Why Rebuking Satan is Futile and Ineffective


Have you been taught that in order to “fight Satan” you need to rebuke him?

When you are being “beat-up” by “the enemy” are you frustrated, because no matter how much you say, “I rebuke you Satan in the name of Jesus,”  nothing seems to happen that changes the circumstance?

Rebuking SatanMaybe it’s just me. For a long time, I blamed myself for not having enough faith. In addition, I wondered why so many people were so holy that Satan spent all of his time “beating them up” yet, I never really saw evidence of these people leading such holy lives that they were even a threat to Satan (the enemy)… including myself!

Yet I pressed in, and to the best of my ability, continued to “fight the good fight of faith” and rebuke Satan in the trials and tribulations that life brought. 

It takes me awhile to actually pay attention to what I’m noticing … and last year I noticed with great clarity (finally!) that I was really struggling with the phrase, “I rebuke you Satan in the name of Jesus!”

Was it because I never really used that word in daily life, so it felt foreign to my tongue? Or perhaps it was that I wasn’t fully sure of what the word “rebuke” actually meant. I THOUGHT I did … but did I?


verb (used with object), rebuked, rebuking.
1. to express sharp, stern disapproval of; reprove; reprimand.
2. sharp, stern disapproval; reproof; reprimand.


NOPE! I did not understand the word! No wonder I was not getting any results when I used that prayer! And, no wonder I wasn’t feeling confident of what I was trying to say? I wasn’t even convinced (rightly so) that I knew what the word meant in the first place.

As is my habit, when I start getting on the trail of a revelation of thought – I like to pass it by my fellow Christians. As expected, I was met with passionate arguments regarding why we needed to rebuke Satan, and all of them believed the same as I did – that this was a prayer of faith that was a part of “fighting the good fight of faith.”

Many were highly indignant of my train of thought and warned me about getting into error. But I was smelling a rat … and wasn’t going to give up until I uncovered what was bothering me about this particular doctrine … or rather … sacred cow.

While presenting my thoughts regarding the doctrine of rebuking Satan, I did some research and found this excellent blog post on the matter:

The Bible does not give Christians the authority to rebuke the devil, but to resist him. James 4:7 says to “submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Zechariah 3:2 tells us that it is the Lord who rebukes Satan. (CLICK to read the full article)

Not only were there articles against rebuking Satan, there were articles that were for it, such as this one, listing many scriptures. 

What was not addressed in the articles that supported this belief, was the definition of ‘rebuke’. So who was right? Was it possible that both were right? In order to discover that, you must do your own work and study this topic for yourself. 

But for the purpose of the point I wish to make in this blog post, I’m going to share with you, a story that a woman shared with us in the women’s group that I facilitate.

She was sharing the fact that she is licensed for concealed carry, and all that is required in order for a person to be so. She described how she had to go through gun training, target practice, and what the requirements were for such authority to carry a concealed weapon.

The reason she was now a concealed weapon carrier had to do with being brutally attacked by a man years before, and she vowed this would never happen again.

walking the dog

She was describing a day where she had taken her dog to go for a nice long walk. She had parked her car in this area where she chose to walk on the nearby walk paths, and upon returning, saw that a man was leaning on her car. His backpack was thrown onto the hood of her car and he was waiting for her. It was obvious that he wanted something from her, but his actions and body language were not respectful of her property, or her rights.

She stopped a safe distance from him and placing her hand on her concealed carry, she commanded, “Sir, step away from the car!” with the authority that she knew her training had provided her.

The man asked her if it was a cell phone that she was carrying. She shook her head and said once again, “Sir, step away from the car!”

He got the message loud and clear, grabbed his backpack and left from her presence.

We all marveled at her courage and how commanding she was in what she demanded the man do.

Later that evening as I was taking my shower, her story replayed in my mind. The Lord reminded me of my search for answers regarding the issue of rebuking Satan and suddenly it all clicked together.


REBUKING is simply disapproving! There is no command to it. It’s just telling Satan that you disapprove of him! It tells him to do nothing. NO WONDER I felt as though these prayers of rebuke were doing nothing!

