By Basilea Schlink
Rebellion was the sin of the followers of Korah (Num. 16), of those who murmured and protested against their leaders and against those who had special privileges and blessings that they themselves did not have. This rebellious spirit can be especially found among the pious. God punished the children of Korah in the most severe way possible. They had to pay for their rebellious spirit with death. A rebellious spirit contains the poison of the devil, for Satan is the chief of rebels. Because Satan did not have the same position as God, he rebelled against Him. We can see that the spirit of rebellion is born out of envy and pride. Satan makes every effort to pour this poison into the hearts of believers and to get them into his hands. It is a destructive force, just as humble, serving love is a constructive force. Loving builds the kingdom of love, but the spirit of rebellion builds hell. Every rebellious spirit of criticism, of protest against arrangements made by our superiors, adds bricks to the building of the kingdom of hell.
But the uncanny thing about rebellion is that it is often camouflaged and for this reason many are affected by it. It is so contagious. Today we can see this on a large scale. It comes with smart arguments and ideas of reform, which seemingly seek to improve poor conditions, and pretend to give the oppressed a more human life, more freedom and so on. These good intentions are supposed to justify the use of violence against the established order, to destroy all authorities, then seek to do away with all rules and with God's commandments. What leads to violence and chaos on a large scale begins in our small sphere of life with similar satanic camouflage. "Could God really have meant that? Could He really have meant that I should be the one to be subject to others, to obey others and their rules? I have been created with a free will and do not need to be subject to anyone."
Usually we try to make such reactions seem harmless and do not realize that "rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft" (1 Sam. 15: 23). Satan, the rebel, has poured this poison into our thought world. He knows that this will bring the death sentence upon us as it did for the company of Korah, that is, we could come into the hands of the prince of hell and deserve to die the "second death", (Rev. 20: 14, 15; 21: 8) a dreadful, continual dying. But even here in this life dreadful judgment will come upon the rebels. We can see this in our times. Those who rebel die in their souls; their lives become empty and meaningless. An increasing suicide rate is the consequence. For rebels are condemned to death.
If we do not want to be servants of Satan, we must take a clear stand against every spirit of rebellion in us. The first step is to surrender our own opinions completely to God. We must make every effort to adjust to the established order into which God has placed us and commit ourselves to recognizing authorities and their decisions. As a sign of our willingness, we should approach our superiors, no matter who they may be-yes, even the overbearing (1 Pet. 2: 18)-with respect and obedience. However, if we should see something that needs to be changed, we should ask them humbly to do this and at the same time lay this concern before God, who can move people's hearts.
But the important thing, if we do not want to come into the grip of Satan, the chief of the rebels, is that we call upon the name of Jesus as soon as rebellious thoughts begin to arise in us. Jesus, the Son of God, humbly subjected Himself to people, like His parents in Nazareth, ". . . and was obedient to them" (Luke 2: 52). Even in the darkest hours, when everything seemed to be meaningless, He did not rebel against the incomprehensible leadings of God, but rather He trusted the Father. Through His obedience He has also redeemed us from the spirit of rebellion. We must say that over and over again and pray:
Let praises ring aloud this day,
That by this mighty name
The powers of hell are put to flight
and made to tremble!
In the name of Jesus there is great power. Yes, before it hell trembles and its attacks will yield, for the name of Jesus is a victorious name. In it is victory over every power of sin. Therefore, we can claim God's promise, "Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rom. 10: 13).
If we enter the battle of faith against the spirit of rebellion with complete resolution, then Jesus, who has paid for our satanic rebellion with His death, will set us free.