The tempter and arch enemy of God's people is an 'iffer'(1) for he will challenge all evidence of God in our life,
our testimony, ministry to others, sanctity of the church, the blood of Christ that takes away our sins and our
eternal life in Him. If he (the accuser of the brethren) challenged Christ in the wilderness and on the cross,
then he surely will defy, taunt, and protest any of Christ's righteousness that shines through our spirit man. "...
If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross" (Mat. 27:40) and "The tempter came to him and said,
"If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread" (Mat. 4:3) [Italics added]. In that we are to
overcome by the word of our testimony and the blood of Christ ... we can be certain the 'deceiver' (Rev.
12:9-Kjv) will not avoid nor neglect any opportunity to come against our testimony of salvation and witness of
God's saving grace in our life. "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their
testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Rev. 12:11).
In the days to come it will be of paramount importance that we not fall victim or succumb to an 'attitude of
offense' ... which is a step-child of the 'spirit of pride'. There are those in the body which can become 'so
easily offended', by even the slightest provocation, and often wear 'spirituality' on their sleeve as a defense
against feared accusation. Offendedness is so often a result of a belief that 'our rights' have been violated, not
respected or our person not given sufficient recognition. In the sum, any 'rights' we have reside in the
sufficiency of Christ and His grace, which is sufficient for us in all things. Until we have fully denied
ourselves, taken up our cross and followed Christ it is highly questionable whether we have 'the right' to be
offended by a Christian brother over any thing (see Mat.16:24-M. Henry). Christ took our offenses through His
propitiation on the cross (see Rom. 4:25-Kjv) and we should not tempt Him by incurring other offenses with,
through or by our brother's in the body-of-Christ.
There are those in the body who so often believe themselves to be the 'brunt' (object) of others scorn or gossip
... and truly are in need of being in our prayers of intercession for they are one of the easiest targets for the
'iffer' as he schemes to place doubt in one's mind, cause question to arise as to the intentions of others and
connives to open a gate of suspicion and distrust. Self elevated spirituality is no defense and will only provide
the 'deceiver' with pasture to sow his seeds of self-doubt and intimidation. The sufficiency of Christ is our
only assurance of righteousness and totally obviates the need to showcase implied and presumed individual
rights when we are in corporate fellowship with other believers. "Christ is the Rock stricken that the Spirit of
life may flow from Him to all who will drink" (Sco-note 1Pet. 2:8).
To openly and freely forgive another for their offense against us, even though there is no question as to who
was the 'object of the offense', is one of the most trying growth steps the believer makes ... especially, when
the offense comes from a position of leadership. Without giving forgiveness, we become ensnared in a set of
entanglements associated with accuser's own 'offending attitude'. The accuser of the brethren can come
from inside the "body" almost as easily as he can come from the outside. The more practice, and success, we
have in giving forgiveness to others that offend, the easier it becomes to let such slights slide off our sleeve.
'Reputation' is what others say about you while 'character' is what operates within you when no one is looking
... forgiveness is an aspect of 'character' and an attribute of Christ living within you.
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen Ministries of Austin
(1) American Heritage Dictionary [v.4]