The Synagogue of Satan

Have her doctrines exerted an influence in your heart? Are you a part of her and not even aware of it? Is the power of the all-seeing eye influencing you?

“She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures, in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated.” The Great Controversy, 581.

In the letter to Smyrna, we read, “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” Revelation 2:9. The term Jew no doubt refers to those claiming to serve God. In the context, however, it is clear that they are in actuality serving Satan. Jesus warned us in very strong language of the danger of falling into the class professing to be His while not accepting Him truly as Lord and Master in their lives. “Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity [lawlessness].” Matthew 7:21–23. The Buddhist does not refer to Christ as Lord; neither does the Hindu, Moslem, Atheist, or Satanist. Jesus must, therefore, be referring to Christians. Clearly, it is possible to be a professing Christian, while unknowingly being a member of the synagogue of Satan.

In order to distinguish clearly between these two groups and to avoid being deceived, let us observe some of the characteristics of the synagogue of Satan.

“Satan had declared to his synagogue that not a single human soul would maintain his loyalty to God’s Commandments. One soul saved would prove this statement to be false. One soul saved would demonstrate the righteousness of God’s government. . . . Christ came to this earth, and by a life of obedience showed that man could obey. He canceled the guilt resting upon the sinner. That the sinner might stand before God clothed with His robe of righteousness. He clothed Himself with the robe of sorrow.” Upward Look, 223. [All emphasis supplied.]

“Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie.” Revelation 3:9.

“Christ speaks of the church over which Satan presides as the synagogue of Satan. Its members are the children of disobedience. They are those who choose to sin, who labor to make void the holy law of God. It is Satan’s work to mingle evil with good, and to remove the distinction between good and evil. Christ would have a church that labors to separate the evil from the good, whose members will not willingly tolerate wrong-doing, but will expel it from the heart and life.” Review and Herald, December 4, 1900.

Before becoming a Christian, at one time I worked as a bartender. I had regular customers who would come into the bar wanting their usual drink, “Which had a lot of good in it.” The “screwdriver” consisted mostly of orange juice, a lot of good, and a shot of vodka, poison. It was my work to mingle evil with good in such a way that it was acceptable.

Other customers would come in asking for “Stoly on the rocks,” or “straight up,” which meant pure vodka, poison, either on ice or without ice. Quite often the one who left the bar most intoxicated was the customer who had the poison mingled with a lot of good.

Friends, Satan is a master bartender, mingling evil with good in just the right proportions to make it acceptable. If the best we can say about a certain television program, certain Christian music, certain favorite foods, or certain books, magazines, and articles is that they have a lot of good in them, then we should beware lest we be drinking from the hand of Satan whose work it is to mingle evil with good and to remove the distinction between good and evil, to build up our tolerance for evil to the point where he can eventually serve it straight up.

“There is no natural enmity between fallen men and fallen angels; both are partakers of the same spirit through indulgence in evil. It is according to the law of the synagogue of Satan that in the controversy of the evil against the good, fallen men and fallen angels shall unite in a desperate companionship. From the beginning Satan has worked continually to dethrone the Creator, and whatever may be the divisions among evil men and evil angels, there is no division in their opposition to God. Satan is determined to utterly deprave human nature through making of none effect the commandments of God. He originates traditions, and through his maxims he succeeds in assimilating to his own nature the nature of those who do not yield allegiance to the Law of God.” Signs of the Times, June 11, 1894.

“Those in the synagogue of Satan will profess to be converted and, unless God’s servants have keen eyesight, they will not discern the working of the power of darkness.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 281.

“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness.” II Corinthians 11:14, 15.

“Satan has a large confederacy, his church. Christ calls them the synagogue of Satan because the members are the children of sin. The members of Satan’s church have been constantly working to cast off the divine law, and confuse the distinction between good and evil. Satan is working with great power in and through the children of disobedience to exalt treason and apostasy as truth and loyalty. And at this time the power of his satanic inspiration is moving the living agencies to carry out the great rebellion against God that commenced in heaven.” Testimonies to Ministers, 16.

