THREE ASPECTS OF OVERCOMING THE ACCUSER

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THREE ASPECTS OF OVERCOMING THE ACCUSERCopyright Š 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death." (Revelation 12:10,11)

The brothers overcame the one who was accusing them.

By the blood of the Lamb.

By the word of their testimony.

They did not love their lives to the point of death.

The question is: Of what was the enormous red dragon accusing them?

He was accusing them of sinning against God.

Why was he accusing them? He was charging God with being unrighteous. Satan knew that his time of corrupting mankind was nearly over. He was telling God that the brothers were as bad as he, and so it was unjust of God to punish Satan when the brothers, the sons of God, were also guilty of rebellion.

Remember, Satan's original sin was that of desiring to be God in place of the Father. Satan would be saying to the Father that the brothers also wanted to be their own god.

However, the brothers had overcome the enormous red dragon. Therefore Michael and his angels received from God the strength to throw Satan and Satan's angels from the heaven into the earth.

It is evident that the angels who obey God are strengthened when the saints choose to serve God.

Just prior to this removal of Satan and his angels from their position in the heaven, Satan's "tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth." The "stars" are Christians who had been located in the spirit world—perhaps some of them for thousands of years.

God told us that He intends to shake the heavens:

At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. (Hebrews 12:26,27)

All that can be shaken will be shaken. Only that which is created by Christ can stand the shaking. "Created things," that is the works of man, shall be removed from God's Presence.

We have seen in the last few years some famous Christian ministers brought down from their high place in Christ. Their seemingly exalted position in Christ was largely their own religious works and ambitions. These works and ambitions will not survive as God begins His war against evil.

Some who were the center of Christian institutions are now seen as mere mortals. Since so much of their religious power was the result of their own striving, and not proceeding from Jesus, when God tested their works with fire they could not stand.

Daniel tells us about Antichrist ascending into the heavens and tearing down those who were dwelling there.

It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host; it took away the daily sacrifice from him, and the place of his sanctuary was brought low. Because of rebellion, the host of the saints and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground. (Daniel 8:10-12)

Because of rebellion, the host of the saints was given over to Antichrist.

One would think that the host of the saints, the "starry host," could not be guilty of rebellion. But they obviously were. Remember, Satan himself was an exalted cherub living in incredible glory at one time. He was one of the two guardian cherubim who overshadowed the very Throne of God with their wings. He was not always a rebel.

Notice the following statement:

You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. (Ezekiel 28:15)

At one point Satan was blameless. Then wickedness was found in him. Where did this wickedness come from?

Satan was marvelously embellished with precious stones.

Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. (Ezekiel 28:17)

Now think: Satan was in Heaven near the Throne of God. He was in the Heaven we hope to go to when we die. Yet because of his splendor he became proud, imagining himself to be equal or superior to God. He convinced many angels that he could take the place of God. He reminds me of Absalom, who thought he was superior to David.

What then is to prevent some of the Christians who are in Heaven at the present time from falling into pride? What has changed such that this no longer is possible? The fact is, it still is possible.

So we see in Daniel that Antichrist was able to throw to the ground some of the starry host because of rebellion. Although they were in Heaven, pride entered into them and they were not obeying Christ.

I can picture that easily when I hear of the things that take place among the Christian ministry. They talk about Christ but it is obvious that in their religious programs they are not obeying Him. They plan their own revivals without consulting Jesus. The Presence of Christ is noticeably absent from their pretensions.

We Christians have some unscriptural concepts of Heaven. Heaven is one city, Zion, in the immense spirit realm. The spirit world is not far off in space, it is all around us. If our eyes were open we would see countless multitudes of people and angels all going about their business.

If Satan in all his original glory and blamelessness was tempted to rebel against Christ, what is there to prevent Christian people from doing the same?

As I said, over the last few years famous Christian ministers have fallen from their position as men of God. Sometimes sexual lust brings them down. Sometimes the love of money. In actual fact they were deceived by the master deceiver, who has had thousands of years to perfect his techniques.

