On “binding” Satan

Have any of you ever prayed to “bind” Satan or heard others doing it? Is this popular practice biblical? Author Sunny Shell of Abandoned To Christ recently wrote this short article that includes a short 2-minute clip from Pastor John MacArthur about God’s view on this topic.

Satan’s work, and the Christian

By Sunny Shell reprinted with permission

Something that’s quite disturbing to me is a trend I’ve been seeing for many years now within the evangelical Christian community; the focus and emphasis on Satan and his work in this world, instead of the supreme work of God and the powerfully glorious manifestation of Christ’s life in His chosen and beloved disciples (Gal 2:20, Col 1:27).
There’s no biblical foundation for this strange, yet prevalent fascination with satanical work and the powers of evil which has caused many Christians to pray…yes, pray to Satan (rather than God) for the purpose of “binding” him and his demonic work/influence in this world.
In the passage below, we see that Satan is flustered because he is bound by God Almighty alone and must have God’s permission to work any evil against God’s people, and even so, is limited by God to the degree of affliction that he can impose upon one of God’s chosen.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have You not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

Again, God reveals to us how even the archangel Michael, who sees the face of God (which we do not) and has greater power than us, dealt with the devil.

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ….Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.

Finally, the apostle Luke records what can happen to foolish and presumptuous people who have no true faith in God, nor do they humbly submit to His authority, but arrogantly desire to appropriate Jesus’ all-powerful and holy name to do their bidding.

Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

Rather than cast out the evil spirit, these foolish and arrogant sons of Sceva experienced a terrible and frightening reverse exorcism.

Listen to this short 2-minute clip by Pastor John MacArthur regarding such practices by false teachers and preachers and sadly, even true children of God who have been seduced to believe they can pronounce any judgment or command over any spirit—without any authority; therefore without any power to make anything they say come to pass.


I share all this not as one over any of you, or better than any of you, for there was a time I too, was seduced by my pride and false teaching to pray the same way. But now I shudder to think that I used “pray” to Satan rather than to the LORD Almighty alone, who graciously and mercifully hears and listens to my pleas.
Satan doesn’t listen to me or you. None of us have any authority or power over him or his demons. Only Christ the risen Lord has all authority and power to command evil spirits, and the Lord only appointed twelve apostles (Paul in the stead of Judas who was not a true believer, therefore not a true apostle) who will, on that glorious Day, sit with Him to judge the tribes of Israel (Matt 10:1, 19:28).
I assure you, neither Satan nor his demons are afraid of me. And they’re not afraid of you either. But they do shudder at the presence of the Almighty and obeyed the few whom Christ gave authority (twelve apostles). And because of God’s great mercy and protection on His often foolish children, the demons cannot do to us what they did to the sons of Sceva who were not believers. However, be careful not to give way to your pride and continue this blasphemous practice because God keeps you even while you play the fool, because if you claim to love the Lord Jesus, and truly abide in Him, it ought to pierce your heart and wrench your soul to know that believers who entertain this vile practice, give cause for God’s holy name and word to be reviled.
Rather than instinctively reject adversity and ask for it to be taken away, I’ve learned ask the Lord two questions instead (Ps 40:1-4):
  1. What are you trying to teach me through this Lord?
  2. How can I give You Your due praise and glory because of it?
So next time you think Satan is “attacking” you, resist him (James 4:7) and turn to your Heavenly Father and ask Him for His protection, guidance and binding of Satan, that is, should the Lord deem it necessary.
Remember, as a child of the Almighty, anything that happens to you, whether “good” or “evil”, know it is all in the setting of God’s good and loving work in your life; to conform you all the more into the likeness of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (Job 2:10, 2 Sam 16:10-12, 2 Cor 4:16-18, Rom 8:28-29).
This entry was posted in Berean Research Articles, Featured and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to On “binding” Satan

  1. S Loke says:

    What a great article to read after returning from an evening sermon on Job! The false 'spiritual warfare' that is so popular at the moment only creates a heavy yoke, blinding people to the freedom we have in Christ as believers.

    This aggressive 'spiritual warfare' is fueled by "deliverance" (often dishonestly called 'discipleship') programs such as Cleansing Streams and Bethel's SOZO program which teach that we need to get rid of generational curses, rid ourselves of oppressing demonic spirits (e.g. the 'Jezebel' spirit) and for some, to bind Satan. What utter folly…a return to ancient paganism and witchcraft? Worse still, these practices deny the sufficiency of our Lord Jesus Christ's atoning sacrifice for our sins. Sadly, many Christians cannot see the dangers.