“Those who are deceivers are those who have turned away their ears from hearing the truth, and who have opened the door of their heart for the entrance of the sophistries of Satan. At first those who are finally deceived do not believe what they assume themselves; but as they misinterpret the Scriptures, as they claim to have received new light, as they enter into by-paths, as they repeat their own falsehoods, they come to look upon their theories as matters of importance. They deceive others, presenting the arguments that were prepared by the synagogue of Satan. Every repetition of their errors confirms them in their false theories. They are inspired by the satanic agencies to present falsehoods before others, and finally come to believe a lie, deceiving and being deceived.” Signs of the Times, December 5, 1895.

“Never was Satan so fiercely stirred as now. As never before he will inspire everyone who has apostatized from obedience to God’s Law. He will work to create rebellion at the very time when the proclamation of the Third Angel’s Message—the Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus—is going to the world. He will inspire members of his synagogue to make most desperate efforts to clothe in defiled garments all who take an active part in this message.” The Adventist Apocalypse, 62.

Let us summarize the characteristics that identify the members of the synagogue of Satan:

1. They do not keep God’s Commandments

  • They lie (hypocrites)
  • They are children of disobedience (sin)
  • They love and choose to sin’
  • They make void the Law of God
  • They mingle evil with good
  • They confuse the distinction between good and evil
  • They unite in opposition to God
  • They originate traditions
  • They profess to be converted
  • They assume the role of ministers of righteousness
  • They work to cast off the divine Law
  • They exalt treason and apostasy as truth and loyalty
  • They misinterpret the Scriptures
  • They claim to have received “new light”
  • They enter into by-paths
  • They repeat their own falsehoods
  • They look upon their theories as matters of importance
  • They deceive others
  • They clothe in defiled garments all who take an active part in the Third Angel’s Message of Revelation 14:12.

How can we be sure we are not of the synagogue of Satan, but are truly Israelites—the children of promise?

“God would have His children bear testimony to the fact that God cannot be satisfied until the fallen race is redeemed, reclaimed, and reinstated to their holy privileges, having free access to the tree of life. He would have them bear testimony to the fact that through the grace of Christ, they may represent Christlikeness of character, and find greatest joy in the assurance of His great love wherewith He has loved us. Once separated from God by the lying devices of Satan, they are reunited to Him by learning the lesson of redeeming love, as manifested in the great sacrifice of Christ in giving His precious life for mankind. The human united to the divine by a tie so strong that unfallen worlds, angels, and men are amazed, for those who believe in the love of God to them are secure in the refuge of His love, and not all the arts of Satan can induce them to continue in transgression of the Law of God.” Signs of the Times, April 11, 1895.

“Christ assumed human nature to demonstrate to the fallen world, to Satan and his synagogue, to the universe of heaven, and to the worlds unfallen, that human nature, united to His divine nature, could become entirely obedient to the Law of God, that His followers, by their love and unity, would give evidence that the power of redemption is sufficient to enable man to overcome.” Ibid., November 5, 1896.

“All need to inquire, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ God requires humble, contrite hearts, that tremble at His Word. It is only from the divine altar that we can receive the celestial torch, which, when received, will give us a full view of our incompetence, and reveal to us the dignity and glory of Christ. When this is seen, God places us under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and it will lead us into all truth.” Ibid., July 20, 1896.

Yes, “Satan has a church upon the earth which outnumbers the church of Christ. Christ calls it the synagogue of Satan, because its members are the children of sin and transgression. They have ceased to honor God [meaning they once were of Christ’s true church]; they have cast His divine law aside: they have confounded the distinction between good and evil. But, the world’s Redeemer will have a church in which these essential differences will be made apparent, where the character of God will be represented. In marked contrast to the character of Satan, the beauty of holiness will be exemplified, the loveliness of truth shine forth in life and practice. Its members will honor, love, and glorify God Whom the world has despised. These are the fruits by which they are known to the world; these will have the superscription of heaven by which all men may know that they are Christ’s disciples.” General Conference Bulletin, April 1, 1897.

“Remember that the nearer we approach Christ’s coming, the more earnestly and firmly we are to work, for the whole synagogue of Satan is opposed to us.” The Adventist Apocalypse, 214.

May the Lord bless you and impress upon your heart the desire to make Him truly Lord and Master in your life, allowing Him and His Word to be your only rule of practice. [All emphasis supplied.]