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 i
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, Muslims continued their relentless attacks against the Christian Byzantine Empire from the middle of the seventh century until
In the west "the sword" came earlier. Repeated waves of barbarian invaders swept down from
“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.
 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.