Rebuking demons aloud

Status
Not open for further replies.

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
I’ve been reading through Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology and he has a rather intriguing view on our spiritual warfare with demons. In the Satan and Demons chapter, he discusses the fact that demons are limited and asserts they are likely unable to know our thoughts. He then discusses resisting the devil (James 4:7) and encourages people to rebuke demons by briefly speaking a command, preferably including a scripture verse, to an evil spirit to leave when we suspect the presence of demonic influence.

In a footnote, he writes:
Because Scripture gives no indication that demons can know our thoughts, it would seem that the command should be spoken audibly.

I guess first of all I’m a bit baffled that I may have been glossing over a significant element of my Christian walk through spiritual warfare by not rebuking demons. And secondly I’m wondering if silent rebukes against demons are inept.... So I guess I have three questions.
  1. Should we rebuke demons (he does address Jude 9)?
  2. If so, is it necessary to speak audibly so they can hear you?
  3. Can anyone provide good testimonies to rebuking demons?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I would say, "maybe" but not for the reasons Grudem suggest.

I don't think Jude 9 applies here. Satan was more of a fallen beney ha-elohim than a mere demon. He was really high up the taxonomy. In any case, Paul rebuked unclean spirits.

I have before, but not necessarily because I think they need to hear my sound waves.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
He... encourages people to rebuke demons by briefly speaking a command, preferably including a scripture verse, to an evil spirit to leave when we suspect the presence of demonic influence.
Does Grudem say anything more about this? What does it mean to "suspect the presence of demonic influence"? I'd guess that it'd look rather different from apostolic precedents (Acts 16:16-18).
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
Does Grudem say anything more about this? What does it mean to "suspect the presence of demonic influence"? I'd guess that it'd look rather different from apostolic precedents (Acts 16:16-18).
He does and makes the point that scripture appears to suggest demons may or may not be the cause of every ailment. For example, in Matthew 17:14-18, Jesus casts out a demon which was the cause of an epileptic. Elsewhere, such as Matthew 4:24, epileptics are distinguished from those who are under demonic influence. Since then we may not necessarily know whether a certain ailment or temptation is caused by the influence of a demon, we should proceed with suspicion and not necessarily domatic assumption.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
What does it mean to "suspect the presence of demonic influence"?

Guys like JP Moreland and others have spoken about this. I've even encountered it when I read neo-Marxists. I felt an overwhelming darkness in the room. It was tangible.
I'd guess that it'd look rather different from apostolic precedents (Acts 16:16-18).

Why would you necessarily guess that? Most deliverance accounts look similar to the Acts 16 account. Read the meticulous notations of the German Lutheran Blumhardt story from the 19th century.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Since then we may not necessarily know whether a certain ailment or temptation is caused by the influence of a demon, we should proceed with suspicion and not necessarily domatic assumption.

Very true. Most of the mature deliverance situations (e.g., Moreland, Kraft) operate on this assumption.
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
Can my rebuke be in English? What if I get one of those foreign demons who can't understand me?
Then I’d say your SOL... Weren’t you just rebuking (in English) those of us engaging in humor on the other Corona thread?

Humor aside, I would presume though not omniscient or omnipresent, a demon (particularly one influencing you) would be knowledgeable in the language (and possibly all languages) you use.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Then I’d say your SOL... Weren’t you just rebuking (in English) those of us engaging in humor on the other Corona thread?

Humor aside, I would presume though not omniscient or omnipresent, a demon (particularly one influencing you) would be knowledgeable in the language (and possibly all languages) you use.
I never rebuke; I just troll.
 

py3ak

They're stalling and plotting against me
Staff member
James says "resist" rather than "rebuke." In other words, the technique of verbally bossing demons around is not commanded. It's unlikely to be indispensable to your spiritual vitality and growth in grace.
 

ReformedBrit

Puritan Board Freshman
He does and makes the point that scripture appears to suggest demons may or may not be the cause of every ailment. For example, in Matthew 17:14-18, Jesus casts out a demon which was the cause of an epileptic. Elsewhere, such as Matthew 4:24, epileptics are distinguished from those who are under demonic influence. Since then we may not necessarily know whether a certain ailment or temptation is caused by the influence of a demon, we should proceed with suspicion and not necessarily domatic assumption.

I have recently read a book exactly on this topic who advocates a similar position to Grudem. My issue with this line of thinking is that it is Christ who rebukes the demons. To rebuke a demon implies that we believe it more efficacious to verbally rebuke a Demon ourselves than to pray to Christ for His protection.

And whilst Jesus sends out the 72 (Luke 10) who were able to make demons submit to them through the authority that Christ gave them, I struggle to see our current age as continuing in this particular dispensation of Christ's authority.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Grudem is charismatic, which explains why he delves into this subject.

