As I explained in my first newsletter (please refer to Binding & Loosing ~ Part 1), there is much confusion in the body of Christ with Christians trying to bind the power of Satan and his demoniac officers that rule over nations where they do not have the authority or jurisdiction to do so. This results in wasted efforts in prayer, instead of focusing on fulfilling the responsibilities of an ambassador for Jesus Christ. We, as Christians, should be ministering (warring) within the limitations which God has placed upon us to have the most effective results in saving nations. I gave two examples of wasted binding and loosing prayers, one was in South Korea and the second was in Kenya, East Africa.
Please read the teaching below so one knows the authority and jurisdiction that believers do possess!
Binding & Loosing Spirits - Position Paper; Rev. William Hyer, Academic Dean
One of the principles of the kingdom taught by the College of Prayer is the binding and loosing of spirits. The binding of spirits is the exercise of jurisdictional authority and power given by the Lord Jesus Christ to His Church in order to restrict, restrain, prohibit, or prevent the activity, influence and control of a spirit. The loosing of a spirit is the exercise of jurisdictional authority given by the Lord Jesus Christ to His Church in order to release the working of and/or to set free from the activity, influence and control of a spirit. This is based upon:
(1) The example of the Lord Jesus Christ to bind and loose spirits, which is to be followed by His Church.
(2) The delegation of authority by the Lord Jesus Christ to His Church to bind and loose spirits.
I. THE USE OF “BIND” AND “LOOSE” IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
“Bind” and “loose” are corresponding and complementary terms. We see this in how Jesus uses these words. On two different occasions He declared, “Whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19; 18:18). In both of these statements, Jesus used the terms “bind” and “loose” to correspond and relate to each other as well as to complement and counteract the other. In the New Testament, these terms are used to describe and identify activity in both the physical and spiritual realms of life.
The Greek word translated “bind” is “deo” and means “to bind, tie, fasten, wrap, join” and thus also has the connotation and meaning of “to obligate, require, compel.” It is used in the New Testament most often to identify the physical binding, fastening or tying together of persons or physical objects. Jesus used it in the parable of the Wheat and Tares when the landowner says to his slaves, “Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matthew 13:30). It is used to describe John the Baptist being imprisoned, “For when Herod had John arrested, he bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip” (Matthew 14:3; also Mark 6:17). It is used to describe what happened to Jesus when He was arrested and taken to trial, “and they bound Him, and led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate the governor.” (Matthew 27:2; also Mark 15:1). In a number of places in the New Testament “deo” describes the use of something physical such as a chain, rope, grave clothes or a prison to restrict, restrain, prohibit, or prevent the activity and influence of something, whether it is a person (Matthew 22:13; Mark 5:3, 4; John 11:44; 18:12, 24; 19:40 Acts 9:2, 14, 21; 12:6; 21:11; 22:5, 29; 24:27; Colossians 4:3) or an animal (Matthew 21:2; Mark 11:2, 4; 15:7; Luke 19:30).
“Binding” is also used to speak of activity in the spiritual realm of life. It identifies the reality of the covenant relationship and obligation of a man and woman who are united in marriage: “For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living” (Romans 7:2, see also 1 Corinthians 7:27, 39).
II. THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS TO BIND AND LOOSE SPIRITS
One of the primary areas of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ was casting out, delivering or setting people free from the activity, influence and power of unclean spirits or demons. There are numerous accounts of this in the gospels. The significance of the Lord Jesus Christ casting out demons was not merely that an individual person had been set free from the influence and control of an unclean spirit. It was that such an encounter demonstrated that the kingdom of God had manifested in this present age. Jesus, “If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matthew 12:28).
Authority has to do with the right to act. Power has to do with the force used to cause one’s will to be done. Both the authority and power of the kingdom of God are essential to the casting out of demons. In Luke 9:1, the Scripture states, “And He (Jesus) called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons.” Authority and power are distinguished from each other.
Because Jesus gave the disciples both authority and power to cast out demons, we are to understand that authority and power were given to Jesus by God the Father. Just as Jesus was given authority on earth to forgive sins and demonstrated this authority by the exercise of His power to heal the one who had been bound with disease (Matthew 9:2-8), so Jesus had authority and power to cast out demons. He then gave this to His disciples with the commission that they proclaim the kingdom of God (Luke 9:2).
