Sunday, July 25, 2010

What is Sin - Part 12 : The Sin of Accusation

Part 12 - The Sin of Accusation
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |



Exodus 20:16
"You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.


Accusation by Satan and his followers often follows the vain regret of a forgiven sin, because the enemy wants the Christian to think that God's forgiveness of their sin was incomplete or that there was something they failed to do.

Demonic forces do not want a Christian to resolve their vain regrets for several reasons:

If the enemy cannot have you, they will attempt to prevent you from serving God.

The enemy will attempt to remind you of your past problems and failures.

The enemy will attempt to get you to focus on yourself - not others.

The enemy will attempt to continuously remind you that something was left undone.

You may say, "I understand the foolishness of allowing vain regrets to dominate my life. But what do I do when I still feel guilty about my past, even after I have asked forgiveness and put the situation behind me?"

Accusation is a problem with which many sincere Believers struggle.
Let's do some evaluating.
If the Holy Spirit has convicted you of sin, and you have confessed it, and repented, you are forgiven and cleansed.

Would the Holy Spirit reconvict you of that same sin? No, of course not. That particular sin is no longer there; it has been forgiven and cleansed!

So who would be trying to throw forgiven sin back in your face and make you feel guilty and unproductive for God and His work?


Ephesians 6:16 clearly states that Satan, or one of his demonic archers; shoot arrows, tipped with fire, at Christians.

Flaming arrows, which are not immediately extinguished, can burn even a born again Christian.

Today we will discuss these flaming arrows, and how you can be attacked by false accusations, and how you may be attacking others, and what we must do about it.

I.                   ACCUSATIONS AGAINST YOU

a.      Accusations Against You By Satan
                                                             i.       SLIDE 4 Revelation 12:10 says that one of Satan’s key attacks against a believer is accusation.  He is even called “The Accuser”, “the one who accused our brothers and sisters before our God, day and night.”

1.      I believe these accusations are some of those fiery arrows of Ephesians 6:16
                                                          ii.      Revelation 12:9-10 - The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
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.  

                                                       iii.      Remember Job?
1.      Job 1:6-11  6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.

7 The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?"
      Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
(Roaming ravenous lion, looking for whom he may devour!)

 8 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."

 9 "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. 10 "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."

2.      SLIDE 5 The Devil’s Diabolical Shame Cycle
a.      Temptation & Sin
b.     leads to - Conviction & Accusation
                                                                                                                                      i.      leads to - Guilt & Denial
1.      leads to - Dead Works & Despair
a.      leads to Temptation & Sin

3.      SLIDE 6 God’s Freeing Grace-Based Journey
a.      Temptation & Sin
b.     leads to - Conviction & Repentance
                                                                                                                                      i.      leads us - Deeper in the Grace of God
1.      leads us - Ongoing Engagement

How does demonic accusation typically play out in the theater of your mind?


THE ACCUSER: You sinned - you are feeling so bad today, you must have done something wrong.

BELIEVER: Oh no. God, forgive me. I'm sorry. I'm not sure what I did, but it must have been something bad or why would I be under such conviction?

THE ACCUSER: You really think God will hear an insincere prayer like that?  Confess your sin and pray again.  You forgot to begin with, "Our Father" and did not end "in Jesus' name."

BELIEVER: God, please forgive me. I really am sorry for my sin and for praying so insincerely.

THE ACCUSER: Didn't God hear you the first time? Confess your unbelief as sin.

BELIEVER: Father, forgive me for my unbelief. I'm so sorry I doubted your promises.

THE ACCUSER: Aren't you supposed to redeem the time? You wasted it. People are going to hell while you waste time.

BELIEVER: God, forgive me for wasting your time and sending people to hell.

THE ACCUSER: You're a terrible Christian.  Do God a favor and quit.  You are such a miserable example of being a Christian.  Why don't you give up and die?

BELIEVER: God, I feel like a failure.  Everything I do goes wrong.  Sometimes I think it might be easier if I could just die.

THE ACCUSER: Isn't God in control of all things? Why do you go through such mental anguish when most of your friends seem to enjoy their Christian life? If God really loved you wouldn't He put a stop to this? Either God does not love you, or you are not really a Christian.

BELIEVER: God why don't You stop this if You are all-powerful? Don't You love me? This is not fair.

THE ACCUSER: Do you think a true Christian would attack the only one who loved them enough to die for them?  You are not a Christian.  Either you never were or you have fallen from grace.

SLIDE 8 On and on it goes. The longer it goes on, the worse you feel.

Conviction of un-confessed sin needs to be confessed. However, endless accusations and reminders of previously confessed sin need to be rejected, resisted and finally ignored!

James 4:7-8
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you.

Ephesians 6:13-17
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, TAKING UP THE SHIELD OF FAITH which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the word of God.

I Peter 5:7-8
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
 8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

True guilt confessed, brings cleansing and freedom, because of God's total and complete forgiveness.

False guilt (demonic accusations) always brings escalating feelings of frustration, depression and hopelessness, because the Christian has been led to believe that God's forgiveness is not total and complete.

How do you tell the difference between conviction from God and accusation from demons?
The intent of the Holy Spirit, when it convicts you of a sin, is to change behavior and make you better for God's service.

