Last year I wrote a blog post “CAN WE BIND AND REBUKE SATAN? WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?” My answer was that that nowhere in the Bible are Christians ever given the power or authority to bind or rebuke Satan.
Yes Jesus gave the apostles authority to bind and loose things on earth.
Matthew 16:18-19 (NKJV)18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Matthew 18:18 (NKJV)18 Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Yes the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.
Ephesians 2:19-22 (NKJV)19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone,21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
This authority obviously didn’t include the binding of Satan. There is no example in the Bible of a binding of Satan or a demon. The proof of that is that Satan is still loose.
Ephesians 2:1-3 (NKJV)1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. (Bold mine)
He will not be bound until Christ’s thousand year reign.
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.
Since I wrote that post I have continued to hear Christians actually trying to talk to Satan and his demons, or as one of my minister friends say his minions, and rebuke them. I’m talking about people that are looked up to as leaders, televangelists, bishops, major Christian authors. Since I kept hearing about us being authorized and urged to rebuke Satan (“the devil”) to stop illness, financial uncertainty, depression, unruly children, etc., I thought that maybe I missed something, maybe I was wrong, maybe I ought to take another look. I did, and this post is what I found.
The Bible Says Resist, Not Rebuke
The first thing that was and is apparent is that Satan was created by God, and unlike God, is not omnipresent. He can only be in one place at a time. Yes, he does have thousand maybe millions of demons at his command but he can only be in one place at a time. Of course, he has a countless number demons at his disposal and they are everywhere. So let’s first acknowledge that it is unlikely that Satan himself is harassing, possessing, or doing anything you you.
Rebuke is defined as “expressing sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions.” On the other hand to resist is to “take a complete stand against” or a “contrary position” and “refusing to be moved.”
However it’s not our place to condemn Satan. He already stands condemned before the Lord.
Colossians 1:12-13 (NKJV)12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, (Bold mine)
Colossians 2:15 (NKJV)15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. (Bold mine)
Ephesians 1:20-21 (NKJV)20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. (Bold mine)
It’s the Lord who rebukes Satan.
Zechariah 3:2 (NKJV)2 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?" (Bold mine)
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!" (Bold mine)
When we believers are attacked by Satan or his demons we should focus on Jesus, because Jesus has already taken care of them.
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.
As Christians, we’re aware that Satan, and his demon subjects are real. No we can’t see them but they are real and they are constantly working against us.
Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)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.
1 Peter 5:8-9 (NKJV)8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (Bold mine)
God has given us armor with which we can resist and even counter attack.
Ephesians 6:13-17 (NKJV)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; (Bold mine)
We counter attack with the Word of God which is our sword.
That’s the sword that Jesus used when He resisted Satan and Satan fled.
Matthew 4:1-11 (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.' "5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,6 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.' "7 Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.' "8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.9 And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me."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. (Bold mine)
There’s no reason to rebuke Satan. There’s no reason to rebuke Satan. If we resist the Lord promises us that he will flee.
James 4:6-7 (NKJV)6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
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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.