Father reveals himself to each of us according to our own hunger and personal thirst for truth. Jesus told us in John 6:48-50, “I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die.” Some seek the revelation of earthly provision and sustenance. There is a hidden manna, or revelation of Christ who sustains more than body… but also the soul and spirit.
Revelation 2:17 reads, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.” It is the overcomer who gets to eat the hidden manna - saints who faithfully triumph over the flesh and its works, achieving exploits for the Kingdom. Initiatory rewards are rites of passage for those who persevere through the paces.
Notice, the overcomer is given a white stone with a new name written on it. According to Arethas, this same kind of stone was given to wrestlers at ancient games.1 This speaks of those who persist through adversity to become finishers.
John Wesley records, “The ancients, on many occasions, gave their votes in judgment by small stones; by black, they condemned; by white ones they acquitted.” The white stone in this inference is indicative of forgiveness from an offense and victory over the curse of that offense. About the new name inscribed, only those who overcome can receive it. This private revelation is known only by the overcomer and God the rewarder.
The hidden manna is also a reference to the manna that was stored in the Ark of the Covenant for remembrance sake (Exodus 16:34). That manna abided in the presence of the Lord, hidden from public view in the Holy of Holies. This speaks of the secret life of the believer. Those who learn to abide in the shadow of His wings (Psalm 36, 57, 91) can expect to eat the manna of life, hidden there, for them.
1. Read the commentary on the white stone at: http://bible.cc/revelation/2-17.htm