THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN
Revelation 2:9b. "I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan."
Here is a verse that will bear considerable thought, not only because it is most peculiar in its contents, but also it is virtually repeated in an age that is over a thousand years later.
Revelation 2:9 "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan." To begin with, the word, Jews, does not describe the religion of the Jewish people. It refers only to the people of Judah and has the same precise meaning if I were to say I am Irish born. These people were saying that they were actually Jews, real Jews by birth. They were liars. They were not Jews by birth and they weren't Jews by religion.
If all this is true, what were they? They were a deceived people who were already part of the church. They belonged to the false vine.
They were not of the true church, but of the false church because God said "they were the synagogue of Satan." Now the word for synagogue is not the same word we use for church. In the Bible, church means, "the called out ones", or the "summoned ones". The Psalmist said about these elect people, "Blessed is the man whom THOU CHOOSEST, and CAUSEST to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts." Psalms 65:4. But the meaning of synagogue is "assembly or gathering." This can be good or bad, but in this case it is bad, for these are they whose assembling is not of God but of their own selves. Isaiah said of them, "Behold, they shall surely gather together, but NOT BY ME: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake." Isaiah 54:15. And since these were surely against the true vine, God will one day deal with them in destruction.
Now why do we have a people mixed in the framework of the church and calling themselves Jews? The reason is this: Since they were liars they could make any claim they wished. They could say what they wanted as though it were a fact and then stick to it. And in this case they could be lying with a very powerful thought in mind. Was it not so that the early church was almost if not entirely composed of Jews, making them the original members of His body? The twelve apostles were Jews, and the later apostles were either Jews or proselytes. Thus for men to swear they were Jews would give them a pre-eminence and a claim to originality. Tell a lie. Stick to it. Never mind fact or history. Just say it and keep saying it to the people, and soon the people will receive it.
Now did you catch something there? Isn't that the same spirit right in the church today? Isn't there a group that claims that they are the original and true church and that salvation is found only in her? Don't they claim that they have the keys of the kingdom which they received from Peter? Don't they claim that Peter was their first pope, and that he resided in Rome when there is ABSOLUTELY NO HISTORICAL FACT FOR IT? And even her most educated and knowing adherents believe her lies. Satan's synagogue! And if Satan be her father, and he the father of lies, then it is not strange that those in his synagogue are liars also.
Consider the thought of blasphemy. These of Satan's synagogue were not blaspheming God in this instance (though that goes without saying) but they were blaspheming the true church. Certainly. As Cain persecuted and killed Abel because he (Cain) was of that wicked one, and as the dead formal Judaic followers (Jesus said they were of their father, the devil) tried to destroy the Christians in the first few years of the first age, now this same group (the false vine) is even more strongly attempting to destroy the true believer in the second age. That anti- christ spirit is growing.
The group that inched its way ever so slowly into the church by its DEEDS (Nicolaitanism) no longer fears exposure but is openly organized in a group of its own assembling and is coming against the true church in undisguised hostility.
Now when I say this was an organized antichrist church I am giving you the truth from authenticated history. The first church founded in Rome (we will trace its history in the Pergamean Age) had already turned the truth of God into a lie by introducing a pagan religion with Christian names and meaning. By the second age it was so pagan (though claiming to be the true church) that Polycarp came about 1500 miles at a very old age to plead with them to turn back. They would not do it. They had a solid hierarchy and a solid organization, and a complete departure from the Word. This then, is Satan's synagogue, full of blasphemy, in which were already the seeds of the doctrine of Nicolaitanism, and which would shortly be the actual seat or power of Satanic religion. And this is exactly right for Revelation 2:9b does NOT say these people are OF Satan's synagogue but it says they ARE SATAN'S SYNAGOGUE.
This spirit of antichrist is not new. This is not something that just came in the church ages. It has been here all along. To get a clear understanding of how it works, how it goes against God and takes over in the church, look at the Old Testament and see it there. Let us examine this spirit as it was manifested in Israel as she came out of Egypt to be the church in the wilderness.
