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The Myth of Binding Satan and Taking World Dominion
By Brannon S. Howse

[Disclaimer: Advance Ministries feels that there is sufficient information in this article to justify its posting, although we may not agree on every word or line.]

Adherents to dominion theology and the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) believe they must establish the kingdom of God on earth before Christ can return. This is completely unbiblical thinking, as Jesus Himself declares in John 18:36:

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

Christians are to participate in building God’s kingdom, but that takes place in the spiritual realm as we preach the Gospel and as people are added spiritually to the Kingdom of God. We are not called to build a physical kingdom here on earth. The building of a physical kingdom has more in common with globalism than it does with biblical Christianity.

C. Peter Wagner, who originally came to prominence for his studies of church growth, is one of the leaders and founders of the New Apostolic Reformation. Wagner’s influence in developing the NAR is even documented by National Public Radio: “The international ‘apostolic and prophetic’ movement has been dubbed by its leading American architect, C. Peter Wagner, as the New Apostolic Reformation.”[1] While not all of today’s “prophets” and “apostles” are part of Wagner’s NAR, they often embrace many of the same heretical beliefs.

In a letter posted online in May 2007, Wagner declared:

Our theological bedrock is what has been known as Dominion Theology. This means that our divine mandate is to do whatever is necessary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to retake the dominion of God’s creation which Adam forfeited to Satan in the Garden of Eden.[2]

In order to take dominion back from Satan, the NAR and Word of Faith teach that Satan must be bound. Thus, the NAR and Word of Faith run around the globe holding prayer and fasting services in their attempts to bind Satan and take dominion neighborhood by neighborhood, town by town, city by city, state by state, and nation by nation.

In an interview with National Public Radio, Wagner explained the strategy of spiritual mapping and binding of demons:

When you talk about demons over cities, we’re talking about what - sometimes what we refer to as territorial spirits, and they’re more high-ranking spirits in the hierarchy of darkness and they’re more powerful and they require different approaches, and it’s not as easy as commanding them to leave in the name of Jesus. So sometimes there has to be repentance, sometimes there has to be - there has been bloodshed in that city that needs to be repented of, there has been idolatry in the city that has ruined the land. There’s been immorality that needs to be repented of, and there are several social things that people really need to acknowledge that they’re bad and repent of them and ask forgiveness. ... There are certain individuals in our whole movement that have special gifts for doing that, and they’re helping lead the way in weakening the power of the spirits. We don’t believe we can kill demons and sometimes we don’t believe we can completely get ’em out, get ’em away from a city, but we can reduce their power. We can bind them, and then we can move strongly with the kingdom of God into the city.[3]

To justify this “binding of Satan,” the NAR and Word of Faith often use Matthew 16:19 and 18:18. They use them, however, out of context to maintain their teaching that Jesus’ words have anything to do with people “binding Satan.” Matthew 16:18 reads: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” And Matthew 18:19: “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”

Matthew 16:19 and 18:18 have nothing to do with binding Satan but, rather, are talking about church discipline. The verses teach that if church leadership declares someone is bound by sin and their declaration is in accord with what the Bible describes as sin, then heaven agrees with that assessment. If the individual that is bound in sin repents as described in the Word of God, then heaven agrees with that as well. These verses describe how church leaders can determine if someone is forgiven and has repented of a sinful practice or lifestyle or if he or she is still in sin.

The NAR and Word of Faith also use Luke 11:21-22 and Matthew 12:28-29 out of context to justify their binding of Satan. Again, the NAR and Word of Faith are demonic religious systems built on Satan’s number one scheme, which is to distort the Word of God. So, we should not be surprised that NAR and Word of Faith leaders are constantly doing just that by taking Scripture out of context—particularly these verses I’ve cited. First, it is important to understand that in both Matthew and Luke, Jesus is the One casting out demons. The NAR and Word of Faith are notorious for believing they can do whatever Jesus or the Apostles and prophets did while here on earth—which is a lie and, ultimately, blasphemy to claim to be able to do the work of God incarnate.

Luke 11:21-22 reads:

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.

And Matthew 12:28-29 says:

But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

In context, these verses describe Satan as the strong man and Jesus Christ as the stronger man. Jesus defeated—or bound—Satan through His death, burial and resurrection. Colossians 2:13-15 speaks of this:

And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Hebrews 2: 14-15 speaks of the victory that is ours through Jesus Christ who freed us from the bondage of sin and death and defeated Satan:

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

In Jude 9 we read where Michael the archangel did not attempt to “bind” Satan nor engage him in an argument:

Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Satan is on a leash held by God Himself. Our rightful response to Satan is found in James 4:7-8:

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

A better translation of “submit to God” is to be “lined up under” His authority. God is our defender and protect when we follow His will and His authority. A better translation of “resist” is to “take your stand.” Notice, however, that we only take our stand after we lining up under God. Once we have lined up, living in obedience to God and His Word, then we can take our stand knowing that greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.

To “draw near to God” is to take seriously our relationship with Him through prayer and the study of His Word. It is through God’s Word that we conform our lives to His will and deepen our relationships with Him as we submit every area of our lives to His Lordship. There is protection from Satan when we are under God’s authority and living in His will.

Notice that 2 Peter 2:9-12 tells us false teachers who rail against demons are foolishly doing what even the angels, who are more powerful than demons, will not do:

[T]hen the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

The lesson to be learned here is that the NAR, Word of Faith, and other purveyors of false teaching are highly skilled at taking Scripture out of context to build their demonic, self-serving, humanistic worldview. Truthful teachers know that we must always study the Scriptures in context and use the Word of God as our chief weapon to destroy arguments raised up against the principles of the Lord (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

[1] NPR, “The Evangelicals Engaged In Spiritual Warfare,” August 24, 2011 posted at:

[2] C. Peter Wagner, May 2007 letter, posted at:

[3] C. Peter Wagner interview, “A Leading Figure in the New Apostolic Reformation,” National Public Radio, October 3, 2011, posted at:

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