A fairly widespread practice within the militant gospel, though perhaps not necessarily institutionally, is the use of verbal locutions to ‘rebuke’ the devil; in the belief of the vast majority, this is the only possible means of forcing the devil to desist from his evil intentions against someone.
However, while the Bible recognizes the value of ‘rebuking’ Satan through the spoken word, it is not the only way to do so; in fact, it is not the way the Bible itself recommends to people with little theological knowledge.
To rebuke means to call attention to someone for the purpose of bringing him to his senses, so that he will desist from his action and make the appropriate correction; in the case of ‘rebuking’ Satan it means to order him to let go of what he has caught, to turn back, or to withdraw from the place.
What is the most effective way to ‘rebuke’ Satan? Although the two ways to rebuke Satan are valid, the second way is more forceful than the first, and we explain why.
In principle, let us review the advice that the apostle Peter gives in this regard, one that was tempted directly by Satan the night that Jesus was handed over by Judas to be crucified. Peter establishes the following protocol of action:
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.1st. Peter 5:8-9
The advice of the apostle James is quite similar:
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.James 4:7
Both apostles advise ‘resist’ the devil, what does resist mean? Resistance is the action of not allowing oneself to be bent by the pressure that one is receiving, in this case, from Satan; ‘resist’ then means to remain in the faith, that is, to remain doing what one believes with respect to what one is fighting for; that is why the apostle Peter emphasizes, and points out, whom resist steadfast in the faith, and concludes by establishing the value of remaining in the action of ‘resisting’ without fluctuating,
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.1st. Peter 5:10
Satan can do nothing against those who keep on doing as they were taught in the sound doctrine of Jesus, hence the apostle Paul’s exhortation to be steadfast in what they have believed, while continuing to do that upon which their life of faith was built:
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;Philippians 1:27
The actions of the believer are the most powerful rebuke, even if the person does not ‘rebuke’ verbally, the actions of faith are the strongest blow that a believer can strike against Satan. The basis of this weapon of faith is based on the teaching of Jesus:
28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard. 29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. 30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. 31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.Matthew 21:28-31
Actions carry more weight than words, hence the importance of ‘rebuking’ Satan through actions of faith; the reason actions carry more weight than words is because of the constitution of man’s formation; In the book of Genesis we read that man was made in a living soul, that is, a being with movement of his own, which, if we understand it in terms of the fact that man was formed in the image and likeness of Jehovah-God, the movement of man’s own is considered to be the representation of Jehovah-God through man, of course, the man of faith, as established in the Revelation given to David by the Holy Spirit:
I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.Psalm 82:6 (John 10:34)
So, when man keeps on doing, that is, stays active, doing as he has been taught in the doctrine of Jesus, it is as if Jehovah-God Himself is acting through him, and his action constitutes the rebuke of Jehovah-God Himself to Satan; this is the foundation of faith that gives sustenance to the book of Job:
And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?Job 1:8
Actions of faith are considered to be the ‘extension’ of Jehovah-God on earth.
14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?… 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.… 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.James 2:14-24
Rebuke Satan to leave a place without the actions related to what is demanded of him, is only a religious and eloquent formalism, but not the voice of command to force Satan to obey authority. The righteous actions of a man of faith can establish more than his words; they are weapons of righteousness according to the teaching of the apostle Paul:
by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,2nd. Corinthians 6:7
Do not find it strange that Jehovah-God demands that you sweep, clean, and/or paint a place, or bathe someone, as a way of establishing deliverance in the place, or in the person. You do not know how much legal right you may be breaking with such actions.
Finally, having understood the value of the actions of the man of faith as the most forceful way to rebuke Satan, I cannot withdraw without warning, that the naive actions of the man of faith can give Satan a ‘legal right’ to act on his deterioration, hence the need for the man and woman of faith to ‘weigh’ all their actions; a negligence can give the enemy an entrance to take authority over things that Jehovah-God has given them.
If you have questions or would like us to go deeper into a topic or situation, please do not hesitate to write to us.
The biblical quotations are taken from the Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
Pastor Pedro Montoya
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 Genesis 31:42; 37:10; Luke 23:40
 Psalm 106:9; Matthew 8:26; 17:18; Mark 9:25; Luke 9:55
 Genesis 2:7