Just as the early church started out under the pure ministry of the Holy Spirit with signs and wonders and manifestations such as prophecy, tongues, and interpretation, wisdom, knowledge and healing, so in the days of Israel when they left Egypt, they were under the leadership of the Spirit of God manifesting in gifts. God was the leader of the people. Actually He was their King. He was a Father-King. He took care of Israel like a man cares for his family. He fed them, fought their battles, smoothed away their difficulties and settled their problems. He just busied Himself over them. They were the only nation to which He was truly God. But one day they got to looking around, and they saw the Philistines and other nations with kings over them. It caught their eyes and they decided that they ought to humanize their leadership, so they wanted a king. Now God was going to humanize the leadership Himself, in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, but they got ahead of Him. Satan knew the plan of God so he put it in the hearts of the people to get ahead of God (the Word).
When they approached Samuel and asked for a king, Samuel was so dismayed that his heart almost failed him. God had been leading His people through this consecrated, Scripture-vindicated prophet and he felt that he had been rejected. He gathered the people and pleaded with them not to turn away from the God Who had carried them like children, and prospered them and blessed them. But they persisted. They said to Samuel. "You have never been wrong in your leading. You have never been dishonest in your financial dealings. You have done your best to keep us in line with the Word of the Lord. We appreciate the miracles, wisdom, provision and protection of God. We believe in it. We like it. And furthermore we don't want to be without it. It's just that we want a king to lead us to battle. Now of course when we go out to battle it is still our intention to have the priests go ahead with Judah following, and we will blow the trumpets and shout and sing. We don't intend to stop any of that. BUT WE WANT A KING WHO IS ONE OF US TO LEAD US."
And God said to Samuel. "See, they have not rejected you, but they have rejected ME from ruling over them."
How tragic that was. Little did they realize that when they were asking God to let them be like the rest of the world they were rejecting Him, because God had ordained that His people act different from the world. They are not of the world and they don't look like the world and they don't act like the world. They are crucified unto the world and the world is crucified unto them. II Corinthians 6:17-18, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
You see the one difference between Israel and the rest of the nations was God. Put God to one side and Israel was like any other nation. When Samson cut off his hair he was like any other man. Put the leadership of the Holy Ghost aside and the church is NOTHING BUT THE WORLD WITH GOD'S NAME ATTACHED TO IT. The world and the church are all of the same lump, just like Jacob and Esau were of the same parents, but the Spirit of God makes the difference.
It doesn't matter if you call yourself a Christian. Anyone can do that. The point is whether or not you have the Spirit of God in you, for without that Spirit you are reprobate; you are none of His. Amen.
Not too long ago I asked a lady if she were a Christian. She said to me, "I will have you know, sir, that I burn a candle every night." What in the world has that got to do with it? I'm a Methodist, I'm a Baptist, I'm a Pentecostal. That hasn't a thing to do with it. It is the Holy Ghost or perish.
Well, starting way back there in the first church the people got to thinking and reasoning how to improve on God. The deeds of the Nicolaitanes began showing themselves. Then a group formed. They drifted away from the pattern of the Word. All it takes is just one word changed and that little leaven then leavens the whole lump. He that offends in one point of the law is guilty of all. Eve just changed one word. That will do it.
And when that Satan-centered group was formed, it began to hate and to fight the true believers, insisting that they (the aliens) were the church of God.
Notice how organization breeds hatred. It destroys fellowship. It makes bitterness. That is what myrrh means. This is what Smyrna was full of. Bitterness. A root of bitterness defiles many. So more and more defilement was coming in. Every age would feel its scars.
The Smyrnaean church had drifted far from the original. It had become a hybrid. It had hybridized itself the way Eve did. You know that a hybrid is what comes of two species mixing. The result is no longer pure like the original. It is mongrel. Well, when Eve allowed the beast to mingle his seed with hers she produced a creature called Cain that wasn't pure human. He was of the WICKED ONE. Notice how different he was from Abel. Notice how different he was from Seth. He hated God and would not obey the Word and persecuted and killed the righteous. He set himself up above the Word of God.
