In the Roman court trial system, a white stone is a token of acquittal of the charges. There is a familiar analogy to Christ’s immediate audience at the time of the Roman Empire. However, this understanding is lost on today’s Church. It was also a second stage process after the initial word of mouth verdict. If the defendant is acquitted by word of mouth at first, the second stage trial required a white stone for final acquittal or a black stone. A black stone is a guilty token. Therefore to the Church, Jesus warns, some will get a white stone from Him. What about the rest?
The Woman Who Was Told Sin No More
Have you even wondered about the rest of her life? By word of mouth, the Judge, Jesus, acquitted her.
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
This lady will all the same attend the judgement faced by all according to Hebrews. There she will face receiving a white stone or a black stone according to the command given her for the rest of her life: Sin no more. So it is for all of us.
Revelation 2, Letter To The Malach In Pergamos
And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
17He 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.
In Hebrews, the writer (Yosef) reminded the Hebrew messianics that all will face judgment. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,
It is at that judgment presided by Christ that we will receive the white stone for acquittal, according to the faith that we, believers, put in Him and trusted in His completed works, to be exhibited by our fruit of the loom. But to those who are weighed and are found wanting at judgement, they shall receive the black stone of guilty. One may ask, how may a Christian be guilty? There are multiple places in the New Testament that say that some believers are not playing by the rules. If you walk in the Spirit, then there is no law against you. If you abide in Christ at all times, then you bear fruit for Him to judge. If you obey His commandments, then it shows you have love for Christ. If you confess your sins, then you will receive pardon from Father in the name of His Son upon His completed work on the Cross at Mount Moriah, AKA Calvary. If you have a relationship with Christ, then you will never hear Him tell you Depart from Me I never knew you. If you have fed a hungry person and clothed a naked body, then Christ will say you did it for Him.
Therefore, let us get real and summarise some possible scenarios where a black stone will be handed to a believer.
- Not walking in the Spirit of truth, not knowing the Spirit of adoption.
- Not abiding in Christ and stray away like a lost sheep.
- Not producing any fruit for inspection by the Father, He holds the shears in His hands to cut off the branch.
- Not obeying Christ’s commandments in the binding section of the New Covenant, not looking into the numerous commandments, not keeping the commandments of Christ to His disciples.
- Not loving God in Christ above yourself, your spouse, your children, your parents, your homies, your shows, your gear, your job, your materials, your religion.
- Not looking after the widows, the orphans, the disabled, the sick, those in need for He is their advocate and He comes to us to test us in these precious people undercover.
- Not confessing your sins before God and plead for His pardon in humility and repentance.
Case in point. All who emerge from the Arnold Murray’s The Shepherd’s Chapel who do not believe the sin of Adam resulted in the fall of man and thus their sinful nature, did not repent from their stronghold of the dominion of sin, shall be condemned, even they were taught wrong by Murray. They will have to give an account to Him who sits on the throne of judgement.
Case in point. All those who advocate and support the ending of human lives by legal* abortion from the Governors, lawmakers, protesters, donors, are guilty of the cardinal sin of taking another’s lives. Stonewall ’69 and co. shall stand trial.
Paul has another summary for Corinth. He addressed people who were already admitted to the Church. People need to take their thoughts captive in a “free society” that gives free speech. Not all words are beneficial, not all deeds are beneficial, no matter how legal it is.
8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
And again in Galatia,
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
15But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Why A Second Process?
There are layers to be peeled from Christ’s specific use of the white stone analogy in Revelation 2. For when we confess sin and rebellion in life and receive Christ, we are immediately acquitted of our sinful nature and the sins that we committed up to the point of confession. Subsequent commission and omission are to be dealt with in diligence by abiding in Christ on a daily basis, not yearly. For Christ commanded to His disciples, as in Luke 9:23 He commanded.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
However, in the remaining days of our walk with the Lord we shall come under scrutiny for our integrity. The Lord calls that coming to God in spirit and in truth. Therefore, the imagery of the white stone acquittal upon death speaks to the second stage for verification of our promises to follow Christ. The white stone, read below, a legal practice in the Roman Empire, is a second stage process to acquit the one under trial.
… the popular assemblies voted by ballot, as well as by word of mouth, long before the passing of the Leges Tabellariae, but that instead of using tabellae they employed stones or pebbles (the Greek ψῆφοι), and that each voter received two stones, one white and the other black, the former to be used in the approval and the latter in the condemnation of a measure. The voting by word of mouth seems to have been adopted in elections and trials, and the use of pebbles to have been confined to the enactment and repeal of laws.a That the latter mode of voting was adopted in early times is proved by many passages of Dionysius, and especially by X.41: ὡς ὁ δῆμος ἀπήλτει τὰς ψήφους, οἱ νεώτατοι τῶν πατρικίων — τὰ ἀγγεῖα τῶν ψήφων τοὺς ἔχοντας ἀφῃροῦντο; and by XI.52: ἐκέλευσαν καδίσκον τεθήναι ὑπὲρ τῆς πόλεως Ῥωμαίων, καθ’ ἑκάστην φυλὴν, εἰος ὃν ἀποθήσονται τὰς ψήφους. It is also confirmed by the common expressions used with respect to voting, as suffragium ferre, mittere in suffragia, inire, or ire in suffragia, which lead us to suppose that the suffragium probably signified something which was put by the hand from one place into another. For if the Romans had from the first been polled only by word of mouth, it is scarcely possible that such an expression as suffragium ferre would have been used, when they had nothing to carry; but on the contrary, some such p1077 word as dicere would have been employed, more especially as it is certain that in the most ancient times those who voted by word of mouth did not go up one by one to the officer who received the votes, but remained in their places, and were asked for their votes by the Rogatores, who thence derived their name. Besides which the word suffragium can scarcely signify the same as sententia or vox. The etymology is uncertain, for the opinions of those who connect it with φράζεσθαι or fragor do not deserve notice. Wunder thinks that it may possibly be allied with suffrago, and signified originally an ankle-bone or knuckle-bone. On the passing of the Leges Tabellariae the voting with stones or pebbles went out of use.By William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D
Those who are found guilty will receive a fair trial with all the books opened, meaning the evidence will be presented for a multitude to examine. Then the black stone verdict shall be passed.
That we keep His word, even this passage, to remind us that our desire is to walk faithfully with Christ that come judgment, we shall be found in favor due to our love and obedience by trusting in Him from Genesis to Revelation.