The Accuser of Our Brothers
“And the great dragon was thrown out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who leads all the world astray. He was thrown to the earth, and his messengers were thrown out with him.
And I heard a loud voice saying in the heaven, “Now have come the deliverance and the power and the reign of our Elohim and the authority of His Messiah, for the accuser of our brothers, who accused them before our Elohim day and night, has been thrown down.
“And they overcame him because of the Blood of the Lamb, and because of the Word of their witness, and they did not love their lives to the death.
“Because of this rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has little time.””
Ḥazon (Revelation) 12:9-12
What does it mean that Satan is the accuser?
Satan is Yahuah’s great enemy, and therefore the enemy of Natsariym as well. Among several other names, Satan is known as the accuser.
Satan was formerly a beautiful and powerful cherub, likely the highest of all angels. But iniquity was found in him (Ezekiel 28:15), and he was lifted up in pride, desiring to be greater than Yahuah Elohim (Isaiah 14:12–15). He led an army of angels into rebellion, which resulted in his ejection from heaven—along with every angel who had followed him (Ezekiel 28:17–18). Now Satan prowls the earth, seeking to hinder all he can from choosing salvation and living a life of obedience (1 Peter 5:8). In addition, Satan acts as the accuser of believers in an attempt to discredit them before Yahuah.
For the time being, Yahuah has allowed Satan the accuser limited access to heaven. In the book of Job, we see Satan stand before Yahuah and accuse a righteous man named Job, claiming that Job is only faithful because Yahuah had blessed him abundantly (Job 1:9–10). Satan posits that, if Job is put to the test, he would eventually turn from Yahuah and forsake his righteous life (verse 11; 2:4–5). In His omniscience, Yahuah knows that Job will remain steadfast, and He gives Satan the accuser permission to test Job.
The book of Revelation tells us a bit more about Satan’s role as accuser: “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of Yahuah, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our Yahuah day and night, has been hurled down’” (Revelation 12:10). Satan is relentless in his accusations—he accuses Yahuah’s children continually. He hates Yahuah and all that Yahuah is, which means he also hates Yahuah’s mercy and forgiveness extended to sinful humanity. Satan the accuser stands before Yahuah in an attempt to somehow lessen Yahuah’s love or diminish Yahuah’s mercy. Fortunately, his accusations against us fall on deaf ears: “Who will bring any charge against those whom Yahuah has chosen? It is Yahuah who justifies” (Romans 8:33). Salvation belongs to Yahuah/Yahusha, and His justification cannot be reversed. Yahuah is greater than our accuser.
Satan the accuser desires to remind believers of their sin and their unworthiness of a place in Yahuah’s family and in this way sow doubt into their hearts and minds. Satan wants to make Natsariym fear for their salvation and forget Yahuah’s love and faithfulness. Satan says, “Look at your sinfulness”; Yahuah says, “Look to Yahusha, the author and finisher of your faith” (see Hebrews 12:2).
In spite of Satan’s accusations and deceptions, Yahuah will not change His mind about those He has called to salvation (Romans 8:38–39). He has set the accuser’s ultimate fate: “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10). After Yahuah creates the new heaven and new earth, Satan will be absent for eternity (Revelation 21:1–4, 27). Believers can rest in the knowledge that our salvation is sure (Romans 11:29; Ephesians 1:13–14) and take comfort in the promise that will complete the good work He began in us (Philippians 1:6).