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Seven Satanic Attacks Against The Church, By Teryl Hebert

Posted: June 26, 2013

Seven Satanic Attacks Against The Church

The Book of Revelation is a fascinating document to me, especially the first three chapters. Chapter one begins by “revealing” Jesus Christ as He is now. As Jesus reveals Himself to the Apostle John, He told John to write seven letters to the seven churches of Asia, this is the part that fascinates me. I have studied long and hard to understand this thing called the “Church.” Jesus only said the word church three times while He was here in His earthly ministry.

First Mention of the word “Church”

In Matthew 16:17-19, 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Peter understood that Jesus was the Christ by a revelation from God. In response, Jesus told Peter that He would build His church would be built on those who have the revelation that Jesus is the Christ, The Son of the Living God. He goes on to say that the powers of hell would not prevail against His church. Then He gave to us the “keys of the kingdom” which is the ability to remit and to retain sins.

Second Mention of the word “Church”

In Matthew 18:15-20, 15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. 18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

The entirety of Matthew 18 is dealing with the subject of how we should resolve offences, especially the passages that we are examining now. Jesus tells us to go to the one who offends us with the idea of reconciling the relationship by removing the offence through communication. If the person refuses to hear the offence, then He instructs us to bring one or two witnesses with us. And if that person still refuses we should tell it to the church and the church should from that point treat the person who is unwilling to resolve an offence as an unsaved person. In other words, there is absolutely no reason not to resolve offences in the church!

Once again Jesus teaches us that the power of binding and loosing is the churches most powerful weapon! Then He gives us two insights as to why this is so important, first, where two agree on anything their prayers will be answered by God! Those who harbor offences make this greatest of all promises void because they are actually giving room to the powers or gates of hell! This destroys unity and agreement in the churches and causes our prayers to go unanswered.

The second insight actually defines the church itself, 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Where two or three gather together in the name of Jesus He guarantees His presence and His power. This smallest expression of the church is granted the greatest expression of power! There is no room for offence here because it makes void that great promise.

That is why the churches of our day are so powerless, so many are occupying seats in church with hearts filled with offences and the power of hell. It is imperative that the church be a self cleansing entity to remove all of its offences and maintain the presence and power of Christ. That is also why the devil has exacted all of his energies in putting wedges of division in the hearts of every believer in Christ. This brings us back to the Book of Revelation.

Jesus may have only used the word “church” three times on earth but it was and is a powerful revelation. But in the Book of Revelation He has plenty to say about the church.

The Seven Churches of Asia

I would encourage you to stop reading this article and read the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation right now, it will give you a contextual feel for what I’m about to explain.

I believe that the seven letters to the seven churches were written not only to seven literal churches in Asia but also to seven church ages that makes  these letters pertinent to us throughout the history of the church. I have written on this in my book The Doctrines of Christ and will not enlarge on it here. My intent is to focus on the seven satanic attacks on the church throughout history. Let me point them out.

The Seven Satanic Attacks

I will first list the seven attacks pointed out by Jesus then I will give the details concerning them. The seven attacks are 1) The Deeds/Doctrine of the Nicolaitans; 2) The Doctrine of Balaam; 3) The “Prophetess” Jezebel; 4) The Synagogue of Satan; 5) Satan’s Seat; 6) Satan’s Dwelling; 7) The Depth’s of Satan.

The Deeds/Doctrine of the Nicolaitans

When writing to the church of Ephesus, Jesus pointed out the faults of that church and the strengths of that church. One thing that the church of Ephesus had going for them is found in Revelation 2:6, But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Jesus commended the Ephesians for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans because He hated their deeds also. I know this is strong languages and foreign to many that Jesus hates some people’s deeds but He does. So who are the Nicolaitans and what are their deeds?

The Nicolaitans seemed to be followers of a man named Nicolas. His very name means, ruler OVER the people. Some early church leaders indicate that this may have been the deacon Nicolas from Acts 6, but I might say that there is some controversy surrounding that. The deeds of the Nicolaitans however are what we would call in modern language Antinomianism. Antinomian means, without law or lawless. The antinomian heresy would put such heavy emphasis on grace that it does away with the moral law. Nicolas, preached grace in such a way that it gave the people a license to sin. That antinomian heresy is alive and well today in those who place such heavy weight on grace that it makes void any human responsibility to live holy or do good works. It is a frustrating discussion to hear them bend every verse of Scripture to make their damnable heresy sound Biblical. Jesus said He hates the deeds of the Nicolaitans and I know that I have that in common with Him too. I hate this diabolical doctrine that is sending many into the open arms of the lawless one otherwise known as the antichrist.

The Doctrine of Balaam

Jesus warned those in the church of Pergamos, against not only the doctrine of the Nicolaitans but the Doctrine of Balaam. In Revelation 2:14-15, 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

The Doctrine of Balaam is not as vague as the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans, because Jesus tells what it is right here. The Doctrine of Balaam’s “stumbling block” or offence is twofold. First, eating things sacrificed to idols and second, committing sexual immorality.

