Satan is not only a murderer, but he is also a liar from the beginning. One of the manifestations of the lying intent of Satan is the proliferation of false teachers that shut off the true gospel and put a stumbling block on believers. The Bible repeatedly warns believers about false teachers -religious deception. Wherever you have the truth, you can expect to have the presence of an intruder. The strategy of Satan is always the same. As soon as the Lord does a work, Satan comes in and tries to undo it, and usually by false teachers and false doctrine. The church has to deal with the false prophets and false teachers who poison the souls standing behind pulpits, in every age.
Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose.”
– Nehemiah 8:4
There is a specific divine purpose of using the pulpit: to read and teach God’s word clearly and truthfully. That is God’s original “purpose” for the “pulpit”. Nehemiah 8 contains the only mention of a “pulpit” in God’s Word. Examining the context where this word appears is crucial to understanding the divine intention for its use. The divinely ordained “purpose” for the “pulpit” is given in this very text: “So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.” (Nehemiah 8:8).
Notice that the elders of God’s people stood up and read God’s divinely inspired Word to the people “distinctly”. The original Hebrew word parash means to separate, to distinguish. It means to handle the Word correctly, divide the word of truth correctly (2 Tim 2:15). The purpose for which it was established has not changed. The divinely ordained instructions for worship and ministry has not changed. The problem today is not the pulpit, but rather what the preachers are communicating as they stand behind it. The pulpit is merely a medium for communicating and teaching. We don’t see any record of early disciples of Jesus putting up buildings and using wooden pulpits. They simply went forth preaching God’s word (Acts 8:4). So, what is important is not the physical pulpit but the content of the message coming behind that pulpit.
God surely has ordained the preaching of His Word, but what most people hear from the pulpit today is not the truth. There are wolves standing behind the pulpit misrepresenting the scripture dragging tens of thousands people to the pit of eternal hell. How could they do that? Because they do not have the fear of God. On the other hand, how could so many people who call themselves Christians sit in front of those deceptive wolves and listen to foolish, shallow, empty, non-convincing talks and tales? The clear observation is biblical illiteracy. As Hosea says, they are destroyed from lack of knowledge of the Word, they have ignored the law of God (Hosea 4:6). In God’s eyes, the audience is equally as guilty as the wolves (Hosea 4:9; 2 John 7-11).
Satan’s fire in the sanctuary
Your foes roared in the place where you met with us; they set up their standards as signs. They set Your sanctuary on fire; they utterly desecrated the dwelling place of Your name. – Ps.74:4,7
Scripture gives the strategic insight into the enemy’s target and objective. His target is the very sanctuary, the meeting place of the believers, and the objective is to infiltrate, and attack the truth and the name of the Lord. Satan’s desire is to control the pulpit, and what is spoken from it. The enemy’s goal is to replace the life-giving Word of God with “another gospel,” which is no gospel at all. The pulpit becomes the center where Satan communicates religious myths, lies, and demonic doctrines. If he can contaminate the pulpit (the one delivering the message), he can poison the whole congregation. They have set up their banners for signs and miracles. These false teachers have entered in among His people and stolen the glory from Jesus Christ by bringing undue attention to themselves. It is the spirit of antichrist that elevates itself in place of Jesus Christ.
Did Satan not own the pulpits of Israel? (Read Isaiah 56:9-12, Jeremiah 23 and Ezekiel 34) Does Satan not own the majority of pulpits and media in the church today? Has Satan not entered in to church and stolen the glory from Christ, “The Head of the body”? Has he not taken the title “Holy Father”, the name only belong to God? Has he not set himself above Jesus Christ and the Bible by assuming the right to nullify the Scripture through decrees? Has he not introduced demi-gods and idols, and mislead people away from the pure worship of Jesus Christ? Has he not brought back the sacramentalism, empty rituals and false emphasis which God has abolished, and went on declaring anathemas on essential truths? Is he not teaching masses to relentlessly crave for health, wealth and prosperity rather than the forgiveness from God?
I have this against you: You allow that woman Jezebel, the one who calls herself a prophetess, to deceive my servants and to teach…. – Rev 2:20
Satan has infiltrated the church to the point where he has also violated God’s order for the church leadership. There are ever-increasing number of women who call themselves by titles which God has reserved only for men. We see salutations like, “Pastor Joyce”, “Pastor Esther”, “Apostle Jane”, or “Bishop Susan” in many churches, especially in the charismatic group, and some are self-appointed. They have influence in the church that they ought not to have. Excuse me Madam, you cannot possibly be a pastor because this office is given only to those who are “the husband of one wife” (1 Tim 3:2). Since when can a female be a “husband”?
The wicked seek to pervert the truth of Holy Scripture as they act in defiance against the LORD they claim to serve. Scripture is clear that woman is unfitting to be in headship among the people of God. Headship in the home and body of Christ is a non-negotiable, divinely ordained role for men alone, and it is an indisputable truth. “Let God be true, and every man be a liar (Rom 3:4). It is possible that these women can teach, however they do so in open resistance to the Word of God. The Bible still says that they are not to take authority over men and teach men (1 Timothy 2:12). Satan has brought a Jezebel spirit to the church which God hates and judges severely. Everyone who supports and allows this woman Jezebel, is guilty of crime, and Christ says, “I will strike her children dead” (Rev 2:23). So, if you love your life, you don’t want to be in that church. Withdraw yourself! Jesus Christ promised that the consequence of this is going to be death to you and your family.
Today, many churches put great effort to get people to come to their churches. Their philosophies, methods, and processes cannot be reconciled to the guidelines in the scripture. There is no strategy for media campaigns, or a scheme to capture a mass crowd found in the Scripture. Their church growth plans, and marketing schemes are designed to attract un-regenerated people and keep them coming. They search and hire “professionals” to be their lead marketers. Yet, the biblical criteria for leadership do not include higher education, seminary degree, eloquence, or management and business skills (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-16). Whoever leads in the pulpit will determine what that church becomes. As in Hosea 4, “Like people, like priest”. In other words, people are like those who lead them.
Wolves entertain goats. True disciples feed sheep. Most people who name the name of Jesus as their Savior do not even know there are foundational doctrines in Christianity. They have never even heard about it. “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Tim 4:16). If the pure word of God is not coming from a pulpit, a Christian must have a discernment not to continue in hearing those illusive talks. They should flee for their lives at once and get rooted and grounded in God’s Word.
We should be like the believers in Berea who received the word with readiness and searched the scriptures to check the accuracy of what they heard. Sadly, many who claim to know Jesus have handed over the care of their souls to mere men who speak from the pulpit. There is no inherent evil in a pulpit or any medium of communication -audio messages, radio, TV, cyber-space, books, websites, etc., – yet, we must be careful to obey the LORD by testing all spirits and teachings (1 John 4:1), and never believe anything based on the person, venue, or trimming by which that message is communicated.
Millions today are trapped within systems of religion that only God can break them out of. Many are so stubborn in their thinking and do not want to receive the truth, and willfully reject the salvation in Christ. Hence, God has turned them over to a “strong delusion” that they should believe the lie and perish (2 Thess. 2:10-12). There is safety only in Christ who is the truth revealed in the written Word of God, the Bible; the final authority!