2:17 `He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.'
He who has an ear, let him HEAR what the SPIRIT says to the CHURCHES.
This is a personal effort. Only we as individuals have spiritual ears to hear. And according to Romans 10:17, faith comes by hearing and studying the Bible. Hopefully, that is why you are using this study guide.
To him who overcomes, to him
There were three things the Pergamus church had to overcome:
But to those who overcame (see also Revelation 21:6-7-8), these
I will give some of the HIDDEN MANNA and
In the Old Testament, some manna was placed into the ark of the covenant - Exodus 16:31-35. This ark became the focal point of worship for the Jews even before the Ten Commandments were given to them. Thus this manna has been "life" to the Jews for a long time.
We, too, have manna. Even as Paul explains in Hebrews 9:1-28 that Jesus Christ is now entering into the heavenly "holy of holies" (where the ark is) and is performing High Priestly functions on our behalf. Jesus early on in His ministry said He is the bread of life - John 6:48-58.
For the Pergamum overcomers, it was much better to "eat" of Christ and have eternal life than to eat the food offered to idols. So, too, you can have eternal life.
I will give him a white stone and
White suggests purity instead of immorality, which is impurity. In the Old Testament the High Priest wore a breastpiece of judgment which contained 12 stones for each of the twelve tribes of Israel - Exodus 28:15-21.
Now the overcomers will each have their own white stone of purity. This may be a side reference to the pagan practice of needing an engraved stone to attend one of their banquets. If this is so, then this phrase would be a striking contrast to the Pergamus member.
a new name written on the STONE which no one knows but he who receives it.
This is God's special name to you, the overcomer. While our earthly name was given to us by our parents, our spiritual name is given to us by God. This same kind of naming was promised to the Philadelphia members (Revelation 3:12) and to the 144,000 witnesses standing on Mount Zion (Revelation 14:1).
In the Old Testament, names, such as Abraham, Israel, etc., were chosen according to the character and calling of the person. Likewise, your new name should reflect your calling. You will be identified by your works someday - 1 Corinthians 3:12-17.
Lastly, is your name written in the book of remembrance? See Malachi 3:16-18.