The Accuser of the Brethren Has Been Cast Down
During his exile on the Island of Patmos, the Apostle John saw a vision of Satan, the accuser of the brethren (the word ‘brethren’ used here is referring to those who are believers in Christ), being cast down out of heaven, into the earth below.
“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time’”(Revelation 12:7-21).
- The accuser of the brethren has been cast down, hallelujah!
- For those who have received Christ Jesus as their Lord and saviour and who have believed in his name, there is no more need to fear!
Like Christ, Paul was long-suffering concerning the words and accusations of others, but he also understood their hearts. In the Book of Romans, Paul explains he was slanderously reported as saying, “Let us do evil that good may come.” This whole statement is an afront to the Body of Christ, because it seeks to undermine the ministry of the Cross and the mighty workings of Christ’s power on our behalf. “And why not say, ‘Let us do evil that good may come?’ — as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just” (Romans 3:8).
- The apostles were ministers of the covenant of Israel and Judah both.
- For his grace is sufficient and has been made freely available to all.
To the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos, Jesus said: “’I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.’ And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely”.(Revelation 22:16 & 17)
Again, the Apostle Paul said: “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved’ (*Made whole)” (Romans 10:9-13). (*See Strong’s Concordance).
- Our God is the God of the whosoever will!
- The finished work of the cross denotes the power of God on our behalf!
- We can run to the Father’s arms in repentance, receive his forgiveness, and fall into his loving embrace!
- Christ came to free us from the curse of the law so that we would be enabled to live holy lives – not so that we would keep repeating the same mistakes!
The Poison on Our Tongues
Some months ago, when I was contemplating the cursing words of others, the Lord said to me, “There is an asp that sits under the tongue.” It was not long after this that I came upon these Scriptures in Romans Chapter Three, where Paul describes the sinful nature, or common fate of all mankind without the intervention of Christ. Moving on from their slanderous report, Paul continues, “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin” (Romans 3:9). Then, quoting directly from different passages in the Old Testament, Paul continues, “As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.’ ‘Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit;’ ‘the poison of asps is under their lips;’ ‘whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.’ ‘Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known.’ ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes’” (Romans 3:10-18). (See quotations from Ecclesiastes 7:20, Psalm 14:1-3, Psalm 53:1-3, Psalm 5:9, Psalm 140:3, Isaiah 59:7&8 and Psalm 36:1). Speaking again of the wicked, Psalm 10:7 also reads: “His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue is trouble and iniquity.”
One of the passages of Scripture that Paul quotes from here, came from King David, who, when speaking of his pursuers, those men of violence who were seeking to take his life, said, “Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts; they continually gather together for war. They sharpen their tongues like a serpent (*translated ‘snake’); the poison of asps (*meaning to coil, an asp, or an adder) is under their lips. Selah. Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men, who have purposed to make my steps stumble” (Psalm 140:1-4). (*See Strong’s Concordance).
It is God therefore, Who, as a loving Father, through Christ Jesus, has intervened on our behalf through the finished work of the Cross, to set us free from these cursing spirits. This is true, whether we are the ones on the receiving end of those who are cursing; or whether it is we who are in need of deliverance.
- There is healing in the name of Jesus!
- There is freedom in the name of Jesus!
Overcoming the Cursing Words of Others
It is interesting to note in Psalm 140, that these things were being done by those whom David described as evil and violent men who planned evil in their hearts, who had purposed to make David’s steps stumble. The ‘asp’, or ‘adder’ that both King David and the Apostle Paul describe in these verses as sitting under a man’s lips; and which Strong’s Concordance describes as a small and most venomous serpent, the bite of which is fatal unless the bitten part be immediately cut away; the Lord revealed to me, is referring to a demon, or to demonic forces that attack the lives and ministries of others. These demonic spirits operate through the works of the flesh, or the cursing words and voices of others. Many of those in ministry today, experience these demonic attacks on a daily basis. But the over-coming of the cursing words of others is not new to our day and age. Both John the Baptist and Jesus Himself called the Scribes and the Pharisees of their day who were always questioning their authority, a ‘generation’ or a ‘brood’ (*translated ‘offspring’ or‘fruit’) of ‘vipers’ (*translated ‘adder’). Jesus also called them ‘serpents’ (*translated as ‘snake’; figuratively, (as a type of sly cunning) ‘an artful malicious person’; ‘especially Satan: -serpent’) (*See Strong’s Concordance and Mathew 3:7; 12:34; 23:33 and Luke 3:7). In calling the Scribes and Pharisees a brood of vipers, John the Baptist and Jesus were showing, that the words these men were speaking (the fruit of their lips) did not come from God, but had a demonic source operating directly behind them.
These same counterfeit spirits still operate in and through the lives of many today, but the Lord has given us the authority as believers in Christ to overcome them in Jesus’ mighty name — hallelujah!
Jesus Came to Set the Captives Free!
