Editor's Note: On March 4th 2015 I wrote and published this blog post, and I’ve re-posted the link to it several times , over the past two years, on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. When I last posted the link, on September 1, 2017, I got comments from the Google+ and LinkedIn postings disagreeing, often quire forcefully, with my assertion that believers don’t have the power or authority to rebuke Satan. After reading and re-reading these comments the Holy Spirit prompted me to take another look at what I wrote when I first published this post.
The first thing that I did was to look at the definition of rebuke which is; to express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions. Given that definition, yes believers do have the authority and the power to rebuke Satan. We rebuke Satan just as Jesus did using the word of God, and once we do that he flees, but just for a while.
Matthew 4:10-11 (NKJV)10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' "11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
Satan did flee from Jesus at the Word of God, but just as with us, he didn’t go away forever.
Luke 4:13 (ASV) And when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him for a season.
He came back at Jesus through Peter;
Matthew 16:23 (NKJV) But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."
I was wrong in the original post when I indicated that the believer couldn’t rebuke Satan or evil spirits. We can rebuke and resist with the sword of the Spirit the Word of God.
Ephesians 6:17 (NKJV) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
I ask that God and you forgive me for this egregious error, and any confusion that it caused. All believers do have the power, and authority to rebuke Satan using the Word of God and, when Satan is rebuked with the Word he does flee.
This post was modified September 11, 2017 to correct my misinterpretation of Scripture.
“Satan I bind you." “Satan I rebuke you.” “Satan I cast you into the pit of hell.” These are all things we hear believers say, sometimes in prayer, other times in response to things happening to them or to others. I’ve said these things many times myself.
But do we as believers really have the power to bind and rebuke Satan? I know we say scripture backs us up but does it? I’ve often wondered about this because I know that Satan is a created being and can only be in one place at a time so it doesn’t make sense that he is attacking thousands maybe millions of believers at the same time. Yes, he does have thousand maybe millions of demons at his command but he can only be in one place. If we are calling his demons Satan then binding and rebuking him, or so we think, makes sense. But again the question do we have that power and authority?
Like my post on healing I need to make a disclaimer. I know that Satan exists and that he wants to steal, kill, and destroy and that Jesus came that we may have life and have it more abundantly.
John 10:10 (NKJV) The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
I do believe that Jesus has already defeated Satan but has not bound him yet. The Scripture tells us that he will not be bound until the end of the age.
Revelation 20:1-3 , 7-10(NKJV) 1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
He is still able to roam and wreck havoc especially with the unbeliever. However the believer can resist, defend and rebuke themselves with the Word of God.
I do believe that Jesus has given us authority to rebuke, withstand or resist Satan, but ony when we use the Word of God. We don't have the authority or power to rebuke Satan or evil forces on our in our own power or authority. So please don’t think that I don’t believe that Satan exists or that he has great power and please don’t think that I don’t know that Jesus has given us great authority. I’m just not sure that we can use scripture to do anything to Satan but rebuke and resist him.
James 4:7 (NKJV) Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
The question remains, “Can we bind and rebuke Satan”?
How Do We Rebuke Satan?
We rebuke Satan the same way that Jesus did with the Word of God. We can rebuke him by using the words that appear in Scripture "The Lord rebuke you". When we do this it is actually the Lord and His Word that is rebuking Satan.
Zechariah 3:2 (NKJV) And the LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?"
The angel Michael, who in the book of Daniel is presented as a very powerful angel (Daniel 10:13, 21 12:1) he, when resisting evil forces did not say I rebuke you he says "The Lord rebuke you!"
Jude 1:9 (NKJV) Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
It is not necessary for a Christian to rebuke Satan because God has given us His full armor to stand against evil
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NKJV) 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints--
The most effective weapons we have against the devil are our faith, wisdom, and knowledge about God and His Word. Christ, when tempted by Satan, answered him with Scripture.
Matthew 4:1-4 (NKJV) 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' "
To gain victory in spiritual matters, we must maintain a clear conscience and have control over our thoughts. "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ"
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NKJV) 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/authority-rebuke-devil.html#ixzz3TT6OR3s1
When we believers are attacked by Satan or his demons we should focus on Jesus, not on defeating the devil because Jesus has already done that.
Hebrews 2:14-15 (NKJV) 14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We Can Rebuke Satan But We Can't Bind Him
Jesus with all His power and authority certainly can bind Satan but He has not done that yet. Scripture says that he will not be stopped, or bound, until he's thrown into the lake of fire and that won't happen until the end of the age. God has chosen, in His patience, to not end this age. He hasn't because He doesn't want any to perish.
2 Peter 3:8-10 (NKJV) 8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
Believers do not have that power or authority. If we did have then there would be no more demonic strongholds remaining for so many people. We can pull down strongholds but not destroy them.
2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (NKJV) 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
There are only a couple of places in the bible that reference Satan being bound. The first is the account in Matthew and Mark where Jesus in response to the Pharisees who said that He casts out demons by Beelzebub prince of devils. He responds by saying that He has bound Beelzebub. Here He is obviously referring to Himself, not His followers.
Matthew 12:25-29 (NKJV) 25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.
The other reference to binding is in the book of Revelation where an angel binds Satan (the dragon).
Revelation 20:1-3 (NKJV) 1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
After this Satan will be cast into the lake of fire and will no longer be able to harass the children of God.
Revelation 20:7-10 (NKJV) 7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.