We are living in extraordinary days. It seems as though we are being baptized with fire. Many Christian churches and other institutions are being seen as irrelevant, and young people are leaving in droves as a result.

The message of lawless-grace and the pre-tribulation "rapture" are so obviously unscriptural that any intelligent high-school student who knew the Bible could debate successfully with some of the highly placed Christian pastors and evangelists.

Perhaps because of the lawless-grace doctrine, some of the pastors of large churches are closet alcoholics. There are evangelists who fornicate with the local believers. Some pastors plant people in the congregation who are trained to say when the collection is being taken, "I will give the first thousand dollars."

There are churches where air is piped through the air conditioning system so the pastor can claim the Holy Spirit is present. There are evangelists whose wife goes among the congregations and talks to people. She has a microphone. She tells the evangelist, who hears her via an earphone, personal facts that are divulged to her. Then the evangelist pretends to have a word of knowledge.

Child molestation is prevalent in some areas. Religious pride comports itself in the elevated clergy. Orthodox priests fight each other in church-owned properties in Israel. The situation today reminds one of the words proclaimed by the Prophets of the Old Testament.

God has promised to shake the heavens as well as the earth so all of this man-made religious activity will be removed. One of the areas in which the witnesses are slain is symbolically labeled Jerusalem, where our Lord was slain. The priests and elders of Jerusalem who should have fallen at the feet of Jesus and worshiped Him, called upon Pilate to crucify Him.

The time is now when God, the Consuming Fire, is shaking and removing all that can be shaken. Who will walk with the Consuming Fire? He who has clean hands and has not lifted up his soul to vanity. He shall survive the coming chaos in America by keeping his eyes fixed on the land that is very far off. But the self-driven Christians shall be removed from their places of preeminence.

We are being baptized with fire. All religious works shall be tested by fire. All that is not founded in Christ shall be burned up.

This is why I keep saying that if we are to survive the shaking that is coming to America, and the rest of the world as well. we must learn to live by the Life of the Lord Jesus. We must be thinking His thoughts as He is thinking them. We must be speaking His words as He is speaking them. We must perform His works as He is performing them.

Such will be true of the witnesses of the last days. They shall be bearing witness of the coming of the Kingdom of God by their thoughts, their words, and their actions. Their thoughts are important, because the demons will notice them and exploit them if they are not founded in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The brothers overcame the one who was accusing them.

By the blood of the Lamb.

By the word of their testimony.

They did not love their lives to the point of death.

From what I have just written, you can see how many things and incidents the enormous red dragon has to bring before the Father. This is why we pray for revival but God does not hear. God is totally righteous, and Satan understands this well.

When Christians are living their own life, performing their own religious works, Satan has wherewith to accuse them. The Father hears the accusations, considers if they are founded in fact, and then will not give Michael and his angels the power needed to cast Satan and his angels down from their position in the air, from which they control the earth.

What must be true before Michael and his angels can receive Divine power? There must be a company of brothers, saints, who overcome every temptation to worldliness, the lusts of the body and spirit, and, most importantly, self-will. They must have gained such victory over these three areas that when Satan brings them up before God there is no ground for the accusations.

By the blood of the Lamb.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (I John 1:7)

If we walk in the light of God's will, as God is in the light, we have fellowship with God, and the blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin.

You may hear a Christian say, "I plead the blood." This is not a scriptural expression.

To be purified by the blood of the Lamb we must be walking in the light of God's will. This means as the Spirit of God points out our sin, we confess that sin and, with Christ's help, turn away from it. To remain in the light of God's will we must continually be gaining victory over sin.

What is so important about the blood of the Lamb? First of all, the Father has accepted the blood of atonement made on the cross as sufficient to remove the guilt of the sin of every person in the world who will receive the forgiveness and be reconciled to God.

