Recognizing The Accuser
(Who is "the accuser" and how he may work in your life? How should we respond to the accuser?)
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:7-11).
A. Who is the Accuser?
1. The dragonB. What did he do? He accused Believers before God day and night.
2. The old serpent
3. The Devil
C. How do we overcome him?1. By the blood of the Lamb.
2. By the word of testimony (God working in our lives according to the Word).
3. By not loving our lives unto death.
When Judah rebelled against God, God allowed Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, in about 586 B.C. to come and destroy the temple and the city of Jerusalem and take captive all those of people of influence in the city. (II Kings 25:1-12). Some years later, about 539 B.C, Cyrus, the King of Persia conquered Babylon and allowed some of the Jews to return to Jerusalem and to rebuild the temple, but they failed to follow through.III. You may learn to recognize the accuser by looking at the actions of Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem.
Nehemiah, a Jew, who is the cup bearer under the rule the king Artaxerxes, of Persia, in about 445 B.C. gets a word of extent of the destruction of the city of Jerusalem. After prayer and fasting, he get permission from the king to return to build the walls to the city. It is interesting that Jerusalem means the city of peace, but God allowed their peace and their identity to be taken away because of their sin. It is also interesting to note that Nehemiah means the comfort of Jehovah (God). Nehemiah was sent by God to comfort those whose peace and identity had been taken away and help them rebuild their lives and regain their identity with God; however, there were those who would stand against him and the rebuilding.
In this study, we see three men who represent the unholy trinity in contrast to the Holy Trinity of God. These three men Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem were enemies of the Jews. Again, Nehemiah had received permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall about the city; however, Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem came against Nehemiah and those who would try to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.
A. "When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel" (2:10).Note: The accuser is grieved when you seek to rebuild your life in Christ.B. "But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?" (2:19).
Nehemiah's Response: He ignored their anger and went about to discover the damage to the walls of Jerusalem. Then he spoke to the rulers of the city and told them of his concern for the city and of his commission from God to rebuild the walls. "Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work" (Nehemiah 2:17-18).1. The accuser will laugh at you to make you think that you are doing something wrong or ridiculous.C. "But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall" (Nehemiah 4:1-3).
2. The accuser will despise you, that is, look down upon you to make you think that you are lower than he is.
3. The accuser will question what you are doing and try to get you to raise questions about the legitimacy of what you are doing.
4. The accuser will question your authority and suggest that you are in rebellion against the established authority.
Nehemiah's Response: "Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem" (Nehemiah 2:20). Then people worked together, side by side, and went about repairing the walls.1. The accuser will use his anger to make you afraid.D. "But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it" (Nehemiah 4:7-8).
2. The accuser will use his anger to belittle you.
3. The accuser will mock you and what you are doing.
4. The accuser will accuse you of being too weak or too old or too young or too ignorant to do what God has told you to do.
5. The accuser will question if you can protect yourself.
6. The accuser will question your depth of commitment.
7. The accuser will suggest that you have made a rash decision that you cannot keep.
8. The accuser will imply that it is too late to change because of your past experiences.
9. The accuser will suggest that even if you start to rebuild your life, that it won't do any good.
10. The accuser will declare that you will be overcome by the smallest enemy.
11. The accuser will state that the least pressure will cause you to fall again.
Nehemiah's Response: He prayed and then went about the business of rebuilding the walls. "Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders. So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work" (Nehemiah 4:4-6).1. The accuser may attack you repeatedly with strong anger.E. "And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease. And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you" (Nehemiah 4:10-12). Here we see that the enemy with bring division and discouragement among God's elect.
2. The accuser will join his forces (demonic powers) to fight against you.
Nehemiah's Response: They prayed and set up a watch for the enemy's attack. "Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them" (Nehemiah 4:9).1. The accuser will attack when you are tired.F. "And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live" (Nehemiah 5:1-2).
2. The accuser will attack when you don't feel like you are able to rebuild.
3. The accuser will suggest that he will attack you in secret when you don't know he is attacking.
4. The accuser will declare that he will destroy you and cause you to stop God's work in your life.
5. The accuser will say the same thing over and over knowing that if you ever stop to listen to him that he will have you.
Nehemiah's Response: He armed the people and encouraged them to not to be afraid, but to trust God for their defense. He then encouraged them to fight for one another. "Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses" (Nehemiah 4:13-14).1. The accuser will use division among Believers (even your own family) to attack also.G. "Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;) That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief" (Nehemiah 6:1-2).
2. The accuser will suggest that you are doing something that is unreasonable that will be of harm to others Believers also.
Note: You may also have an internal conflict which the enemy may use against you.
Nehemiah's Response: Nehemiah confronted and rebuked the nobles with the truth and challenged them to walk in the fear of the Lord. "And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them. And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing to answer. Also I said, It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?" (Nehemiah 5:6-9).1. The accuser wants to get you to listen to him so that he can talk you out of doing what God would have you to do.H. "Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner. Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand"
2. The accuser will try to distract you from doing what God would have you to do.
Note: Are you taking time to listen to the enemy? Has he distracted you from doing what God would have you do?
Nehemiah's response: Nehemiah refused to talk and listen to the Sanballat and the others. "And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?" (Nehemiah 6:3).
(Nehemiah 6:4-5).Note: Just because you resist the enemy, he may not flee from you immediately. He is stubborn. He may continue to bring accusations against you a number of times.I. "Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words. And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together" (Nehemiah 6:6-7).1. The accuser will accuse you of rebellion to the authorities over you. Satan accuses us before God in Heaven, but Jesus is our defense attorney. "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (Romans 8:33-34).J. "For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands. Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee. And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in. And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me" (Nehemiah 6:9-13).
2. The accuser may accuse you before the authority over you to push you into making wrong decisions.
Nehemiah's response: He did not let the their evil words stand, but again confronted them with truth. "Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart" (Nehemiah 6:8).1. The accuser may again use fear to keep you from doing what God would have you do. (The place of the temple was to be a sacred safe place.)
2. The accuser may use those who are close to you (family and friends) and even those in authority to mislead you.
Nehemiah's response: He prayed that God would judge them as he had been judged by them. "My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear" (Nehemiah 6:14).