Note: J. Preston Eby, in order to continue to devote his full energy to writing, no longer works in the office and does not receive email. He does, however, respond to any urgent correspondence via snailmail.
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the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE CHURCH IN SMYRNA
“ I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not,
but are the synagogue of Satan”
There is a sharp contrast between the “synagogue of Satan” and the
“church of God.” Just what is
this “synagogue of Satan”? Those
of the synagogue of Satan were not the true church, but of the false church. Now the word for synagogue is not the same word we use for
church. In the scriptures, 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” (Ps. 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 against thee shall fall for thy sake” (Isa.
The two names, “Satan” and “Devil” are employed in the book of
Revelation with correctness and precision.
“Satan” means adversary,
that which is against or opposed to. “Devil,”
on the other hand, means slanderer or accuser. To the people of God, that ancient serpent, which is the
Devil and Satan, is both!
Now let us look at the typical setting and background of this term “synagogue
of Satan.” In the days of ancient
Israel, the priesthood at Jerusalem was the accepted spiritual authority.
Then in 586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem, demolished the great
temple of Solomon, and carried the Jews into exile in Babylon.
With their temple and their priesthood gone, the Jews found themselves in
strange new communities where they formed voluntary assemblages for common
worship and study of the law. These
congregations were called synagogues
or assemblies. This
institution proved so valuable that it has been continued to this day.
It also provided the basic pattern for the churches which, after Paul,
the Christians set up and developed along more organized lines.
Among the Jews, however, the synagogue has survived in its pristine form.
Any ten adult male Jews today can establish a congregation.
The congregation’s rabbi is a teacher, not a priest.
He has no ecclesiastical authority except as an expounder of the law.
In fact, he is not even necessary to the functioning of the synagogue.
Any male Jew with sufficient knowledge of the prayers and the laws can
conduct a religious service.
Thus, the synagogue is an “assembly” of Jewish people, just as the
church is thought of today as an “assembly” of believers in Jesus Christ
(although that is not the real meaning of church!).
The synagogue of Satan is, therefore, the assembly
of the adversaries, opponents, slanderers, and accusers! Those of the
synagogue of Satan are the opponents of the Truth and the slanderers of the
spirit of Christ! Everyone and
everything, especially every religious
thing that stands in opposition or resistance to the spiritual life of your
inner son is truly of the synagogue of Satan!
Remember, my beloved, the term “synagogue of Satan” is a type, a symbol in the book
of Revelation! The type
is found in the persecutors of the early believers — preeminently the Jews.
Among all the stormy, fiery declarations of condemnation and judgment
found in the letters to the seven churches, none is more striking than the Holy
Spirit’s identification of the “synagogue of Satan.” The synagogue of the Adversary!
He doesn’t call the temple of Bacchus the synagogue of Satan.
He doesn’t call the temple of Diana the synagogue of Satan.
He doesn’t call the temple of Zeus the synagogue of Satan.
Only the Jews had a synagogue!
Religion that opposes the Spirit of God, the purpose of God, the truth of God,
and the kingdom of God is the adversary of God, and the system, temple,
synagogue, or assembly of those adversaries is simply the “synagogue of
Permit me to point out the apostle Paul’s incredible indictment of his
own former activities in the religion of Judaism.
“For ye have heard of my manner of life in time past in the Jews’
religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
and profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation,
being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers” (Gal.
1:13-14). “Though I also might
have confidence in the flesh. If
any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might have confidence
in the flesh, I more: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel,
of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a
Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness
which is in the law, blameless” (Phil. 3:4-6).
That was the same spirit of Judaism that operated in Smyrna!
The church in Smyrna was bitterly opposed by the Jews of the city, who
prided themselves on being God’s chosen people.
Actually, they were the tools of Satan, the organized religious opposers,
persecutors, and condemners of those who were the Lord’s people after the
spirit! The synagogue which had
once served as the springboard for the preaching of the gospel, fast became the
bitter enemy of the new church. Throughout
the world in the days of the early church the Jews moved against the believers
with lies and malice. When Paul was
preaching in the synagogue in Antioch we read, “And the next Sabbath day came
almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and
spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and
blaspheming” (Acts 13:44-45).
The accusations against the believers were so devilish, and the smears so
insidious, that the believers were styled as the dregs of society and blamed for
every tragedy and disaster that struck. “But
the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd
fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an
uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the
people” (Acts 17:5). The Jews
worked with cunning, even inciting the normally tolerant Roman government to
attack the new religion. The
Jewish-Roman cartel instigated the wholesale slaughter of those who followed
The Roman empire made politics a religion.
The Emperor was proclaimed to be a god to whom homage was to be given.
Throughout the Roman empire people were free to worship any god or as
many gods as they desired. There
was freedom of religion. But all
subjects of the Roman empire were required to recognize Caesar as Lord and God
over the Empire. In essence what
they did was once a year all the people would come with a small pinch of incense
and all that was required was that they cast it into a fire and say, “Caesar
is Lord!” The cities recognized
this merely as a political exercise, you were simply saying that Caesar is Lord,
and that means that he is Lord or Ruler over the Empire.
