Rev 12:10-11 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. (11) And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
One typical method and characteristic of the wicked is that they accuse the righteous. They know that a godly person has a sensitive conscience (often too sensitive) and the evil man uses that against us. As you can see from the Scripture above, Satan is described as “the accuser of our brothers.” Think of what he said to the Lord, for instance, about Job. Or consider the accusations of Satan’s children, the Pharisees, that they rained down upon Christ.
Such wicked people love to remind us of our past sins. Sins from which we have long ago repented and confessed and been washed clean from by Christ. And yet the evil man will frequently fire this old volley at us: “Well, remember when you….”. It is vital that we recognize this when it happens and that we refuse to keep wearing guilt for something Christ died for.
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Satan is not only an accuser, he is a liar. So often when he accuses us through some abusive, evil person, the accusations are lies. Let’s say that you, humbly and honestly, have confessed some sin, some tendency of your fallen flesh. You admitted that you battle with patience or anger or pride. And you do battle with that sin by the Spirit in you. The Lord forgives. The Lord empowers.
But what does your abuser do?
He accuses. He lies. He exaggerates. He sees your genuine confession as a weak point at which he can strike and thereby wound your conscience. “Remember when you…You know that you are given to…You always…”. These accusations are quite deceiving to you and to others because they are lies that are launched from a germ of “truth.” We must not wear the guilt and shame these evil charges bring against us. To do so is to play right into the devil’s hands.
Many years ago a man committed suicide. He had come to our church a few times. I hadn’t been here very long then and didn’t know him at all. We got a report one day that he had overdosed intentionally and was dead.
The following Sunday I announced this to the church and made the statement that I wonder in cases like this if there wasn’t something more I could have done – visited him perhaps, or….something?” Of course there wasn’t. He did what he did.
But some months later a very wicked “Diotrephes” (you know, the guy who “loves to be first,” see 3 John) threw a tantrum at one of our church services because he perceived that he was losing power. He raved on before storming out, and one of the things he said against me was “He admitted himself that he didn’t go visit John!”
You see it? The accuser of the brethren. Lies. Deceptions. False charges. Using our honest, humble confession against us.
I remember another abuser. This time it was a woman. An apparent “godly saint” who to this day people will still pile the adulation upon. But she was really thoroughly evil. A wolf in wool. And I recall standing outside the church building one Sunday after church. Here she came with her husband. Several people were there. And right out of the blue, she said “Well Jeff, I remember when you…”. And she was referring to a decision I made a year or two before which I later changed my mind upon. “I just will never forget that, Jeff.” See it again? This is the enemy. This is the stuff out of the pit. We must refuse to wear it.
Rebellious, wicked children do this to their godly parents. Mom and dad attempt to remove every stumbling block they can to the child’s coming to Christ. They admit they weren’t perfect parents. They admit their flaws and even the occasions when they sinned against the child. “I should not have been so harsh with you.” That sort of thing. But what does the unrepentant teen or young adult do over and over? “You did that to me (often the account is exaggerated and even false). That is why I am angry/sad/depressed/miserable. We must refuse to wear guilt for which Christ has forgiven us.
Abusers accuse. They guilt. They shame. And they do so with wickedly wonderful skill. The things stems from their very nature. They don’t have to stay up at night plotting the lies. Nope. Like the bitterest, terrible fruit buds on an evil tree, so these words spring right out of their heart. See the thing for what it is and don’t be taken in by it.