The Power of the Rebuke
So if I could turn back the clock and go back to the point when my dad got sick, I would do a few things differently. In addition to prayer, fasting and belief, I would add an all out attack upon Satan, the author of death and disease. I don't know how much credibility a 14 year old would have had, but from my current perspective I would have encouraged my dad and my entire family for that matter to outwardly and openly fight back. Every time a fearful thought entered our minds promising the inevitable demise of our dad, we would have said aloud, " You're a liar Satan! Father has promised that he will restore our dad's health and that he will heal the wounds that you have inflicted. Get your hands off of our dad and his good health and his long life in Jesus' name!" (Jeremiah 30:17)
I would have encouraged my dad that every time he felt pain or symptoms, that he rebuke them and command them to go. I would have proposed that we all attack this cancer as the wicked spirit that it is, by openly and strongly declaring the following:
I command that the evil spirit of cancer that is attacking our dad listen to and obey my words. Jesus Christ has given us all power over you and has promised that you will not be able to harm my dad. By that authority I command you to leave his body now and I say that his good health be surely and steadily restored. Satan you old evil serpent, I tread upon you and your spirit of death and I cast you from our hearts and minds now. I testify that God has promised that our dad shall live and not die, and he shall declare the miracle of his healing and the works of the Lord to all that will listen. In the name of Jesus Christ, I testify that God has promised that with long life he will satisfy our dad and will show him His salvation from your dark spirit of death and disease. (Luke10:19, Psalm 118:17, Psalm 91:16)
I would suggest that we recruit not only family, but friends, church members, past church members, business associates, or anyone that was willing to join the fight. Just imagine the power of having your own private army of people fighting and rebuking Satan and his dark angels.
I would encourage that we be persistent in this pursuit, and not just rebuke the devil once but continue the assault multiple times each day. On more than one occasion the apostle Paul likened the fight against Satan to war. Well warriors don't just fight one battle and then walk away. No; they attack and attack and attack until their enemy is totally and completely brought into submission and is defeated.
I would encourage them to search the Bible for God's promises concerning power over Satan and disease, and his promises of healing and long life, and then use them as weapons against the adversary and his cancer.
Fast-Forward to Today
Today I realize that this approach is not only important when battling a life threatening disease, but when dealing with any issue of concern within our lives, or in striving to overcome character or behavioral problems. Most importantly, I now see that exercising my God-given authority against the enemy of my soul through verbal rebuke is critically important to the protection of my greatest blessing; my new little family.
As I began to research the concept of the spiritual rebuke, I found some interesting information, beginning with Merriam Webster's online definition of the word:
1 : to criticize sharply : reprimand
2 : to turn back or keep down : check
The second definition of this word is of greatest interest, as it teaches that to rebuke is to turn back or keep down, which is followed by the synonym check. When we examine the word check from the same source, we find the following definitions:
1 : exposure of a chess king to an attack from which he must be protected or moved to safety
2 : a sudden stoppage of a forward course or progress : arrest
5 : one that arrests, limits, or restrains : restraint
Comparing the first definition of this word to the power of the spiritual rebuke is fascinating. In the game of chess, if your opponent's king is in check, it means that it is exposed to attack and must be moved to safety or another piece must be moved to defend it. In other words, your opponent has now gone from being on offense to defense. It means that your opponent is no longer attacking you, but you are now attacking him. It means you have your opponent on the run. The other two definitions certainly further support this analogue.
While the power of the concept of the rebuke was becoming clearer, I was curious if there were any other examples of its successful use. Aside from Jesus' encounter on the mountain with Satan, were there other recorded instances of its use. Well I didn't have to look any further than the Bible once more, where time and time again we find the Savior using the rebuke as a vehicle for His preeminent authority.