What this woman had shared, was a brilliant metaphor for what kind of authority we as Christian need to be welding in spiritual warfare.

Follow me on this …

  • First – we must be trained and proven
  • Practicing (like David practiced before defeating Goliath) is a must because our authority no longer is a theory we are trying to wrap our brains around, it’s a proven fact.
  • There is a responsibility for wielding such authority. The government requires certain behavior and certain conditions to exist before a weapon can be used. 
  • Stating clearly what you want ‘the enemy’ to do is speaking with authority. There is direction, not just shouting words, hoping for the desired action.
  • There was no arguing or conversation with the enemy. She KNEW her authority and she used it with confidence and assurance.

If we have not submitted to authority, we cannot wield authority. If we do not respect authority, we have no authority. If we do not recognize where authority comes from, and the responsibility we have in wielding that authority, then we are fraudulent to that authority and are in fact, unlawful!


6 thoughts on “Why Rebuking Satan is Futile and Ineffective

  1. whisperingsage says:

    Well In guess I was trained by an experienced satan fighter. The man and his wife that taught me about how demons work are friends of Rebecca Brown. (He came to Set the Captives Free) and had done a lot of their work helping witches get out of covens so they have learned a lot from their charges, those that were directly turning their lives over to Satan. They taught me to bind Satan and silence him. This helped in casting him out of my life through the various sins that I listed, and this did a LOT to keep me demon harrassment free. I later married a fetal Alcohol drunkard (he did not start until over a year into the marriage) village idiot, who liked his demons, so they would float overhead once in awhile and I would bind them and cast them away and they would go.

    Before this, when I was a baby Christian, I determined to get the word out about the New World Order, and as you know the politics and luceferianism is closely connected. and I bought a copy machine to print out my tracts and handouts. I had to run it via a gas generator with a hand pull, which was very hard for me to start. In one afternoon, I finally started the generator after n=binding the demons, then inside, my oil lamp started to rise crazy in the glass, and I bound them from doing that, then my Queensland Blue Heeler jumped off the bed and rammed her head into my shin as if blinded, , hurt like heck and caused a welt. I was also trying to listen to a cassette of an interview with Linda Thimpson discussion the Branch Davidian massacre, and that was acting very wierd and sounding horrid, there was some interference on it that made it almost impossible to hear. I bound the demons causing that. And at some point my copy machine developed a scrape on the drum like a pen had been scratched into it, It did this twice. Since I never stuck anything like that in there, and never saw any other thing, I have to assume it was a demon. They really didn’t want me sharing what I was learning. Then, my truck outside had its 5th flat tire in a month. They were fighting me pretty hard. They got tired of it after awhile and left me alone to regroup. They came up with a terrible plan. They sent my first husband to throw me off track for several years and waste my money. They knew I would not turn down a person in need. And he was a con artist and a bum, I can say that freely now, and he wasted my good time and energy. The demons knew how to get me. Luckily (for me) my first husband got back into meth use and gave himself two stroke, the second one killed him, and freed me. It took me years however to accept that he was a damaging sociopath that never loved me but only used me. Now, I am married to a Pastor. A whole other story.

    • Shannon says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Many are familiar to me in how I use to perceive the world around me. Now, after years of ministry work, studying, and praying, I see that we often believe ideas that are taught us, without questioning the validity or the depth of the information given. The key to me stopping in my religious tracks and taking another look at why there seemed to be so much “warfare” in my life, and noticing how every time I “rebuked” Satan, I felt no peace – or confidence – was taking responsibility for my own seed times and harvests. Why? Because if I did not own up to my own choices and the harvests they brought, then I would not know the difference between that – and true spiritual warfare.

      It’s not rocket-science either. Questions to ask are; 1. Who am I focusing on the most? Me? Satan? Demons? Or God? 2. Why would I resist a simpler answer to what I cling to in regards to what I know as “spiritual warfare”? So I can feel like I’m actually doing something? So I feel in control? So others will be amazed by my spirituality? (this requires blatant honesty and transparency)

      The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. If I am constantly engaged in warfare, perhaps I need to ask myself why? If I have “put a stop” to these things, why do they continue? Surely it isn’t because I’m so holy that the enemy has nothing more to do than to occupy me with pranks?

