Justin Peters & Jim Osman on Spiritual Warfare: Binding Satan


In this piece, Bud Ahlheim tackles the propensity some Christians have to “bind Satan.”  As if that’s even possible. Ahlheim reminds us that “a simple reading of Scripture and the application of just a bit of common sense would do much to aid believers in avoiding the pitfalls of spiritually toxic teachings, particularly those within the realm of spiritual warfare.”  He includes Justin Peters’ and Jim Osman’s teaching on Spiritual Warfare. Be sure to take a look at our White Paper on this controversial topic. Now listen to what Bud has to say:

michael-and-satanThe most widely known – and the most widely misunderstood – concept of spiritual warfare.”  Justin Peters

“It sounds like hocus-pocus because it is hocus-pocus.”  Jim Osman

The modern church’s belief about what constitutes spiritual warfare is, as Justin Peters remarked, perhaps no better exemplified than by the almost universal, though Scripturally absent, practice of believers “binding Satan” or “binding demons.”   A Google inquiry for the phrase “binding Satan” returns over 564,000 hits.  A search with the prefatory “how to,” as in “how to bind Satan,” results in over 501,000 digital links.  Since the implementation of this maneuver requires prayer, searches for “binding Satan prayers” or “binding demons prayers” yields 420,000 hits for the former and 346,000 for the latter.

Popular interest in this maneuver is clearly impressive and, sadly, it reflects the biblical ignorance that itself is the modern church’s most pervasive malady. The notion of binding Satan exudes a pernicious presumption of the Devil’s ubiquity, attributing to him an omnipresent characteristic exclusive to God. The perception is given that his powers, particularly over the blood-bought chosen and redeemed of Christ, are nearly insurmountable, save for the mystical incantations and presumed authority of believers this false form of spiritual warfare teaches.

While it helps fill pews, sell books, and provides an appealing mystique of spiritual and mystical melodrama, this false teaching of spiritual warfare is something few believers seem to recognize as erroneous.  Apparently few pastors, churches, and denominations bother to teach the actual Biblical responsibilities and engagement believers are to use in authentic spiritual warfare. It’s just much simpler to let fallacies persist than to do the hard job of rightly handling the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15) and obediently feeding Christ’s sheep. (John 21:17)

Yet a simple reading of Scripture and the application of just a bit of common sense would do much to aid believers in avoiding the pitfalls of spiritually toxic teachings, particularly those within the realm of spiritual warfare.

“Common sense goes a long way in dispelling a lot of these myths, aside from the theology.” Justin Peters

Consider one example drawn from applying common sense to Scripture.

Of the thirteen epistles penned by the apostle Paul, his second letter to the young Timothy was the last one he wrote that is included in the New Testament canon.  Scholarship dates this letter to 66 or 67 AD, being penned by Paul as he was imprisoned in Nero’s Rome and facing certain martyrdom.  This letter doesn’t find the apostle expounding doctrinal details or combatting fresh born heresies.  It finds him passing on, for the last time, a word of encouragement and exhortation as the mantle of Paul’s ministry was being handed off to Timothy, his “beloved child.”  (2 Timothy 1:2)

Given the simple context of these known circumstances in which Paul penned this inspired, final epistle, we can assume that Paul is going to write on matters of the utmost importance to Timothy. He’s going to emphasize the most critical things to which the young minister ought pay heed. What Paul writes, then, and, notably, what he doesn’t write, is particularly instructive for us.

So what does he emphasize and omit in his letter to Timothy? Paul, “bound with chains as a criminal” (2 Timothy 2:9), encourages Timothy to persevere in the faith, to “not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord,” (2 Timothy 1:8), to “be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1) and to be diligent to “present yourself to God as one approved, rightly handling the word of truth”  (2 Timothy 2:15)  It was on this “word of truth” that Paul would elaborate in two verses (that ought to be) well-known to Christians.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17 


Fight the Spiritual Forces of Wickedness — and Win! by Marsha West



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5 Responses to Justin Peters & Jim Osman on Spiritual Warfare: Binding Satan

  1. Larry Trowbridge November 21, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

    Agreed. There is NO scriptural precedence for such a practice. Another one I’ve heard of is doing this in advance of a speaking engagement. When Christ sent people out ahead of Him, it was only to announce His coming. I once heard a message once where a preacher was speaking at a church and the host pastor confidently announced that, “If Satan gets in here tonight, he will have to come through ‘The Blood’ to do it.” To which the visiting preacher said, “If Satan couldn’t be kept out of Jesus’ meeting in The Upper Room, what makes you think you can keep him out of your church?”