Earlier I recounted the story of a man who brought his afflicted child to Jesus. The boy's father reported that his son had been possessed by an evil spirit. He detailed how this spirit caused him to foam at the mouth, gnash his teeth and become rigid, and that the demon would even throw him down and cast him into the fire or into water in an attempt to kill him. In Matthew 17:18 we learn how Jesus approached the healing of this boy:
And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
Jesus also exercised the power of the rebuke when dealing with evil spirits that were clearly speaking through others. The most famous of these is when Satan spoke to Him directly through the Apostle Peter.
The miracle of the rebuke is further illustrated when we see that Jesus actually used it to cure the spirit of illness. In Luke 4, we read that Jesus was asked to heal Peter's mother-in-law, who was sick with a high fever. In verse 39 we learn how he restored her health:
So he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.
And finally, the awesome strength of the rebuke through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ is most readily apparent when He utilized it to control the very elements of the earth itself. Luke 8 recounts a journey that He took in a ship with his disciples across a large body of water. Jesus went below and fell asleep, after which a great storm arose that threatened to sink the vessel. Verse 24 illustrates the method through Jesus calmed the storm:
And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm.
As I began to exercise the authority of Jesus Christ by way of the rebuke within my own life, I personally witnessed it's power for myself. My wife and I have used the rebuke to overcome great difficulties in business, difficulties that before seemed insurmountable, difficulties that we found were being perpetrated by dark spiritual influences. We have used it to assist in overcoming deeply seated and destructive character traits, and in a number of other ways in our lives, again all of which were being orchestrated by controlling demonic spirits.
I would like to share with you some basic ways you can apply it's power within your own life. Before I begin, it's important to understand two key points about the rebuke. One, this is not a magic trick but rather it is available to those who are diligently trying to divorce themselves from their association with evil, and who are actively and honestly journeying toward a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And two, the rebuke is not something you do once and then walk away; it is done repeatedly as needed until the issue that you are addressing Is improved or resolved. There are two types of rebuke that have worked well for us in our lives, they are the natural rebuke and the written rebuke.
The Natural Rebuke
This type of rebuke naturally flows from your heart and mouth when you are prompted by dark influence to do or say something that is destructive to your life or that violates God's laws. Now before the natural rebuke can be utilized, or properly explained, we need to lay some groundwork.
Becoming Aware of the Approach
Again awareness is everything. You must pay quiet attention to your thoughts and actions. If feelings of worry or fear enter your mind, you must truly believe that the approach of negative spirits is at hand. If you are inspired to react contentiously or to initiate an argument, no matter the justification, you must believe that there is something evil attempting to work through you to disrupt and eventually destroy your relationships with those around you. If any other negative, destructive or ungodly prevailing thought or emotion arises, you can no longer accept it as just a part of you or that you are doing it to yourself, but you must know that a spiritual attack is underway.
Start paying attention to the details of the approach. These spirits are smart enough to play the odds. If it has worked before they know it will most likely work again. Watch for these destructive patterns in your life and the details of these attacks. They can be used as warning signs that will be helpful in seeing it coming in the future.
Standing Your Ground
Once you have done your homework concerning the approach, decide that you are not going to participate in these self-destructive activities anymore. Make a commitment that you are no longer going to allow yourself to be manipulated by dark spiritual influences.
Now it is time to get to work. If a fight ensues with a friend or family member, start to practice ending it early before it escalates out of hand. If you fail and it escalates, afterwards practice turning the residual resentment and blame that you feel away from the person with whom you fought, and direct those feeling towards the dark spirits that really started the fight. Ideally, anger is not the best tool in working within things spiritual, but if you are already angry, you might as well turn this powerful emotion against those that inspired it. Start blaming the true culprits.
Learn to walk away before the contention begins. Refuse to participate. Be the bigger person and apologize. If possible, help the other person to understand this dark spiritual dynamic and then work together to defeat the devastating spirit of contention. Learn to apologize to each other for the hateful contention, and make a mutual commitment to never be used as the devil's puppets again. Do what you must to shatter the cycle and end their control.
