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Removing Stains From Wood

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I've decided to strip down and refinish my goth epiphone les paul. The original plan was to paint it, but after seeing how nice the grain is I would like to stain it. Problem is there is some kind of residue/glue in a few spots on the top. I've tried to sand them out with no luck :D I'm guessing it has soaked into wood somewhat. Anyone have any ideas to get rid of it without having to sand a hole in my guitar? I have no idea what it could be.

pics below



any help appreciated



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Those white spots look like where you actually got down to wood,or at least almost to it..I think the rest of the guitar is still at the sealer coat.Any finish or glue darkens the grain.not lightens it...Keep sanding,because at this point you have to get ALL of the finish off.you would have been better to keep a sealer coat over the entire guitar,but now there is no way to patch that invisibly if you are going to clear it.

By the way that is just every day plain old grain...not really nice..I mean you know..it's pretty plain

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