When one fulfilled his annual obligation in the worship of Caesar, he was
given a treaty which granted him the right for the next year to worship any god
or gods in any religion he chose.
For the believers in Jesus this was a problem!
They could not acknowledge anyone as LORD other than Jesus Christ!
For them Jesus had been raised up and given all power in heaven and in
earth, principalities and powers being made subject to HIM.
He is King of kings and Lord of lords, the Prince (ruler) of the kings of
the earth! The Christians were renegades.
They were rebels. All they
needed to do was throw some incense into the fire and repeat the words,
“Caesar is Lord,” and a bill or decree was given to them releasing their
family. For the year they could go
back home and worship Jesus all they wanted to!
What did it mean to be an enemy of Rome?
It meant that if anybody turned you in, all your property and possessions
could be confiscated — Rome got 90% of what you owned and the person that
turned you in got 10%. So the city
was filled with informants and bounty hunters.
Let me tell you who the informants were.
The informants were the Jews! The
Jews went looking for Christians. They
would often infiltrate church services. They
would sit there during the praise and worship and ministry of the word, all the
while making a note of the best dressed and most prosperous looking people.
They would spot those who had possessions; after the meeting they would
get their names and go report them to the government as rebels against the
Empire. Soon government officials
would appear at their home or business; if they could not produce their treaty
they would then confiscate their property in the name of the Empire, and the
informant was paid his ten percent.
The above is the historical background behind the Lord’s words to the
church at Smyrna, “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and
are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.”
Great poverty was in the church at Smyrna.
For a person to confess Jesus Christ as Lord meant not only that they
committed their life to Him, but they could lose all of their property,
business, and possessions. One of
the ministers in the church at Smyrna was one of the most famous of the church
in those early years, a man by the name of Polycarp, who had been a disciple of
John who wrote the book of Revelation. His
story has come down to us because of his unswerving faithfulness to the name of
Jesus — even unto death. He
refused to burn incense to Caesar or to confess him as Lord.
Because of his gentle and kindly spirit the Roman officials entreated
him, “What harm can it do you to sacrifice to the emperor?
Have pity on your great age.” Upon
his repeated refusal Polycarp was taken to the coliseum, where an official said,
“Swear, curse Christ, and I will set you free.”
The serene Polycarp replied as he was led to the stake to be burned,
“Eighty and six years have I served Christ, and He has never done me wrong:
how, then, can I curse Him, my King and Saviour?”
Having resisted every promise and threat, which they hoped would cause
him to recant, it was announced, “Polycarp confessed himself a Christian.”
This was the signal for death! And
renegade Jews from “the synagogue of Satan” with pagan Gentiles, rushed in
fury to gather the firewood for his cremation.
Taking his place in the midst of the fuel, Polycarp assured them that it
was unnecessary to chain him, and the fire was kindled.
His suffering was prolonged by a high wind that blew the flames aside,
and he was at length executed by the executioner’s sword.
Incredible as these facts are, the truth is that the Jews, persecuting
the early believers, are not the
synagogue of Satan! They are merely
the type, the symbol! Never forget,
dear ones, the book of Revelation is a book of symbols!
Spiritually, the Jews in Smyrna were not the synagogue of Satan.
What they represent is the
synagogue of Satan! They remind us
of people today, as well as thoughts, ideas, and spirits right within ourselves,
which oppose God’s spirit, God’s message, God’s will, God’s work, and
God’s people in the name of religion.
The synagogue of Satan has always existed and is active in this day,
although it changes form from generation to generation.
It is the congregation of the adversaries,
the congregation of the opposers, the
congregation of the slanderers, the
congregation of the accusers — both within and without!
The opposition of religion against God’s truth, God’s Spirit, and
God’s elect is a synagogue of Satan — an adversary!
That doesn’t mean they are sinister or evil, for many of the people in
the church systems today truly love God and think they are doing His will.
They are just God’s ordained “opposition party” to test and try His
elect! Like the Jews of old,
they just don’t realize that GOD HAS MOVED ON!
They have no idea that this is a new Day and God is doing a new and
greater and more wonderful thing!
Satan is the adversary, the Devil is the accuser!
When the great dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan,
is cast out of the spiritual heavens of our minds and consciousness and
understanding, the scripture states, “And I heard a loud voice saying in
heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the
power of His Christ: for the accuser
of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their
testimony” (Rev. 12:10-11).
There is only one accuser, only one — Satan.
Of course he accuses us within ourselves as well as through religion.
God is not bringing up your sins, your weakness, your failures, no matter
who you are: you, me, Judas, or Hitler. If
Jesus paid the penalty of your sins, He doesn’t deal with your sins anymore,
they are paid for and gone, taken away, the account is closed.
“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing
their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of
reconciliation.” What does that
mean? It means that because of
Jesus all men are free! And I have
to accept that. I must now view all
men in that light! I must bear the
GOOD NEWS to them! If I then turn
around and bring up somebody else’s sins because I don’t like them, or they
did something against me, then I become their opposer from the synagogue of
Satan. You see, the synagogue of
Satan is not so much an institution as it is an attitude!