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:2)

We cannot even imagine the effect upon God when the blood of His innocent Son was offered for the sins of mankind. We just have to accept what God has said and rejoice that we have been forgiven.

One fact that sometimes is overlooked is that the body and blood of Jesus are our resurrection Life, our eternal life. Every time we turn away from a temptation to sin and choose to please God, we are given to eat and drink of the body and blood of God's Lamb. This continual action on our part enables us to live by the Life of Jesus. When this is true of us we cannot be shaken from our position in Heaven.

When the slain Lamb appears in the sky, those who live by His body and blood will be caught up to be with Him. It is not our doctrine that will catch us up to Christ, it is His own body and blood that are calling to Him.

Remember, "pleading the blood" is a vain religious practice. When we are living in the light of God's perfect will, the blood of God's Lamb is forgiving our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. This forgiveness and cleansing depends upon our confessing and turning away from our sins when they are pointed out to us.

If we are not walking in the Light of God's will, no amount of "pleading the blood" will help us. God wants His will done, not religious activity.

When we are walking in the light, confessing and turning away from our sins, the blood of the Lamb continually is cleansing us from the guilt of sin. Thus when Satan accuses us before God, no guilt is present.

When we are living by the body and blood of the Lamb, our thoughts, words, and acts are increasingly without reproach, without a basis for the accusations of the enormous red dragon.

But apart from the cleansing from guilt of the blood atonement, and the Life of the body and blood of Jesus, Satan can find grounds to accuse us and thus deliver himself from the Divine wrath.

By the word of their testimony.

A true testimony of God includes the truth about His Person; the truth about His will; the truth about His ways; and the truth about His eternal plan in the Lord Jesus Christ. These four truths must be presented clearly to the world if the accusations of the red dragon are to be overcome in the Presence of the Father.

How do the brothers testify truthfully about the Person of God? By obeying Him diligently; by demonstrating His righteous, holy nature in our thoughts, words, and actions; by telling the truth about His love and His wrath.

In America, God often is presented as Santa Claus. He is sitting up in Heaven, just wishing that everyone would be "nice." He has given us "grace" so that even if we sin we need not be concerned. He already has forgiven us if we have "accepted Christ."

This testimony will not overcome Satan. It will leave the believer open to the lusts of demons. God is not "nice." He is a consuming fire. He judges sin, whether committed by a Christian or an infidel. He indeed is merciful and compassionate; but He also is strict when it comes to obeying him.

He is not soft and loving, as is portrayed today. The Lake of Fire is as horrible as the coming world of righteousness is wonderful and glorious.

God's will is that we turn from sin and self-seeking and serve Him diligently. We are not to attempt to win people to Christ by telling them that all they have to do is to say they "accept Christ," and then every blessing will come to them.

We overcome the accuser when we obey God no matter what circumstances we are placed in. When everything goes "wrong" in our life, we praise God as cheerfully as we can. Satan is looking for us to become angry with God. When instead we place our trust in God to deliver us from trouble and pain, we overcome the accuser.

God's ways often are inscrutable, mysterious, not understandable. We have to trust. It is a temptation to seek to make God in our own image. But this is not possible or realistic.

Sometimes we are bent as an arrow on God's bow for years at a time. We had expected the Christian life to be one of endless joy and success, but instead we are surrounded with trouble of every sort. Slowly we change from a happy, carefree believer to a wary, cautious warrior. We learn to endure hardness as a good soldier of Christ. Presumption and foolishness die along the way.

We overcome the accuser when we accept God's dealings with us. When we become mature we are able to walk with the Consuming Fire, one step at a time. Often we cannot see the future or why God has dealt with us as He has. But we learn to cheerfully accept today's manna and trust God for tomorrow.

This is how we overcome the accuser. Our testimony remains bright and confident. It is true that we do not have much of an understanding of what is happening to us. But it is this very fact that overcomes Satan. We are not trusting in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. Satan crumbles when he senses that we are living no longer but Christ is living in us.