If the issue is fear or worry, learn to identify the initial approach and then move quickly. Take a walk, or shift to a positive or uplifting activity that will inspire hopeful thoughts and feelings. No matter the issue, make a commitment to resist it, and then start trying. You will likely fail at first, but don’t give up, keep trying.
Before you thought that these tendencies were character flaws or failings on your part, but how does one successfully blame and fight themselves. Now you know the truth and you have something to fight so get to it.
In the book of James 4:7 we are told to Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Webster's online dictionary defines the word resist as to fight against (something) : to try to stop or prevent (something).
So we are promised that if we will submit to God, and then actively resist or fight the advances of evil within our lives, they will flee or depart from us. This is a powerful promise that is key in managing this spiritual menace.
We have found that one of the most effective ways to fight oppressing spirits is to “talk back”. This is where the natural rebuke comes in. Most of us have spent years listening to the self destructive promptings of these influences, and now “turn about” is certainly fair play. You can’t fight against something if you quietly sit by listening, considering, and accepting.
When these negative urgings enter your head, again don’t believe that it is your inner voice, but know that you are being pushed so… push back. Tell them that you are not going to listen anymore. Tell them that you know that they are here to hurt you and that their cover is blown. You have tried it their way most of your life and you are not going to follow their promptings anymore. Tell them you want them out of your life. Tell them to go back to Hell where they came from!
While this can be done internally, within yourself, whenever such promptings arise, we have found that speaking the words aloud is the most effective method. If you are at home alone or anywhere by yourself, go ahead and do it out loud. It’s an empowering feeling to start getting tough and fighting back.
Now I am not telling you to have a conversation with these spirits. I am suggesting that you rebuke them and their influence from your life by the power and authority of Jesus Christ.
Applying the Natural Rebuke
Perhaps the best way to understand how to use the natural rebuke is by way of a few examples. Since the spirit of fear is the demon with which I wrestled for many years, why don't we begin there? If you suffer from fearful thoughts daily, if you are tortured with promptings of impending doom, or stinging messages of worry or hopelessness, and if you find yourself participating in these conversations in your mind, now is the time to go on the attack and lead the charge.
Again the most basic form of this type of rebuke, is the one that naturally flows from your heart and your mouth. It could be as simple as:
Satan, in the name of Jesus I say I will no longer listen to and repeat your words of fear. I command you to get out of my heart and out my mind now!
Another approach might be:
Devil! I expose you for the liar and thief that you are! I will no longer consider your threats and I will no longer allow you to steal my hope and my peace of mind . By the power of Jesus Christ I drive your evil spirits of worry and fear from my life this day.
So at this point, allow me to point out a couple of very important components in this process. First, as a follower of Jesus Christ, you MUST state His authority within your rebukes. He is the one that gave His life so that you could have the opportunity to be freed from this evil. He is the one who overcame death and defeated Satan and his minions, and he is the only one that can cleanse this filth from your life and effectively assist in keeping it at bay afterwards. Second, you may have noticed that in our first two examples, I point my rebukes directly at Satan, rather than addressing the demonic henchmen that he sends to do his dirty work. While there is nothing that says you can't focus your rebukes toward the dark spirits on the scene, we have found that leading the charge against the source of the problem is the most productive. If you want to kill a weed, you don't cut off it's leaves and stem, but you pull it up by the root. Satan is the root of all evil.
The next way we can further strengthen our rebukes is by the inclusion of relative passages from the Bible. Remember by learning about and incorporating God's promises into the rebuke, you will be giving the process some extra "teeth".
The promise found in Isaiah 35:4 is an excellent starting point when combating the spirit of fear. It reads:
Say to those who are fearful-hearted,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
With the recompense of God;
He will come and save you.”