Eating things sacrificed to idols seems foreign to us but it’s really not. Idolatry is alive and well even in industrialized nations. The greatest idol today is the idol of self, this narcissistic generation is all about self indulgence and pleasure. Another word for this idol is humanism. Christians live for the glory of God, humanists live for the happiness of self, there is a wide expanse between the two but the Doctrine of Balaam blends them together.

The Doctrine of Balaam teaches Christians to go take part of the world’s parties so that we can win them to Jesus. This has always backfired and always will. What ends up is that the Christian compromises their convictions to be accepted at the idolater’s table and in this unholy communion the Christian backslides. When we feast together with the world they get to us not us to them. I know what you’re thinking, Jesus ate with sinners, and that’s true, and so do I. But there is a large difference between eating with a sinful person or persons while you share the message of Christ with them and pleasuring yourself with no mention of Jesus so you don’t offend them. So what ends up happening is that you offend Christ. I can eat with a person and not fellowship with them and I do this often. My fellowship is with those who have repented of their sins and obey the gospel of Christ. Not with those antinomians who are plowing full ahead in their sins while claiming to be Christian.

The second part of Balaam’s Doctrine is that once you have learned to be cozy with idolaters then you will get into sexual sin with them, it’s a natural progression. Obviously, Balaam knew this and shared it with Balac, and God’s people ended up in idolatry and fornication. This is still happening today. As a matter of fact, churches are filled with unrepentant humanists who are in living in fornication. Sexual sin is rampant in the churches today from pornography to homosexuality and the church holds Balaam’s Doctrine and co-mingles with the world while losing Christ.

Not only did the church at Pergamos hold the doctrine of Balaam the also held the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which Jesus hates (He kept repeating it and so will I). When Balaam and Nicolas unite they are sure to defile any church. You will notice that the false doctrines came in tiers and one built upon the other. They all seem to culminate however in one last false teacher named Jezebel.

The “Prophetess” Jezebel

Jesus warned the church of Thyatira that He had a few things against them. In Revelation 2:20-23, 20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

The woman Jezebel the “prophetess” uses spiritual gifts to achieve the same ends that Balaam accomplished. Instead of dry old doctrine and knowledge she brings in a seductive spiritual flare bringing in a not so new twist to the same old sins.

Old Testament Jezebel did something that can give us a little insight to the New Testament Jezebel’s motus operandi.

In I Kings 18: 4 , For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water.)

Then again in I Kings 19: , “And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.

Jezebel will do all that is within her power to murder or marginalize true prophets so that her demonic seduction will not have a holy counterpart to reveal her work. In the 1990’s there was much teaching in the Charismatic Churches concerning New Testament prophets. They were telling us how the New Testament prophets were very different from the Old Testament prophets. These new prophets were ALWAYS encouraging and edifying. Unlike those mean old prophets who would talk about wrath and judgment. So the Charismatic’s lined up to have their fortunes told by Jezebel, who always told them they were going to get rich and have anything they wanted and not to feel bad because of sins because God loves you any way. And the end result was an unholy church full of fornicators and compromising people. And, any prophet who dared to come against the sweet seductions of Jezebel, Balaam, and Nicolas were then marginalized through character assassination because they were just negative old dinosaurs who were mean spirited and didn’t understand the New Testament.

Manifesting Satan

The first three satanic assaults on the church were manifested in three literal false teachers Nicolas, Balaam, and Jezebel. The last four satanic assaults against the church throughout history really manifest the satanic spirit behind these demonized teachers.

Satan’s Synagogue

In the letters to the church of Smyrna and the church of Philadelphia we learn of an entity called Satan’s Synagogue. Before we read the passages that they are mentioned in I want to point out that these two churches were the only ones of seven who were not told by Jesus to repent. Even though they had a large satanic presence they stayed riveted to the work that our Lord had for them. We will talk more about that later.

In Revelation 2:8-11, ““And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’

The church of Smyrna was suffering intense persecution from the Jews. For the first three centuries the Jews were either trying to get Christians to be circumcised or else they were turning them over to the Roman authorities to be scourged, imprisoned, or put to death.

The synagogue was originally a Jewish thing, it was a local assembly of Jews who gathered together for Scripture readings, sermons, and prayers. That synagogue model would eventually be adopted by the post Constantine churches who blended the Old and New Testaments together, (I wrote about this extensively in my book Biblical Church). But in the early days of the church these synagogues would prove to be the synagogue of Satan. Christians such as the Apostle Paul, in keeping with Christ’s command to go first to Jerusalem, then Judea, then Samaria, then to the entire world, would enter a town and go straight to the synagogue to preach the gospel. The leaders would reject and persecute him but a few would always accept him. He would start a church with those that refused him and would get persecuted by the Jews. That persecution proved to be so intense that only Satan himself could dream up the horrific tortures applied to those who believed that Jesus was the Christ of God.

As I said in the beginning the synagogue was Jewish but eventually it took on the name of Christianity after Constantine but it would prove to be even more Satanic than its Jewish predecessor. Read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and you will see some of the satanic cruelties put upon those who would dare to stand against the Constantine/Augustine churches.