This is significant to both! To those who have been doing the cursing and to those who have been spoken against — it makes no difference! Jesus came to set the captives free! Many who have been the perpetrators of these things have been so deeply wounded in their past so that they no longer desire to be free, but God longs to bring freedom to all men! For it was for freedom that Christ came to set us free. The apostle Paul said: “it was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
It was for this reason also that God released gifts to men. “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says: ‘When He (Jesus) ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men’” (Ephesians 4:7&8).
“And He Himself (Speaking again of Jesus Christ) gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love”.(Ephesians 4:11-16)
- Jesus came to set the captives free! – those who through fear of death have all their lives been held in bondage to sin.
- We are called to freedom!
- We are called to be free!
The writer of Hebrews said, “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood (this is speaking of the resurrection promises and the power of Christ for us who believe), He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He (Jesus Christ) might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:11-15).
The Gospel of Luke likewise testifies of what Jesus Christ said about Himself – that He is the One Who will bring healing and Salvation to many. “So He (speaking of Jesus) came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ’The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’ Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:16-21).
Jesus is the Great Physician!
- He is the one who heals our hearts and is able to set us free!
- The Powerful Gift of Speaking in Tongues
The Lord has spoken to me in more recent times, about someone who had been speaking in demonic tongues, whilst indicating to me that these things were being done by remote. This may have been a reference to the cursing words of others, or it may have been a demonic counterfeit to the legitimate gift of tongues that is just one of the operations of the Holy Spirit still operating within the lives of many believers today. Satan has many counterfeit spirits that operate contrary to the Word of God. Outwardly they may look or sound similar, but these counterfeits are satanic in origin. However, the legitimate ability to speak in other tongues, (by this, meaning an unknown language or a God-given language that has never been previously learnt), is a significant gift that comes from the Father heart of God. The apostle James said, “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
This legitimate gift of speaking in new tongues is just one of the signs of the baptism of the Holy Spirit that is still given by Christ to christian believers today. The other signs of the baptism of the Holy Spirit are: gifts of prophecy; the power to be His witnesses; and the workings of signs; wonders and miracles in Jesus’ mighty name.
These are all power gifts that enable the gospel of Christ to be spread abroad, with authority, throughout the nations!
Power to be Witnesses
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is described in Acts Chapter One, as necessary to give us the power to be His witnesseson the earth and was a promise given by Christ to all believers before He returned to heaven. John the Baptist, speaking of Jesus, had also previously said, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 3:16). Again, before ascending into heaven, Jesus purposely commanded His disciples, “not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” (Acts 1:4 & 5).
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” .(Acts 1:8)
This power gift is just as necessary for believers today as it was for the first disciples and apostles who received it on the day of Pentecost. Each one of them; about 120 in total; received a significant and legitimate tongue, when the infilling of the power of the Holy Spirit came upon them and gave them utterance. “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marvelled, saying to one another, ‘Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God’” (Acts 2:1-11).
This vital gift of speaking in tongues is not only necessary for our own edification, but also for the purposes of intercession and for the releasing of God’s power and purposes into every situation we face.
The more we make ourselves available to the Holy Spirit to use this power gift, speaking in tongues on a regular basis throughout the day, the more of the Holy Spirit’s life-changing power we will experience in our lives in every way!
Jesus had previously said to His 11 remaining Apostles (Judas Iscariot having betrayed Christ, had taken his own life and suffered the penalty of eternal separation from God – for there is no eternal life apart from Christ) “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents (speaking of demonic spirits, indicating their complete and immediate removal – See Strong’s Concordance); and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them (denoting the Lord’s protection from all deliberate harm); they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:15-18).
We Need to be Discerning of the Enemy’s Works
Don’t stray from the grace that is given you in Christ! That means, we don’t accept any doctrine that does not line-up with or have its origin in the words of Christ.
We are to speak what he speaks and to teach what he taught!
Many fall into the error of Balaam, who sold the word of the Lord for a profit (see Numbers 22; 2 Peter 2:15 and Jude 1:11). In today’s society, those profits could mean: monetary profits, or to gain fame or notoriety with others. Manycome to speak the words that others want to hear, rather than the words of Christ. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23).
- These false prophets are speaking to tickling ears; with an aim to delight the hearer instead of speaking the truth!
- They do not speak the words of Christ but they speak to tickling ears!
The Apostle Paul instructs us, we are to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ, saying, “For the(spiritual) weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4 & 5).
This means, we are not to tolerate any thought, any desire, any motive, or any wrong way of acting, speaking or behaving, that does not have its way established first in the knowledge of Christ.
If it does not line-up with the Word of God (the bible) – we throw it out!
This means we are not to let anything into our hearts or into our lives that is not in line with the truth of the Gospel or the truth of God’s word (the Bible). King Solomon said, “The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. My son, give attention to My words; incline your ear to My sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil”(Proverbs 4:19-27).
Keep the gospel of truth close to your heart!
God’s ways are laid out for us in the truth of the Gospels – The truth of His love as poured out for us on the Cross of Calvary is there for all to believe and receive. The Apostle Paul said to the Galatians, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different Gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the Gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-8).
Again, the Apostle Paul said to the Galatians, “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?” (Galatians 3:1).
- Take care, lest you, too, are deceived.