The church, too, has departed from what she originally was. She is a hybrid. That is, the church nominal is a hybrid. People say, "I am a Baptist." It wasn't so in the beginning. "I am Methodist." It wasn't so in the beginning. Instead of the straight Word of God, instead of the Spirit-filled men in the church who were led by Spirit-given revelation, there are now creeds, and by-laws, and the educated guesses of educated men. Learning has taken the place of revelation. Reason has replaced faith. Program has replaced spontaneous praise in the Holy Ghost. It wasn't so from the beginning. The whole specie has changed. It has become a hybrid church.
Now then, when the church becomes hybridized, will it produce pure Christians? It can't. The life or seed that brings Christians to birth is not in them. Like brings forth like. The Baptists bring forth more Baptists and they act like Baptists. Methodists bring forth Methodists and they act like Methodists. Not one is known by the power of God nor can they be for it's not there. They are known by their ceremonial worship of God and their creeds and dogmas.
Talk about a hybrid. Do you know the most famous hybrid in the world? It has been with us for ages. It is the mule. It is a cross between a donkey and a horse. He is a funny kind of an animal. He can't reproduce himself. He has no life that can do that. Yet talk about work. He can outwork the horse or the donkey. But watch his nature. He is stubborn and you can never trust him. He is a perfect picture of hybrid religion. A cross between truth and darkness, for the horse is a type of the true believer and the ass a picture of the un-righteous one. Mix them and you have a sterile, formal religion. It hasn't the seed of life. It is dead. It can talk about truth but it can't produce it. It doesn't have God in its midst, yet it gathers together and talks about God, and all the while systematically denies the power. They will deny the Word in the very Name of the Lord. And there is never any hope for them. Do you realize that no organized religion ever had a revival? Never! Once they organized they died. They can't ever come back. No sir. I can show you that in type. In Exodus 13:13, "And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck; and all the first-born of man among thy children shalt thou redeem." See, the ass can be redeemed. Every miserable sinner can be redeemed by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, or in rejecting Christ be rejected himself. But you don't redeem the mule. There is no redemption for him. There is no blood for him. There can't be because the mule takes refuge in the church while the ass takes refuge in the blood. The mule has "no seed" in him that can be quickened, but the ass has seed.
Why, just a few weeks ago I read an editorial. Yes, it was an editorial by an unsaved businessman; not by a Christian. He said that he was amazed at the churches. He could not understand them. They had seminaries filled with professors who taught the Word of God in order to destroy it. Now then this man could not figure that out. He was appalled by it. He said that he could understand the atheist or communist, or free thinker or someone else doing that. But when the church itself destroyed the Word of God it was tantamount to premeditated murder. THERE IS YOUR HYBRID RELIGION. WAKE UP AMERICA BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.
When the church gets away from the Word it will believe anything. It is like Eve. When Cain was born she said, "I've gotten a man from the Lord." Now do you realize that she really meant that? She thought that she had a man from the Lord. You see, once she had been deceived by taking the word of Satan instead of the Word of God she then thought that whatever she said was right. If she said that she had a man from God, then she had a man from God. But God has set laws in His universe. A good seed can only bring forth good fruit and the evil seed can bring forth only evil fruit. Now each seed, though different, will utilize the same earth, nourishment, moisture, and sunshine, but it will bring forth after its own kind. Notice the history of the Cain line. Notice the history of the Seth line. Only one difference between them - the original seed. Nothing else.
If you look at this statement of Eve real close you will notice that she had more of an understanding than most realize. She did not attribute the son to Satan for that would have made him equal with God. Only God could create the egg in the womb of Mary. Satan couldn't do that. Eve knew that. Satan can only pervert. So he beguiled her with the wrong seed. It was the serpent's seed that brought forth Cain. It was Adam's seed that brought forth Abel and Seth. Those seeds went through exactly the same process, but the children were different for they were from different seeds.
