Church of God, Carmichael, CA

THE HOLY SPIRIT
and other spirits 

D. O. Teasley, May 15, 1903

[Original Page Numbers]


PART II.—EVIL SPIRITS.

Accusing Spirits

  Of all persons in this world that need the encouragement and prayers of God's people, those who are tormented with accusing spirits need them most. I say tormented, because to be accused by the devil is the purest type of torment and akin to the torment of hell. None but those who have felt the living torment of accusation can realize the depth of suffering inflicted thereby. And what is more cruel, the devil invariably imposes the accusing spirits on the most conscientious persons he can find. Those who are hard hearted and stiff necked he never at. tempts to accuse, as they already belong to him; but he will accuse the innocent, and excuse the guilty.

  The accusing devil is generally so well disguised that persons who are unaccustomed to his wily tricks are easily deceived by him. Accusations always seem so real that it is hard for conscientious souls to discriminate between the accusations of the devil and real conviction from the Lord. Satan will come with a load of accusations, and without asking permission, will unload them at the door of some conscientious child of God who he thinks is too feeble to remove them; and if he meets any resistance he will at once transform himself into an angel of light and strike his victim with fear lest he should grieve the Lord. Satan will cast an accusation at a soul, and if inquiry is made as to where it comes from, he will reply at once that it comes from God. He will often continue this deception for days and weeks, and sometimes for years, before he is detected.

  IN DESPAIR.—Under theawful accusing powers of the devil souls often hope for death to relieve them of their anguish. But even here Satan appears and says, "You cannot die, and you will never be free from these awful feelings; and even if you were to die you are unprepared." Under such torment the nerves are often wrecked and the reason almost dethroned, and still Satan is not satisfied. Accusing spirits can never be satisfied. If you are accused of committing sin and undertake to repent, the devil will then say that you are not repenting right, that your heart is not in it, or you are just going through a form. If Satan can get you to give up and try to repent he will then say, "You had a much better experience before than you have now, [180] and it would have been much better if you had not given up." It were almost enough to drive insane anyone who will listen to the repeated accusations of the devil. The past experience abandoned, the present one unsatisfactory, and but little hope for the future, the soul sighs and reels beneath the load; and even the physical strength, it seems, must fail.

  Satan is very cautious in his approach and he will not present too much at once, lest he should be detected; and yet when the proper time comes he will present the most unreasonable things possible. He generally begins by suggesting that you are not sanctified, and if he can get you to believe this he will proceed to argue about as follows: "Now you know that you could not lose sanctification without committing sin, and if you have sinned you are unsaved and will have to repent." At this you give up and begin to try to repent, but as you can think of nothing to repent of you will possibly think of concluding that you are all right after all. At this juncture Satan again appears on the scene and suggests that even if you were all right in the first place you are now backslidden, as you have doubted the Lord. After you have struggled on under these false impressions for a while Satan will then advance far enough to tell you that you have committed the unpardonable sin and grieved the Holy Spirit entirely away. This lie is self evident to all who are acquainted with the wiles of the devil, from the fact that one who has committed the unpardonable sin does not feel convicted. But many poor souls have believed this falsehood, and on account of it have been driven to the utmost bounds of human anguish. Mortal tongue cannot frame words to describe the suffering of a soul thus accused of the devil. The imagination of Dante could not dream of a scene so dark as this one, nor could the brush of the most skilled artist paint a picture so dismal.

  Probably the next bold step Satan will take is to suggest self destruction, or suicide. And souls in this awful state of mental anguish have been known to take their own lives, and perish soul and body, when mercy was freely offered.

  The same vile spirit of the devil that will accuse you about your own experience, in order to cut off any possible help he may see coming your way, will accuse others to you and cause you to lose confidence in them, thus causing the greater discouragement. Discouragement is a natural consequence of accusations, when they are accepted, and a person who is accused will often help the devil by bringing up things of the past that have been forgiven and trying to repent of them. The accused and [181] despondent soul will often wander down by the dark shores of the sea of forgetfulness, and finding there a bark of discouragement will launch it and sail out through the fog and mist of past life hunting for something about which to mourn. Often some mistake or sin of the past, which, like an ocean derelict, has long ago been forsaken and forgotten, is found; and pulling it ashore the discouraged soul, who is anxious to do something, invites friends and brethren to help in asking God to take notice and forgive. But God will not visit such a scene. What He has forgiven He has forgiven forever, and He cannot forgive it a second time. "For," says he, "their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." Heb. 8:12.

  If a man should come to God and obtain forgiveness of his sins, and live a faithful life for awhile, and finally backslide and be lost, none of his former sins would be mentioned to him, nor would he be punished for any of the deeds of his former life; but only for those committed after his fall. Neither will the Lord forgive only a part of our wrong doings. When He forgives, He forgives all, and forgives forever. So the only possible way out is to resist the devil and all accusations; cut the shore lines and consign the past to the waves of forgetfulness; make an eternal dereliction of all past sins and mistakes that God has forgiven; and set your face Zionward.

  A WAY OF ESCAPE.—It is with joy that we offer a way of escape to every soul who is bowed down by the accusing and discouraging powers of the devil. Every one who will take God's way may be set free; and instead of being depressed by Satan may tread him under foot, for God has promised "power over all the power of the enemy."

  The case of 'one who is bowed down with accusation very much reminds us of a certain ship and its crew that were once lost at sea. Having exhausted their fresh water supply, they were famishing with thirst; and on lighting another vessel passing near them they cried out, "Water! fresh water!" In reply the crew on the passing vessel informed them that they were in the mouth of the Hudson River, and all they needed to do was to draw water and drink. Had not this lost crew been informed that they were in fresh waters many might have perished, when help was near.

  The accused and despondent soul is almost famished, and cries out for help, when the waters of life eternal flow so very near. Dear soul, there is help for you; the water of life is offered freely, and if you will only drink you may live. [182]

  There is one rule by which you may always detect the spirit of the devil and distinguish it from the Spirit of God. When the Spirit of God is convicting you of sin it will point out the wrong so clearly that you will not be left in doubt; but when the devil is accusing he can never tell what is wrong. You will feel very bad, and in every way you may feel like a sinner; but if you do not know you have transgressed God's written law, stand your grounds and defy the devil. Satan may say that your trials are not like other people's trials, or that they last too long to be only trials; but if you continue to resist him he must flee. You must be willing to bear trials, for "blessed is the man that endureth temptation." James 1:12. You must learn to "Count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations." James 1:2. And "let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:4.

  Yonder is a city of refuge, dear accused and despondent soul, to which you may flee and be safe. It is called Stability, and its streets are paved with victory. In it floats the air of freedom and all its inhabitants, though not without trials, are triumphant. The road which leads to it is perseverance and faith. Flee to it before the slayer strikes the final blow and your soul is lost; for little does Satan care whether you lose your soul through accusation or through crime. Start today for the city of refuge, for its gates are open wide to admit the weary soul. Linger not to spend your time in listening to Satan, for he seeks your destruction. Sternly resist him and turn your back upon him forever. "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." James 4:7, 8. Some people spend all their time resisting the devil, consequently have no time to draw nigh to God. Resist the devil and leave him with his accusation; ignore him, and draw nigh to God, and God will draw nigh to you, and victory shall be yours.[183]

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The Church of God!
Justification, Sanctification, Unity
Carmichael, California USA

5334 Whitney Ave. Carmichael, CA. 95608
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