Accusing the Brothers
In Revelation 12 we learn that the dragon is an accuser, that he criticizes and condemns the brothers day and night before God (Revelation 12:10).
On one hand, it seems brash. Imagine the chutzpah it takes to come into God’s presence and start charging God’s chosen people with fault before God.
On the other hand, Satan accuses based on God’s own standards. Satan is a liar, but his accusations have an appearance of legitimacy based on God’s law. The “brothers” aren’t guilty of disobeying the devil, they are guilty of disobeying the holy One, and the devil knows it.
Satan doesn’t have to make up things about us. Since he isn’t omniscient, we probably know more than he does about our guilt. Since God is omniscient, He certainly does. What can we do?
If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand? (Psalm 130:3)
None is righteous, no, not one. (Romans 3:10)
But no accusation is more powerful than Christ’s atonement. Every so often I talk with someone who thinks that his or her sin is too much for Christ to forgive. They believe their sin is too wicked or that they’ve sinned too repeatedly. Whether or not the devil himself is at work directly, or working through his spirit in the world, or even working through someone else taking on that spirit, it’s easy to listen to the accusations.
The good news is that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). The law convicts us, the Spirit points out our disobedience, but the gospel announces justification and reconciliation. “In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses again them…. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:19, 21).