In the invisible world, Satan stands to accuse us day and night. But, praise God, Jesus also stands to defend us 24 hours a day. Romans 8 assures us of this marvelous truth!
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Transcript: Welcome to Five Minutes With Pastor Lutzer. I’m so glad that you joined us today as we have this study of the invisible world. If you’ve been with us before, you know that we’ve talked about the dark side of the invisible world—the occult. Also angels, the positive side—If we can put it that way—of the invisible world.
Today, we’re going to pull back the curtain and actually look into the invisible world. As a matter of fact, we could almost say, I think, that we are looking through a keyhole and we’re seeing activity that the human eye can never see, but has been revealed to us in the Scriptures.
Here’s what is happening. In Zachariah chapter 3, the prophet is given a vision, and therefore he sees the invisible world. It says that Joshua the high priest was standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan was standing at his right hand to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan; the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you. Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?”
Now Joshua was standing before the angel of the Lord clothed with filthy garments, and the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him!” And to him, he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.”
Now, of course, keep in mind that the Joshua that is spoken of here is no relation to the Joshua that we meet during the time of Moses. Joshua here is the high priest. Well, let’s look what’s going on. You have Joshua the high priest, representing Israel, clothed in filthy garments. And the Hebrew word for “filthy” means FILTHY. He represents, as I’ve mentioned, the sin of Israel.
Then you have Satan, who’s standing by to accuse him. And what is Satan saying? Satan is telling God, “You allow this man into heaven. You allow this man into Your courts. He will defile everything that You stand for, because You claim to be holy. You can’t have fellowship with a man like that.” The angel of the Lord is standing by, and who is the angel of the Lord? It is Jesus.
You know, throughout the Old Testament, whenever you hear of the angel of the Lord, it’s actually a reference to the second person of the Trinity. And Jesus says, “I’m taking away your iniquity, and we are going to give you some clean clothes—the clothes of righteousness.” When you think of salvation, it is not enough to simply think of forgiveness. You also have to think of the righteousness that Jesus Christ gives us at salvation. And that righteousness clothes us, as the familiar hymn says: “Clothed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.”
Now, here’s what encourages me. By the way, Doctor Lewis Sperry Chafer, who founded the Dallas Theological Seminary, said on one occasion, “A secret sin on Earth is an open scandal in heaven.” It’s amazing that secret sins might have a lot of activity in the spirit world, but the good news is, Jesus stands in for us.
I want to leave you with something today that I think will be a great blessing. Throughout my life, I’ve frequently needed to quote Romans chapter 8, the passage of Scripture that talks about, who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It’s God that justifies us. I’ll give you the entire passage in a moment. I’ll quote it, but I want to remind you that there are times when we are discouraged. We’re going through times of depression, self anger, condemnation.
What we need to do is to see that Satan stands to accuse us—the accuser of the brethren—and when does he do it? Well, during the day and during the night. It says in the book of Revelation, he accuses the brethren night and day keeps telling God, “These evil people. You shouldn’t have fellowship with them. They belong to me and with me.” But Jesus Christ is our high priest. He is our attorney, and stands in for us and say, “I have redeemed these people.”
I’ve quoted these verses many times, but I’m reminded today of a time when I was to speak at a meeting, perhaps 20 or 30 years ago. I was late. I was frustrated. I dropped my wife and the children off at this church and was looking for a parking spot, and I was filled with anger. I wish I wouldn’t have had to preach, and I realized that this condemnation was coming from Satan.
So I said out loud in the car—it’s best to say when you are alone—“Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, even that is risen again, and is even now on the right hand of the throne of God, who also makes intercession for us.” And immediately that condemnation left. I went and preached on the righteousness of Jesus Christ as I had prepared to, and I’ll never forget a missionary couple who said to us, “You know, we wish we had heard that message before we went to the mission field.”
The fact that Jesus continually is our righteousness. 24 hours a day, God demands perfection, if we are to have fellowship with Him. 24 hours a day, Jesus Christ supplies what God demands. In the spirit world, all this activity. You’re a sinner, Satan to accuse; but Jesus to say, “I have made him or her righteous. They have My righteousness.” And we are welcomed into the heaven, and eventually, of course, into paradise. The spirit world is very active, and you’re a part of it. Always be on Christ’s side. And as for today, go with God.