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In Jude, why was Michael arguing with the devil about the body of Moses?


We have no definitive explanation in Scripture so we are left to ponder God’s reasons for this verse:

  • Perhaps Satan wanted to use Moses’ body as an idol (much the same as “relics” are used today) to draw the Israelites away from God
  • Maybe Satan thought that presenting Satan’s body as a trophy would cause the Israelites great despair, seeing their beloved leader in the hands of the enemy
  • God chose to hide Mose’s burial place to keep it from becoming a worship shrine; Satan probably would have done what he could to make Mose’s grave a place of worship

The answer to “why?” Satan wanted Moses’s body is not clear but there are some interesting things about the event we can examine.

Jude 9 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!” (NKJV)

Notice that Michael, the archangel, a “super” angel, “dared not” bring an accusation against Satan, but instead left that to God. And yet, we have many Christians today running around “binding” Satan and demons. We have multitudes of Christian “teachers” who with great arrogance, even with humor, talk about how they “manhandle Satan”, “stomp the Devil” and “kick that Devil right out of here”.

They speak as if Satan is some little chew toy to be made fun of and to be taunted. They flaunt their ability to “whip” Satan and exercise power over Him.

This comes from a gross and serious misunderstanding of the power of Satan and demons. YES, we have victory over Satan. NO, Satan and the demons cannot control or overcome us. BUT IT IS BECAUSE OF JESUS CHRIST, NOT US. And fallen angels or not, they are beings of great power. Nowhere in Scripture will you find humans being told to be flippant or even casual about demons or Satan.

Nowhere in Scripture are we commanded to make fun of, joke about, or tell humorous stories of how we beat up and stomp the Devil; or in any way act flippant, casual or arrogant towards the fallen angels. EVEN MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL DARED NOT ACCUSE SATAN DIRECTLY BUT INSTEAD SAID “THE LORD REBUKE YOU”.

Satan is defeated; demons are defeated, but for the time being still have great power and are NOT to be toyed with or be treated casually or arrogantly.

There are two BIG problems with this idea of “binding Satan”:

  1. The authority to bind and loose was given specifically to the original disciples specifically with regards to spreading the Gospel to the world before the final revealed will of God was compiled into Written form (the Bible).
  2. The specific act of “binding Satan” is not even found in the Bible, much less commanded of Christians.

Furthermore, “binding Satan” is illogical because if Satan were bound everytime a Christian says “I bind Satan in the name of Jesus” then Satan most certainly would ALWAYS be bound, because multitudes of Christians pray this phrase daily.

If Satan is bound by this prayer, then for how long? What let’s him loose? Is he stuck in a cosmic game of “red light, green light”? What purpose does it serve? Satan and the demons don’t cause us to sin; they may influence or tempt, but sinning is still a human choice.

What is accomplished by “binding” Satan? Does it remove the curse of sin in the flesh? Does binding Satan open the way for God to do more or better work? And regardless of what answers are offered to those questions… WHERE IS THE BIBLICAL SUPPORT FOR THIS IDEA OF “BINDING SATAN”? Without clear Scriptural support, should we be doing it? Should we be dealing in any way with the spiritual world that is not specifically clear in Scripture?

The Bible is clear that Satan will only be bound when he is cast into darkness by the conquering King of Kings. (Rev 20.2)

So even IF an argument can be made that Christian’s today have the “power to bind and loose”, that argument most certainly cannot apply to binding Satan.

No doubt I will get MUCH negative response to this answer; all I ask is that you honestly consider my points first. This teaching of “binding Satan” is very prevalent today, but if Scripture doesn’t support it, then we should really take a hard look at it. Just because a lot of people do it, and teach it, doesn’t necessarily make it right.