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Gathering of Slander

Words of Faith Final

Gathering of Slander

Words of Faith 11-17-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

www.faithfellowshipweb.com

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Revelation 2

[9b]  I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

 

         This is one of those moments in Scripture that we do not want to misunderstand.

         The church at Smyrna was undergoing terrible persecution because they refused to comply with Rome's demands to worship the Emperor. Anyone who did this was banned from buying, selling, or trading. It was a crushing blow to Christ-followers in a booming economy. 

          But there was one exemption… the Jewish community. This religious community had a large and long-standing presence Smyrna. We would say they were “grandfathered in” with permission to worship only their God.

          The Christian believers actually had their roots in Judaism and often worshiped as a part of the synagogue. They should have been exempted from the Emperor worship requirements as well. But this seemed to pose a threat to some Jews in the synagogue. Out of fear, these Jews had slandered the Christ-followers. 

           Jesus said that these rejectors may say they are Jews, but they are not. They are not standing true to the roots and teaching of Judaism. He called them a “synagogue of Satan.” This is a phrase that has been twisted to support anti-semitism—hatred of Jewish people. We must reject this.

          The sin here was not being Jewish. It was the sin of slander or "evil speaking." The word is "blasphemia," an especially egregious sin when focused at God. To blaspheme the Holy Spirit is named as the unforgivable sin. To blaspheme the people who have the Holy Spirit is a very serious offense.

          The word synagogue simply means “gathering.”  “Synagogue of Satan” refers only to certain Jews in ancient Smyrna and Philadelphia who, motivated by Satan, slandered the church there. That is all. We could actually call it the "Synagogue of Slander" since that is the enemy's tool.

          Of course, Satan is the source of all persecution. He is the source of all lies. He is the originator of slander.  But this term should never be indiscriminately applied to all Jewish synagogues. To label and hate Jewish people is, in fact, to commit slander and join the true “Synagogue of Satan.” Don’t take that bait.

          We should take notice. Any time you slander another believer—you have accepted the invitation of Satan to join or at least visit his synagogue (gathering) of hate.

 

          Father God, keep my mind and tongue from the sin of slander. Clear my thoughts of anything that does not glorify You. In Jesus’ Name.

 

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.