- They were all given the opportunity to hear, but only the remnant were saved.
A Pouring Out Place
The phrase noted previously that King David used in Psalm 140 for ‘under their lips’ when describing the cursing words of others, is translated ‘Saphah’ in the Hebrew, denoting ‘the lip’ (as a natural boundary); by implication, ‘language’; by analogy, ‘a margin’ (of a vessel, water, cloth, etc.):—‘band’; ‘bank’; ‘binding’; ‘border’; ‘brim’; ‘brink’; ‘edge’; ‘language’; ‘lip’; ‘prating’; (‘sea-) shore’; (‘sea-) side’; ‘speech’; ‘talk’; (‘vain) words’. Similarly, in Romans 3:13 the Apostle Paul uses the Greek word ‘cheilos’ to describe the same word for ‘lip’, translated as: ‘a lip’ (as a pouring place); figuratively, ‘a margin (of water’): — ‘lip’, ‘shore’. (*See Strong’s Concordance). These descriptions in both the Hebrew and the Greek denote a physical reference as to where these demonic forces reside: under the lip (or under the tongue, as the Lord had previously shown me; also mentioned in Psalm 10:7); by a bank or a shoreline; or in or around a margin of water. We know from personal experience and we know from the word of God, that this situation of residence is true. In his vision from God while on the Isle of Patmos, the Apostle John was told: “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time”(Revelation 12:12).
Whilst all of us sin with the words of our mouths at times, as the Apostle James describes, “We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check” (James 3:2, NIV). But wherever there is a habitual tendency to lie, blaspheme, criticize, gossip, slander, tell tales, or speak against the ministries or lives of others, or where someone is habitually unable to control the words of their mouth, there is clearly a need for deliverance!
Lambs Among Wolves ~ and the Authority to Overcome
When Jesus sent the seventy out, He sent them ‘as lambs among wolves’ (see Luke 10:3) to preach the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven, saying to them, “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me” (Luke 10: 16).
Similarly, at that same time, Jesus said to them, “And He (Jesus) said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions (again, this is figurative language speaking of demons) and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you” (Luke 10:18 & 19).
- This is the victory of the power of the cross on our behalf!
- No matter what words are spoken against us, Jesus himself has given us the authority in his name to overcome them!
The Lord said to the Prophet Ezekiel when sending him to speak to the children of Israel, “As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a rebellious house—yet they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions (scorpions also being a reference to demonic forces); do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious” (Ezekiel 2:5-7).
It is the same for the prophets of the Lord today who continue to speak His words. We are not to be afraid of their words or their looks, but are to continue to speak the truth in His name!
The Answer for Freedom is Found in His Word
Where-ever the operations of these demonic spirits continue to take place unabated; lying, deceit (including deceiving others by withholding information or not telling the whole story), arrogance, boasting, pride, back-biting (speaking against others behind their back), slander, false accusations, gossip (the telling of tales about others) etc., there is a clearly defined area of spiritual bondage – There is an asp, or a demon that sits under the tongue, and there is a need for immediate deliverance! All of these things listed above, if we continue to operate in them unabated and without repentance, will sear our conscience to the truth and give a legal right of access for the enemy to take up residence under our tongue. In order to be set free, then, this then requires deliverance! The Prophet Isaiah said, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it” (Isaiah 30:15, NIV).
The word ‘repentance’ used here in the NIV is translated ‘shuwbah’ in the Hebrew, denoting or indicating ‘a return’ or ‘a returning to the ways of the Lord’ (see Strong’s Concordance). The Apostle Paul strongly warns all people, that those who continue to habitually practice acts of the flesh, will not enter the Kingdom of God. Paul said, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who ‘live’ like this (*practicing or performing these things habitually or repeatedly, see Strong’s Concordance) will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).
There is an urgency for many for the repentance of these things ~ including in the church, or the body of Christ.
But in order for people to be set free and receive their deliverance, often times the Holy Spirit will speak to us in the areas of our woundedness first so that we are then open and able to receive from the Lord. It is only then that we can be properly healed. This is why our prayer life is so important in this regard. As we come to Him daily, He shows us deeper mysteries and greater things. Some of these areas will be addressed in Part Five of this series, but as James continues to address the use of our tongues, he goes on to encourage: there is a way out! There is a way to freedom! James said, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:7-10).
Remember these things:
- God loves you and he is drawing you close!
- When caught in the enticement to sin, deal with it quickly.
- Seek help with the root causes and heart issues.
- Do not give cause for the enemy to take up residence under your tongue.
- Where there is no repentance there can be no deliverance.
- If you need deliverance from a demonic tongue, then seek the Lord’s help for deliverance.
Prayer: “Dear Lord Jesus, help me to seek You first for any deliverance I need. Please show me specifically any areas where I have need of Your help in this regard. Show me, through Your word, how to walk in Your ways. Teach me Lord, how-to walk-in obedience, and to do all that You ask me to do. Help me to find the right person, place, or group of Christian believers, who will help me to grow in Your love until I am completely set free. I ask these things in the name of Yeshua Hamashiach (Jesus the Messiah), Amen.”