Christianity and Iconoclasm

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The parishioners of St. Jacob’s Catholic church, Enugu, were shocked beyond words in January 2019 when a woman went to their Marian grotto on a Sunday morning, doused their statue with fuel and set it ablaze.

Conversely, in several parts of Southern Nigeria, it’s not uncommon for mobs of zealous Christians to seek out pagan shrines, burn them to the ground and destroy their idols.

The same trend is reported in other countries where Christians vandalize Buddhist or Hindu temples, decapitating their images and spray-painting words like “Jesus is the only true God” on their walls.

Many of these Christians fondly see themselves as warriors defending the faith, and would identify themselves as iconoclasts.

The term iconoclasm comes from the word icon (from the Greek eikon, “to resemble”), signifying a religious picture or image, and klan (Gk., meaning “to break”). Hence, an iconoclast was one who advocated the destruction of images.

From history, the use and adoration of images in the church began toward the end of the third century. This was a common practice in the Eastern branch of the church due to the influence of heathen worship (E. H. Klotsche, The History of Christian Doctrine, Grand Rapids, 1979, p. 118).

This trend spread to the West and continued until 726 A.D. when Emperor Leo III issued an edict forbidding the use of images in the church and commanding them to be destroyed. This resulted in the Byzantine iconoclastic movement provoking riots, persecution and destruction of entire monasteries.

Even though some Catholics were also opposed to image worship, the practice began to gain impetus at the Second Council of Nicea of 784.

During the 16th century Reformation, Calvinists led waves of iconoclasm which swept through many Protestant cities and territories in Europe:

“The destruction was radical, but orderly. It was effected by the co-operation of the preachers and the civil magistracy, with the consent of the people. It began at Pentecost, and was completed June 1524 … the churches of the city were purged of pictures, relics, crucifixes, altars, candles, and all ornaments … The Swiss iconoclasm passed into the Reformed Churches of France, Holland, Scotland, and North America” (Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, VIII ch. 3, S. 19).

This, of course provoked riots from the people, including Lutherans, who favoured such religious arts in their churches and homes.

Other instances of iconoclasm also occurred in several parts of Africa and Polynesia during the colonial era, between the 19th-20th century. Though, the extent of aggression or cooperation involved in these movements is quite debatable.

Those in the West where religions enjoy legal protection, would find it puzzling that someone would have such fanatical zeal to destroy the objects of worship of marginal religions.

But for many of us raised in cultures that were steeped in paganism, the constant tension between indigenous religions and a more civilized religion/faith is an extant reality.

On the one hand, the Christian seeks to eschew idolatry and on the other, in his fervour to please God, he feels the need to obliterate what is detestable in His sight.

How one can balance both levers without falling into the ditch on either side needs to be vigorously discussed in the church, otherwise, we can negate our message with certain actions and stir up bitter hostility where there ought to be none.

Here’s the lingering question: is it biblically and logically right for a Christian today to carry out mass destruction of physical images and structures of other religions?

1. The motive behind every iconoclasm should be weighed. To be sure, iconoclasm has also been (even more) executed by non-Christian religions.

(a) In ancient Egypt, Akhenaten instituted a state monolatristic tradition focused on the god Aten, the solar disk. So he sent his officials to destroy temples and monuments and chisel out every reference to Amun and the names of other deities besides Aten on tombs, temples and cartouches.

(b) When Muhammad and his armies captured Mecca, they destroyed the physical images of all the deities in the Kaaba, though retaining some of their rituals.

Later in the 8th century, the Edict of Yazid ordered the destruction of crosses and Christian images within the caliphate. Islamic conquests also executed iconoclastic agenda against Hinduism, Buddhism, Egyptian religions and the Shi’ite sect. Up till today, historic sites and minority religious structures are being destroyed in Islamic climes.

(c) During the French Revolution, numerous monuments, religious works and other historically significant pieces were destroyed in an attempt to wipe out the memories of the Old Regime.

(d) During the Chinese Tang dynasty and Xinhai Revolution, there was widespread destruction of Buddhist temples, images as well as historical artwork – whether secular or religious. The same occurred during the Northern Expedition in Guangxi in 1926 and the Cultural Revolution led by Mao Zedong.

Iconoclasm in these instances was about power – one side with dominant political power seeking to establish itself by eradicating others. Iconoclasm can have purely political, expansionist and triumphalist motives.