    You know, it boggles my mind that some people actually think that humanity is spiritually evolving to a higher level. Um…I just don't see it.


  2. Larry says:


    Luke 10:19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

    Let's leave of off John MacArthur's disastrous belief that the gifts of the Spirit don't happen today and that miracles also do not happen. John has some good insights but on this he is dead wrong. The same God who performed miracles in the Old Testament and the Book of Acts lives inside of us. Just because there are lying wonders afoot does not mean Jesus no longer manifests Himself in dynamic power or delegates authority to those He calls.

    Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

    This verse, in concert with the many others which speak to the issue of God delegated spiritual authority, deserves real consideration.

    I am often saddened by the way in which someone here so often blindly defers to John MacArthur. What an insult to Jesus to take the stand that The Lord who saves us from the power of death does practically nothing more for us. I don't understand why either Mike or Amy is so afraid of the gifts of the Spirit, but I pray right now in the Name of Jesus and in the authority to speak the truth in love that this deception be broken now.

    Jesus is a miracle working God who is upholding all things by the word of His power. The many New Teatament examples of miracles, especially those surrounding the life of Paul should be enough, but for some reason, again I don't know if it is Mike or Amy, someone here keeps heading back to the shadow of John MacArthur. Prove from scripture for yourself that God decided not to do any more miracles after the first century. It is true salvation is a miracle, so why does he have to stop there? Because John MacArthur says so?

    I know its a time of apostasy and false prophets and lying wonders but I also urge you to take Scripture at face value. The story of the Seven Sons of Sceva n Acts 19 makes it plain, you don't have authority just by speaking the name of Jesus, you actually have to know Him and submit to him so that the authority delegated to true believers in the Holy Spirit might be made manifest.

    It is no different than James reminding us of the power of prayer, the effective prayer of a righteous man availeth much. But wait, that's a supernatural manifestation.

    I am well aware of the fact that opening our eyes to both the enemy's pervasive presence in the world and our own authority to confront Him is a major step in developing a truly Christians worldview. I am also aware that there are so many good cop/bad cop demonic lies being sallied forth in the name of Christianity that people might be confused. By the authority granted to one who believes I pray this hinderance to God's faithful miracles evidenced here would be removed once and for all. Let the reasons for it be exposed and the light of day reveal all that is hidden in the darkness of confusion on this issue. Lord, grant the doubters their evidence and the fearful their courage.


  3. S Loke says:

    Larry, be assured…genuine believers know that God does miracles today, and gives spiritual gifts. Some do not believe they are in exactly the same form as in the New Testament, but it is a false dichotomy that you (and many in the charismatic movements) are creating to say we either believe in God's miracles and spiritual gifts, or we don't. Many just don't believe that the manifestations of supposed 'spiritual gifts', the revivals, the 'spiritual warfare' tactics and the signs and wonders currently being claimed by those in the charismatic movements are biblical, or from God. There is a huge difference. Not all of those concerned are cessationists!

    We are not blind fools. When concerned believers see identical manifestations, signs and wonders and even apparent miracles in Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist and New Age religious experiences, we are rightly concerned. When we see 'spiritual warfare' practices within the Christian church looking disturbingly like those of pagan shamans, we are rightly concerned that these could be spiritually dangerous. When we test the spirits in accordance with the Scriptures, we find many false spirits within the church. The Scriptures warn us many times over of these things in the last days, so we are without excuse if we fall for them. It is because we love the Lord Jesus, and our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that we are compelled to sound the alarm!


    • Larry says:

      I agree with your concerns. But there is nothing in the Bible to say that the gifts have stopped, and btw I am not charismatic. The church needs the real gifts the Spirit gives and they are the very ones described in the New Testament as gifts of the Spirit distributed severally as He wills. Just because there are fakes and frauds making millions off the claim that they have those gifts is no reason for us sincere believers to ignore the obvious scriptural precedent. John MacArthur is all over charismania, John Piper is not. Men come and go, God's word is eternal.


      • S Loke says:

        Larry, I agree as sincere believers we are given spiritual gifts by the Holy Spirit. Perhaps that is also why we see the false gifts and false spirit so clearly? And you are right. Men (and women) come and go. Some of the biggest 'stars' start the race out well yet have fallen away well before the end of their lives, something we seem to see more of these days. Praise God for his eternal Word! I pray that we will remain grounded in the Word, and I look forward to more conversations.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s