REVELATION 2Revelation of Jesus | Revelation of JohnT: REVELATION 2:1-29TO THE SEVEN CHURCHESEPHESUS 2:1-5 FIRST LOVE2:2,6 FALSE APOSTLES AND NICOLAITANSSMYRNA 2:8,9 TRIBULATION, POVERTY, SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN2:10 PERSECUTIONPERGAMOS 2:12,13 THRONE OF SATANANTIPAS2:14 DOCTRINE OF BALAAMNICOLAITANS2:16,17 REPENT, OR ELSETHYATIRA 2:18-20 YOU TOLERATE JEZEBELTHE TRUE CHURCH2:21-23 JEZEBEL’S SICKBED2:24-29 HOLD FAST


2:16,17 REPENT, OR ELSE

“Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth” (Revelation 2:16). In Revelation 19:15 the sword which comes out of the mouth of the Lord strikes the nations as He “rules them with a rod of iron.” In Psalm 2:8,9 this same phrase means breaking the nations and dashing them to pieces. This warning was carried out against the imperial church, which did not repent of its idolatry. The worship of saints, relics and religious art (icons and images) became more entrenched as the centuries passed, and God allowed the sword to ravage the church.

In the east Islam developed, in part as a reaction to the idolatry of Byzantine Christianity, particularly the worship of Mary. Convinced that Christians were idolaters who must come into subjection to Allah,[1] Muslims continued their relentless attacks against the Christian Byzantine Empire from the middle of the seventh century until Constantinople finally fell in AD 1453.

In the west "the sword" came earlier. Repeated waves of barbarian invaders swept down from Northern Europe, deposing the last of the western Roman emperors in AD 476. These invading tribes followed the teachings of Arius, who had been condemned as a heretic for his views on the nature of Christ by the Catholic Church. Now these barbarian “heretics” were ruling Rome, and although they did not destroy the papal church, they severely limited its political power and influence.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches. To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows except him who receives it” (Revelation 2:17). “Hidden manna” and “a new name written which no one knows” both emphasize the development of “hidden” or secret Christians who increasingly had to go “underground” in the face of rejection and persecution by the official state church, which was comprised of false “Balaam” leaders supported by immoral “Nicolaitan” masses. This division of the church became even more pronounced in the next Thyatira period in which the false church is characterized as Jezebel and the true church went underground.

Continue to next section: THYATIRA 2:18-20 YOU TOLERATE JEZEBEL



[1] Muhammad’s chief objection to the religions around him was that they worshiped a multitude of gods instead of the one God, Allah. Although he taught through the Koran that Christians had received a true revelation from God through the great prophet Jesus, he maintained that the Christian scriptures had been corrupted with doctrines such as the Trinity, which he violently opposed as polytheism. Tragically, the Trinity he understood from the Byzantine Christians around him was the Father, the Son and the Virgin Mary. “And then God said, ‘O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to the people, take me and my Mother as two gods apart from God?’ He said, ‘Glory be to you, I cannot say what is not my right to say” (Quaran 5:116) Thus the Quran says that Jesus himself rejected the Trinity as God, Mary and Jesus.” George Braswell, What you Need to Know About Islam and Muslims, (Nashville, TN, Broadman & Holman, 2000) p. 125 Used by permission.