Casting Down The Accuser Of The Brethren

By Francis Frangipane

"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).

There will be an actual point in time when the salvation, power and kingdom of God, as well as the authority of Christ, is manifested in the earth. While we wait patiently for the final fulfillment of that glorious event at the return of Jesus Christ, the spirit of this reality can be possessed any time a people determine to walk free of criticism and faultfinding, and turn their sights toward love and prayer for each other.

There are God-ordained procedures to initiate correction within a church. These corrections should be done by "you who are spiritual . . . in a spirit of gentleness . . . looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted." Your motive should not be to destroy, but to "restore such a one" (Gal. 6:1). Accusations against an elder, though, should not even be received except on the basis of two or three witnesses (1 Tim. 5:19). The "witnesses" spoken of here are eye -witnesses, not the intuitive "witness" or "sense" someone receives apart from hard and visible facts. All too often, these sense "witnesses" are sent by hell to destroy the harmony of a church with rumors and gossip.

When the scriptural approach to rectifying a situation is ignored, it opens the door to fault-finding, fleshly criticisms, and judging, which are the evidences that the "accuser of the brethren" is assaulting the church. Where these sins are operative, the movement of the Holy Spirit is restricted: salvations are few, power is minimal, and spiritual authority is crippled. Such a church is in serious danger.

To be truly anointed to bring Christ's corrections to a church, one must be anointed with Christ's motives. The Scriptures are plain, Jesus "always lives to make intercession for [the saints]" (Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34). God does not call us to judge each other, but to pray for one another. If we see a need in the body of Christ, we must intercede and not simply criticize. Our pattern must be to follow Christ in building and restoring, not to echo the accuser of the brethren in finding fault.

Many years ago I belonged to a national Christian organization that had several serious problems. At that time I was pastoring a small church and I felt perhaps we should leave this group because of what was wrong. So, with fasting and prayer, the congregation and I began to seek the Lord. At the end of that time I wrote a "list" of complaints and, actually holding them before God, I prayed (somewhat self-righteously),

"Lord, look at the errors in these people. Direct us, Lord, what should we do?"
Immediately the Lord replied, "Have you seen these things?"
"Yes, Lord," I answered, "I have seen their sins."
To which He said, "So also have I, but I died for them, you go and do likewise."

From that day on, I found a grace from God to seek to be a source of life and prayer wherever I was serving God. I determined to not be overwhelmed by what was wrong, but to seek to bring redemption to every situation.

You see, we will always be serving in churches where something is wrong. Our response to what we see defines how Christlike we are actually becoming. If we see weakness in the body of Christ, our call is to supply strength. Where we see sin, our response is to exemplify virtue. When we discover fear, we must impart courage; and where there is worldliness, we must display holiness. Our assignment is to enter the place of need and stand there until the body of Christ is built up in that area.

Can You Make it Right?
The year was 1981. I had saved my money and purchased a Commodore 64 computer. Eagerly, I opened the box, unwrapped the computer, and plugged in the monitor and keyboard. But nothing happened; the screen was blank. Try as I might, I couldn't make it work. I studied the instructions, looked at the sample pictures, but still couldn't make it function as I knew it should. You see, it doesn't take any skill to recognize that a blank screen is wrong; the skill comes in making it right.

Likewise, anyone can see what's wrong with a person, a church or a community. The question is this: When we see something wrong, do we know how to make things right? How can we reveal the character and prayer-life of Jesus, and reverse what was wrong?

The truth is, beloved, that the Lord has intentionally placed us in a world that is imperfect, for the area of need before us is the "land of our anointing." In other words, where we see something that is less than Christ, we are also seeing our opportunity to become Christlike. The Lord doesn't want us to complain that the nursery carpet is dirty; He wants us to clean the carpet. He doesn't want us to discuss how poor the pastor's preaching is; He desires we intercede for the pastor.

Currently, there has been an increased attack of discontent, criticism and outright slander coming against a number of ministries. It's not that some of the issues raised are not in need of transformation; the real issue is that God has not called us to criticize, but to exercise the power of intercessory prayer. Satan wants to destroy ministries; God wants to purify and transform. We must choose to stand with the Lord--even praying for the critics, as well.

We will never see the "salvation . . . power . . . kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ" come until "the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down." Let us begin this march toward victory today by casting down the accuser from our minds and hearts, and submitting ourselves to the intercessory heart of Jesus Christ.
Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, The Three Battlegrounds available at www.arrowbookstore.com.

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