      Jesus paid the price. He gave us the keys. He taught us about seed time and harvest. He showed the disciples how to do things IN HIS NAME. Why, then, are so many focused on anything other than the Kingdom of God manifested in our lives?

      I invite you and any other reader to CONSIDER THIS … and then, pray about it. If you don’t have peace – if you don’t have joy – if you don’t have evidence of the fruits of the spirit … then perhaps the wrong war is being waged?

  2. Lynn Holzinger says:

    Well, this went a different direction than I was expecting. I think rebuking the devil is not only futile and ineffective, I think it is dangerous and unbiblical. The Bible only tells us two things to do in relation to the enemy: resist and stand.
    James 4:7 “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
    Ephesians 6:10-17 “Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil (v.11).”
    Nowhere does the Bible tell us to rebuke or command the devil. Nowhere are we told to bind Satan either. Only God can do these things. And Satan is not bound until the beginning of the Millennium when the angel comes down from heaven and throws him into the abyss for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-2). Until then, we resist and we stand against the schemes of the devil. Even Michael the archangel did not rebuke Satan or “pronounce against him a railing judgment.” Instead, he said, “The Lord rebuke you.” (Jude 8-10)
    I was taught to rebuke and bind the enemy in the name of Jesus. But I always believed only God could do those things so I would ask God to rebuke and bind Satan. I was told I had the authority to do it myself but I continued to question if the Bible really taught I had the authority. It doesn’t. Neither does it teach that I should ask God to do it. I don’t see anywhere in Scripture where we are told or shown by example that Christians are to do anything like that. The devil, demons, and Christians are only talked about in the context of Christians resisting and standing firm against the demonic realm.

    • Stephen says:

      Great comment. Ms. Holzinger. Spot on. I, too, had been taught originally to bind Satan. However, when one examines the scriptures and follows closely the actions of Jesus, it is very clear that we do not have this authority ourselves. Only Christ has done this. Christ gave his disciples authority to cast out demons (the spirits working under Satan), but even then they had a lot to learn. (like the instance the could not cast them out, and Jesus said that “particular kind of spirit requires prayer and fasting”) This is all to accentuate the fact that spiritual warefare (like the author here mentions) requires preparedness and wisdom. …Jesus’ Name and the Holy Spirit are NOT to be used as “magic bullets”. Jesus and Jesus alone is ever shown commanding Satan. Additionally, Jesus made it clear to His disciples that He has ALREADY overcome the enemy, and so we need not fear. John 14-17 are absolutely wondrous chapters that remind us about the power and authority of Christ and His plans for us. He reminds us our place in Him.

      Ms. Holzinger referenced several great scriptures that do just that, remind us our place. If the Archangel, Michael, knew it was not His place to rebuke Satan…we might take the hint. I would also remind others that Satan took 1/3 of the angels with him. …to presuppose that we are constantly being directly attacked or even noticed by the leader of this angelic army would, in my opinion, be highly unlikely..and dare I say, a bit arrogant. There are FAR more references of demons oppressing people than Satan himself. Remember also that prayer of any kind is spiritual warfare. Do you REALLY want to attract attention to yourself by calling out the leader of these spiritual forces of evil? I do not think so. In my own experiences I have seen even greater troubles arise from attempting to rebuk/bind Satan. Experience would suggest that we are much better off praying for the “opposite” of the spirits we wish to combat. Spirit of Peace when there is unrest. Pray for purity when there is pornography. Joy when there is fear…etc.

      There is much to discuss on this matter. I highly recommend the book: There are No Small Snakes – by Gordan Dalby, and also John Paul Jackson’s book, “Needless Casualties of War”. These are both very experienced individuals with Spiritual warfare and my own battles have benefited greatly from these two Godly men. If you only read one, read “Needless Casualties of War.” It is a great starting point for dealing with a world much more complex than we realize.

      If you learn nothing else, simply know this: the Holy Spirit has been given to us. Jesus has done the conquering already. Want some encouragement? Read what Jesus says Himself in John chapters 14-17. What beautiful and encouraging words our LORD leaves us with.

      “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
      (Joh 17:15-26)

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