1. Exposition

What does the new name indicate?

Revelation 2:17 (ESV)

17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’

Various people in the Bible received a new name when their status changed (Abram → Abraham; Jacob → Israel). Isaiah also prophesied that God would change his people’s name (Isaiah 62:2; Isaiah 65:15). As those in Pergamum receive new status through their victory (resulting from their rejecting the teachings of Balaam and the Nicolaitans), the Lord would give them a new name indicating their new status: perfect communion with him in the New Jerusalem. Obviously, no one can know the new name written on a given stone, because it can only be learned by the one who receives it.