Satan does not fear any Christian or any group of Christians as they pool their efforts. Satan fears the Father, Christ, and the Spirit of God. A believer represents no threat to the kingdom of darkness until he has ceased from his own works and enters the rest of God.

God has an eternal plan in Christ. It appears it often is misrepresented as self-driven Christians paint a future that is not scriptural. The concept that Christ is coming at any moment to catch us up to Heaven so we will not be inconvenienced by the Great Tribulation or Antichrist, is totally false.

Rather, God's eternal plan in Christ is to drive evil from the creation. This means we are facing increasingly troublous times. We are going to have to learn to live by Jesus' Life if we are to stand and help our loved ones to stand.

The Great Rebellion and the rule of Antichrist are approaching us in these days. God is facing Satan. Jesus Christ is facing Antichrist. The Spirit of God is facing the False Prophet.

You and I are but intelligent dust. Our only hope of survival is to be filled with Christ to the extent that He is living in us in place of our own adamic nature.

The two witnesses will inform the world of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth. Christ will appear in the sky and call up to Himself His elect. Then He and they will descend on the white war stallions and destroy the power of Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet.

After that, Joel's army will go through every city and town in which Antichrist has exerted his influence, and judge each person and destroy the institutions.

There will be a final judgment of all people, except God's Firstfruits. Then the present earth and sky shall be removed and there shall be a new sky and a new earth, a new world of righteousness.

This is what the Bible teaches. Those who hold to this vision will overcome the accuser. But those who trust in the plans of the leaders of the world, no matter how glorious those plans may seem, will always be the victims of the enormous red dragon.

Such is the manner in which the brothers overcome the accuser with the word of their testimony.

They did not love their lives to the point of death.

The blood of the Lamb is absolutely essential if we are to overcome the accuser.

The word of our testimony is absolutely essential if we are to overcome the accuser.

Loving not our life to the point of death is absolutely essential if we are to overcome the accuser. This may be the most difficult aspect for us to lay hold of. But it is the key to the overthrow of Satan.

Remember how some of the stars of Heaven were cast down because of rebellion? That is because they loved their own life. We absolutely must, as did the Apostle Paul, live as one crucified, in which the life that is lived is the Life of Jesus Christ. Apart from this, Satan cannot be overcome!

It is vain to rebuke demons. Demons must be resisted; and this is possible only as we are living by the Life of Jesus.

The Book of Second Corinthians has many passages which describe how Paul was brought down to death each day, it seems. Paul died daily. Paul was resurrected daily. Death, and life. Death, and life.

I have been a Christian for many years and have been exposed to various Christian ministries. The flavor that comes across to me is that of human effort. The effort many times is well intentioned. But it is human nonetheless. It is not the wisdom and power of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I don't believe the students in Bible colleges are told that Christ is not looking for them to go forth in their enthusiasm and "do great things for God." This is an invitation to presumption.

Satan cannot be overcome by an inexperienced young person, enamored with the romance of "ministry," charging into areas in which Satan has governed for hundreds of years, possibly. Common sense tells us better than that!

One fact is certain: Satan is not going to be brought down by "living" people but by "dead" people. Satan laughs at our religious antics, even when we surround an afflicted individual or have a Jericho march, singing or yelling in tongues all the while. We can rebuke Satan all afternoon, and the demons will enjoy the attention being given to them.

But when a believer sets aside his own life that he might live by the Life of Jesus, submitting to the crucifixions that God sends and may have Satan carry out, it is then Hell trembles.

We overcome the accuser by the blood of the Lamb.

We are cleansed by the blood.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (I John 1:7)

We live by the blood.

Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink." (John 6:53-55)

We overcome the accuser by the word of our testimony.

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32)

We overcome the accuser by loving not our life to the point of death.

For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. (II Corinthians 4:11,12)

Let's you and I be among the brothers who overcome the enormous red dragon, so that Michael and his angels may receive the strength to remove Satan and his angels from their position in the heavenlies.