For or Against
by Inglis Fleming
The Lord Jesus is for the saints. He is the Advocate. The devil is against the saints. He is the Accuser. The Lord Jesus is the great Friend; the devil the great Adversary. Day and night, unceasingly the Advocate speaks for the saints, even when they have sinned. Day and night, unceasingly the Accuser speaks against the saints, whether they have sinned or not.
The Lord Jesus is the great Auxiliary and Ally. The Devil is the great Antagonist and Opponent. The Lord Jesus is our Friend at court before the throne of God, and upholds us. The Devil is our enemy there, and seeks our downfall.
Happy are we who believe, in knowing the Lord Jesus as living for us on high—ever living to make intercession for us. He knows all that can be said against us for He was fully aware of all that we were in ourselves before He undertook our case. Thus He is not disappointed in what He finds in us after our conversion. The flesh in us, the world around us, the devil about us, are all opposed to our blessing. But Christ in His love and power and wisdom is on our part. Thus we can say “The Lord is on my side I will not fear.” All power is in His hand and He will maintain His own through thick and thin, through fire and flood.
Satan hates Christ, and he hates anyone who is His. All that he can, he will accomplish against the One or the other. Ceaseless is his malice; ceaseless is His slander.
His whole history as shown in the Scriptures is one of antagonism, to God and Christ and to those who have been the people of God in every age.
He tempted our first mother Eve to distrust and to disobey (Gen. 3). He provoked David to number Israel to their destruction (1 Chr. 21). He presents himself before the Lord among the sons of God, and having considered Job, slandering him, asks, “Does Job serve God for naught?” and then brings sorrow and trial upon the patriarch. He stands to resist the blessing of Joshua the high priest and of Jerusalem (Zech. 3:1). He takes away the word of God sown in the heart (Mark 4:15). He binds us down that we may not lift ourselves to glorify God (Luke 13:16). He desires to have believers in his power (Luke 22:31). He fills the heart of Ananias to lie (Acts 5:3). He is the author of divisions (Rom. 16:20). He seeks to come in between saints (2 Cor. 2:10-11) and to wreck assemblies. He will send his messenger to oppose the servant of God in ministry (2 Cor. 12:7). He will hinder servants of God in their service (1 Thess. 2:18). He will work by false doctrine in the churches. (Rev. 2:9, 13; 24; 3:9) and is the great deceiver of men generally (Rev. 20:7). This is a part of the Accuser’s history in his relentless malice and enmity. His whole endeavour is to oppose Christ, the truth, and the saints. It matters not to him what means he employs so long as his foul end is achieved.
Are you and I on the side of the Advocate or of the Accuser? Do we speak for or against saints? Do we gossip about, scandalize, speak slightingly, shrug our shoulders when their names are mentioned, chatter or prate against, or listen while others disparage, depreciate, vilify, defame, traduce or slander, backbite, speak evil of, run down, criticize, pull to pieces, blacken or “fling dirt” at any of the children of God. All this is distinctly the adversary’s work. Do not do his hateful work for him or help him in it. We can stand up for what is right and maintain God’s truth, even if opposed by true believers, without any of these evil practices.
Instead of these things let us pray for every child and servant of God everywhere. “Prayer and supplication for all saints.” Let us speak of the good and not of the evil in a child of God. This is like the Advocate.
Remember then that love thinketh no evil—therefore speaks no evil. Love rejoiceth not in iniquity, and therefore never spreads it. Love never takes up a report against his neighbour for it is written, “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people” (Lev. 19:16).
BE ON THE SIDE OF THE ADVOCATE!