After a person is forgiven we cannot lay any charge against him.
Nearly all Christians know John 3:16, but very few know, let alone live
as if they believe, John 3:17: “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn
the world, but that the world, through
Him, might be saved.” It’s
shocking! It’s shameful! It’s surprising how many of us think God would condemn us.
Why? Where do we pick up
these notions? GOD does not condemn
people! If God was in the
condemning business, He could have done that quite easily through Jesus when He
sent Him to earth. With one
omnipotent breath from His mouth He could have slain all the sinners and rebels!
But He didn’t. He spoke
not a word against any sinner! God
did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world.
We find it
difficult to understand such a loving reaction from a Holy God. We are often quick to find faults and shortcomings when we
find someone falling short of our standards or expectations.
When someone says they forgive you your trespasses, but they continue to remind
you of them, they are preaching from the pulpit of the synagogue of Satan!
Ah, God will not condemn any soul! I
believe that with all of my heart! God
has a great and unconditional and unfathomable love for every man!
His only desire is to help, to bless, to deliver, to transform and make
beautiful every life! He seeks to
save everyone! He sees every person through those eyes of love and intense
and yearning desire for them. He
plans better and greater things for every man, woman, and child in the world.
Does that mean that nobody is punished?
Not at all! Every man still
reaps what he sows — in this world and in the world to come.
But every man reaps what HE sows — not the condemnation and vindictive
wrath of God preached by the churches! God
does not condemn. He does not
condemn us who are His children. He
corrects us, purges and purifies us in love and everlasting faithfulness. But He does not condemn!
Furthermore, He doesn’t condemn the
world! God is not a
charter member of the synagogue of Satan — the Opposer!
The synagogue of Satan has many different denominations, divisions,
departments, and operations. Some
are without while others are deep on the inside of us.
You know as well as I do that the church systems have always taught that
the God of exacting justice and undiminished wrath must be appeased, soothed,
turned aside from His furious vengeance, and that this feat can only be
accomplished by the bold and insistent intercession of the compassionate SON,
our wonderful Lord and elder brother, standing opposite Satan, before the
judgment-throne of the Father, as our Advocate, our Lawyer, pleading our cause,
beseeching God to be kind to us for His sake, to commute our sentence, and
begging for our lives on the ground that He paid the price for the forgiveness
of our sins. According to this
crude hypothesis the anger of God can only be appeased by looking upon the
bloody sweat and cruel, ugly death of His Son, as He stands there interceding
I do not hesitate to tell you that such a teaching is utter rubbish and
the brashest sort of nonsense! It
springs from the Romish tradition that likens God the Father to a fearful and
offended despot, spoiling for the blood of the offenders, and it makes Christ to
be the one who pleads with God on behalf of the victim until the Father is
consoled and placated. And if it
weren’t for our Advocate, Jesus, God would listen to the Devil’s accusations
and really lay it on to us. We
could even lose our salvation because of the Devil’s accusations, if it
weren’t that the merciful Jesus is there to prevent God from casting us into
hell, by presenting His blood on our behalf.
Such is a gross caricature of the truth!
More than that, it is a stupid absurdity and a horrible blasphemy!
It was GOD HIMSELF who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that men might
not perish! It was GOD
HIMSELF that was in Christ, reconciling
the world unto Himself, not imputing
their trespasses unto them! It
is GOD HIMSELF who is love!
“Behold, what manner of love THE FATHER hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the
children of God” (I Jn. 3:1). Praise
God, the Spirit is unfolding Truth in ever-increasing dimensions of glory which
magnifies God’s glorious nature of love and mercy, His wisdom and power, His
goodness and the prudence of all His plans and purposes — completely and
forever delivering us from the pews of the synagogue
It is my conviction that not even Satan is senseless enough to believe
that He could approach OUR FATHER and convince Him to condemn us because of our
weaknesses and failures. Nowhere
does the scripture state that Satan accuses the saints to God.
What it does say is that “the
accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them BEFORE
our God day and night” (Rev. 12:10). It
is one thing to be accused before,
that is, in the presence of, or in front of another person, and another thing
altogether for the accuser to accuse us TO
the other one. It should be
abundantly evident that Satan does not accuse us to
God, He merely accuses us before God.
It is not the almighty and omniscient God, my brother, my sister, whom
Satan wishes to convince of your unworthiness — it is YOU! Satan has no misconceptions about his ability to persuade God
of your weakness and worthlessness, but if he can influence YOU to believe that you are unworthy of God’s love and calling,
that you cannot overcome to reign with Christ, that you are a failure, that you
are hopeless, that it is impossible for you to attain to the High Calling of God
in Christ Jesus, that it is beyond the realm of possibility for you to lay hold
upon life and immortality — he is thereby able to rob you of your hope, faith,
confidence, joy, peace, and victory!
