while in purity he receives a deeper type of peace — peace that passeth by misunderstanding.

It is wonderful to be so lost in God that we do not allow outward things, praise or censure, appreciation or depreciation, to affect us. Our text further states that we receive this white stone and in it a new name written which no man knoweth saving he which receiveth it. In other words, when we get the clear, unmistakable witness no one need shout in our ears, “You’ve got it!” No one need say, “His name is John,” and urge us to tell it quick for fear we might lose it. Oh, no! The depth and unmistakable witness to heart purity is not so ethereal that one must jump to his feet quickly for fear it might slip away.

Again, this secret may imply that some things are too sacred to relate. At your home, if you have a servant you are free to talk about common things in his presence. But there are other things that you do not discuss except in the presence of the children. Then there are still other things too sacred to relate except between father and mother. God would have you, dear friend, not serve Him as a servant, for what you can get out of if; nor even serve Him as a child, for what you have in it. But He would have you enter into that mystical union that exists just between the bride and the groom; this is only for bridehood saints. When you are brought into this very close relationship with your loving Lord, He will whisper secrets to you even in the midst of a crowd. too precious to breathe to anyone. I was walking down one of the busy streets in Los Angeles with a preacher friend when all at once God whispered a loving secret to me and I shouted, “Hallelujah!” My friend looked at me and said, “What are you shouting about here on the street?” “Oh,” I replied, “my Lover whispered a secret to me!”

Many coarse and sensual minds cannot get much out of the Song of Solomon. They say the expressions there are too suggestive; e. g., when we read, “I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.” And in the following verses we find the deep mystical union that exists between true lovers; yea, spiritual lovers.

Friend, do you know what I am talking about? Do you know what it is to feed on hidden manna, like that which was hidden by Moses in the ark? There was plenty of manna all over the ground, but it had to be eaten quickly or spoil. Not so with that which was in the ark. “The manna that fell on the ground would last only one day, typifying the transitoriness of the blessings and forms of nourishment in the lower state of grace. But the manna in the golden pot kept sweet for a thousand years, indicating permanent blessedness.” — Watson

Do you know what it means to get comfort and assurance from the skies, relative to the salvation of your loved ones? I beseech you, do not tell it abroad. Satan and your careless loved ones will take every advantage of it and presume on the mercy of God. Keep that precious secret which cost tears and midnight wrestling — keep it to yourself and your Lord. And if God reveals to you that a mighty local or national revival is coming, do not spread it abroad. Charles G. Finney said that this was one sure way to kill a revival; namely, report it quickly and loudly.

The Holy Spirit is so tender and sensitive that He can easily be shouted away. Have I not seen it? Have you not seen it at an altar service, or in a devotional meeting where a good meaning, but loud-mouthed soul sang or shouted an octave too high and it frustrated the workings of the Spirit? I beg of you, do not quench the Spirit, but as long as possible pack your blessings down until the proper time and place, when it may be all right to give vent to your inner feelings.