Revelation 2:17 "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."

Is this scripture saying that those who go to heaven will receive a new name? And that we will no longer be called by these earthly names?


When dealing with the book of Revelation, you must always keep in mind that it is written in figurative or symbolic language. That is what the word "signified" means in "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John" (Revelation 1:1). Thus Revelation is a book that gives a message through images painted with words. In order to understand the message, you must first understand what the various images represent.

The meaning of the white stone is hotly debated. The only other mention of a white stone appears in Acts 26:10, "This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them." "Cast my vote" literally means putting in a white stone. In those days anonymous voting was done with small stones. If you favored something, you placed a white stone into a container. If you opposed something, you placed a black stone into the container. The result was determined by counting the white versus the black stones.

If this is what was in mind, then Jesus was saying that he would judge in favor of the Christians in Pergamum if they overcame their problems.

In regards to the new name, the Greek is a bit clearer than the English. The new name is not a new name for the person, but the new name of the giver. "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name" (Revelation 3:12). And, "His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself" (Revelation 19:12).

Where voting by pebbles was anonymous, Jesus is stating that the person who is given his vote will know who it was that voted in his favor. "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32-33).

The fact that no one else knows this new name alludes to a personal and intimate relationship between Jesus and each one who overcomes. "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him" (Matthew 11:27).

Thus we see that only faithful Christians, those who have overcome sin, will have the Lord's favor and only these Christians will truly know the Lord.