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On Binding Satan

Upon clicking through the religious channels at any given hour of the day –and there are many on my Direct TV set up– there are certain catchphrases I hear consistently.

The most prominent, I’ve found, is the term “plant a seed.” Another is “seed faith brings harvest.” The phraseology is issued forth by the prosperity propagandists, as I term them. These invariably twist and convolute scriptural truth in pursuit of their gullible followers’ contributions.

While there is usually a “seed” of factuality in their pontification that claims planting financial seeds will bring increase, the whoppers I’ve heard some of these “preachers” tell are far beyond anything promised in God’s Word.

For example, I heard not long ago one man with whom most would be familiar because of his constant presence on the fund-raisers say that he once sowed $100,000 into a ministry. This greatly pained him at the time because of his amazement that the Lord would “tell” him to do such a thing.

He complied, despite his pain, and the result was a return of $100 million within a month or so. That’s right. The man said he received $100 million for his $100,000 seed.

That was the only reference I’ve heard to this phenomenal “harvest,” so I presume this sort of return isn’t all that unusual in the prosperity circles…or else such claims are just part of the pitch. Looks like, though, that this amazing sort of miracle return on investment should have made the financial news or something.

Another phrase the prosperity preachers are prone to issue on a rather regular basis is that, in the name of Jesus, they “bind Satan.

Now, this is even more amazing than the $100,000 being turned into $100 million within a month. This implies not a promise based upon biblical return for faith in planting a financial seed, but claims for any human being who is a Christian direct, supernatural power to completely paralyze almost certainly the most powerful being God ever created.

There have been books sold by the hundreds of thousands telling of how this “binding” can be done. Most all of the prosperity ministries hold this teaching close to their statements of faith. This is often a declaration I’ve heard made as a reward for one ministry or the other receiving a large “seed faith” contribution. The on-air person will declare that he or she binds Satan in Jesus’ name for the benefit of the contributor.

Only–I can find no place in Scripture where Christians can “bind Satan.” The old serpent certainly doesn’t seem to be bound these days–does he?

The Bible tells us: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5: 8).

There is no chain on our adversary, according to God’s Word. There is restraint, to be sure, upon the old devil’s activity, but that comes from one source and one source only. The Bible reports the following incident, which gives clue to this restraint on our great enemy.

“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee” (Jude 1: 9).

There will come a time when a chain will be used to bind Satan. We learn of this future binding in the following account which is prophecy yet future:

“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season” (Revelation 20:1-3).

So, that we can “bind Satan” is a false teaching. But, we are confronted constantly by the serpent and his minions. Here is the Scripture that tells about this constant confrontation. How then, can we deal with this powerful enemy in the biblically-prescribed way? God’s Word has the answer, of course.

First, we are told how to deal directly with that roaring lion–the devil.

“Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (1 Peter 5: 9).

We are to do certain things to prepare for this “resistance” against that old serpent, the devil. Here are our instructions:

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:11-17).

We as God’s children cannot and must not claim to “bind Satan.” This is the most powerful instruction for the battle in which we find ourselves the nearer we get to Christ’s call to His Church.

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



  1. Scott Fairbairn says:

    Thanks Bro. Terry. You have been an inspiation to me over two years. Eagerly waiting thanks to you, Jan Markel, Amir Tsarfati, and others. To God be all the glory . Love to you and yours, scotty

  2. STLloyd says:

    They must not be binding him very well, if they have to do it over and over again, anyway! I am glad you wrote on this topic.

  3. crtanner1948 says:

    I have recently “come out” from charismatic circles and have had my eyes open to some of the False teachings and practices of the Word of Faith movement (although I did have some discernment that things weren’t right or biblical even while in this movement). This “binding of Satan” is one that I was taught and must admit , still sort of believe but on a limited basis. I know Christians can’t unilaterally bind Satan from all of his activities on earth, but I was taught and some scriptures indicate that since the Spirit of Jesus, who does have authority over Satan, lives IN me, that if and when the occasion arises that Satan (or really his Demons) are manifesting in someone or causing a problem, as the Spirit that lives in me directs, I can, in Jesus’s name, bind that demon in that particular situation. Since the Church is the Body of Christ and His Spirit lives in us, should we not be able by His power exercise that authority? The one verse about archangel Michael does not convince me, but I want to know the truth above all else. I have prayed for God to “tear down my sacred cows”.
    Cr Tanner

  4. Carol Cole says:

    Oh WOW ! You just popped MY eyes wide open ! Thanks, Terry !

    Carol Cole

    Sent from my iPad


  5. Carol Cole says:

    Terry, I want to ask you a question, in case this is ever thrown at me. When you say there is no scripture telling us to bind Satan, then what would be the meaning of binding the strongman ?

    Thank you, Carol Cole

    • Terry James says:

      This comes from Matthew chapter 12 mostly. It is a scriptural area used by dominion theologians to try to say every Christian can “bind” Satan. It is an erroneous teaching to say the least, in my view.

      I like this by a minister named Evan Pyle.

      “Remember that this was but an illustration. Jesus himself never uttered anything remotely like “I bind you, Satan” or “I loose blessings”; neither did any of the Apostles nor disciples. This binding and spoiling is an illustration of Jesus’ work in freeing people bound by Satan, a work that all Christians are challenged to take up. “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:8). The Bible is full of examples on walking in use of these supernatural gifts and none include “binding Satan” nor “loosing angels.” The walk of the Spirit requires faith, not a spoken formula. I understand why people so want this spoken formula to be true and effective because it is so easy. However, replacing faith with a stock utterance smacks of superstition and reminds me of going to a medicine man or shaman to have an incantation uttered in hopes of achieving a success or victory of some kind. “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (Matt. 6:7).”

  6. Ruth Scott says:

    Hi Terry,

    I understand what you say about the Binding Satan in Jesus’ Name. I am torn though. I have used it and on one of the worst days of my life, out of total frustration, I prayed that as well as pouring my heart out to the Lord. I later found out that when I prayed that prayer my daughter had been drowning. She was saved right at that moment. I believe the Lord sent 2 angels to save her and 3 other drowning kids.

    What would you say about praying the Blood Of Jesus over someone or a situation for protection?

    Thank you and May God Bless You and Yours Abundantly,

    • Terry James says:

      We are told throughout the Bible –both Old Testament and New— to pray. God wants His children to pray always.

      What I find a problem with are the preachers who use words and phrases as if they have some extra special anointing that brings special favor on any situation that receives prayer.

      Like the phrase “praying the blood of Jesus” over any situation.

      That Holy Name –Jesus– is all Powerful. When we pray in His Name we have the Ear of the Father, we can be absolutely certain. He Hears and Acts, if we are earnest in prayer that concludes in Jesus’ Name.

      Adding any phraseology whatsoever does nothing to enhance the urgency of a request before the Heavenly Father. The Name of Jesus gets Instant Attention in Heaven.

      When Jesus’ Name encapsulates our prayers, God always Answers in His own Time and Way. –Thus, although that is not always the same as what we think the time and way should be.

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