A rebuke incorporating the promise of this scripture might go something like this:
Today I proclaim that I am strong in the Lord and I will not fear! Satan, I declare that God will come upon you with a vengeance this day, for meddling in my life with your evil spirits of worry, fear, and faithlessness. Even as I speak these words, I know that his mercy, recompense and restoration, has come upon me and my family, and is saving us, from your destructive spirit of dismay and despair. In the name of Jesus Christ I proclaim, that your evil presence of fear, will never again come between me and my God; between me and his blessings; between me and his perfect, matchless love.
Here we are assured that if we will stand up against the spirit of fear and be strong, that God will not only come against Satan with a vengeance, but that with the recompense of God he will save us. The word recompense means to make amends to (someone) for loss or harm suffered, or to compensate. So God is not only promising to fight the enemy but he is also offering to compensate you for the losses that you have suffered as a result his repeated attacks. This promise of God's protection and restoration should be utilized regularly through the power of the rebuke, by anyone who is suffering from debilitating worry or fear.
We can also do as Jesus did in his conformation with Satan on the mountain, and directly quote scripture within our rebuke. Again continuing with the example of fear you could quote Psalm 27:1 by saying:
Devil, in the name of Jesus Christ, I rebuke your evil spirits of fear and declare that I will no longer listen to their threats and lies, but I will trust in my God and I will not fear, for it is written:
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
One of my favorite passages to quote is found in Romans 8:38-39. I call it my rebuke for any occasion. Keeping in mind that no matter how Satan attacks you, whether it be through fear, anger, pride, or dishonesty, just to name a few, his main objective is always the same; separating you and your family from God and His blessings. So regardless of the specific issue you're are battling, this rebuke can be executed like this:
Satan, I refuse to continue participating in this sin and demand that you get out of my life. In God I will put my trust and only Him will I serve. For it is written:
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate [me] from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Of course, the rebuke can be applied to more than just fear. Any issue or weakness in your life that is being motivated or exploited by Satan can be addressed by way of the rebuke. Again, follow the guidance above, become aware of the approach and when you see it, instead of sitting by helpless or participating… go on the offensive. It takes discipline. You must do it over and over until you begin to see results. It is a process through which you make a conscious decision to no longer participate with their program and you stand up and rebel against them. When we utilize the rebuke in conjunction with the concepts taught in the following chapters, over time these attacks will ease and there will be less need for such an intensely vigilant and proactive approach.
The Written Rebuke
Just as Jesus used the power of the word of God to rebuke and remove the devil from his presence, we too should use the same approach at every opportunity. Using this approach literally changed my life. At the beginning of almost every day, I now speak a written rebuke that incorporates God's word against Satan and the demons that he sends to disrupt and destroy my me and those I love. This I do for many reasons, but the most important of them is to make sure I am always consistently exercising this authority in life.
The explanation of the written rebuke is simple. It is basically a collection of multiple related rebukes based on God's promises, such as the examples above. I have rebuke that fights ungratefulness, one that takes on guilt, and of course, one that combats fear and faithlessness, and my pride and joy is one that very effectively executes an all out attack against darkness in every area of my life. Most of them are four pages long and full of God's promises. But written rebukes don't have to be lengthy. They can be as long or short as you desire.
The Weapons of Our Warfare
In 2nd Corinthians 10:3-5, the apostle Paul teaches us:
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
This is one of my favorite scriptures and it is the perfect embodiment of these rebukes.
We are not here in this life to contend and compete with those around us. Jesus taught that we should be kind and patient and, that we must love each other. No we are not here to battle with those in the flesh, our battle is a spiritual one, and the weapons of our warfare are truly mighty in God for pulling down the strongholds; the strongholds that Satan has built in our lives, most often with our assistance. Strongholds between husband and wife. Strongholds that block us from achieving God's best. Strongholds of the mind that torment, corrupt and condemn. Strongholds that separate us from God and his blessing, from God and his love.
