About casting out demons and binding Satan

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About casting out demons and binding Satan
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Concerning the belief in “binding the strong man” scriptures to back up the need to “bind Satan”.
Often found in charismatic or Word of Faith, Prosperity Gospel, New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and Emergent Church movements. The following 4 scriptures are often cited as being scriptures that support this bizarre practice. I have broken them down under headings A, B, C and D for easier reference.

[Note: one should never pay attention to just one verse alone from scripture. In fact, no matter how many verses are quoted, it’s always good to read around it to find it’s context.]

Matthew 12:29 — (A)
Matthew 16:19 — (B)
Matthew 18:18 — (C )
Mark 3:27 — (D)

(A)

"But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.” And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, "Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. "If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? "If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges. "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. “Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.” (Matthew 12:24-29 NASB)

Plus the next 2 verses

"He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters. “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.” (Matthew 12:30-31 NASB)

In this scripture, Jesus Christ has been casting out demons. There is no command from Him for us to do so in this passage.

(B)

"And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17-19 NASB)

In this scripture, Jesus Christ is saying that the insight and faith of Peter and belief is from His Father directly. And that is what He will build His church on. It is directed to Simon Barjona or Simon, son of Jona or John, aka Peter, not toward all believers. What Peter preached in Acts 2 was the first time the gates of heaven were opened to people on earth under the power of the Holy Spirit. Later, Peter condemns Ananias and Sapphira who lie about what they are giving the church for the property they sold and each die on the spot in turn. (see Acts 5:1-11)

(C )

"If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. "But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. "If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 18:15-18 NASB)

Matthew 18 is about church discipline. It is very clearly 3 steps to attempt to restore a brother who has been sinning. If he doesn’t listen to you, bring 2 or 3 witnesses. If he won’t listen to them, tell the whole church, and if he doesn’t listen to the whole church, treat him as a tax collector, in other words bind him as an unbeliever. This was to keep the church pure. It has nothing to do with demons or Satan.

(D)

"The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.” And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? "If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. "If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. "If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished! “But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house.” (Mark 3:22-27 NASB)

Again, Jesus Christ is casting out demons. There is no command that we do the same.


My understanding of what we are commanded to do about “Satan” or “the devil”.

“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7 NASB)

and what Jesus did when in the desert being tempted by the devil

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’” Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU’; and ‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’” Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’” Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.” (Matthew 4:1-11 NASB)

My read of that is basically use scripture against any temptation, from the devil or demons or whatever. Scripture to refute temptation is very effective. But to be clear, temptation is NOT the same as thinking you have to “bind Satan”. That is a “teaching” of false teachers. Be protected from the tricks of false teachers and/or Satan by the Word of God. Remember, Satan is the father of lies, not the father of possession. Protect yourself from lies about God by reading Scripture daily!

Found more information on this:

https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/70-46/bible-questions-and-answers-part-70

AUDIENCE: Hi, John. My name is Andrew.

JOHN: Hi, Andrew.

AUDIENCE: Merry Christmas.

JOHN: Thank you.

AUDIENCE: Thanks for being our pastor, and congratulations on 50 years of ministry.

JOHN: Thank you, Andrew.

AUDIENCE: I was raised charismatic and spent ten years Pentecostal. As you may know, those movements are all into like praying against the spirit of this, or rebuking and binding the spirit of that, and so on and so forth. So my question is basically, do we need to think of or be afraid of Satan? How should we think of Satan? You know, he prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking who to devour. What does spiritual warfare entail? One of the pastors here said that spiritual warfare is just warring against your own sinfulness. So basically, how should we think of Satan, or should we think of Satan? Should our mind just be on worship?

JOHN: Well, it’s a good question. We don’t want to be ignorant of Satan’s devices, that’s what Scripture says. We don’t want to be ignorant of his devices.

Satan comes at us through devices, he comes at us through the world system. Satan, first of all, is not omnipresent, okay. He’s fast, but he’s not omnipresent. So the notion that whatever’s going wrong in your life is specifically Satan at work is just not accurate. Satan has a host of demons as well who do his bidding around the world, but primarily he functions with this system of evil that is basically within the human race. So a fallen race of people are basically in the hands of Satan.