2. Granted, God commanded the Jews to “destroy their altars … break down their sacred pillars… cut down their wooden images” (Dt. 7:5), “burn the carved images of their gods” (Dt. 7:25).

However, these were directed at the pagan nations inhabiting the Promised Land which God had given to the Israelites. They only carried out iconoclasm on specific pagan nations as God directly commanded them.

These iconoclastic commands have not been given to any other nation since then, and it can’t be properly applied to the Church – since it’s worldwide and doesn’t have an earthly Promised Land. Thus, those passages have limited application.

3. When Israel became an identifiable nation with God-chosen Judges, Kings and Prophets, national repentance was often signified by collective destruction of pagan artefacts, altars and shrines and renunciation of pagan worship (e.g 2 Kgs. 10:27-28; 2 Chr. 17:5-6).

These were purgings initiated by converted hearts, even if mediated by monarchial or prophetic orders. An analogy can be drawn from these today when a community forsakes their idols and turn to the Living God.

This is by far the most legitimate expression of iconoclasm. This occurred during the 20th century revivals held by Apostle Joseph Babalola in the South West.

4. Christian iconoclasm, however, can have a boomerang effect if it’s ignited by legalistic and totalitarian objectives. It can have both good and bad outcomes.

Let’s take the Protestant Reformation as an example. Though Calvin himself did not support iconoclastic violence, many of his associates and followers did.

In Switzerland, in the Rhenish and Netherlandish territories, and in England, 16th century Calvinists defaced, destroyed, and confiscated a great many works of art, paintings, sculpure, stained-glass windows, ecclesiastical furnishings and whole buildings.

Libraries were burned, pianos were removed, tapestry and other ornaments were sold or given away. Though their intentions were to purify Christendom, their methods were extreme and severe. Eventually, it didn’t fare too well.

When iconoclasm is animated by legalistic impulses, what qualifies as “sacred” and “abominable” is often subject to the view of the iconoclast.

For instance, some Christians believe jewelleries, hair extensions, make-up, body ornaments and even statues or paintings of animals like frogs, fishes and fishes are demonic and detestable before God. If they should carry out a mass purging of a city they deem to be ungodly, all these materials will fall under their destruction category.

Such a move may be touted as a discontinuity with the past, but it can actually revive a need for continuity with the old trends. This is a consequence of imposing true worship with the arm of the flesh.

5. In addressing iconoclasm, we also need to understand that idolatry is nuanced and complex. It is more than just physical images. It has spiritual, mental and psychological hold on people.

Spiritual, in the sense that whenever people make an idol – whether with wood, clay, bronze or gold – and gather to worship it, some evil spirits are assigned by Satan there to hover around the shrine and influence the lives of those worshippers. They can also speak through the priests and priestesses to the adherents and from there, rites of worship develop.

Mental, in the sense that an idol is often a representation of a god or gods conceived by the mind of man. So an idol may not necessarily be a physical image or representation. A person can have an imagination or false conception of God (or a god) and direct his worship toward that false god. It’s still idolatry, but a mental one.

Psychologically, most idolaters make physical images from the archetypes embedded within their psyche. No Catholic has seen the actual Mary before. No Hindu has seen Vishnu either. But they attach that name to whatever image has been made with human hands and infuse it with certain features and attributes which they desire in themselves or seek to banish.

Therefore, merely destroying physical images of idols or pagan deities doesn’t solve the problem. The worshipper can simply pick up the same idol in another form.

This is obviously why God didn’t command Christians to go from house to house destroying people’s physical idols in the New Testament like it was done in the OT.

The reason is simple: it would be a useless exercise if the spirits behind those idols are still influencing the people and those image archetypes still exist in their minds.

6. Indeed, some Christians have shared genuine experiences where they were led by the Holy Spirit to engage in spiritual warfare prayers and some pagan idols or altars were supernaturally destroyed.

While I do not discredit such experiences, I will say that these are exceptional cases.

I know that many Christians involved in “spiritual mapping” and territorial warfare prayers visit shrines or temples and pray against the idols there, with the intent that the ruling demon would lose its hold and the worshippers will be saved.

Some Christians even proceed to deface and wreck religious artefacts, like the examples given at the outset, drawing on the example of Gideon in the OT.

My take is, unless God specifically directs you to go on such an assignment, you are skating on thin ice. One, because you can’t successfully fight a battle that our Captain (Jesus) hasn’t authorized you to fight.