We have been taught in the past to flee from the great red dragon that
lumbers through the heavens of our minds, causing us to err and to stumble day
and night. It is this dragon that
has been accusing us day and night before God in the temple of God which we are!
You see, Satan never comes as some hideous fire-breathing monster with
horns, a forked tail, and a pitchfork. He
doesn’t blare at you through a loudspeaker.
He speaks in your own thoughts, understanding, perceptions, intuitions,
feelings, emotions, and desires! The
battle rages in the MIND — concepts, temptations, accusations shout at you from within!
The Self-life, the human consciousness, the carnal mind, the flesh —
all these are a synagogue of Satan! It
is there he comes and worships, it is there he comes and preaches, it is there
he comes and counsels, it is there he comes and persuades.
You may go to church meetings three times on Sunday and every night of
the week, but if you are not dead to the Self-life, if you have not ascended
into the mind of Christ above your human consciousness, if you have not silenced
the carnal mind, if you have not mortified your members which are upon the
earth, Satan has a little synagogue in you, a place where he has the right to
come and set up his service, teach his ideas and doctrines, appear as an angel
of light — illumination and revelation — express his desires and emotions,
and perform some of his works.
The called out elect of God are casting Satan out of the heavens — the
high places — of their minds by the swift and powerful sword of the Spirit!
The sword of the Spirit used in this heavenly warfare is the word of God,
the living word of God, and the present
truth and reality raised up within
our lives by the Holy Spirit! There
are millions of people in the religious systems of man today who are synagogues
of Satan. There is only a small
called and chosen remnant who are becoming temples of the Holy Ghost.
God is mightily moving in our lives in this Day to smash that synagogue
of Satan within us by the hammer of Truth, raze it to the ground, and upon it
erect within ourselves a temple of the Holy Ghost that God may be glorified in
His sons. We are being brought to
the place where we say with Jesus, “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing
in me” — nothing in me that responds or corresponds to him in any way or
I want to tell you where everything is — everything is right where you
are — WITHIN YOU! Everything! On the
positive side — God is in you,
Christ is in you your hope of glory,
the word of Christ dwells in your heart
by faith, your body is the temple of
the Holy Ghost which is in you, the
wonderful mind of Christ is in your mind
by the renewing of your mind, and the kingdom of God is within you. On the
negative side — the spirit of antichrist is in
you; the man of sin sits in the temple
of God which is your body; the
beast rages in the sea of humanity, in
the ravenous emotions of the body; the image of the beast is seen in
you by your outer actions of fleshly life; the nature of the great whore
that sitteth upon many waters (peoples) is in
you, the woman of your own soulish life; and the serpent is within
you, enthroned in
the carnal mind which is
enmity against God.
Men dream of a devil — a hideous and obscene monster in human form; a
short, skinny elf in a red body suit, with impish face, horns, pointed ears, a
spade beard, thin mustache, having a long forked tale and a pitchfork in his
hand. If you ask one thousand
church-going Christians to describe for you the Devil,
would not all of them describe him in the fashion portrayed above?
Or would they describe him to you as a snake?
Millions of Christians suppose they would recognize the Devil instantly! But would they,
really? I have no hesitation
whatever in telling you that the Devil of Christianity is a myth!
Jesus, on many occasions, drew the analogy of men as serpents — devils.
In my mind, when Jesus uttered the following parabolic phrase, He was
revealing one of the most important and foundational truths of all time.
“Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers,
how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Mat. 23:25,33).
John the Baptist used the same terminology, “But when he saw many of
the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation
of vipers, who hath warned you to flee
the wrath to come?” (Mat. 3:7).
As in Christ’s day, so today, the churches are full of devils! Well does this
enemy of God, enthroned in the human heart, this adversary of redemption and all
righteousness, know that, in the blessed hour when the “I” is crucified, all
his power and all his authority and sway in that life is broken forever.
His appetite is denied, his desires rejected, his plans thwarted, his
suggestions repudiated, his power ignored, his base of operation is destroyed,
and his work is abolished in the life of every son of God who has become
identified with Christ in the cross. Once
a man has embraced fully the cross of Christ and Self
has become forever dead with Him, then it is with him even as the firstborn Son
in triumph declared, “I will not talk with you much more, for the prince of
the world is coming. And he has no
claim on me, there is nothing in me that belongs to him, he has no power over
me” (Jn. 14:30, Amplified).
Satan has no power at all when SELF is gone!
His synagogue is destroyed! His
pews are broken down, his pulpit demolished, his service ended!
There is no platform to preach upon!
There are no congregants to listen!
Then he has no more power in your life or mine than he had in the life of
our Lord Jesus the Christ. How
unspeakably wonderful the hour for any man when Satan shall find nothing
in him upon which he can feed or lay hold, nothing
that responds or corresponds to him. When
Self is crucified with Christ the lust of the flesh is mortified, the lust of
the eyes is slain, the pride of life is put to death, all cunning, deception,
and error is silenced, and the synagogue of Satan closed in that life.
