THE DEVIL: OUR ACCUSER
(This is blog 3 in the series “Names of Satan.”)
In the first blog in our new series on the names of Satan we looked at Satan (”Adversary”) and saw he does all he can to hinder our spiritual growth and service to God. The last blog showed the importance of resisting Satan (James 4:7) by perseverance in our warfare against him.
“Devil” (Greek “diabolos” from which we get our word “diabolical”) has nearly the same meaning and is often used interchangeably with Satan. Mark 1:13 says “Satan” tempted Jesus but Matthew 4:1 says he was tempted by the “Devil.” This name means “to slander,” “to accuse.” It focuses on his goal and work to impugn the character of God to man or of man to God.
The Devil slanders us to God, accusing us of sin. We see this in Job 1:8-11; 2:3-5 where Satan said Job was only serving God because God was blessing him. Satan also accuses us to God, night and day, pointing out our sin and hypocrisy (Revelation 12:10). Zechariah 3:1: “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.”
Satan points out our sin to God as well as bringing false charges against us. He tattles on everything wrong we do, the good we don’t do and the good we do for selfish motives. However, when we are accused, Jesus is our Advocate (Greek “paraclete”), one who pleads the cause of another. Jesus is our Advocate (1 John 2:1) as is the Holy Spirit (John 14;16; 15:26; 16:7). What a blessing He is! 1 John 2:1 “But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”
In addition to slandering us to God, Satan also slanders God to us. He is a liar (John 8:44) as seen in Eden when he accused God of withholding something good from Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:2-5). We’ll see more about this when we see Satan’s names “Liar,” “Deceiver,” “Thief” and “Serpent.” Satan does his best to paint a picture of God as unfair and unloving, or weak and uninvolved. He does all he can to convince us God isn’t fair, isn’t concerned, isn’t powerful or doesn’t really love us. Those are some of his favorite and most successful lies.
The Devil slanders us to God and God to us. He also slanders us to ourselves – pointing out our sins and failures so we no longer like the person God has created. Guilt is a great weapon of Satan’s. Many people, even Christians, suffer needlessly from guilt. We know Jesus forgives all our sins (1 John 1:9; Psalm 103) and guilt. We need to believe and not give into the false guilt Satan throws at us. God loves us and accepts us just as He created us.
While there is often too much focus on self today under the guise of “developing a good self-image,” it is true we are to accept ourselves as God made us (Psalm 139). We are to accept ourselves as we accept others (Luke 10:27) – accepting both strengths and weaknesses without over-emphasizing one or the other. Overemphasizing our strengths is pride, and is the sin which caused Satan’s downfall. He tries to use it today as much as possible. The other extreme (under-emphasizing our strengths) is to dislike or not accept ourselves as God made us. Self-love and self-hate are both from pride. Both focus on self and are preoccupation with self. In one we see ourselves as better than others in the other we see ourself as worse. Both are definite cracks to demonizing, sins which must be confessed.
King Saul is a fine example of someone with a poor self-image, someone who was insecure and thought he was inferior to others (1 Samuel 10:22). This self-centeredness (pride) was a crack that opened him to demonizing (1 Samuel 16:14, 23). It’s as important to forgive yourself as it is to forgive others! Satan tries to bring up past sins to have us feel defeated, unworthy, etc. Don’t let this tactic work! The next time the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future. (We’ll talk more about how to have victory over Satan’s slander of God to us and us to God in the next blog.)
Ask God to help you recognize lies Satan tells you about God. Thank Jesus for defending you when Satan accuses you before God’s throne. What lies about yourself do you believe, lies which make you feel like a failure or inferior to others? What is God’s truth that counters those lies?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
Copyright © 2020
Recently I have compiled my almost 400 SPIRITUAL WARFARE BLOGS INTO 4 BOOKS (PDF) and put them on the spiritual warfare web site (https://www.christiantrainingonline.org/our-ministries/spiritual-warfare/learning-more/) You can find them on www.christiantrainingonline.org/ Go to the Spiritual Warfare web site ten clock on Learning More (Books) and you’ll find them. The best part is that I’ve thoroughly indexed them so you can look for any subject or topic you are interested in. There is an index in each book, but also a separate book that is just an index for all the topics covered in all the blogs. Hopefully you can easier find the information you are looking for that way. Pass these books on to others who might enjoy them. Read a blog a day and you’ll learn about Spiritual Warfare a little bit at a time. God bless!