Two, you can’t expel an evil spirit from its residence unless its legal right to rule has been revoked. As long as its altars, images, emblems and the shrines are there, the demon still has the right to reign there.

Three, having studied the book of Acts over and over, I can’t find a place where the apostles or early Christians (who lived in pagan cultures) were praying against the spirits of Zeus, Mars, Artemis, or Castor and Pollux or destroying their images and temples so that pagans would massively come to Christ.

Instead, they went about preaching the Gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit and many were saved. That’s the power of God’s Word. When the people were truly converted by the Holy Spirit, they gathered their own occult books and burnt them in public (Acts 19: 19).

7. The Bible says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5)

In other words, our battle is not really against physical structures or images and it shouldn’t be fought with physical weapons.

Therefore, as true Christian iconoclasts, we are to demolish arguments and imaginations that fuel false worship and bring down false ideas, philosophies and imagery that enslave people to them.

When those freed now decide to physically destroy their objects of false worship, we know the victory won in the spirit has been sealed in the physical.

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The Great Snare

In my experience, I’ve found that one “front line” weapon that the enemy deploys against Christians is fear. In fact, I’ve come to realise that the depth of a person’s fear is equivalent to the extent to which the devil and his host can operate in his/her life. From my study in demonology, I can tell you that demons love to feed off human fear.

Fear comes in different forms, but one of its most paralysing variants is the fear of man. Proverbs 29:25 says “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe“.

The fear of offending people, fear of being ostracised, fear of losing friendships, fear of being misrepresented, fear of being rejected by people, fear of being branded as “weird” or “radical” has kept many Christians from making any significant impact in Christianity. It has kept many Christians from serving God totally.

Satan loves using the threat of physical death to try and stop people from unmasking his lies and standing up for Jesus. The Lord Jesus too faced this threat and overcame it, and the same confronts us today.

The Bible talks of “those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Heb. 2:15). People can be so held up in the fear of death that they completely refuse to respond to God’s call in any area of Christian service. That is why Jesus admonished us:

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt. 10:28)

That means our(healthy) fear for God must be far greater than any iota of fear for what man or the devil can do. God is greater and He has our lives engraved in the palm of His hands. Our walls are ever before Him. He told His people:

Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread” (Isa. 8:12-13).

It doesn’t matter the host that are ganged up against you or the fear that tries to assail you, look up to God and have a strong confidence that He will keep you safe.

I remember sometime, like 6 years ago, when a certain Muslim swore that he would deal with me with his curses after I exposed his bogus religion. I replied him there and told him to in fact, circulate my name to all his clerics and his other bearded brothers so he will be convinced that even if he flies in the highest plane of that realm – via Satan – his power source, is still under my feet.

I also added that if he failed to get me down with his deprecatory “prayers,” then he must realise that his “Allah” is a fake, powerless god and Jesus Christ is real.

When I told a friend later, she was visibly afraid. “Did you pray for protection?” she asked, “No. There’s no need to pray over something that has been settled 2,000 years ago.” She looked at me as if I dropped from the moon. She didn’t understand that when Jesus died on the cross, He nailed every handwriting of ordinance against us to that cross and defeated Satan and his host right there.

The depth to which your faith is in what took place at Calvary for you is the extent of your protection and exploit in Christ. By the way, I didn’t have as much as a headache all through the rest of that year.

Now, if I had entertained fear at the first instance, that a possible harm would befall me because of some Facebook threat, even if a mere breeze in my room would have made my hair stand up on end and I’d start to pray in fear, whereas the person who made the threat was just being emotional.

Faith is a shield; it blocks the door of fear. It quenches the enemy’s flaming arrows and protects from the sword of the wicked. But fear opens the door wide. It makes you vulnerable to all manner of superstitions and hysteria. Satan loves causing people to dread because he knows he loses his power when his lies are confronted.

I read a book by a notable Christian author in which she said she awoke one night to hear some noise upstairs. The longer she listened to it, the more frightened she became. Finally shaking from fear, she went upstairs to see what it was and she laughed when she found it. The noise was coming from ice cubes falling in the ice tray from the ice maker. It just happened that the way they were falling, they were making a noise they don’t normally make.

You see, ignorance and fear walk together. But once you have knowledge, especially of how great God is, fear will no longer control you.

In Doreen Irvine‘s autobiography, From Witchcraft to Christ, she said after she left the craft and began to expose them and preach the Gospel, these witches sent her several awful letters, some written in blood, warning her “You will die if you don’t stop running down witchcraft.”

