The hidden manna and the white stone

In the book of Revelation, Jesus addresses the Church of Pergamum, which was located in what is known today as Turkey. Jesus promised to give hidden manna and a white stone to those who overcome. I believe this promise applies to all of us who overcome.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.
Revelation 2:17 (NKJV)

Someone who overcomes (some Bibles translate the word as “conquers“) is anyone who is saved from the second death. This means they’ve believed in their heart that Jesus died for their sins and rose again on the third day and has turned from their sins and decided to follow Jesus for the rest of their life.

What is this hidden manna? 
We know from the book of Exodus that God sent food from heaven to feed the Israelites while they were in the wilderness (see Exodus chapter 16 verses 4, 14, 15, and 31).

Now the house of Israel called its name manna. It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.
Exodus 16:31 (ESV)

The Israelites had never seen food like it before, so they called it manna, which in Hebrew means “what is it?” This hidden manna which will nourish overcomers probably refers to Jesus, who referred to himself as the bread of life.

I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.
John 6:51 (NKJV)

Why will Jesus give overcomers a white stone? 
Many times, when the meaning of scripture isn’t clear, we can look at other scripture to gain more understanding. But in this case, there are no other passages in the Bible that mention a white stone. However, we know from history that white stones were used in ancient times for several purposes.

A white stone was commonly associated with a vote of acquittal or a favorable vote. This makes sense since Jesus took our guilt on the cross and paid the penalty for our sin in full. Conversely, a black stone indicated guilt.

It was sometimes used as a pass of admission to special occasions, which could also allude to an invitation to the marriage supper of the lamb (see Revelation 19:6-9).

The Nelson Study Bible also says there was a “custom in the Greek athletic games of giving a white stone to the victor in a contest, or to gladiators at the Roman games who had won the admiration of the public and had been allowed to retire from further combat. This could be alluding to our living faithfully to God’s commandments while living in this corrupt world system.

Whatever the purpose of the white stone, it is clear to me that it will be a token given to individual believers who are accepted by Christ.

What about the name that’s written on the white stone? 
Have you ever wondered why the stone will have a name written on it that no one knows except the person who receives it? The most likely reason for this is because no two stones will have the same name. This makes each stone very personal.

Just like God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, and Saul’s name to Paul, I believe that we will receive a new (and unique) name from Jesus. Think about all the overcomers who ever lived being given a different name. Now that’s a lot of names! But our God who has named all of the stars and knows them by name can surely give us all a unique name which will be ours for eternity.

Friends, the hidden manna, the white stone, and new name are all heavenly rewards for putting our faith in Jesus, the Son of the living God. The King above all kings, and Lord above all lords. I’m looking forward to receiving my white stone from Jesus. How about you?

I first professed my belief in Jesus as the Son of God and accepted Him as my Savior more than 40 years ago. Since that day, I’ve never doubted that Jesus is who He claims to be. However, that belief didn’t keep me from living my life on my own terms for several years, which resulted in repeating the same sins over and over. In 2013, I became determined to make Jesus the Lord of my life. It was then that the Holy Spirit gave me an insatiable appetite for God’s word. As I turned more and more of my life over to Jesus and cooperated with the Holy Spirit, He has helped me break free of the sins that once enslaved me. Since then, I’ve been strongly compelled to share God’s word and to warn others that we need to get ready because Jesus is coming soon.

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