She believed that Cain was from God. She accepted the devil's lie as the truth of God. That is exactly what we have now. Churches set themselves up as fountains of truth but the truth is not in them; yet their begotten children swear by them and will even kill to uphold their error.
If you think that is an exaggeration, read all of II Timothy chapter 3 and the first five verses of the fourth chapter. II Timothy 4:1-5 "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."
When the church allowed herself to move away from the original, like Adam and Eve, death set in.
There is no strength in her. She has become a monstrosity. The minute the church moved toward form and ceremony, and toward priesthood by organizing the ministers into a group that decided leadership apart from the Holy Spirit and His Word, that very moment death entered and she started to get sick, and as she got sick she changed to a powerless group of people whose only weapon was argument. She could produce nothing in the Spirit, for her hopes were built on program and not on faith in His Word. They sowed program so they reaped program. They sowed perversion so they reaped perverted children.
You tamper with God and you reap exactly what you injected. Man ought to learn that from nature. He has tampered with nature. He has injected his own ideas into nature and rearranged the molecules, etc., and now he is reaping a whirlwind. Just look how they have bred the chicken. It is so highly bred that it is a laying machine that lays itself out. It is no good for food and is soft and poor eating. They inject substances into the meat we eat and because of that the human body is changing so that women are getting narrower in the hips and broader of shoulder and men are getting just the opposite. Now if you fool with nature and get a monstrosity and a backfire, what will happen if you change the truth into a lie? The answer is, you will breed an antichrist, godless system of religion that is so perverted it will not look like or produce what the original did. The only answer that God has for a situation like that is the lake of fire.
That poor Smyrnaean Age was dying. When it died, it never came back. No age ever comes back. No revival ever comes back. It can't have the life of God in it by natural generation. It takes a regeneration from above. This last age started with the fires of a Pentecostal revival and they organized it right back. Instead of taking the Word they took their own ideas and did just what every age has done - substituted the manual for the Word. Just you step outside that manual and see what happens. You are out, brother. And they will persecute you and blame it on God. And how they love their organization. No wonder. They are second generation Pentecostals and since God doesn't have grandchildren they are just children of their fathers, known by their creeds and form of worship. They can talk about what used to be, but they can't produce it. Once they had the lightning but about all that is left is the thunder. But let them talk to you about the glories of their movement. They will say, "Yes sir, I want you to know that this is a move that no man started. It came spontaneously. The Spirit fell all over the world. Yes sir, we got what they had at Pentecost. This was not of men but of God." THEN WHY DIDN'T THEY KEEP IT THAT WAY? IF GOD STARTED IT HOW COME GOD COULDN'T KEEP IT AND FINISH IT? If God didn't write a handbook of creeds and formulas and dogmas to start it, then what right did they have to do that? God poured out His Spirit upon Baptists, Methodists, Nazarenes, Adventists, Presbyterians, Brethren, Church of God (several so named) etc. All these brethren were brought up on different doctrines, by-laws, church manuals etc. God swept it all to one side; He destroyed their dispensational theories and restored the gifts of the Spirit, proving He is the same yesterday and today and forever. But did those Pentecostals learn their lesson about organization? No sir. They organized right back and have written their own textbooks, by-laws and church manual, fellowship book, etc. with one idea in mind, which is to prove that they now have all the truth, know all the answers, and are therefore, the elite of God who know the way and can show it unto others as God's appointed guides. But they haven't got it. They have hybridized themselves like the very groups they came out of. If they want to be in the bride they are going to have to come out exactly as did their forefathers.
They are like all the rest. The revival is over. They are trying to live a name and are dead. They took organization, all the while talking about the Spirit of God.They talk about the evidence of the Holy Spirit. But they forget that the devil can talk in tongues, too. The utter confusion of Babel is in their midst and they call it the Spirit of God. Once again we see man telling God, instead of God telling man.