In Revelation 3:7-13 we read of the church of Philadelphia who also had the Synagogue of Satan present with the true church. “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:  “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it;  for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. 13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

As I said before, the church of Philadelphia and the church of Smyrna were the only two of the seven who were not commanded to repent. Even though they both were plagued with the synagogue of Satan they were able to keep their hands on the plow for the Kingdom of God and avoid this pseudo satanic church that has always been present throughout the true church’s history.

The church of Smyrna was being bitterly persecuted with the sword but the church of Philadelphia was pushing forward with a missionary thrust that would evangelize the whole world. All the while having to deal with a demonic assembly of false worshippers whose worldly lifestyles made them popular and accepted by the world. While the holy lifestyles of the true church made them the subject of ridicule and rejection. Those who are persecuted yet keep the thrust of mission in their hearts seem to be the only churches that get the full approval of Christ Himself!!!

Satan’s Seat and Dwelling

The fifth and sixth satanic assault against the church was first revealed to the church of Pergamos. In Revelation 2:13, 13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.

Earlier in this teaching we learned that the church of Pergamos was already plagued with the false doctrines of Balaam and Nicolaitans. And now we will see that Satan had a seat and a dwelling there.

Satan’s seat is a reference to a throne of power. I believe that you will be shocked to learn what it was, is, and will be in the next few paragraphs.

I must include a rather lengthy reading of Scripture here to establish this next point. In II Thessalonians 2:1-13, “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,”

The Apostle Paul was addressing the Thessalonians about Jesus returning to resurrect His church. He told them that the resurrection would be preceded by a great falling away. The Greek word that describes this falling away is where we get the word apostasy from. The word apostasy in this case means a wide scale departure or defecting from the truth. It doesn’t necessarily mean that people will leave the church on a large scale, it just means that the churches will cease to embrace the truths of Scripture. This apostasy is in full swing while I’m writing this paper.

Proof of the falling away will be the revealing of the man of sin or sinning man. Men have always sinned but I believe the thing that makes this significant is that those defectors from the truth will remain in churches while sinning without restraint. These defiant, unrepentant, sinners are sitting comfortably in churches while the church leaders assure them through the doctrines of Nicolaitans, Balaam, and Jezebel that they are alright with God.

Another proof of the falling away is that the man of sin will sit in the temple of God exalting himself above God, making himself God. This is the humanism that I was describing before, where the creature is exalting himself above the Creator.

Let me ask you a question, where is the New Testament temple of God? It’s certainly not our church buildings, the temple of God is in the heart of every Christian. So we can conclude that Satan’s Seat is the hearts of demonized people who have bought into the lies of Nicolas, Balaam, and Jezebel and have given Satan the seat of their hearts all the while believing that they are right with God. And furthermore, when you get enough people who are in this fallen condition you have a larger assembly that we could go on to call Satan’s Dwelling. Satan is living in the backslidden churches of our day and unless they repent they will perish.

The Depths of Satan

The final satanic assault is found in the letter to the church of Thyatira, who if you will recall was plagued with the prophetess Jezebel. In Revelation 2:24, 24 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden.”

The Depths of Satan is a nautical term that especially applies to the sea. References to the sea and to many waters can be figurative language for multitudes of people. I consider this to be a reference to how deep this transgression has gone and how many people are caught in this error. While I am writing the news just reported that the Supreme Court of the United States just made homosexual marriage legal. Yet another layer of moral lawlessness is added to our land and the church is asleep in the tolerance of Nicolas, Balaam, and Jezebel.

Two Olive Trees and Lampstands

In Revelation 1:20,  20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

Jesus said that the stars were the messengers and the lampstands or candlesticks were the churches.

In Revelation 11:3-8, And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.”

In the last days there will be two witnesses (messengers) and two churches (lampstands) that will walk in resurrection power showing signs and wonders and they will even rise from the dead after being martyred. I believe these like Smyrna and Philadelphia are churches that will be severely persecuted but they will powerfully lead many to Christ. Unlike Jezebel, they will be truly prophetic, I believe that these two witnesses are the apostolic and the prophetic gifts that will build true churches while being persecuted by the false churches.

It’s time now to return to the true apostolic and prophetic churches that promote holiness, selflessness, and servanthood while evangelizing the world for Jesus. It’s time for God’s people to come out of the fallen churches of Babylon and come to the true church of Jesus Christ.

I will leave you with this. In 1963 prayer was taken out of America’s schools, here we are 50 years later in 2013 we just approved of homosexual marriage. The humanists are gloating over their progressive tolerance while the true church is weeping over the fall from grace. Every 50 years God gave Israel a Jubilee, a revival of sorts to return from debts and restore freedom. We need a revival today, not of patriotism or religion. But a revival of repentance, that leads to faith, that leads to righteousness and holiness that leads to a great harvest of souls. Let it begin in me, let it begin in you dear reader, but let it begin!!! Even so, come Lord Jesus!

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