"In the book of Revelation, you find him accusing. You find it also in the book of Job the first chapter. We must understand that Satan has access to the throne of God. He is not cast out of heaven...At one time, in the middle of the tribulation period, Satan will be cast out and caged on this earth like a wild lion with his armies. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea for the devil is come down ... He has access to the earth, but he will be confined to the earth. Until then, Satan is busy doing a lot of things, but he is busy accusing the brethren. Heaven gets tired of it, and kicks him out on this earth. You and I had better read the Word of God to understand our adversary. Adolph Hitler wrote a book that told exactly how he would conquer Europe. The world said that he would not do it, but he did it just like he wrote it. God gave us a Book that tells all about our enemy, our adversary. We are not concerned enough to pick up the Book and read about our adversary. Read about our resources. Read how they will attack us. Read how he will use us. Unless we stay in the Book and read the Book, then the Devil really has a hay-day with us. The accuser of the brethren.
...Now Joshua, the high priest, was accused and resisted by the Devil. He cannot resist our High Priest. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: What happens? He cannot resist Him. The DEBT is paid in full. He has no grounds to accuse us before a holy God because Jesus Christ has fully settled forever all that a holy God could have against us, and it is paid in full. We are not only forgiven; we are justified. We are declared righteous. In fact, He is our righteousness. We have no righteousness of our own.
Satan's target is to get our hearts and to get our conscience and trouble us and attack us. He attacks us to God, but He moves in on us. He moves in to knock us off. He attacks our Christianity. "So you're a Christian, huh? Oh, you're a Christian? What if everybody knew the kind of life that you lived and the thoughts of your life and what you said or did not do? What if all the Christians...?" He will attack you to make you absolutely shut up. He will make you feel guilty when there are no grounds for feeling guilty. He will make you feel guilty about everything under the sun, and his purpose is to make us shut our mouths. There are Christians today who will not open their mouths because of an assault of Satan upon their life. Everything that they did, Satan accuses them.
"You did not pray right. You did not read your Bible right. You did not witness right. You were not bold enough. You were not strong enough. You did not sing that right. You sang that for your own honor and glory. You did that for show. You did this or that." Everything in the world that you do, he accuses you. After a while, he absolutely shuts your mouth. He will get on you. People will have assurance of salvation and set out to knock on doors and begin to deal with people and try to win them to Christ, and they will have doubts about their salvation when they did not have any doubts before.
What is the matter? "Oh, you're a Christian, and you are out here trying to get people saved and knocking on doors. How about yourself? You are not even saved yourself." A person will begin to doubt their own salvation. They do not understand the adversary. What happens? They will quit their visitation. The Devil has knocked many a person out of singing for the Lord, witnessing for the Lord, doing anything for the Lord because of the fact the accuser has shut their mouths by his accusations. Does that sound familiar? Before a person sins, he says, "You can get away with it. Sure you can get away with it." And, after you sin, you will never get away with it. You will never fly high again. You will never sing again. You will never be used again. The accuser entices us, and the very moment they do it, the matter of despair. "You have really blown it now. You will never, never, never, again get away with this." He hits our heart and our conscience. He really works us over. That is his task, his job. He is after you.
... If guilt and shame is a good thing, if it makes us turn to God when the Spirit of God convicts us, it tenders us. It draws us to God. But, there is satanic conviction. I am positive as I am standing here, many of God's people have confessed things under satanic conviction instead of God's conviction. Satanic conviction leads to despair. It leads to guilt. It turns you inward. You can confess your sins and confess your sins, and it gets darker and darker. You despair. It becomes hopelessness. It leads unbelief and rebellion against God because you do not find any relief in that sort of confession. That is satanic conviction. The Holy Spirit conviction brings relief and points to the remedy. The satanic conviction does not point to the remedy. It points to the action that you did or did not do and leaves you there. If it leaves us with our sin and there is no remedy and no pointing out and no sweet reminder, that is satanic conviction. It will drive you to despair. Unless it has been handled, it has driven some people to suicide to get away from the thoughts of the accuser. He is a cunning foe. He is the accuser of the brethren.
