The Six Powers of Satan and How to Overcome Them: Part 4
The Power of Accusation
In this six-part series, we are exploring the six powers of Satan and how to overcome them. The six powers of Satan are:
- Lies—he is the father of lies
- The kingdoms of the world with their imposed law with coercive enforcement—he is the prince of this world
- Worldly economics—mammon, the false god of money, buying, selling, and owning
- Accusations—he is the “satan,” the accuser
- Temptation and division—he is the devil, the ancient serpent who tempts and divides
- Death and destruction—he is the destroyer whose powers result in death
In part one, we examined the power of lies—how lies that are believed break the circle of love and trust and result in fear and selfishness, and how every human born after Adam’s sin is born infected with fear and selfishness.
This fear-driven, me-first survival instinct is the energizing motivator of the dark-side, and all of Satan’s various powers are used to increase fear and inflame selfishness, which gives him greater control over people—ultimately destroying love and the fruits of the Spirit out of the hearts of those who, in some way, turn to self and practice selfish methods to cope with the fear.
In part two, we examined Satan’s power of worldly governments, of using the rule of law, made-up rules, outward force, and inflicted punishments to coerce people, in contrast to Jesus’ inward-focused kingdom of heart change.
In part three, we explored how fear and selfishness are the basis of all human economics—which operate on buying, selling, ownership, and arbitrary realities—and work exactly opposite of God’s economy, which operates on freedom, love, objective reality, and free giving.
In part four, we will examine Satan’s fourth power, which is what the name “Satan” literally means: accuser. Satan’s fourth power is the power of accusation or allegation. He uses this power against us both internally, when our own guilt and shame causes us to accuse ourselves, and externally; that is, when others accuse us.
The Power of Accusation
Accusations are used to intimidate; to silence; to confuse; to incite guilt, shame, fear, and insecurity; to discourage; to defeat; to create hopelessness; to misrepresent; to deceive and mislead; and to manipulate.
God never uses accusations: “Even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’” (Jude 9 NIV84).
Satan and his agencies accuse, and in this world, we see this power wielded all the time. Nation states accuse each other of spying, of cheating, of election interference, of human rights abuse, of the exploitation of people of color, of environmental destruction, of unfair trade practices, of currency manipulation—and on and on the accusations go.
Politicians constantly make accusations against their political rivals. These allegations are designed to defame, malign, and disparage. Such accusations are intended to manipulate both the one accused—to get them to react, to move them in various directions—and the public. Just recall all the accusations flying through the media landscape during the last election cycle: racist, sexist, white supremacist, bigot, communist, socialist, leftist, anti-American, anti-military, terrorist, destroyer of the environment, killer, mentally defective—and on and on the accusations went.
Accusations are used to trigger fear in both the one accused and those who hear the accusation. In the one accused, accusations are intended to incite doubt, the fear of being wrong, which leads to fear of embarrassment and fear of inadequacy, which leads to fear of humiliation and what others think, which leads to fear of rejection, fear of losing position, power, and respect. These fears lead people to seek to protect themselves, typically through Satan’s methods. We retaliate against the accuser and seek to destroy them, either literally by killing them or figuratively by destroying their reputation, their public ministry or platform, or by having them fired from their job or getting them canceled—all in order to silence them.
Our counterattack, driven by our fear and need to protect self, is often done using Satan’s method of accusation against them: We accuse our accuser and, thus, we fall into the enemy’s trap, embracing his methods into our hearts and becoming just as much an accuser as he is. Yet, because we were accused first, because we were wronged, and because we already believe Satan’s lie that God’s law works like human law and that justice is achieved through the infliction of penalty, we deceive ourselves into thinking it is right and just and good to accuse and seek to punish our accuser for their attack on us. Oh, how diabolical our ancient enemy is!
It is our own fears, insecurity, and shortcomings that we have not surrendered to Jesus and overcome by His grace that causes us to accuse others, to find fault in others, to criticize and demean—especially those whose lives expose our own failings.
