By Dave Butts
We live in a time of spiritual intensity. There is a very clear battle going on for the souls of men and
women. It is not a time for drawing back or shirking our responsibilities. For Christians especially, every word
and action counts for something. It is a time of choices, where those choices may mean life or death.
Though this battle is being fought on many fronts, I want to focus today on the words that come out of our
mouths. Words are powerful weapons in this war. They have the power to heal or destroy. It’s why the Bible
has so many commands concerning our mouths and how we use what we say. We have very clear choices
every time we open our mouths. Most of us recognize that fact. What we may not have seen is that when we
speak we are making a choice between two people…two lifestyles.
As we speak we are deciding whether we are going to follow the Accuser of the brethren or the Intercessor
for the brethren. By the words that come from our mouths we demonstrate whether we are following Satan or
Jesus. In Revelation 12:10, Satan is called “the Accuser of our brothers.” In Hebrews 7:25, we are told that
Jesus “always lives to intercede” for us. The Accuser versus the Intercessor – whose side are you on?
The vast majority of you reading this article would immediately say, “We follow Jesus, the Intercessor!” But
I would say to you that your words spoken in everyday life might betray you. Let’s look at how the Accuser
Dean Sherman, in his great teaching on spiritual warfare, demonstrates that Satan, as the Accuser of the
brethren, comes against us in accusation in three ways:
1) He accuses us before God
2) He accuses us before men, and
3) He accuses us before ourselves.
When Satan accuses us before God, he is defeated most readily. He points out our sins to God and
demands justice. Fortunately, in the court of Heaven we have an advocate – a defense attorney who has
never lost a case. His name is Jesus. His plea on our behalf is always the same. “Your Honor, the defendant
is indeed guilty, but the penalty has been paid. I Myself paid the ultimate penalty for his sin and died in his
place.” The Judge of the living and the dead always rules in our favor – not guilty!
It is in the area of accusing us before others that Satan seems to be the most effective. He uses other
people to accuse us…sometimes for real things we have done…sometimes falsely. But these words of
accusation and criticism harm us and bring damage to our lives.
What is so serious about this is that Satan often uses Christians’ words to damage other Christians. We
must ask ourselves, “Are we doing the Accuser’s ministry for him? Are we carrying around in us the weapons
of the Enemy…words of anger, bitterness and criticism?”
My friends, we must understand that there is no spiritual gift of criticism, though many seem to think so by
their actions. Criticism seems to come naturally to all of us. We say absurd things such as, “Well…I’m
entitled to my opinions about that person.” Who said so? Where did you find such a thing in Scripture? All I
find is that I have been crucified and that it is no longer I who live, but Christ living in me. The only opinion
that matters is that of Jesus. And the only thing I want to hear coming out my mouth about a brother or sister
in Christ, is the opinion of Christ. Who am I to judge the servant of my Master?
How are we to avoid such a grievous sin? Could I suggest that we make a pledge to ourselves? Perhaps a
pledge such as this: “I will speak no evil of anyone. If I feel that it is necessary to rebuke a brother or sister
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because of sin, I will do so only after I have asked my Lord for permission to do so.” Truly living out such a
pledge would keep our mouths shut much more, but would keep our lives free from being followers of the
The third area the Accuser operates in is to accuse us to ourselves. Many Christians go through life feeling
condemned and worthless. That’s not God…that’s the Accuser. Satan will even try to get us to beat up on
ourselves, talking about what miserable persons we are. Dean Sherman spoke a line once that I have never
forgotten. He said, “Never let yourself hear yourself say untrue things about yourself.” Satan is a liar. And if
possible, he’ll get you to believe his lies about yourself, rather than to believe what God has said about you
as His child. He has said that you are redeemed, bought by a price, and made holy by the blood of Jesus.
There is a much better way for us to follow than the way of the Accuser. It is the way of Jesus, the
Intercessor. Hebrews 7:25 says, speaking of Jesus, “Therefore he is able to save completely those who
come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” The present day ministry of Jesus
is that of intercession. He is praying for us. What wonderful assurance! Jesus is continually before the
Throne of His Father on our behalf.
What is really exciting is that you and I are called to join Jesus in His present day ministry. We are called to
intercede – especially for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Paul, in his command to intercede in 1 Timothy 2:1-4 focuses our prayers especially on leaders. I want to
encourage you to pray for leaders. They have great responsibility and because of that face even greater
attacks from the enemy. Satan has limited forces and focuses his attacks on those in leadership, whether it is
among nations, or in the Church. If the Enemy can take down a leader, many other people are usually badly
damaged. So Paul tells us, “pray…for all those in authority.”
Are you praying for your pastor? Your church leaders? Your national leaders? This is a command from
Scripture. It doesn’t command us to agree with them…but to pray for them. Those who move into leadership,
whether in a nation or in a church, often face great criticism. This should not come from Christians. We are
those who are committed to following Jesus, the great Intercessor. May every word we speak identify us as
followers of Christ.
By Dave Butts