"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 brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night" (Rev. 12:10).
We discussed last week that, while there will be an actual time when the salvation, power and kingdom of God are fully manifested when Christ returns, any time the accusing voice of Satan is exposed and renounced, we can possess a partial fulfilment of that future reality today!
Instead of being judgmental, God wants us "prayer-mental." When we see a need, we must not just criticize, but exercise our faith in covering prayer (see 1 John 5:16).
Yet, the above text from Revelation says that the accuser of the brethren accuses the saints before God. Is the devil at the throne of God? Let's look at the highest heavens according to the word of God and see just who has access there. First, Ephesians 2:6 tells us that we, Christ's church, have been raised up and are now seated "with [Christ] in the heavenly places."
Let us understand that, while our bodies and souls are quite fixed here upon earth, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, our spirits have been brought into direct fellowship with Christ in heaven. From this position, we are told we can boldly approach God's throne of grace, and we can enter through prayer and worship into the true holy place of God (Heb. 4:16; 10:19-20; see also Matt. 5:8; Col. 3:1-4).
There are many Scriptures which support the truth of our positional seating with Christ. Yet, is the devil also physically in heaven, accusing us before the throne of God? Nowhere in the visions of John in Revelation, do we find the devil in heaven (See Rev 4). Investigate Hebrews, chapter twelve, and in the discourse concerning the heavenly Jerusalem, again we see no devil in heaven.
On a personal level, to further emphasize that the devil is nowhere near God's throne, during a home meeting in Toronto, Canada, while we were in deep worship before the Lord, in varying degrees the Holy Spirit opened to each of us a view into the heavenly Jerusalem. We saw a realm wherein there was neither darkness nor death. Everything was baptized in the living glory of God. There simply was no need of the sun nor of any other light, for everything was alive, and within everything was the outraying light of God. We beheld many things, but my point is, there was no darkness nor any devil in heaven.
Where then is Satan? Jude tells us that the devil and his demons are imprisoned, spiritually chained with "eternal bonds" to "darkness [reserved] for the judgment" (Jude 1:6). Satan is imprisoned under darkness. The thought that the heavenly Father, "in [whom] there is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5), would countenance the devil intruding upon the eternal worship, accusing the very church for whom His Son had died, is unimaginable.
How then do we explain the Scriptures which allude to a devil accusing us before God? While I freely admit I do not know all the ways in which Satan accuses man before God, let me offer one solution. There are three realms known as "heaven" in the Bible. The most commonly identified as such is the eternal abode of God, angels, and the redeemed. Next, the word "heaven" is used to describe the sky; i.e., "the heavens declare the glory of God" (Ps. 19:1 KJV). But when the Bible says that Satan is in "heaven" or the "heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12; Rev. 12:1-10; Luke 10:18), it is with reference to the spirit realm .
This "heaven" is the spiritual "territory" from which Satan seeks to control the world. Again, it would be foolish to assume we know more than we do about this dimension, but we know this: it is from here that Satan releases his war against the church. (See Eph 3:10)
If it is true that the devil is not in the highest heaven, how then does he accuse the saints before God? We began this discourse by explaining that Christ has positioned our spirits in Him before God's throne. While our spirits connect us to God, our bodies and souls are here on earth. Although I believe the devil does not have unrestricted access to God, he does have access to our thoughts and words . When we harbor sympathetic attitudes toward faultfinding, when we justify gossip and negative, prayer-less criticisms, we are actually giving Satan the use of our mouths to accuse the saints before God!
We have wrongly assumed that our whispers, spoken in darkness, remained hidden even from God. We must realize that "all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do" (Heb. 4:13). Is it not written, "whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light" (Luke 12:3)? God, who is Light, indeed hears the voice of the accuser, even in the guarded confidences spoken to a spouse.
GUARD YOUR TONGUE!
Much of what the Father supplies to the body of Christ is furnished through our confession. This is not simply our positive, premeditated confession expressed in prayer; it consists of everything that comes out of our mouths. Did not Christ Himself say men shall be judged for "every idle (or careless) word" that they speak (Matt. 12:36 KJV)?
Our words are the overflow of the condition of our hearts. Christ, as the "High Priest of our confession" (Heb. 3:1), takes our words, whether in faith or unbelief, and allocates back to us eternal life in proportion to the life or death in our words. When our tongue is unbridled, James tells us that our negative confession "sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell" (James 3:6). If we are supportive of one another, loving each other, protecting one another, we experience much growth and greater spiritual protection. If, however, we are finding fault, criticizing, and talebearing, the voice of the accuser is manifested, and we are judged for our idle and evil words. God looks at what we have said and gives us reality accordingly.
Consequently, we must come to understand that each of our thoughts, and even our most intimate conversations with men, are prayers we are unconsciously offering to the Father, who sees all things continually and in secret. These unaddressed prayers are just as much a part of our confession as our "Dear Lord" prayers, and they are just as influential. Our words about one another, as well as our words to one another, should carry with them the same sense of reverence as when we speak with God. For He is, indeed, listening.
Thus, the accuser must be cast down first in our minds! The kingdom of God and the authority of His Christ will be seen in a people who are terminally committed to love-motivated prayer. For when they see a need, instead of becoming critical, they cast down the accuser of the brethren, and they pray!
Adapted from Francis' popular book, The Three Battlegrounds .