He that hath an 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. (Revelation 2:17, KJV)
Those in the church at Pergamos who overcame would be given to eat of the hidden manna. This hidden manna is the revelation of God that has been hidden in His Word from the foundation of the world to be revealed in this last time. Then He promised a white stone to the overcomers. This white stone would contain a new name that no man knows, except the one who receives it.
The basic Greek word translated stone is LITHOS. This word has six derivatives. It is used eighty-two times in the New Testament. Another word translated stone is PETROS and is used 161 times as "Peter" and one time as "stone".
When we consider the white stone that was spoken to John, the word used for the phrase white stone was PSEPHOS. This word is only used twice in the New Testament and only translated once as stone. The other time it was used is in the book of Acts.
Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice (PSEPHOS) against them. (Acts 26:10)
Paul stated, "I gave my voice against them . . . ". The word voice is PSEPHOS. Paul gave his consenting vote to the death of the saints. This same word PSEPHOS was translated stone in Revelation 2:17.
The word white is LEUKOS and means "brilliant from whiteness, dazzling white." This was the white used to describe the angel's raiment at Jesus' tomb. This same white was used to describe Jesus' garments when He was transfigured before Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration.
And His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. (Mark 9:3)
A fuller is a launderer. No fuller on earth could clean garments as white as the Spiritual garments that clothed Jesus. This same brilliance was used to describe the white stone that was revealed to John. White always represents righteousness.
In ancient times, the white stone was used in many ways. When someone was accused of a wrong doing and taken to court - - - when they were acquitted they were given a white stone as a symbol of their innocence. They could show anyone their white stone to prove their innocency. We can show our innocency before God by putting on the Robe of Righteousness. Paul revealed to the Romans:
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:19)
We are made righteous by our obedience to Jesus and the voice of the Father. Jesus was obedient unto death on the cross. When we accept Jesus' shed blood, we are made the righteousness of God through the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit. Paul spoke to the Corinthians,
For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (II Corinthians 5:21)
We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. He has acquitted us from our sin, that we may overcome the sin nature.
The white stone was also used in elections. A person voting was given a white stone and a black stone. The white stone meant acceptance - - - the black stone meant rejection. In later years, marbles were used. Most are familiar with the term "blackballed". This meant rejection. Paul wrote to the Ephesians:
To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:6)
We are accepted in the Beloved, and we now walk in the praise of His glory and grace.
The white stone was given to victors in athletic events. Sometimes the victors were given white stones with the name of the event or the winner of the event inscribed on the stone. Paul related:
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. (I Corinthians 9:24)
We are all in a race, and we run that we may receive the prize that is set before us. Paul stated:
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. (I Corinthians 9:25)
Those who run in this race must be temperate in all things. Temperance is a fruit of the Spirit. We are not in this race to receive a corruptible crown. The word corruptible means "to rot". The crown we desire is the crown of life. In order to receive this crown, we must finish the race. No one ever won the prize who did not finish the race. In Paul's final letter to Timothy, just before being taken to the chopping block, he proclaimed,
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing. (II Timothy 4:7-8)
Paul had finished the race. He had kept the faith to the end. Paul was promised an incorruptible crown, a crown of righteousness, the white stone of victory, the righteousness of God. Paul was proclaimed the winner of the race. But all who finish the race will be declared winners. Paul also declared:
. . . and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing. (II Timothy 4:8)
The promise of an incorruptible crown is to all those who finish the race. Another use of the white stone was that a white stone was often given to honored guests. It was generally inscribed with the host's name. The special guest who received the white stone could use it to purchase, or to order the host's servants to do as they asked. It was used as a sign of authority and power granted by the host. All things that belonged to the host were at the disposal of the special guest. We have this promise in Christ Jesus our Lord.
He that overcometh shall inherit all things: and I will be his God, and he shall be My son. (Revelation 21:7)
The overcomers are those special guests at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. These are the inheritors of all that belong to the Father. These are the Christs in the earth today. Paul stated,
And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29)
Before we can become heirs we must be overcomers in God's kingdom realm. Paul further wrote to the Galatians,
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4:6-7)
When the overcomers come into the sonship realm, they will no longer be servants, but heirs. The servants will not inherit with the sons. If we are inheritors, then we will have already overcome the old Adam nature, the carnal mind, and the desires of the flesh. This is the only way we can come into sonship. This is the only way we will become joint heirs with Christ. When this has been accomplished in our lives, we, too, as special guests, will be given our white stone. Then everything that belongs to the Father will be at our disposal. He will then give us power and authority to rule and reign with Him. Jesus revealed this promise to John:
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne. (Revelation 3:21)
The promise of ruling and reigning is made only to the overcomers, and they, alone, will sit with Him in His throne. This is our place of authority in the kingdom.