Now you might desire to scold me right here for what I have said. Alright. They call themselves Pentecostal and Full Gospel. Let them prove it. At Pentecost the fire came in a cloud and separated over each of them like a tongue, and fell on each one. Where is the fire? They spoke in tongues at Pentecost and the people who listened understood. Where is that? The whole multitude of believers acted like one family. Pentecostals are as badly divided as any group in history. No man durst join himself to the early church but only God added. They have as many goats among them as any. They claim to be full Gospel but they can't prove it. Their churches are as empty of power as any of them. If they are full Gospel then we had better admit the Bible made a mistake when it describes the full Gospel men at Pentecost. They sing, "There's been a great change in me." They are right. But the change has not been for the better. It is time to get back to God. They have a name that they live but are dead. Tongues isn't the evidence of revival. It is the evidence of death. Tongues proclaimed the evidence that the ceremonial religion of the Jews was over, that a new era had begun. Tongues today is ringing down the curtain on the Gentile church ages and the Gospel is going back to the Jews. People are talking about tongues heralding in a great Spiritual move. They have missed the boat. The truth is that it is writing the finish to all of man's ideas, programs and kingdoms, and the kingdom of God is being ushered in. Wake up people of God. Wake up.
If you don't think this is true, just listen to this. All over the world in both Pentecostal and fundamental groups they are organizing the businessmen. They have invaded the pulpit without a call from God. They have styled themselves the fishers of men and the founders of a move of God, and they say the gifted ministry of Ephesians 4:10-13 that God gave the church has failed, so they are taking over. Here we are right in the midst of the fulfillment of prophecy, called the gainsayings of Korah, and they don't even know that they have fulfilled it. They are blindly going on preaching experience for truth. May God have pity on them. May their eyes be opened before it is too late. Oh, listen to me. When did the prestige of money, social leadership, business ability, or sheer mental prowess ever qualify a man for spiritual leadership, or give any weight to the Word of God? And when in any way materiality or human values begin to show as the media by which God works instead of the Holy Spirit ALONE, then we are fighting against God, not for Him.
Now I want this on record right here. I am not speaking against elders in the church. No sir. And that elder can be as poor as any man was ever poor, or be the richest man in the world as long as he is an elder in heart and deed. I would not hesitate to ordain any man that has the real Spiritual qualifications as an elder or deacon regardless of his finances or social position. But when you see a social or financial structure come into the church that divides the folks in any way - that is not of God. It is another sign of the time in this physically rich, but Spiritually impoverished Laodicean Age in which we are now living.
"I know thy poverty." Did you notice that their poverty is linked up with the synagogue of Satan in that same verse? Yes, it is the rich powerful organization that has the wealth and always pushes out the little people that serve God. When the Spirit of God moves in the hearts of men, who is it that leaves the buildings and property? The little flock always loses out to the big organization. And where do the people then go? They worship in homes, old store buildings, and basements, just as they did when they went to the catacombs.
These people were poor in this world's goods. Certainly. But they were rich in Spirit.
"I know their blasphemy." Now it isn't the thought here that these liars are blaspheming God, though that goes without saying. But they are blaspheming the true church. It is always thus. The Jews of Jerusalem blasphemed the church at the beginning. The Gentile polytheists did likewise. If anyone is going to be evil-spoken of, it will always be the true seed. In Nero's day the Christians were blamed for every calamity - even for the burning of Rome. In communist countries the little flock is always the first to be exterminated though actually insignificant in size. Though the Christians are fine loyal people, who do only good, they will always be persecuted to the end that they might be physically destroyed.
The reason this is so, is because they are a rebuke to the godless. Like a sore thumb they stand out before the wicked. And though the righteous intend no harm to the wicked but want to do only good, invariably they find they are embroiled as was John the Baptist with Herod. For John did not want to harm either Herod or his wife but to save them from the wrath of God. This was not only thoroughly misunderstood and absolutely withstood, but John was put to death because of it. And for all the good the people of God do, they are still put to public shame and to death. Surely there must be some sinister force behind a people who would be so void of conscience that they would return evil to those who did them good. Yes, there is such a force. It is Satan. The answer lies in the next verse. 7ch016.htm
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