Does a Christian have the authority to say to Satan, "In Jesus' Name I bind you and cast you out"?


No.  We do not find in the Bible where Christians are directed to bind Satan. If someone really has the power to "bind" Satan, then who keeps letting him go?  Why are Christians all over the world claiming to bind Satan?  How long does the "binding" last?  If it lasts only one hour, then people could literally "take turns" binding Satan and thus he would never be loose again!  Do you see how ludicrous this doctrine of "binding Satan" is?  Besides who says that Satan is listening?  Don't forget that Satan is not omnipresent, thus he can only be in one place at a time, so the concept that people all over the world are binding Satan at or about the same time makes no sense. The only "binding" of Satan in the Bible is in Rev 20:2, when an Angel "binds" Satan for 1,000 years in the Abyss,

"He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.  He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time."  [Revelation 20:2-3]

Question (continued)

Also, how do you explain where Jesus says that we will cast out demons?

Answer (continued)  

Where do you read that?  If you are referring to Mark 16:9-20, then read the disclaimer that precedes it: "The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20."  Which is another way of saying that these verses are not considered inspired scripture, and thus should not be used to build doctrines or to even preach on by themselves, since they are considered unreliable and were most likely added to the scriptures by some scribe.

The following is a quote from the notes found in The MacArthur Study Bible, copyright 1997 Word Publishing, Nashville, TN:

"Mark 16:9–20 The external evidence strongly suggests these verses were not originally part of Mark’s gospel. While the majority of Gr. manuscripts contain these verses, the earliest and most reliable do not. A shorter ending also existed, but it is not included in the text. Further, some that include the passage note that it was missing from older Gr. manuscripts, while others have scribal marks indicating the passage was considered spurious. The fourth-century church fathers Eusebius and Jerome noted that almost all Gr. manuscripts available to them lacked vv. 9–20. The internal evidence from this passage also weighs heavily against Mark’s authorship. The transition between vv. 8 and 9 is abrupt and awkward. The Gr. particle translated "now" that begins v. 9 implies continuity with the preceding narrative. What follows, however, does not continue the story of the women referred to in v. 8, but describes Christ’s appearance to Mary Magdalene (cf. John 20:11–18). The masculine participle in v. 9 expects "he" as its antecedent, yet the subject of v. 8 is the women. Although she had just been mentioned 3 times (v. 1; 15:40, 47), v. 9 introduces Mary Magdalene as if for the first time. Further, if Mark wrote v. 9, it is strange that he would only now note that Jesus had cast 7 demons out of her. The angel spoke of Jesus’ appearing to His followers in Galilee, yet the appearances described in vv. 9–20 are all in the Jerusalem area. Finally, the presence in these verses of a significant number of Gr. words used nowhere else in Mark argues that Mark did not write them. Verses 9–20 represent an early (they were known to the second-century fathers Irenaeus, Tatian, and, possibly, Justin Martyr) attempt to complete Mark’s gospel. While for the most part summarizing truths taught elsewhere in Scripture, vv. 9–20 should always be compared with the rest of Scripture, and no doctrines should be formulated based solely on them. Since, in spite of all these considerations of the likely unreliability of this section, it is possible to be wrong on the issue, and thus, it is good to consider the meaning of this passage and leave it in the text, just as with John 7:53–8:11."

Question (continued)

Was that meant for all Christians or just his disciples?

Answer (continued)  

Jesus gave the Apostles and 70 others (Luke 10:1) the power to cast out demons, but never to all Christians or even to the church as a gift or an authority.  No one has the power today to cast out demons.  Now, when the Holy Spirit indwells someone at the moment of salvation, then the demon must depart, but we don't do that--the Holy Spirit does.

Question (continued)

What is Spiritual Warfare and how is it accomplished? Who does the fighting--us or God or God through us--through the authority He gave us?

Answer (continued)  

Here is an excellent series on the subject by John MacArthur.

Series: "Spiritual Warfare: Fighting to Win"

--"Fighting the Noble War--Part 1 (1Timothy 1:18)
--"Fighting the Noble War--Part 2 (1Timothy 1:18-19)
--"Delivered to Satan--Part 1 (1Timothy 1:20)
--"Delivered to Satan--Part 2 (1Timothy 1:20)

Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Tony Capoccia's Questions and Answers" by:

Tony Capoccia
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