At first, she was really frightened because she knew too well as a former high priestess that black witches always carry out their threats. But courage came when she read Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

She said she added “No witch nor satanist. No, nothing can separate me from Jesus or the truth. My Jesus was stronger than any witch or Satanist.” And that fear melted away like the wax of a candle.

The choice is ours: to keep being enslaved in fear or to stand like a warrior and look fear in the face and say, “No, I will not succumb to you, I will trust in the mighty hand of God. I will keep following him.”

When the three Hebrew boys were made to choose between God and a fiery furnace, they chose to die for God rather than compromise and God showed up and proved Himself faithful.

Daniel could have given up at any point of his persecution, but his confidence in God was stronger than the jaws of any lion or the orders of any Babylonian king.

When David stood before Goliath, he didn’t see his height, expertise, weapons or even curses, he saw the Great and Mighty God of Israel and he brought his head down. That is the way out of the great snare, faith in God and His Word.

Further Reflections on the Integrity Challenged Warriors – II

Doctrinal Aberrations 

Rebecca Brown’s teachings, though good in some aspects, are also plagued by flawed Bible interpretation, warped theology and strange ideas about spiritual warfare that can mislead those who blindly accept them.

  1. Spirit bodies

She taught that the human spirit body can act independently without the person’s knowledge. But a careful reading of the Bible texts she cited (2 Cor. 12:2-4; Rev. 4:12) reveals that while the persons’ spirits left their bodies (or didn’t leave), they were clearly aware of what they perceived. She wrote:

If you hate someone, Satan can step in and use your spirit body to attack the person you hate. Such an attack can produce all sorts of illness, accidents, emotional problems, and even physical death. The person doing the hating usually is never aware that Satan is using his spirit body.” (He Came, p. 177).

This teaching unjustly incriminates Christians as occultists. The Bible calls hatred a sinful work of the flesh (Gal. 5:19); it doesn’t turn Christians into part-time witches.

In her third book she wrote:

Even though we do not see the armor of God, it IS real armor in the spirit world. We can use it in the physical world if the Holy Spirit directs” (Becoming p. 82).

This is an error. We do not wear Roman armour on our spirit bodies! They are spiritual qualities. Just because Apostle Paul employed metaphors such as “helmet”, “breastplate”, “belt” etc. does not mean they are literal pieces.

  1. Standing in the gap

Have you ever experienced a time of intense intercessory prayer after which you felt completely exhausted? That is because, while you were praying with your physical body, God had taken your spirit body and put it into combat with the demonic forces you are praying against … The fatigue you felt is mostly a reflection of the stress your spirit body experienced” (Prepare, 287)

She misapplies 1 Cor. 5:1-4 to support this idea, but there, Paul was using a metaphor. It’s quite common for a person to say he is with us in the spirit if not in person, meaning that he is sympathetic to our situation even if absent.

Apostle Paul was not astral projecting to be with the Corinthian church. He was simply responding to reports of sin there.

She also wrote: “In other words, any demonic powers directed the minister must get past you first. This will mean suffering for you – both physical and emotional … You will rarely be consciously aware that you are ‘in the gap.’ This is because the Lord has complete control of our spirit bodies” (Ibid, 286-287).

There’s no scriptural precedent for the interpretation of bearing others’ physical pain and sharing in their affliction as “bearing others’ burden.”

When Paul told the Galatians to bear one another’s burdens, he was speaking about restoring a brother taken in a fault (Gal. 6:1-5). Yes, we are to help others in need but there is no Scriptural teaching that we are to suffer pain so someone else will not have to.

Rebecca also misapplies Ezekiel 20:30-31 to “prove” her teaching that bearing another’s pain is equivalent to “standing in the gap.”

In these verses, God was merely saying that He was going to destroy the land because He found no one to stand in the gap i.e. intercede in prayer for them. Jesus is the One who took our burdens on the cross.

It’s interesting to note that during the hearing for the revoking of her license, eye witnesses testified:

“That Respondent [Rebecca] has stated on numerous occasions that she possessed the capability of ‘sharing’ her patients’ illnesses in fighting the demons, devils and other evil spirits that were allegedly causing the various ailments and conditions and that she was, in fact ‘sharing’ Edna Elaine Moses’ leukemia”  (Finding of Fact, no. 20).

