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How to Resist the Devil | F. J. Perryman

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Satan Is a Defeated Foe

God can do no more than He has done. At the cross He judged the devil and overthrew him and his hosts (John 12:31, 16:11). Believers overcome Satan because of this stupendous fact. We read in Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him by [on account of] the blood of the Lamb, and by [on account of] the word of their testimony.” The blood here refers to Christ’s death. Not only are we saved from sin on account of that death, but we are also saved from Satan.

Further light is given on this in Hebrews 2:14-15, where we read: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” In the Colossian letter the same glorious truth is stated in these words: “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it [the cross].”* (Colossians 2:15)

There is another element in the Revelation passage just quoted that must not be overlooked. The believers are said to overcome “by [on account of] the word of their testimony.”* (Revelation 12:11) God wants that victory enforced through us by means of our spoken testimony. We know that the Lord Jesus rebuked Satan directly (Matthew 4:10). The archangel Michael rebuked Satan in the name of the Lord (Jude 9). The Apostle Paul directly addressed the evil spirits in the demon-possessed girl in Philippi and in the name of Jesus cast them out of her. Apparently the rebuking of evil powers in the name of Jesus was customary, for the sons of Sceva tried to imitate Paul in this; but lacking the personal application and benefits of the shed blood of Christ, they were soundly beaten by the demoniac (Acts 19:13-16).

Thus the pattern is laid for us in the Word. It may be necessary to rebuke Satan in the name of the Lord in order to keep the prayer life and other areas of our Christian lives free from satanic hindrances.

But some will immediately ask, “Can we address Satan personally and rebuke him in the name of the Lord?” Yes, that is what the Scriptures just cited indicate. You may say something like this in withstanding the adversary: “I died with Christ; therefore, you have no more power over me. In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you!”

Let me repeat: God can do no more than He has done. At the cross He judged the devil and overthrew him and his hosts (John 12:31, 16:11), but it is through us that that victory has to be enforced. We are the links on earth through whom He is determined to realize the heading up of all things in Christ (Ephesians 1:10; Colossians 1:18-19), and to the extent that the devil can hinder prayer, to that extent he hinders the Holy Spirit’s working through us and keeps the purposes of God from maturing.

Remember that the devil is always engineering something to stop the prayer stream. All sorts of excuses will be invented to account for what he is doing under cover, but ask God to make you alert to detect if you are being robbed of your privileges in Christ.