Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. ó Nehemiah 8:8

October 1, 2005

Volume 4 Number 19

Doctrines from the Throne of Satan

The Word of God is described as follows:

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. -Hebrews 4

Even "sharper than any twoedged sword," Godís word cuts so deeply through the soul and spirit that it even discerns the "thoughts and intents of the heart." While we may say one thing with our mouth or even think another thing with our mind, the Word of God separates and detects things that we may not even realize we have in our hearts.

As a consequence, the Word of God has the ability to detect and reveal subtle deception. Yahshua (Jesus), who is described as the Word of God (see John 1), also identifies Himself in the Book of Revelation as He which has the "sharp sword with two edges:"

12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; -Revelation 2

Even though the church (assembly) of Pergamos still held onto His name and had not denied His faith, Yahshua knew that the throne* of Satan was among them:

13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satanís seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. -Revelation 2

Allowing Satan to live in their midst, they had among them those who held two of his subtle doctrines of deception. He called one of them the doctrine of Balaam:

14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. -Revelation 2

Balaam was hired by the king of Moab, Balak, to curse Israel (see Numbers 22:8). Seeming to be a true prophet who would only utter that which Yahweh gave him to say, Balaam refused three times to curse Israel:

10 And Balakís anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times. -Numbers 24

While not directly cursing Israel, he finally cursed Eber:

24 And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever. -Numbers 24

Eber was the father of Peleg, who was the father of Reu, who was the father of Serug, who was the father of Nahor, who was the father of Terah, who was the father of Abram (see Genesis 11). Abram (later named Abraham) was the father of Isaac, who was the father of Jacob:

15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. -Exodus 3

Jacob was named Israel by Yahweh:

28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. -Genesis 32

Therefore, by cursing Eber, Balaam effectively cursed Israel... apparently to the satisfaction of Balak:

25 And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place: and Balak also went his way. -Numbers 24

Following Balaamís subtle curse, Israel fell from obedience to the word of Yahweh and took up false worship practices that appealed to their own fleshly desires:

1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.

2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.

3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. -Numbers 25

Balaamís doctrine was introduced into Israel through one of Satanís greatest tools, which is his subtleness. As with Balaam, Satan can use people who both claim and even appear to be true to introduce his doctrines into the undiscerning hearts of the people of God.

Another great doctrine of Satan, which Yahshua hates, was also held by some of the assembly of Pergamos:

15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. -Revelation 2

The word "Nicolaitan" is based upon the Greek word Nikolaov (Nikolaos), which is a combination of two words. The first is nikov (nikos), which means conqueror or victor. The second is laov (laos), which means the people, or the laity. (The modern use of the name is Nicholas.) Therefore, the doctrine of the Nicolaitans is one that places the laity (the people) under the domination or control of the leaders.

The pattern of the leaders dominating the people was the opposite of what Yahshua (Jesus) taught:

25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; -Matthew 20

Instead of the people serving the leaders, Yahshua said that the leaders, by His example, should serve the people:

27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. -Matthew 20

The word "minister" means "to serve." Therefore, instead of lifting Himself up over the people, Yahshua said that He came to minister to them. His ultimate demonstration of His servanthood was to offer His life as the ransom (or payment) for ours.

He came to fulfill the prophecy that Yahweh had given to Isaiah by offering Himself as the sacrifice for our sins:

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. -Isaiah 53

Those who serve as the leaders of Yahwehís people are to be their servants, as shepherds would serve the sheep for which they have responsibility. Yahshua clearly instructed Peter to show his love for the Messiah by feeding His lambs and sheep (see John 21:15-17). Peter then clarified the role of the elders, who were the leaders among the assembly of Godís people:

2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

3 Neither as being lords over Godís heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. -1 Peter 5

Peter said leaders of Godís people are to lead by example and not as "lords" over them. Most importantly, they are to "feed the flock of God." The food that shepherds are to feed the "flock of God" is more than physical food, such as bread. The bread by which the people of Yahweh live is His word:

3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. -Deuteronomy 8

It is the Word of God that gives us authority over Satan. Yahshua demonstrated His authority over the devil as He quoted this Scripture to him (see Luke 4:4).

Yahweh condemned the shepherds which, like the Nicolaitans, dominate the flock instead of feeding them:

3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.

4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. -Ezekiel 34

The doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitans were subtly introduced by Satan among the people of God. That of Balaam appeals to the flesh of the people, whereas that of the Nicolaitans gives power and control to the rulers. Working in combination, they can be used to promote large flocks of starving sheep that serve fattened shepherds.

Yahshua cautions those who hold such doctrines:

16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. -Revelation 2

* The Greek word yronov (thronos), which is translated as "seat" means seat of power, which is a throne.

 

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