On page 319 of Prepare for War, she alludes to this bizarre idea: “I asked the Lord if He would be willing to remove Rene’s pain and let us share the pain.”

  1. Rebecca as Elaine’s Saviour

Rebecca said God sent an angel with a sword to kill Elaine after becoming a Christian for refusing to enter into a covenant with Him to protect her from being killed by Satanists. Elaine’s words too were revealing:

I can fight and protect us. I know our enemy well. After all, I spent 17 years serving him, I should know him! I’m not a weakling, why should I go running to God to protect us? … God is insulting me. Why should I ask Him to protect us when I can fight just as well?” (Prepare, pp. 16-17).

Note: these are not words that would come from someone who has been born again by the Word of God and has the Spirit of God in him/her. In this scenario, Rebecca says she asks God to let His wrath fall on her instead of Elaine and it so happened.

She cites Moses as an example, but Moses didn’t suffer in his body or spirit for Israel. There’s no scriptural precedent for God pouring His wrath on His children, let alone an innocent child for the sake of a guilty child.

There’s no scriptural evidence that God would destroy one of His children for not entering into a covenant. And there’s no scriptural precedent for God forcing anyone to enter into a covenant with Him. All His covenants are open to rejection or acceptance.

God never forces himself on anyone, let alone send an angel to kill someone who refused to enter into a proposed covenant. We have one God and one Mediator, Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5). His blood cleanses us from our sins, not a woman’s idea of self-sacrifice.

  1. Guardian angels

The angel also told me that God created all his angels with so much love that every person has a special guardian angel who guards him or her because he has so much love for that individual that he petitioned the Father for the job of guarding him from his birth” (He Came, p.127).

The idea of every individual having a guardian angel from birth is unbiblical. Here’s what the Bible says: “Are not angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Heb. 1:14)

There’s no mention here or elsewhere in scripture of a special guardian angel given to each person. Angels are ministers only to the heirs of salvation. When the Bible says “He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways,” it was specifically referring to God’s people (Ps. 91:11).

Rebecca said she accepted the angel’s teachings because no fallen angel can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. She based this on 1 Cor. 12:3, but she was in error: this verse applies to men, not to spirits of deception.

The historical context of the verse mandated that expression of faith, but the test today is not whether someone says “Jesus is Lord,” but whether what they teach is wholly backed up by the Bible (Gal. 1:8).

  1. Covenanting with God

God makes a covenant with each of us when we ask Jesus to forgive our sins and to become our Lord and Savior and Master … [God still] desires to make a covenant with us even as He did with Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua and so on…” (Prepare, 25).

This is not quite accurate. Jesus established the new covenant with His disciples and commissioned them to invite whosoever will to enter into that covenant (Matt. 26:28; Jer. 31:33-34). There is only one covenant. We do not all have separate covenants in Jesus’ blood, although we have individual relationships with the Father through that one covenant.

When we make Jesus our Lord and Saviour and Master, then we don’t need to make other covenants like Noah, Abraham or Moses did with God because the new covenant is “superior” to theirs and is “founded on better promises” (Heb. 8:6).

Indeed, there could be times when God would lead individuals in a specific assignment and attach certain promises to it, that may be called a “covenant” in a sense, but the type Rebecca teaches is a deliberate kind of formal oath that Christians must enter into with God. God doesn’t require such oaths (Matt. 5:34-37). Besides, God is sovereign; He’s not bound by any covenant we initiate.

She continues: “My first covenant with the Lord was at the time of my salvation. My second covenant was when I made Jesus the total Master in my life by making that total commitment. I was the initiator of these two covenants.”

This statement betrays her lack of understanding of the new covenant. She has it backwards. At salvation, God initiates a covenant with us through Christ’s blood. Making Christ Lord and Master over our lives is part of that agreement.

One cannot enter the new covenant in Christ’s blood without making Him Lord (Rom. 10:9-10). The idea that Jesus can be our Saviour without being our Lord is in error. Where it becomes apparent that her idea of covenanting is legalistic is seen on page 32:

I anguished over the decision for about a week, counting the cost as best as I could. I knew without a doubt that once I made such a covenant, there would be no opportunity for backing out … If I did, I would lose my relationship with the Lord.”

The new covenant is based on grace. We have access to God the Father through the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of grace. It’s heretical to teach that God would condition our salvation on entering into an oath with Him.

