by Lim Chong Teck
In Gen 1:26-27, the bible tells us that we have been created in the image of God. It was God’s purpose that we should remain in His image both in nature and by choice of adhering to His ways in which it would reflect His image. Due to the fall of man through sin by our own choice, we have altered that image in whom we should reflect. Man who was made in the image of God took upon himself a different image. In John 8:44 Christ alluded to the Pharisees of that time as people who have taken on the image of “their father,” the father of lies.
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Who we follow is who we image ourselves to be.
But it was not God’s plan that we should image ourselves in the bondage of sin after Satan. We are in bondage of sin when we sin and suffer its wages (Rom 6:23). We are also in bondage when we serve sin (Rom 6:16). It is through Christ who paid the debt of sin and put us under grace that made us truly free from sin (Rom 6:14, 23).
In Rom 8:29, we are reminded it was God’s plan that after the fall of men we should be given a new chance to be regenerated into a new man after the image of his Son. God provided us a way through Christ whom we may retain His image in a full sense.
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
1 Cor 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1Cor 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1 Cor 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
Eph 4:15 tells us to “grow up into him in all things”
Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
We therefore are to be like Christ, to be imaged after His Son rather than of the world after Satan.
We are again reminded as a new creature in Christ to renew our mind and to put on the new man. It tells us of a change in mind that results in a change of actions that reflect after God in righteousness and true holiness.
Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
We are well informed that Satan has some names attributed to him because of his character, motives, and action. He has been called a deceiver (2 Cor 11: 3, Rev 12:9), a destroyer/murderer (Jn 8:44, Jn 10:10), a roaring lion seeking to devour (1 Peter 5:8), and an accuser (Rev 12:9-10, Zech 3:1).
As we deal with the word accuser, we need to realize that the Bible does not take lightly a person’s accusation. They must be true and not false. They are to have a witness’s account to confirm such an accusation. This is because an accusation seeks judgment and therefore needs to be truthful and impartial, otherwise, the party accused will suffer wrong. And God is not pleased with slanderers and does not take lightly such evil. It would be therefore necessary that the motive is to bring a person to justice rather than pander to a personal agenda.
John 5:45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
Tit 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
1Tim 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
“Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure.” Psalms 101:5 ESV
Furthermore one can bring an accusation against another to judgment solely for the purpose of destroying the person. But it is not in the nature of God to seek destruction even for sinners but rather the present and impending judgment would in some way dissuade a person to turn from sin and live.
Eze 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? ( cf 1Cor 5:5, 2 Cor 2:5-11)
That is why God sent Jesus, to seek and save that which was lost (John 3:16-17, Luke 19:10).
As we look into the word to describe Satan “diabolos” or false accuser, we should take heed not to follow in his footsteps. Principally an accuser is an enemy (Rev 12:9-10, Luke 22:31, John 8:44) but an advocate is a friend (1 John 2:1). Some of the points to note are as follows
1. A false accuser always has an ulterior motive for accusing someone.
Instead of warning or saving, his purpose of accusation is for the destruction of the person rather than saving them (John 10:10). In Mathew 26: 59-66, our Lord was put to trial before false witnesses with the motive of destroying His character and a “valid” reason to kill Him. What is our motive for bringing someone to judgment? Is it to save or to destroy? The heart of an accuser or an advocate is seen in John 8 with regards to the woman caught in adultery. The Pharisees had a heart to kill and destroy while the heart of Jesus was to save a sinner from sin and death.
The heart of an accuser usually looks after his own interest rather than others’ and counts himself better than others.
In the parable of the unforgiving servant, the servant was unwilling to forgive his fellow servants although his master showed him greater mercy. While he had a valid reason, certainly he was ungrateful and evil when he accused his fellow servant of not paying up and have him put into prison. Do we continually accuse others (it may be true too!) and are unable to forgive? Take heed of the accusing motive with an unforgiving heart, because it will not profit us or others (Matt 18:22-35).
In the parable of the Pharisee and publican, we can
1. see the judgmental attitude of an accuser. They almost always accuse someone of their faults and see themselves beyond reproach. Accusing each other creates enmity among brethren.
Do we find ourselves accusing each other regularly? Or do we do we try to understand and give way and look into the interest of others?
2. Accusers cause enmity with the brethren.
In James 4, James warns us of friendship with the world i.e accepting the morals, values, and methods of the world. And in a deeper sense, it also refers to loving the world i.e the things of the world. This is described in 1 John 2 as the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. James further mentions a second part that disrupts and weakens our faith and relationship with God and the brethren. The role of an accuser is camouflaged by our judgments which we deem to be right.
Jas 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
Jas 4:12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
Many other passages which have the idea of slanderers/speaking evil are grouped together with other traits that cause enmity among brethren.
Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
1Pet 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings…
3. Accusing spirit takes away the joy of serving God.
In Luke 10: 38-42, we read of Martha who did so much work to prepare food for the Lord. Amidst her business, a complaining and accusing heart cropped in. She complained of her sister Mary of not helping and accused of Jesus of not calling her sister to help. The joy of service was no longer present.
We can see another example of people accusing others of doing less and ourselves as doing more in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:25-32). They are unable to see the blessings they received from the Lord. One cannot but note the joy of serving the master/father is taken away by the accusation of others whom we think are doing less but are treated well. Our focus is distracted with what others should or should not do rather than the joy of our service. Jesus our Advocate finds joy in serving God.
Psa 40:7-8 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
David encourages us to serve with gladness!
Psa 100:1 A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Psa 100:2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Psa 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Psa 100:4 Enter into his gates with LORD is thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
Psa 100:5 For the good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Castaway the accusing spirit and find joy in serving the Lord. Jesus our advocate understands the predicament a person is facing and offers help (Heb 4:14-16). Are we able to put ourselves in another’s shoes before starting to accuse him?
Are we molding ourselves as accusers or as advocates? Brethren, who we follow is who we image ourselves to be.
Note: all scriptures quoted from KJV unless otherwise indicated.