The whole world lies in the lap of the Evil One, that’s what Scripture says. So it’s not a matter of us fighting Satan as a personality, but it is important that we not be ignorant of his devices. And he goes around as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, not in some personal encounter with Satan, but he goes around creating an environment in the world that becomes solicitous to what is evil. He drives the world system at the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

Just look at advertising alone. Just look at television alone or film or any form of media; it is just loaded with things that appeal to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. That sort of sums up the contemporary human philosophy. We have a right to be proud. We have a right to fulfill our desires. We have a right to fulfill even what we lust for. This is all legitimate. This is Satan’s big lie.

So it’s important for a Christian to understand that you may never engage in a personal battle with Satan; but if you do, he’s no more powerful than any other demon. And it’s important to say that the Scripture gives us this promise: “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” It’s not so much that you have to identify him and flee. It’s that if you resist him and you resist him by being strong in the Word and wearing the armor of Ephesians 6, he will flee from you.

There’s no basis for chasing around Satan and talking to him. I’ve never said a word to him in my entire life, I don’t intend to; I don’t even know if he’s around. But that would be pointless anyway. But I avoid Satan and I avoid the operation of Satan if I avoid the things that come from the world system at the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. And you insulate yourself from those kinds of things by setting your affection on things above, by loving Christ, by dwelling on His Word. David says, “Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”

Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world, right? The Spirit of God is greater than Satan. You belong to God; not even Satan can take you out of God’s hands. Nothing can remove you from His care. Nothing can separate you from His love. So no need to be preoccupied with him. You don’t need to speak to him or even to speak to demons.

Spiritual warfare – you brought that up at the end – is described in 2 Corinthians as addressing the lies and the deceptive theologies and philosophies in the world with the truth of God. What the apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians is, “The weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, they’re not human.” In other words. we’re fighting a spiritual war, but we can’t use human ingenuity, human wisdom, human ideas, human strategies, because we are assaulting fortresses, he says, fortresses. The idea is a stone fortress. The targets are too formidable for us to be using human ingenuity to attack the kingdom of darkness.

Now what does he mean by attack it? Well, he goes on to say we are assaulting fortresses; and when you ask, “What does he mean by that?” the very next line, “We are assaulting logismos,” which is the Greek word for “ideas,” okay. Spiritual warfare is not chasing Satan, it’s not chasing demons. It’s attacking ideologies. It’s attacking the lies of psychology, for philosophy, all forms of religion. And Paul goes on to say, it is virtually an assault or an attack on any idea raised up against the knowledge of God. Second Corinthians 10 has all of this.

So the weapons of our warfare, they’re not fleshly, but they’re mighty unto God. We have to use divine weapons. And the weapons assault the fortresses in which people are held captive, and those fortresses are their ideologies. So spiritual warfare is essentially taking the truth and smashing the false ideas that hold people prisoner. Those fortresses become their prisons, and those fortresses ultimately become their tombs, and the word for “fortress” refers to all three.

So spiritual warfare is not chasing Satan, it’s not chasing demons. Think of the sons of Sceva in the book of Acts who were supposed to be able to cast out demons, and the demons said to them, “Jesus we know and Paul we know, but who are you?” as if to say, “You have no authority over us.”

So your whole life long you don’t need to be chasing demons, you need to be building yourself up on His most holy Word so that you know the truth well enough to protect yourself, and you know the truth well enough to assault the ideologies that Satan has formed in the world that hold people prisoner. And ultimately then, you take the truth and bring every thought, Paul says, captive to Christ. So we’re smashing these fortifications, these wrong ideas raised up against the true knowledge of God, to bring people into the knowledge of Christ. That’s spiritual warfare. Okay?

AUDIENCE: Thank you very much.

JOHN: Yeah. And that is so much a part of the charismatic movement, but it fits in that movement because there’s so much fantasy in that movement. There’s not only fantasy about dealing with Satan and demons, there’s fantasy about even dealing with the Holy Spirit, there’s fantasy about miracles, there’s fantasy about speaking in tongues, and it’s full of things that are not biblical, so it’s not surprising that that’s part of it as well.