Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. Would you explain the meaning of the “synagogue of Satan” mentioned in Revelation 2:9 and 3:9?
A. The word synagogue comes from a Greek word meaning “assembly” or “church.” The “synagogue of Satan,” then, is an assembly or church made up of individuals who claim to be Jews but are not.

The term Jew is used here in a spiritual sense. Notice: “He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter: whose praise is not from men but from God” (Rom. 2:29). In this case, it is not one’s physical race that counts, but his spiritual condition (Gal. 3:27-29). True Christians are spiritual Jews, Why? Because Jesus said, “Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22).

Those in the “synagogue of Satan” say they are spiritual Jews pretend to be real Christians but are not. This false church was already developing in the days of the apostle John. It masqueraded as God’s true Church. It had congregations in the cities of Smyrna and Philadelphia in Asia Minor even at that early time. It and its daughter churches (the Protestant Churches) are further described in Revelation 17.
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