The synagogue of Satan is both individual and corporate. John the Revelator sees the Adversary, the Accuser, embodied
in a people, an assembly, a congregation, a system, a synagogue, to oppose,
slander, and intimidate the called and chosen elect of the Lord!
One dimension of the synagogue of Satan that the elect of God have
experienced are those they run into today who say they serve Jesus, but who
persecute those who are pressing on into deeper realms in God.
As one brother shared with us, “The Jews have never persecuted me, the
world has never persecuted me, but the Christians of the church systems have
persecuted me. There have been many Christians who have never persecuted me,
for the spirit of Christ ruled in their lives.
But those who did persecute me were of the synagogue of Satan — they
were adversaries to me!”
There is nothing more challenging than going into some denominational
church and begin to share with them. If
you are very careful you might get to
visit them three or four times, because you seem to be agreeing with what they
see in God. But then as you
perceive the bondage of tradition and the spiritual darkness they are in, your
heart of compassion goes out to them. So
you begin to open the truth of God just a step beyond the realm where they
dwell, that you might begin to lead them out of their darkness.
As you share the treasures of truth from the storehouse of your spirit, a
cloud soon passes over their countenances and they become agitated and fearful.
Should you continue they then rise up against you and commence to
retaliate, and should you dare to speak any further words of revelation they
will eventually cast you out. Ere
many days have passed the whole religious realm in your city will be warned
against you and your name will become anathema
to all the Lord’s people in all the church systems!
You shared out of love, but
soon discovered who they were, because what upset them was the light. But if you were
on the right mission, led by the Spirit, you will discover by and by that a
little of the light penetrated their darkness and some precious soul was
illumined thereby and began to awaken out of the deep sleep of tradition.
Let me admonish you, my beloved — if we
in turn abuse and persecute even the Lord’s people in Babylon, instead of
loving them, praying for them, and seeking only to help them, then we
place ourselves in the synagogue of Satan, becoming an adversary to them.
A brother wrote to me some time ago quite concerned because I continually
warn people about the harlot church systems of man.
He said, “Brother Eby, how could you ever reach any of the people in
the church systems when all the time you are criticizing and condemning them?
Don’t you think it would be better to present the truth to them without
all the negativity?” Now, that
sounds logical — on the surface! I
could not agree more — should the Father send me to the church systems I would
certainly go in humility, compassion, mercy, and love.
But you see, dear ones, my writings are not intended for them!
We do not mail our messages to either the preachers or the members of
First Baptist Church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Calvary Bible Church, First
Pentecostal Church, or any other denomination!
We are not criticizing them to
them! Our message is sent to God’s called out elect, to those are
being called out of the religious systems by the Spirit of God!
It is those God is calling out of the systems of man to know Him in
deeper measures that we are commissioned to admonish, counsel, exhort, and warn
to separate themselves from the blinding errors and fleshly bondage of religion.
The elect of the Lord are being thoroughly purged and purified from all
the doctrines, programs, methods, and spirit of Mystery Babylon!
Those who profess to be called to sonship while continuing a promiscuous
relationship with the lewd religious harlot, are certainly bastards, and not
YET — we
are not called to become adversaries to any man, but to be saviours on mount
Zion, the priesthood of the Lord to bless
and reconcile and lead all men into the kingdom of Life, Light, and Love!
I tell you the truth, I know by experience that these things are so!
Well do I know the heartache of trying
to awaken sleeping brethren only to have them turn on me, despise me, hate
me, and fall asleep again. Well do
I know what it is to be attacked by
the congregation of the adversaries, the synagogue of Satan.
But I know as well the judgment of God in my own spirit, teaching me not
to despise or strike out against any man held in the fetters of ignorance, sin,
hell, or Babylon. We are called to be gentle, kind, gracious, tender-hearted,
compassionate, and loving even with our enemies! We are ordained to bless them that curse us and pray for
those who despitefully use us, and persecute us, that we may be the sons of our
Father who is in heaven! He sends
His rain upon the just and the unjust! It
is here, and here alone, that we begin to tread the ground of true sonship, for
the sons of God are the priests of the
Most High God after the order of Melchizedek!
Concerning those of the synagogue of Satan the Lord tells the church at
Philadelphia, which, together with Smyrna, is a type of God’s called out
elect, “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are
Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship
before thy feet, and to know that I
have loved thee” (Rev. 3:9).
We should note that this promise is not given in a jeering or vindictive
spirit! It rather means that the
day will come when those who now misunderstand, condemn, denounce, persecute,
and cast out and despise God’s elect who walk in the Spirit and in the Truth
will themselves come to the knowledge of the truth, of the love of the Lord for
those who follow on to know Him, and God’s great plan and purpose for His
people on the earth and throughout all the unbounded heavens!
Thank God — ALL shall know Him, from the least to the greatest; and ALL
shall see and be blessed by His wise and wonderful purpose.
Then even the synagogue of Satan will at last — UNDERSTAND! That is what happened to Saul of Tarsus in that long ago on
the Damascus road; and that is what will happen to all the adversaries.
Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Let your heart consider what I now say, for there is another synagogue of
Satan that plagues many of the Lord’s people.
This to which I refer is the assembly of carnal-minded, self-righteous, law
keepers who burden the Lord’s people with external commandments, rules,
and regulations. It is legalism!
Legalism is so bad because it places a person under heavy bondage, which
is hard to get rid of. The law is
the instrument of sin-consciousness! “By
the law is the knowledge of sin.” “Do
this, do that,” is the constant theme of the preachers while the next time
they tell us, “Don’t do this, don’t do that.”
Legalism forces everything into a pattern of works,
external observances, and performance.
The ultimate fate of those who break these traditions of the elders and
commandments of men is, “God will get you if you don’t do what we say!”
Legalism is a mark of spiritual immaturity and carnal-minded religiosity.
It is an adversary to the inner spiritual life, indeed, a synagogue of
When Jesus came to redeem us, He came to redeem us not only from sin and
death, but to redeem us from the law
which gave us the consciousness of sin and is itself the very strength and power
of sin (Rom. 3:20; 7:7; I Cor. 15:56; Gal. 4:4-5).
Paul tells us that when Jesus came into the world He came subject to the
law. “But when the fullness of
time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them
that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal.
4:4-5). We have to realize that for
thirty years Jesus lived on this earth without ever manifesting His sonship to
God! He was sent into the world as
the Son of God, but He did not manifest His sonship until after He was baptized
by John the Baptist in the Jordan river. He
was “made of a woman” — born of a woman, speaking of His true humanity.
The Father sent the Son in the likeness of sinful flesh by giving Him a
human body. The Word was made flesh
and dwelt among us. In this
likeness of sinful flesh He looked like everybody else!
He didn’t look like a superman — six feet tall with a rugged,
handsome face, piercing blue eyes, flaxen hair, bronze complexion, bulging
muscles, and a Mr. America physique. Oh,
no! He looked so much like any
other Jew that He never stood out in a crowd.
No one in Nazareth thought He would amount to anything beyond the norm,
and when men sought for Him, He had to be pointed out to them. Nothing credible is written of Him, from the time He was
twelve years old, until the day He came to John to be baptized.
He operated within the limitations of the flesh.
He didn’t use any special powers or, except on one brief occasion,
display any unusual wisdom. He
worked, ate, slept, and bathed like every man.
He hungered, grew weary, knew weakness, and experienced doubts,
frustrations, perplexities, pain, and sorrow, for, “He was a man of sorrows,
and acquainted with grief.”
Notice further that when Jesus came He was “made under the law” —
and therefore was in subjection under the law.
God sent forth His Son from His throne on high, from the estate of His
heavenly glory, to be made under the law with all its restrictions,
requirements, and demands. He was
not merely born under the law as a
Jew, but “made” by His Father’s appointment, and His own will, subject to
the law to keep it all, ceremonial and moral; to perfectly fulfill it for all
who were under it! Although He was
the Lord of the law and its divine Author, He took His place under the law, that
He might accomplish an important purpose for those who were under it.
He made Himself subject to it that He might become one of them, and secure
their release! And, praise God,
He established a perfect record in that He kept the law fully.
We know very little of His life while He was under the law.
Only one incident when He was twelve years old is recorded.
When Jesus walked under the law He was circumcised; He sacrificed; He
paid tithes; He observed the Sabbath; He kept the feast days; He attended
synagogue; and in all His dealings He kept every tenet and precept of the law!
Jesus was sent into the bondage of
legalism and required to wear that legalistic
yoke in order that He might shatter
it to pieces with His full and free redemption!
I am absolutely certain that includes all the religious folk today who
are held captive under the legalistic demands of church systems with their
myriad man-made commandments of “do’s” and “don’ts” laid upon people
in order to make them pleasing to God. Matters
not whether it is an Old Testament law about not muzzling the ox that treadeth
out the corn, sowing mixed seed in one’s field, stoning an adulteress, washing
hands before eating, kosher food laws, holy day laws, or more modern day
prohibitions against women wearing make-up and jewelry, dress codes, meats and
drinks, amusements, coverings, or a thousand other laws, old and new, that the
religious Pharisees impose upon the Lord’s people.
The law is very insidious!
I hear preachers, even preachers in this kingdom message, quoting Malachi
3:7-10 and laying the law of tithing upon God’s people.
Oh! How they love to use
verse nine, “Ye are cursed with a curse:
for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.” But that is a lie!
Someone says, “Now, wait just a minute, brother Eby, are you calling
the word of God a lie?” I do not hesitate to tell you that it is a lie to lay that curse
of the law upon God’s redeemed people because the Holy Spirit testifies
that “As many as are of the works of the
law are under the curse: for it is
written, Cursed is everyone that
continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do
them. The law is not of faith: but, the man that doeth them shall live in them.
CHRIST HATH REDEEMED US FROM THE CURSE
OF THE LAW, BEING MADE A CURSE FOR
US: for it is written, Cursed is
everyone that hangeth on a tree” (Gal. 3:10,12-13).