The authority of Jesus Christ by way of the rebuke casts down arguments within the mind and everything that exalts itself against God's guidance and presence within our lives. What is the ultimate goal? To bring our thoughts out of the captivity of Satan and into the loving captivity or protection of Christ; to the obedience of Jesus Christ. No matter who you are, regardless of your specific issues and problems, you most likely listen to and follow the promptings of false spirits at times. We all do. Again, we can either choose the spirit that will guide us, or it will be chosen for us. The ultimate goal by way of the rebuke, is to free our minds from the guidance of Satan, and to shift to the promptings of Jesus. The ultimate goal is to be intuitively guided in every thought and actions by the Savior himself through the power of the Holy Spirit, and to be obedient to that guidance. By so doing we will transform our lives to those of peace and true joy, and leave behind a life of ups and downs, pleasure and pain, and disease and premature death.
Leading the Charge
Are we really doing battle when we utilize the rebuke? Well that's like asking a General of an invading army if he is really doing battle just sitting in a command center, directing the assault. God has a legion of angels ready and at our disposal, if you will begin to make a habit of doing the thing we were sent here to do. We must stop sitting around waiting for God to act and we must stand up and lead the charge.
I hesitated including the following story because I fear that it will scare some people away from the ESAT process. Frankly it almost scared me away from doing it permanently. I believe that is exactly what it was intended to accomplish. Let me reassure the reader that the experience that follows is an extreme rarity, and that 99% of the time an ESAT session is a controlled, safe and uplifting experience.
Years ago when I first began using the this spiritual diagnostic tool, a young woman in her mid 20's named Cassie came to me seeking relief from a variety of emotional issues. Cassie was a very spiritually sensitive individual and quite often experienced visuals during our sessions. In a subsequent session with Cassie, we were told of a malicious spirit that was with her. When I brought this spirit forward, a disturbing turn of events took place.
Cassie reported that she saw three spirits appear over her as she lay upon the massage table. They looked classically like “demons” with horns and claws. They proceeded to attack her, screaming and clawing and flailing at her. As I watched her on the table, she began to struggle and cry as she recoiled into the fetal position. As she laid there a victim of this attack, Cassie later told me that as she looked up, she saw an angel standing just to her left.
She said that this angel was just standing there with her arms folded, watching the assault, having a kind yet unconcerned look upon his face, while doing nothing to intervene. As Cassie continued to cower from the sadistic assault, she heard a prompting that asked her if she was going to just lie there and let these dark spirits continue to intimidate her. To this she responded by fighting back and forcefully telling these evil spirits to stop. When she did this, she said that the angel immediately stepped between her and her attackers, and in an instant the dark spirits were gone.
This experience, although frightening and extreme, taught me one of the most important lessons that I have learned to date. Cassie came to the conclusion that the reason the angel could not help her at first, is because she was not trying to help herself. She needed to stand up, become involved, and fight back.
How many of us are being screamed and clawed at daily by demonic forces that have been sent to make life miserable and to wear us down but unlike Cassie, we can't visibly see it happening?
I learned from this incident that it is not enough to simply desire help or ask for assistance from God. We must stand up and begin fighting back, using the power that God has given us. We must become actively involved, working toward our goal or toward positive personal development before assistance can be fully delivered. We are here to be loved and supported in our spiritual paths, but we are not here to be spoon fed. I know many people that pray constantly for divine help, and then afterward go right back to business as usual, never lifting a finger in contributing to their blessing.
We must remember that even if there is a legion of angels at our disposal, they can do nothing until we lead by action. Get involved and be of help and service to others, and then they will be hard at work by your side, supporting you. Get to work raising your children to be kind, well-mannered, and moral people and God's spirit will rush into your home to lend a hand. Begin making changes in your character, and the Lord will begin helping you learn how to receive more of His healing spirit and the gifts within. And start rebuking the devil and lead the fight against the enemy of your soul and your God will come with a vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.
Next, in addition to the power of the ESAT process, God has given us other weapons to drive back and defeat the devil in our lives