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QUESTION: When is it appropriate for a believer to bind Satan or cast out demons?


ANSWER:  What about binding Satan and casting out demons?  Let’s begin at the beginning. Speaking of the Church, Paul says it is “…built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).  An apostle was one of twelve men chosen to lay the foundation of the church (Luke 6:13-16; Ephesians 2:20).  An apostle was hand-picked by Christ (Galatians 1:1); had no successor (Revelation 21:14/only the false apostle Judas Iscariot was replaced); had to have personally seen the resurrected Christ (Acts 1:22; 1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:7-9); received his message by direct revelation from God (Galatians 1:11-12); had supernatural signs to authenticate his message (2 Cor 12:12; Acts 2:43; 4:33; 5:12); could impart spiritual power and gifts to others (Acts 8:17-19; 2 Tim 1:6); had the same authority as Old Testament prophets (2 Peter 3:2); and wrote Scripture (2 Peter 3:15-16).  No one today qualifies to be an apostle.  In fact, the New Testament instructs churches to ordain elders (pastors and deacons) not apostles (1 Timothy 3: Titus 1).


After the resurrection, some in the early (Apostolic) church had authority to heal, cast out demons, etc.  These miraculous sign gifts were necessary during the infant stage of the church.  Does God still work miracles? Absolutely.  No one today, however, is demonstrating the apostolic gifts of Acts 5:12-15 – because this early church ministry faded out of the Apostle’s lives even as they were living.  (2 Cor 12:8-9; 2 Cor 12:12, notice the word “were”; Philip 2:26-27; 2 Tim 4:20)


Formulas and formulaic prayers to bind Satan or cast out demons take us back to pagans of the dark ages, not to the cross. There is no “magical cure-all.” The regular intake of the truth of God’s Word will overcome any power Satan can counterfeit.  It is only Bible truth that prevents “seven other spirits more wicked” from entering into a person from whom an evil spirit has left (Luke 11:24-26).  Remember, even if you could “cast a spirit out” you can’t accept Christ for the individual.


People write books about an experience or what “worked for them” and an immature Christian uses that book instead of the Word of God for his doctrine and practice.  It is not uncommon to hear of deaths caused by others who are trying to “exorcise” a devil from someone.  God hates violence (Psalm 11:5) and is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33).


All Christians have authority in the sense that we shouldn’t be afraid or backward, or that we not allow the enemy to overrun us.  The Word of God tells us in fact, not to rejoice because evil spirits are subject to us, but rather we are to rejoice because our names are written in Heaven (Luke 10:20). Greater is He that is in the Christian, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).


Satan is real and formidable. When engaged in serious spiritual warfare, seek godly council, get help, talk to someone, make yourself accountable to a mature Christian who can give you truth in place of lies. Dealing with the Prince of this world is not a power encounter, but a truth encounter! (John 12:31)  The ground Satan has in any life, he has by virtue of the lies they believe.