Even Rebecca’s personal life evinced her deceptive doctrines. She had claimed God told her to be covenanted to Him and not get married, but she later says God released her from that covenant and commanded her to marry Daniel Yoder (Standing on the Rock, Solid Rock Family Enterprises, 2002, 33, 82).

  1. Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Perhaps in a bid to impress Jack Chick who had much gripe against Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, Rebecca goes out of her way to misrepresent their traditions in order to demonise them.

On page 176 of her second book, she tells a story of a Christian lady named “Lea” who met a woman who tried “to get her to speak in tongues” and when she couldn’t, “the woman told her she was grieving the Holy Spirit. The woman accused Lea of refusing to let Him speak through her in tongues.”

No informed Pentecostal would say the Holy Spirit “speaks through people in tongues,” a more accurate expression would be to “speak as the Spirit gives utterance” (cf. Acts 2:4)

After Lea was prayed for by a guest pastor, she began to speak in tongues. Rebecca said Lea received a demon of false tongues because “she subjected herself to a person whom she did not know, accepting whatever he chose to give her.” On the contrary, it’s the Lord who baptises with the Holy Spirit not man (Lk. 3:18).

Jesus said “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Lk. 11:11-13).

It falls outside the sphere of biblical and balanced thought to posit that when a Believer prays to God to be filled with the Holy Spirit, he/she will receive a demon because the person ministering to him is not known. Our God is not so weak as to leave us unprotected even when we are ignorant. Rebecca’s stories present a warped picture of God

Again on page 181 she throws out another straw man about speaking in tongues: “This is probably the area where Satan has had the greatest success in our day … People involved in TM and many other forms of Eastern meditation speak in tongues.

This is an argument anti-Christians use: “If pagans pray to their gods, then prayer is of pagan origin!” In Transcendental Meditation and other form of Eastern meditation, folks don’t “speak in tongues.” What they chant is called “mantra” and its concept is far different from speaking in tongues as taught by Scripture.

  1. Counter-petitioning Satan

Still on her second book, Rebecca tells of being taken up to heaven where Satan was petitioning God to allow him sacrifice her and Elaine at the Black Mass and she presented a written covenant to counter petition him (Prepare, 22). This is what she calls “counter petitioning Satan.”

She says, “Satan is daily standing before God asking him for various people on the Earth” (Closet #2 A). But she gets alerted by God whenever Satan is petitioning Him for someone or something within the sphere of her work and ministry.

Satan can do so much because God’s people don’t bother to counter-petition his requests.” Because God is just, “He must grant Satan his petition if it is not contested.” (Prepare, pp. 98, 146).

In Standing on the Rock, while Daniel was repenting and praying over his sins, Rebecca claims to be transported in spirit to God’s throne room where Satan was present as well:

Suddenly, as Daniel reached about the fifth ritual, I realized that each ritual was indeed being wiped out!” and then she petitioned God “that Satan will not be permitted to kill or torture him or destroy him [Daniel] in revenge for turning to [Him]” (p. 81).

Where does this leave Jesus Christ our Mediator? Where does this leave His blood of the new covenant? In her visions, she doesn’t see Jesus our High Priest mediating or interceding for Believers before God, she sees herself petitioning on behalf of other Christians. Isn’t that suspicious?

When God allowed Satan to afflict Job and sift Peter, it was to test their faithfulness – and they were restored without being taken to heaven to “counter petition Satan”. To conclude from these two cases that God must honour Satan’s petitions on His people is bad theology.

His Word says “the Father himself loves you” (Jn. 16:27). The Bible shows us over and over how God protects His people from harm and evil orchestrated by the devil. When Satan accused Joshua the high priest, God sent His angel to take away his filthy garments and put on him a rich garment (Zech. 3:1-4). No need for “counter petitioning Satan.”

As Jesus was facing the cross He said: “Now the prince of this world is driven out” (Jn. 12:31). He also said: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Lk. 10:18). Through the blood of Jesus we have peace with God and have become “members of God’s household” (Eph. 2:19). God loves His household!

Yet, in Rebecca’s fifth book, her warped idea is seen in what her “Father” tells her: “Satan’s kingdom is so unified and so persistent and their petitions so numerous that if you don’t do something I will have to honour their petition and allow you to be killed” (Standing, p. 163).

So her “God” answers the prayers of witches and Satanists! Believe me, this book is a riot. Her materials depict a weak Jesus and a powerful Satan and that’s exactly what Satan wishes to plant in the mind of Christians.

Go to Part III