It is because Jesus’ righteous life exposed the hypocrisy and selfishness of the religious leaders of His day that they hated Him and accused Him of:
- driving out demons by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons (Matthew 12:24)
- blasphemy (Matthew 9:3; 26:65)
- being unrighteous by associating with tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 9:11)
- not supporting God by not paying the temple tax (Matthew 17:24)
- breaking the Sabbath law (Mark 3:2–6)
- saying He would destroy Herod’s temple and rebuild it in three days (Matthew 26:61)
- being demon-possessed, insane, or mad (John 10:20)
As our lives reveal Jesus ever more accurately, as we live His love more fully, as we speak truth more clearly, the light of heavenly love and truth shines into the dark hearts of those who prefer lies and selfishness. If they don’t repent, their own fear, their own guilt, and their own shame fill them with hate—hate of what they see in themselves. But refusing to repent, they deny the true focus of their malice (their disgust with their own weakness and sinfulness) and project all their rage onto the lights—those righteous saints of God, whose godly lives expose their wickedness—and they accuse the righteous of every kind of evil imaginable.
But Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11,12 NIV84).
Accusation is Satan’s fourth power, and it is used to trigger fear—fear of rejection, humiliation, embarrassment, and ultimately some type of loss. And this fear tempts us to act to protect self, to retaliate, to lash out, to defend, to accuse, and to embrace the methods of this world in seeking to make it right, to do justice through Satan’s kingdom and methods. And the conflict, the war, the fighting, and the destruction of hearts, minds, and characters continue as nation wars against nation, political party against political party, person against person.
We cannot overcome the Satan on our own—but Jesus has overcome all the powers of the enemy:
Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross (Colossians 2:15 NIV84).
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37–39 NIV84).
The most critical point, the central issue, is to remember that all of Satan’s powers exploit or magnify fear, but what is it that casts out all fear? Love! It is God’s love in our hearts that is the key, being loved and loving others. Satan wants to separate us from God’s love and truth, and all his powers are designed to do that—but if we remain in God’s love, we are more than conquerors. But without love, real love, we will be destroyed by fear as we try to cope with fear by using Satan’s methods.
It is when we trust Jesus, when we know God and experience His love in our hearts, when we place our reputation, our position, our estate, our future into His hands, and stop trying to make ourselves feel safe, when we take the focus off our own security and instead focus on glorifying our Father in heaven by living out His principles in our daily lives, that we are more than conquerors—that Satan’s accusations have no power over us.
In our love and trust of God, we are called to:
Stay strong in your connection and devotion to the Lord and his mighty power. Arm your minds with God’s complete set of armor so that you can join the ranks of Christ’s soldiers and stand successfully in the face of the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, with man-made weapons, but against all individuals, entities and powers that misrepresent God and darken minds, and against Satan–the originator of lies about God–and his cohorts who also misrepresent God in the heavenly realms. Therefore arm your minds with God’s full set of armor so that when Satan’s grand deception comes and it seems the heavens are about to fall, you are able to stand; and when you have done everything to present the truth and expose Satan’s lies–don’t falter; stand! Stand firm, with the truth of God wrapped around you like a belt; with a righteous, Christlike character developed within–like a breastplate; and the peace that comes from accepting the good news about God–like track shoes providing good traction and a solid foundation. Also, hold fast the shield of trust, which extinguishes all the burning fear and insecurity brought by the devil’s temptations. Take with you the helmet of a healed mind–a mind protected from the assaults of Satan; and attack the lies about God with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God–the truth. And talk with God with an enlightened mind, intelligently, on all occasions, about all of your concerns, requests, plans, and issues. With all of this in mind, be alert and always keep praying for God’s people (Ephesians 6:10–18 The Remedy).
So when accusations come, don’t give into the fear; instead, love your enemies, understand that their accusations against you reveal the sin-sickness in their hearts, and pray as Jesus did: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34 NIV84).