Is it God or the Devil?
Robert Wurtz II
And I heard a great voice saying in Heaven, Now has come the salvation and power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers is cast down, who accused them before our God day and night. (Revelation 12:10)
A dear brother was recently quoted as saying, “I’ve often noted that the enemy of our souls speaks in condemning generalizations and narratives about our character and identities, while the Holy Spirit’s conviction is precise, touching something specifically that is actionable.” This is true and answers to our passage above. The enemy is not interested in corrective action; Satan is the accuser and his demons are slanderers (diabollis). Hence, we have a good guide as to how to know if a thought is arising from the Holy Spirit or from the enemy. We must ask ourselves, “Is this thought with a view to corrective action or is this thought a generalization meant to inflict damage?” In other words, does it edify?
As a young Christian I would see things that brought about a reaction; and that reaction was often a combination of truth and the devil’s added 2 cents. We are being influenced and we have to be careful what we are listening to. We have to be familiar with the types of things that God would or would not say. A close look at Revelation 2 & 3 show Jesus speaking to the churches according to their need first what is right and then giving out actionable revelation. This was His pattern in other places as well.*
A great cause of conflict in our times comes about as the result of a combination of zeal for what is right and an unwillingness to seek God for the solution. If we take matters into our own hands we may take a ‘guns-blazing’ approach and speak from our own heart and counsel and not the counsel and wisdom of God. The wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God. We have to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
A simple analogy comes to mind. My great grandmother used to have a policy that if none of her children confessed to a bad deed then she would line them all up and spank them all. Her reasoning? “If I spank them all then I know I’ll get the right one!” Can you imagine the resentment and bitterness such an event would cause? Imagine taking a spanking or watching one of your siblings taking a spanking for something they did not do. This is what happens many times. Folks get thrown into groups and ‘spanked’ by well intentioned believers. They whist not what they do.
The truth is, not everyone is guilty of what they are accused of. God refused to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if just a few righteous were found. Why? Far be it from God to destroy the righteous with the wicked. And in the churches of God, He does not pour fire upon the non-guilty parties in any sin. The enemy sees the churches of God as one enemy and treats them as such. God loves His people and seeks to correct them- not to condemn them. So we see then two things: God will not punish all to ‘get the right one’ and God will bring actionable revelation (a plan forward) rather than simply make hurtful blows.
* “And the crowds were questioning him, saying, “Then what shall we do?” And he would answer and say to them, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.”
And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.”
Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.”