The intent of demonic accusation is to produce false guilt and remind you why you are unfit for God's service.

b.     Accusations Against You By Others
                                                             i.      I was attacked by a Lutheran follower a few days ago

1.       He said I was mislead, unlearned, did not know, nor understand scripture, and that I was spreading lies and teaching “false doctrines”
a.      this is not the first time I’ve been attacked by a so-called follower of Jesus Christ for not ‘adhering’ to precepts taught by man.

2.      What brought this attack about?
a.      I told a friend not to blame himself for his child wandering from the faith, because even when we raise our children correctly, they still have to choose Christ for themselves.

b.     Lutheran’s do not believe man has a choice, but have been taught by their denomination “which is the traditional teaching of men”, that God has already chosen who will go to heaven and hell, and there is “NO FREE WILL” in men.

                                                                                                                                     i.      But THIS teaching is the false teaching;
1.      This is man’s tradition
2.      Doctrine of Lutheran church
3.      Dozens of scriptures tell man “choose God”
4.      If Lutherans were correct;
a.      Why Preach?
b.      Why confess?
c.      Why repent?
                                                                                                                                                                                                              i.      God has already decided who is going to heaven and who is going to hell...
5.      This teaching negates the Great Commission!

c.      After sharing many scriptures which showed his err, and even scriptures warning about “making God’s word void because of the traditions of men being honored over God’s teachings”, he refused to listen and accused me of heresy.

                                                          ii.      Satan and those who used by Satan will attack us.
1.      Remember Ephesians 6...we do NOT battle against flesh and blood...but against evil spirits in high places!
a.      Although men will attack you, it is the force causing this attack that you are really at war with, not the man himself!

c.      Accusations Against You By Yourself

                                                             i.      Our own mind can be our worst enemy
1.      Romans 12:1-2   1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

2.      2 Corinthians 10:4-6  4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

3.      2 Peter 3:1-2   1Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

4.      Ephesians 4:17  So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.

5.      I Corinthians 14:20  Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.

6.      Romans 1:21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

7.      I Corinthians 3:18  Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise.

d.     What does the Accusing Spirit hope to accomplish?
                                                             i.      The fruit of the accusing spirit is widely varied. Self-hate almost always involves the accusing spirit. Guilt, and fear resulting from guilt (when you feel ashamed, you'll be afraid like Adam and Eve were when guilt drove them to hide from God). Doubt, unbelief, hate, judgementalism, critical spirit, resentment towards God, feelings of hopelessness, shame, etc. The list goes on and on.

                                                          ii.      What does the accusing spirit really want to do? Tear apart your faith and wear you down spiritually. He wants you to walk in guilt, condemnation, and never feel worthy of God's glorious plan for your life. It's goal is to wear you down, and make you weak as a child of God.

                                                       iii.      The accusing spirit thrives on repeated failures or bondages, or iniquities.  Pornography or lust, for example, is a perfect example. A person can keep failing, but have their heart right before the Lord. They feel terrible each and every time they fall into that sin. Paul told us in Romans chapter 7 that he struggled with repeated failures in his own life as a Spirit-filled believer! A person who doesn't understand their bondage may have no clue that pornography is usually a bondage with roots that need to be ministered to. The accusing spirit, however, is right there to tell them how dirty and sick their mind is. This is, again, the work of the accusing spirit.

                                                         iv.      The accusing spirit is a finger-pointing spirit. It is a blaming spirit that specializes in digging up the past, and blaming somebody for it. That somebody could be you, others, or God. It works hand-in-hand with a critical spirit, or judgementalism.

                                                             i.      How do we combat this deceitful spirit? For one, we need to fill our mind with the voice of God's Word (concerning the forgiveness of sins, God's love and mercy, etc.). We need to learn to recognize the voice of the accusing spirit and cast it down.

1.      Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.  - 2 Corinthians 10:5

a.      False Witness About Another
                                                             i.      When we speak against others, things that are not truth, we are guilty of the sin of accusation, and behaving like Satan.

b.     Gossip and Slander
                                                             i.      Gossip and Slander are forms of false witness and accusing attacks, and are sin when we do them.

c.      The Sin of Accusation
                                                             i.      Many of us have misspoken about someone else. 
1.      We MUST confess our sin
2.      have a heartfelt repentance

III.            SO WHAT DO WE DO?
a.      Understand Satan’s Plan
                                                             i.      John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

1.      We do have sin
a.      I John 1:8-10   8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

2.      We have the choice to: CONFESS IT or CONCEAL IT

a.      Concealing only brings misery and suffering
                                                                                                                                      i.      David wrote of this in psalms

b.     Confessing brings healing
                                                                                                                                      i.      James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

The following suggestions can be a great help as you learn to become more discerning at distinguishing the difference between God's conviction and demonic accusation.

Know Scripture - Voices, thoughts, impressions and ideas that contradict Scripture are not from God.

Specific or General - The Holy Spirit convicts Christians of specific sin, seeking to restore our fellowship with God. Demonic archers accuse in generalities and dredge up forgiven failures from our past, hoping to destroy our active fellowship with God.

Paul never found justice in this world since he began receiving accusations from Satan and others.

He was imprisoned because of these accusations, and never again on earth saw freedom. (Acts 25:14-27)

Accusing spirits, whether devils or men, want us to over look or even discredit God’s remedy for our failures, which is Jesus Christ.

We must rejoice when we are accused, and resist Satan’s attacks, and he will flee.

And if we are the cause of the accusations, we must confess and repent.