That runs the risk of the genetic fallacy. True, Charismatics talk about this (as does most of the 3rd world), but this is hardly a Charismatic topic. I talk about it. I don't identify as charismatic per se. The German Lutheran Blumhardt was hardly a Charismatic.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
And sane deliverance ministries (Blumhardt, Michael Brown, Charles Kraft) will more often focus on a person's underlying sin-attachments than simply rebuking. It helps to read the best scholarly literature on this topic. Grudem is okay but in the Reformed world he has "baggage" so I never quote him. And as someone who is "open but cautious," there are simply better treatments out there that aren't Humean or Bultmannian.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
That runs the risk of the genetic fallacy. True, Charismatics talk about this (as does most of the 3rd world), but this is hardly a Charismatic topic. I talk about it. I don't identify as charismatic per se. The German Lutheran Blumhardt was hardly a Charismatic.

I take it you're not a fan of Wittgenstein.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Did you ever read Augustine’s remarks on flatulence? He claimed there was a man who could play musical tunes with his arse. Very funny bit.
Intriguing.

And therefore man himself also might very well have enjoyed absolute power over his members had he not forfeited it by his disobedience; for it is not difficult for God to form him so that what is now moved in his body only by lust should have been moved only at will.

We know, too, that some men are differently constituted from others, and have some rare and remarkable faculty of doing with their body what other men can by no effort do, and, indeed, scarcely believe when they hear of others doing....Some have such command of their bowels, that they can break wind continuously at pleasure, so as to produce the effect of singing.

-Augustine, City of God, p.472 (14.24)
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
Intriguing.

And therefore man himself also might very well have enjoyed absolute power over his members had he not forfeited it by his disobedience; for it is not difficult for God to form him so that what is now moved in his body only by lust should have been moved only at will.

We know, too, that some men are differently constituted from others, and have some rare and remarkable faculty of doing with their body what other men can by no effort do, and, indeed, scarcely believe when they hear of others doing....Some have such command of their bowels, that they can break wind continuously at pleasure, so as to produce the effect of singing.

-Augustine, City of God, p.472 (14.24)
This is not the direction I thought this thread would take...o_O
 

rookie

Puritan Board Sophomore
I don't know about the rebuking part, but I remember years ago when I was part of the Brethren here locally, there were going to be some nightly gospel meeting in a community about 1.5 hrs from our gospel hall. Someone had donated an old mobile home to hold the meetings in, so that rain and wind wouldn't dampen the effort. Someone else had a generator and so the meetings would have materialized.

2 of the brothers that were going to be preaching went to inspect the facilities to make sure there were no roof leaks, make sure no one was going to fall through the floor and so on.

They both mentioned that when they got in, there was a weird presence in there. They couldn't explain what it was, but that it was cold as they walked in, and the further they got toward the back, the colder it got, and the stronger the presence was.

They both ran out, having no idea what they were facing, since it was a hot summer day, there was no reason for the cold in there.

Both prayed fervently that evening, and the next evening before doing one more inspection, and whatever was there, was gone.

So, bluntly rebuking? Not sure it would work, praying fervently...probably more effective. But that's just what I have witnessed.
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't know about the rebuking part, but I remember years ago when I was part of the Brethren here locally, there were going to be some nightly gospel meeting in a community about 1.5 hrs from our gospel hall. Someone had donated an old mobile home to hold the meetings in, so that rain and wind wouldn't dampen the effort. Someone else had a generator and so the meetings would have materialized.

2 of the brothers that were going to be preaching went to inspect the facilities to make sure there were no roof leaks, make sure no one was going to fall through the floor and so on.

They both mentioned that when they got in, there was a weird presence in there. They couldn't explain what it was, but that it was cold as they walked in, and the further they got toward the back, the colder it got, and the stronger the presence was.

They both ran out, having no idea what they were facing, since it was a hot summer day, there was no reason for the cold in there.

Both prayed fervently that evening, and the next evening before doing one more inspection, and whatever was there, was gone.

So, bluntly rebuking? Not sure it would work, praying fervently...probably more effective. But that's just what I have witnessed.
I was waiting for a punchline at the end of your post... “and the next day, they discovered an air conditioning unit in the back...” :D
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
On the question of rebuking demons aloud, I would be afraid I might hear the retort from Acts 19:15 in response: "The evil spirit answered them, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?'"

I'm not convinced I've been given the authority to order demons around in the same way Jesus and the apostles had that authority. My office is beneath theirs. However, I am confident that I can speak to my Father and be heard without any rebuke. I think I would rather pray and trust God to give the orders than presume he has appointed me to give such orders.
 

rookie

Puritan Board Sophomore
On the question of rebuking demons aloud, I would be afraid I might hear the retort from Acts 19:15 in response: "The evil spirit answered them, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?'"

I'm not convinced I've been given the authority to order demons around in the same way Jesus and the apostles had that authority. My office is beneath theirs. However, I am confident that I can speak to my Father and be heard without any rebuke. I think I would rather pray and trust God to give the orders than presume he has appointed me to give such orders.

I echo this...
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top