God’s redeemed people are NOT under
any CURSE of the law! The law of tithing was for the nation of Israel under the Old Covenant!
Only certain commodities were
tithed — not money!
Only Levites could receive tithes. It was used for administering their office and to help the
poor, widows, and orphans. There is
no Levitical priesthood today! There
was a first tithe that was required
(Lev. 27:30). Then there was a second
tithe for the feast days (Deut. 14:22). At
the end of every three years there was a third
tithe for the fatherless, widows, etc. But
the requirements of the law, the Old Covenant, have been abolished!
The laws of Moses are now — illegal! Paul and the other apostles NEVER taught the Gentiles to
tithe! I do not live under some divine
curse for not tithing!
The New Covenant is not a covenant of blessing
and cursing as was the Old Covenant.
The New Covenant is only a covenant of blessing! Jesus says,
“Give, and it shall be given
unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over,
shall men give into your bosom. For
with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
The New Covenant is a covenant of blessing
and not cursing! Under the New Covenant great blessing
is promised to those who give liberally!
If I am not being
blessed, if I can’t pay my bills, if I am living in poverty and want, if I am
struggling to make ends meet, if my needs are not being met, it is not because I
am under a curse from the law! It
may be only because I have not availed myself of God’s WONDERFUL PROVISION of
the BLESSING that comes with GIVING!
beloved, there is a difference between
these two concepts — law and grace. Now,
it may not make much difference to me
whether I suffer lack because I’m not getting the blessing, or whether it’s because I’m under a curse. But it does make
a big difference to GOD! God is not
in the cursing business!
He only seeks to bless us! That is the
New Covenant! We cannot charge God
with cursing us! It is wicked to do
so! If we are not being blessed it
is not God’s curse; it is our fault,
It is divinely true — you can’t
outgive God! Where does the
scripture say, “God loveth a
Paul never said that. What
Paul said was, “But this I say, He which soweth
sparingly shall reap also sparingly;
and he which soweth bountifully shall reap
also bountifully. Every man as
he hath purposed in his heart, so let him
give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth
a cheerful giver. And God is able
to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always
having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (II
Cor. 9:6-8). That is the same thing
Jesus said, but in different words! God
has promised to bless us abundantly and meet all our needs bountifully when we
are liberal, cheerful givers!
While we are not under the law
of tithing, we are under the awesome
and unbounded provision of grace — we will be incredibly, munificently,
richly, lavishly, luxuriantly, profusely, plentiously, and super-abundantly blessed
for GIVING! We are exhorted
to give liberally in a number of New Testament scriptures — not to put us
under law, but for our good, for our blessing, to unlock the treasure houses of
God has made a glorious provision for our blessing in all things — yet
we must not give to get, for that motive is selfish and wrong too, but give out of a
heart of love, out of the giving nature
of Christ. I testify to you
that the sons of God are the most giving
people in the world! And they
give not out of constraint, nor as under law, nor yet in response to impassioned
appeals from the ministries, nor merely to receive in return, but they truly
give out of the heart of the Christ within!
That is the very spirit of sonship!
Those who receive from our ministry know that we have never
sent out a letter or notice of any kind stating a need or asking for a dime from
anyone. The expenses are enormous
each and every month, yet no bill has gone unpaid and we have never failed to
have food on our table. I tell you,
only the sons of God truly give by the Spirit!
Many Christians give vast sums to various ministries, but usually it is
in response to a steady drum-beat of appeals, sob stories, promotions, and
gimmicks of all kinds. The sons of
God give without being asked! Aren’t
you glad! Isn’t it wonderful!
You can’t beat God’s way!
My beloved brethren, never
preach tithing out of the book of Malachi.
That is law, and not grace! It
is Old Covenant, not New Covenant! It
is an abomination to lay curses upon
God’s people, to threaten them with God’s judgment if they don’t tithe.
THAT IS THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN! I
try to give far more than a tithe, and I am convinced that most of God’s
called and chosen elect do the same. Teach
the Lord’s people the wonderful opportunity for blessing through giving as
Jesus taught! That, dear ones, is
sonship! Multitudes of preachers
and churches still want to lay the law on you.
They demand tithes under the
law. They enforce either Saturday
or Sunday as the “Sabbath.” They
forbid you to eat pork or other meats that were unclean under the law. When men proclaim law they are preaching from the pulpit of
the synagogue of Satan!
this very clear when he says, “And you, being dead in your sins and the
uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having
forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out
the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us,
and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an
holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath: which are a shadow
of things to come; but the body
(substance, reality) is of Christ” (Col. 2:13-17).
You see, beloved, if we keep one law we are bound to keep the whole law,
for to break one law makes one just as guilty and condemned as the man who
breaks them all. That is why Christ
has redeemed us from the curse of the
law! The law is a curse! I tell you, it
is a CURSE! Paul says that the law
was contrary to us — an ADVERSARY!
It is the doctrine of the synagogue of Satan!
If I am under the law of the sabbath, the law of tithing, the law of not
eating pork, then I am under the whole law.
