||Bible Question: I
am wondering if there is any biblical evidence in the book of prayers
of any of the historical denominations, writings of the patristic
age, the Old Testament or New Testament apocrypha books, or in the
context of prayer of Satan being rebuked by individuals. Are there
any Christian denominations other than Pentecostals and Charismatics
that use this kind of prayer?
Bible Answer: Some
Charismatics, Pentecostals, non-Charismatics, and non-Pentecostals
believe that a person can rebuke Satan. In fact, they would say we
must. It is important to remember that not all Charismatics nor do
all Pentecostals believe that we should rebuke Satan. A well known
non-Charismatic believes that Christians should rebuke Satan because
of the evil that he can bring into our life.
Satan's Influence. Sickness
is sometimes caused by Satan and his demons and on other occasions
it is caused by a bacteria, or a virus for example. There were times
when Jesus rebuked demons in order to heal someone and on other occasions
He did not. On one occasion, Jesus met a woman who had been sick for
eighteen years (Luke 13:10-13). Her sickness had been caused by a
demon. Jesus healed her by laying hands on her. On another occasion
two men who were demon-possessed met Him (Matthew 8:28-34). Jesus
healed these men by removing the demons with only a command, Begone!
(Matt. 8:32). Jesus did this on other occasions, too, such as the
time He rebuked demons (Mark 1:23-28). But there were other times
when Jesus did not rebuke Satan or a demon in order to heal. One time
Jesus used spit to heal a blind man (Mark 8:22-26). On another occasion,
Jesus healed a man who could not hear by putting "His fingers
into his ears, and after spitting, He touched his tongue with the
saliva . . . " (Mark 7:31-37). The woman with "a hemorrhage
for twelve years" is maybe one of the most unusual healings (Matt.
9:20-22). She simply touched Jesus' garment. Yes, Satan can cause
sickness, but not all sickness is caused by Satan.
Satan. Some would say that we have the authority to (1) call a
demon by its name, and (2) then use that name to directly rebuke it
and bind it (I bind you, Satan!). But Jude 8-9 and 2 Peter
2:10 tell us that Michael the archangel did not. Those who encourage
us to do this have ignored some very serious warnings . . .
. .and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt
desires and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do
not tremble when they revile angelic majesties, (NASB) 2 Peter
in the same manner these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh,
and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael
the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about
the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing
judgment, but said, The Lord rebuke you. (NASB)
records tell us that non-Christian groups such as the ascetic Jewish
community at Qumran incorporated curses against Satan in their worship
(Attacking the Power of Darkness, The Emmus Journal, Winter 1998).
But there is no evidence that I am aware of in the writings of the
early church fathers, the apocrypha, or prayers of the denominations
that encourages us to rebuke Satan or a demon. One early church fathers,
Ignatius, in his THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE PHILIPPIANS discusses
Satan at length but never encourages anyone to rebuke Satan. In 2
Corinthians, we find that the apostle Paul is sick because of a demon
so he asks God to remove the sickness (2 Cor. 12:7-9). The Lord answers
his prayer with a "No" when He says, My grace is sufficient
for you, for power is perfected in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). Paul
did not rebuke Satan. He prayed.
Lord Jesus made it clear to His disciples that they did not have His
when Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked
the unclean spirit, saying to it, You deaf and dumb spirit,
I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again.
. . . And when He had come into the house, His disciples began
questioning Him privately, Why could we not cast it
out? And He said to them, This kind cannot come
out by anything but prayer.
(NASB) Mark 9:25-29
disciples could not cast out the demon but Jesus could do so with
a single command. Jesus did not rebuke His disciples and say they
had little faith. He did not say they were in sin. He only said they
needed to pray. Jesus' apostles did not have all of the power of Jesus.
We do not have the right to rebuke Satan. That is the Lord's right.