About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
I often hear Christians
rebuking and binding satan, demons, sickness, and a multitude of other
things. Can you believe that
some people have even rebuked me? Rebuking
me is no big deal, but rebuking and binding satan, demons, and sickness,
has always disturbed me.
I know Jesus and some of
His followers did cast demons out of people, but casting out demons
isn't rebuking and binding them. Delivering
people of demons is a serious matter and should not be undertaken
lightly. It's interesting to
me that on one occasion the Apostle Paul was being hassled by a demon
possessed girl on a daily basis. He
didn't rebuke or bind the demon. As
a matter of fact, it took him several days before he finally did cast
the demon out of her as seen in Acts 16:16 and following.
Paul's decision in this matter wasn't a quick, off the cuff,
Let's look at the word
"rebuke" in the KJV and the NIV.
It's usually used in respect to rebuking those who taught false
doctrine, not satan, demons, or sickness.
Now you know why I'm rebuked on the odd occasion.
The one exception to this is found in Jude 9 where the word
"rebuke" is in reference to satan.
The text states that Michael the archangel dared not rebuke the
devil. He left that up to
the Lord by saying "the Lord rebuke you".
I suggest that if this powerful angel didn't rebuke satan,
neither should we.
Now let's look at the
word "bind". There
are three passages where the supporters of binding the devil often use
in their defense of this practice. The
first passage is found in Matthew 16:18 and following in the KJV. Jesus
told Peter that the gates of Hades would not prevail against those He
chooses to represent the
The Matthew 16 passage
may not have conclusively clarified what things can be loosed or bound,
but the second passage supporters of binding satan does clarify this
issue for us. In Matthew
18:18 Jesus told His disciples that if a brother sins against any of
them the offended brother should confront the offender with his sin in
the hope he would repent. If
he doesn't repent, the offended brother should treat him as if he was a
pagan. If the offender does
repent, then the offended one is to forgive him.
Jesus then said that whatever you bind on earth will be bound in
heaven, and, whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
In other words, the context states that which is either bound or
loosed is sin, not satan, demons, sickness, or anything else.
This confirms what Jesus said in John 20:23 when He told these
same disciples that "if they forgive anyone his sins, they are
forgiven; if they do not forgive them, they are not forgiven".
I conclude that the word "bind" in these passages is in
reference to binding or loosing sin through the process genuine
repentance and forgiveness. If
sin is forgiven or loosed on earth, it's loosed from God's records in
heaven. If sin is not
forgiven but remains bound on earth, it remains bound within the pages
of God's records in heaven.
I now refer you to 1
Thessalonians 2:18 where Paul told the believers in Thessalonica that
satan prevented him from visiting them.
If Paul was like some of us, he would have rebuked and bound
satan on the spot, but he didn't. Even
though Paul was fearfully anxious over the fate of these believers he
waited for Jesus to solve this problem.
1 Thessalonians 3:11 tells us God the Father and the Lord Jesus
cleared the way for Paul to visit these new believers.
Like Michael the archangel, Paul let the Lord clear the
roadblock. Even then, God
nor Jesus didn't rebuke or bind satan.
Satan was simply kicked out of the way so Paul could pass him by
on his way to Thessalonica.
Mathew 12 is the third
passage that those who rebuke and bind satan, demons, and sickness, use
in their defense. In this
passage the Jews accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of
satan. Jesus responded in
verse 26 by saying that if He delivered people from demons by satan's
authority, satan would be fighting himself.
If that is so, how could satan's kingdom survive?
His argument is completely logical.
It makes no sense that satan would use Jesus to cast his servants
out of people.
There's something here
that is routinely overlooked when Jesus asked, "How can satan's
kingdom survive"? His
question presupposes that satan and his kingdom was surviving and would
continue to survive into the foreseeable future.
Jesus wasn't prepared to bind satan any time soon.
I think that's obvious. That
being said, the day will come when Jesus will bind satan.
In Revelation 20:1 to 3
Jesus tells an angel to bind satan for a thousand years.
The simple Biblical fact is that we cannot, not now, not ever,
bind satan. That's the
responsibility of an angel, and then, only at the command of Jesus.
In the meantime we resist satan as stated in James 4:7, 5:6 and 1
Peter 5:9. The Greek word
"anthistemi" is translated as "resist".
It means "to stand firm against", as in "stand
firm and don't give into satan".
Resisting satan isn't rebuking or binding him.
It's being confident that Jesus will deal with him in His own
way. It's being unmovable in
your conviction; unwilling to retreat.
Then, while standing firm in the authority of Jesus, we employ
our spiritual weapons as seen in Ephesians 6:10 and following, which by
the way, doesn't include rebuking or binding satan.