Rebuke the Devil?|
Claim our Authority?
Q. My minister said we should rebuke the devil and claim our authority over him. Is this right?
We need to cautiously consider several scriptures before we loosely "rebuke" Satan.
Not even Michael Rebuked Satan
For example, in Jude verses 8- 11 we are told that even Michael, one of the strongest angels, did not dare to accuse the devil. He simply said, "The Lord rebuke you," when he argued with Satan.
False Teachers Despise Authorities
2 Peter verses 10-12 also warn against false teachers who despise authorities - even the evil powers. False teachers tend to slander all authorities and take Satan's authority very lightly. That may not be very smart.
Satan's Authority Present-Tense
While it is true that Satan is defeated and will eventually be completely destroyed, he still has authority in our world. We can see this through the daily reports of hatred of the Jews and Israel among other things.
Luke 10:19 is often quoted by pastors who preach a message to rebuke the devil. This verse states that Jesus gave us authority over the power of the enemy and that we can walk among snakes and scorpions without harm.
But, John 12:31-32 suggests that Satan was judged at the time of Jesus' crucifixion.
We must consider and remember that future events are often spoken of in the present-tense in God's Word. After all, there is no time with God. The finality of future events is something we can bank on. So we need to compare scripture with scripture to gain understanding.
Clearly, Satan and his demons harrass and fight against Christians. In response, we are to "put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil" (Ephesians 6:11, HCSB).
Putting on our armor means utilizing the truth against lies, putting on God's righteousness (not our own), walking in peace that we have from the good news of the gospel, holding on to the shield of faith, wearing the helmet of salvation, and always using the sword of the Spirit which is God's Word.
We need to remember that Yeshua quoted Scripture in defense against Satan's temptations and attacks in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). He, too, was using the armor of God.
Love Enemies & Pray for Them
Christians are to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute us. We are to lay all trials at the feet of our Lord, "casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7).
In due time God will fairly judge everyone.
Artwork copyright by Duncan Long. Artwork used with permission of the artist. Be sure to view Duncan Long's stunning website: http://duncanlong.com.