.... There is the sorrow of the world that worketh death and the sorrow of the Lord that worketh life. That is Satan's helper to bring guilt, remorse, and regret and to keep us accusing ourselves and focusing ourselves on our sin. If you get down and confess your sins apart from a recognition and acknowledgment that Jesus Christ died to forgive those sins, you will be darker in despair. It will get darker and darker and darker. Why? Because of the fact that you are not dealing with it in the light of Calvary. You have to deal with it in the light of Calvary. His blood is the answer to that. As long as we are feeling guilty, then Satan is doing a good job of indicting us. It drives us from the Lord because there is no relief from this. There is no relief. You confess and no relief. When there is no relief, it brings rebellion and unbelief against the God of all grace. That is Satanic. It will make you do what? It will make you curse God and die. That is his philosophy. Here is the matter of Satan's purpose.
...1 John 2. Guilt is not a funny thing. Guilt is a good thing to tell us that we have done something wrong. The blood is the answer to that. 1 John 2: My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. (Fight it. Do not do it.) And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." The blood on the mercy seat in the Old Testament gave a year's covering of blood, for the day of atonement came once a year. This is an eternal covering. 'For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.' He has made that final sacrifice for sins. He put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. With that blood, our defense is the fact that Jesus Christ has answered all that a holy God had against us. He is our High Priest. As He stands there as our Advocate, He has pierced hands as evidence that He paid it. He has pierced feet as evidence that He paid it. Here is His head that was crowned with thorns. Now, he stands as the propitiation...And if any man sin, we have an advocate...An advocate presupposes an accuser. He has already accused us, but he accuses us before God. He accuses us to ourselves. God will not defend our sins. He dealt with that, but He will surely defend His children at the mercy seat. Listen to this poem:
"Depth of mercy can there be mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forebear neither chief of sinners spared?
I've long withstood His grace, long provoked Him to His face,
Would not hearken to His call, grieved Him with a thousands falls.
Now, Lord incline me to repent. Let me now my sins lament.
Now my fouls revoke deplore; weak beliefs send no more.
Still for me the Savior stands holding forth His wounded hands.
God is love. I know I feel Jesus weeps and loves me still."
It does not change God. It does not surprise God. 'And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.' Here is another article, "God is well able to deal with our sins, but He cannot deal with a man under accusation because such a man is not trusting in the blood. The blood speaks in his favor, but he is listening instead to Satan. Christ is our advocate, but we, the accused, side with the accuser. We have not recognized that we are unworthy of anything but death. That as we shall shortly see, we are only fit to be crucified anyway. We have not recognized that it is God alone that can answer the accuser, that in the precious blood He has already done so. Never should we try to answer Satan with our good conduct, but always with the blood. Yes, we are sinful, but praise God, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." (Watchman Nee)
Now, let me turn to another phase of this matter...let me talk about listening to the accuser of the brethren. Christians can listen to the accuser of another believer. Christians are not aware if you ever have a wave of accusations against a brother, the Devil, the accuser of the brethren, just filled your mind with all that stuff. There are a lot of folks who have wedges between them that have no idea in the world how it happened. It happened because the accuser of the brethren filled somebody's mind with something and consequently alienated a fellowship when there were no grounds for it. He is the accuser of the brethren. I will give you some illustrations in a little bit.
Turn to Ephesians 4. It talks about Satan. Verse 26: Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. When you sleep over night with anger or that sort of thing, then Satan moves into your house and blows it up. The accuser of the brethren goes to work. He blows it up and blows it up. After awhile, you cannot stand the sight of that individual. That individual did a little tiny thing that could have been handled, but it can no longer be handled because the accuser of the brethren has summoned every charge in the world against that person. You thought it was their thought life, but it was not. It happened to be yours. That is the accuser of the brethren.
Look at 2 Corinthians 2. Paul talked about this person and told him to forgive him in verse 10 and 11. Why? To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. The matter of holding on to unforgiveness of somebody builds and builds. The accuser says, "That is right. You do not need to forgive." It builds and becomes uncontrollable. I was at one of my family get-togethers - my brothers, sisters, cousins, and so forth. Somebody stayed away because somebody else was there. They had a whole lot in their heart towards them. They said, "I am not going to play a hypocrite. If I went, I would be a hypocrite." Holding unforgiveness is as deadly as acting like a hypocrite. He had the matter to forgive and come or stay home and hold a grudge. What do you do? You play into the hands of some idea that will build it up. If you could just write down your attitude toward an individual before this starts, and after it starts - you keep a list of it, the person's character after you get through, you would never, never recognize them because of the fact of the immensity of their transgressions that Satan has really piled up. That is the accuser of the brethren. That will happen between husband and wife and cause many a divorce. That will happen between brothers and sisters in the family and divide a family. That will happen in the church. That will happen in the business. We must never give place to the Devil."
- J.B. Buffington