“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16:11)
“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” (Rev. 2:17).
The letter to the church at Pergamum concludes with one of the most personal individual exhortations in the Scriptures. The general invitation is given. Whoever has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches. The Spirit speaks to the churches corporately, and all Christians are invited individually to hear. To the one who overcomes—which is to say, to the one who is born anew, regenerate, born again—God promises to give him hidden manna. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). The victory that overcomes the world is our faith, and it is by faith that we receive the free grace of justification. The only one to whom this happens is the one who is born of God. If a man is born of God, then he overcomes the world. If a man is born of God, then he receives hidden manna.
What a curious phrase. In order to be manna at all, it must come from heaven. But the manna in the wilderness fell on all Israel—those with true faith and those with no faith could see it equally. But to the one who is regenerate, God gives hidden manna, manna that only he knows about. This hidden manna is Christ Himself. “This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever” (John 6:58). Mark it well—you are not saved without the hidden Christ.
This glorious truth is then given under another image, but an image that was closely related. “And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium” (Numbers 11:7). Bdellium was an aromatic resin, but it may also have been the name of a precious stone (Gen. 2:12). Manna was the color of bdellium, which was apparently white. If so, this is likely the white stone that is referenced here. And here is where the true individual consolation comes in. To the one who overcomes, to the one who is born again, God gives the hidden Christ and a new name that only God and the beloved saint know. But God gives no new name unless He has first given a new heart.