I should burn a bull on the altar of sacrifice so it will be a pleasing
odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). I
would be able to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7 —
I would only need to determine what would be a fair price for her! If my neighbor works on the sabbath, Exodus 35:2 clearly
states that he should be put to death. We
have lots of stones out here is West Texas, so it would be an easy thing to
stone him! Most of my male friends
get their hair trimmed around their temples, even though this is expressly
forbidden by Leviticus 19:27. We
would need to search the scriptures to see how they should die! I know from Leviticus 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead
pig makes me unclean, so I would have a real problem passing a football to my
grandkids! Everyone who wears a
garment made of different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend) is under the
curse of the law — I would be required to get all my neighbors together and
stone them to death! Does this
sound ridiculous? PAUL SAYS THAT IF
YOU KEEP ONE LAW YOU ARE BOUND TO KEEP THEM ALL!
Christ has “redeemed us from the curse of the law!”
The Greek word for “redeem” is an especially beautiful term.
The concept is of one going into the slave market and purchasing the
slave and then taking him out of the market, setting him free.
Redeemed from the law! Redeemed
to be no longer a slave, serving under rules, regulations, and commandments that
govern the flesh. Redeemed that we
might “receive the adoption of sons!” “As
many as are led by the Spirit of God,
they are the sons of God” (Rom.
We have received placement as sons of God who fulfill the nature of the
Father by the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus!
not drive people with the lash of the law, but He draws them with the cords of
love! I never like to see God’s
children whipped with rods gathered from the thorny sides of Sinai. We have not come to mount Sinai, but to mount Zion!
When a man tries to pummel me to my duty by the demands of the law, I
kick at the goad like a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke; and rightly so, for we
are not under the law, but under grace. The
motive which propels a free-born heir of the
kingdom is born of grace, not from the law; from Jesus, not from Moses.
The law is bondage and
therefore stands in opposition to our
walk in the spirit and by the spirit! Law
keeping is one of the cardinal doctrines of the synagogue of Satan!
All who minister condemnation
are preaching from the pulpit of the synagogue of Satan. I was raised on this doctrine of the synagogue of Satan!
As a child I was told in church that God so hated sin, that God could not
look upon sin, could not excuse sin; so if I fell, if I slipped into sin, if I
made a mistake, if I disobeyed the Lord, if I cussed or lusted or cheated or
told a lie, and didn’t confess my sin to God and get it “under the blood”
before I went to bed, should I die in my sleep before the sun rose I would
certainly burst hell wide open! According to the doctrine
of condemnation living holy keeps you
saved, whereas sin in your life causes you to lose your salvation. Thus,
you are not saved by grace through faith — you are saved by holy
living! Some preach what is called “eternal security,” but the
so-called gospel in the church I was raised in was the doctrine of NO SECURITY.
And that was no “gospel” at all because it certainly was not
If I “got saved” once as a child I suppose I got saved a thousand
times! Because every time I got
mad, said a bad word, slipped off to a movie, told a lie, or failed in any way
to measure up to the church’s standard of “holiness” I was lost again. I had to “get saved” all over!
Oh, they didn’t put it that way, but it was true anyhow, because if God
cannot excuse sin, if sin separates us
from God, if sin sends us to hell, then when you sin you are lost!
I tell you today — there is no hell
anywhere worse than that one!
To live under condemnation is
hell! The doctrine of condemnation is from the pit of hell itself,
it is preached from the pulpit of the synagogue of Satan.
It is preached from the same Bible the Devil quoted from when he quoted
scripture to Jesus in the wilderness — the letter
of the word! The doctrine of
condemnation opposes the truth of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness, it
is an adversary to the fact of our reconciliation, it contradicts the word of
our reconciliation which declares that God does not impute our trespasses unto
us, and denies that we are justified by grace
through faith alone, not of works,
lest any man should boast!
Now, someone may think that this gospel of grace is going to give you the
liberty to sin, for your flesh to go wild.
Let me tell you something. People
say that God cannot excuse sin. Well,
maybe He can’t, but the scripture is clear that God was in Christ reconciling
the world unto Himself, not imputing
their trespasses unto them! God
has forgiven us all our trespasses! But
He has also quickened us and made us alive
in Christ. I will not come to
perfection, maturity, the image of Christ, and sonship by trying to make my
Adamic life live more godly. Adam
can’t do it! But there is a Life,
even Christ, flowing from the very essence of my being that has absolutely
nothing to do with my natural character, the Adamic life.
It is a power greater than all! It
is Christ who must be raised up in me, to be my life, my righteousness, my
reality. Christ isn’t formed in
us in one day, one month, or one year. But
Christ is growing up in all the elect who have received the call to sonship!
Our Father does not condemn us while we are going from victory to
victory, but still fall short of His holiness.
All our sins are covered until we have FULLY OVERCOME!
No license to sin here, just grace,
mercy, love, and great faithfulness UNTIL WE REACH PERFECTION. Aren’t you glad!
To be continued…
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