  2. Manny1962 November 22, 2016 at 5:59 pm #

    There’s no scriptural mandate for binding any supernatural being. We are told to read scripture and pray to keep the devil away, there’s no fofmula, no mystical incantation that has power over the supernatural. The Bible says resist by reading scripture and praying, period.

  3. Edwitness November 25, 2016 at 2:08 am #

    Binding and loosing has to do with forgiveness. This is the context of what Jesus says to Peter and by extension to the rest of the disciples.
    “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
    But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
    And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
    Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
    Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
    For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
    Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
    Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

    And we find them receiving this power from Jesus as He breathed the Holy Spirit upon them.

    John 20:21-23;
    “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
    And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
    Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.”

    This power that was specific to the apostles is evident in the events surrounding Ananias and Saphira. Acts 5:1-11;
    “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
    And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
    But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
    Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
    And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
    And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
    And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
    And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
    Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
    Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
    And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.”

    These clearly lay out the case for the power Jesus imparted to His apostles. Just one more reason the NAR and other apostle restoring false teachers must be rejected. This was power given solely to the apostles. The church today has no power to bind people’s sin to them, or loose them from it, the way Peter did in Acts 5.
    We are to confess our faults one to another and pray for one another so that we might be healed. We are to excercise the kind of love that Paul describes in 1Cor.13. Binding and loosing was for the apostles only. This insured the beginning the church needed to become firmly rooted. That is why the apostles and prophets we have in the Bible are the foundation the church is built upon. And not on “present truth” from so called apostles and prophets of today.


    • Stephen James Schneider December 4, 2016 at 5:32 am #

      Hi Edwitness:

      What about Mark 16:14-18?

      Jesus appeared to the 11 Apostles, since they had not yet selected (or God had not yet selected through lots) a replacement for Judas, but He said “these signs will accompany those who believe” and NOT “these signs will accompany you here in this room”, or “yourselves ONLY”, or “you 11”.

      When you stated that:

      “This was power given SOLELY to the apostles. The church today has no power to bind people’s sin to them, or loose them from it, the way Peter did in Acts 5.”

      Now, I agree with you that believers do NOT have the power of binding or loosing sins, but where in the Bible does it say that the ability to do so were not part of the (7?) “keys of authority” that Jesus gave Peter and that he and the Apostles would have then passed to their successors, the Bishops and Deacons? Passing on keys to one’s successor is one of the things that one can do with keys, and Jesus made it a point of saying “keys”.

      Was what Peter did with Ananias and Sapphira causing them to fall down dead accomplished by binding their sins? Jesus said “Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.” Yet, why would that cause Ananias and Sapphira to fall over dead?

      Their sins were already within them and they were still alive, and Peter refusing to remit their sins would simply mean that those sins were not forgiven. Is it NOT more likely that Peter employed his authority (“key”) to heal the sick and dying in reverse — to cause Ananias and Sapphira to die?

      Oh, and with respect to the whole “faith alone” doctrine debate, is this NOT contradicted by Mark 16:16 and John 3:5? Baptism is NOT faith, and faith is NOT baptism, so this means . . . ?

  4. VALERIE WITHERS March 30, 2017 at 6:38 pm #

    There is so much confusion in the Christian world,that i totally understand why unbelievers would rather not even set foot in todays so called CHURCH.There is nothing superspiritual about Christianity.The lord made the word so that everyone can understand it.But we have made it so mystical,and made people believe they need a teacher,prophet,preacher,or someone smarter to tell them what it says.Just like the Catholic church ,our modern churchanity wants CONTROL.They want to control the brains,money and minds of the people for their own selfish gain.The Gospel is for everyone,of all centuries,for all time,and for everyone who believes.I have seen it my whole life and it makes me sick.The church looks so much like the world you cannot tell it apart.But guess what,every believer is the church,a building is where we are to gather.Jesus did it all,IT IS FINISHED.Even our good works are as filthy rags if done with the wrong motive or for self promotion.