When we look at what Jesus taught and revealed about His ministry of casting out demons, we find that He used the terms “bind” and “loose” in this context. The terms “bind” and “loose” were used by Him to identify and describe the exercise of authority with regard to the activity, influence and control of spirits, whether it was the authority and power of God and His kingdom or the authority and power of Satan and his kingdom.
A second interpretation is based on the use of the word “house” in the surrounding context of Matthew chapter 12 where Jesus uses it two other times. The first place is in Matthew 12:25 where He distinguishes between a kingdom, a city and a house. The context would support the interpretation that the kingdom and house are two different areas or regions of jurisdiction - not the same as the above interpretation would understand them. The second place the term “house” is used is in Matthew 12:44 where Jesus quotes an unclean spirit that has been cast out of a person as saying, “I will return to my house from which I came.” In this statement, the house is an actual person out of whom this spirit had gone out. According to these two uses of “house” by Jesus in the surrounding context of Matthew chapter 12, the term “house” would identify an actual person that the unclean spirit has inhabited and is cast out of. The “strong man” would not be Satan himself, but different actual spirit under the authority of Satan doing the will of Satan by influencing, controlling and ruling in the life of the person. Jesus “binding” this ruling spirit would be the exercise of His kingdom authority and power in a specific area of jurisdiction which would be the life of that individual person. The binding of this ruling spirit would prohibit and prevent that ruling unclean spirit from having influence, power and control in and over the life of that person. This is a direct power encounter between the two kingdoms, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan, with the actual engagement between the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of the individual unclean spirit in the life of the person. While it is not the personal spirit of Satan himself that is directly bound, the outcome of this power encounter is that Satan’s kingdom has been engaged and defeated. The person has been set free from the Satan’s overall kingdom rule because the person has been delivered from the direct influence of the unclean spirit. Using the battle analogy, the troops on the ground are directly engaged and defeated, and the effect is that the commanding general is defeated.
From Jesus’ use of “bind” in this passage we find that:
(1) “Bind” identifies the exercise of authority directs toward a spirit so as to prohibit and prevent the exercise of authority and power by that spirit working and manifesting in a person’s life. In this passage, it designates the exercise of the authority of the kingdom of God by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(2) The exercise of this authority and power is directed toward a spirit which is identified as “the strong man.” The “strong man” is a spirit under the authority of Satan and it has rule in the life of a person so as to influence and control that person. The kingdom of Satan is engaged and defeated by directly engaging and defeating this spirit working under Satan’s authority and casting it out of the person.
(3) Whether there are other unclean spirits under the authority of the strong man that are operating in the life of the person is not explicitly addressed. However, the fact that it is spoken of as the “strong man” supports the idea that there can be other spirits of lesser authority in the life of the person. By first exercising authority to “bind the strong man,” the other spirits can then be directly engaged and defeated so as to cast them out of a person. An example of this would be the man with the “legion” of demons. There was one spirit that spoke for all the others (Mark 5:9). When he was defeated, the others were engaged and cast out as well.
(4) The authority and power to “bind” is exercised in a jurisdictional area which is identified as a “house.” The house is an actual individual person who is set free from the power and influence of the unclean spirit. The fact that Jesus speaks also of a “city” supports the belief that there are territorial spirits that rule over larger geographical areas.
B. Luke 13:10-17
As with the previous passage, the second passage in which Jesus used the terms “bind” and “loose” in regard to the activity of spirits is in response to an accusation and criticism of Him by opponents (Luke 13:17). The context is one in which Jesus freed a woman from a spirit that had influence and control in her life. Once again, there was no question that Jesus set the person free from the spirit. The opposition to Jesus was because He did it on a Sabbath day (Luke 13:14). It was in response to this criticism that Jesus used the terms “bind” and “loose.”
On the basis of Jesus’ use of the terms “bind” and “loose” in this passage we find that:
(1) “Bind” identifies the exercise of authority and power. In this passage, we find that the terms are used to designate both the exercise and authority of the kingdom of God and the authority and power of Satan and his kingdom.
(2) The exercise of this authority and power to “bind” and “loose” is directed toward both a human being and a spirit. Through “the spirit of weakness,” Satan exercised power and authority to “bind” the woman. Jesus exercised power and authority to “loose” that spirit from the woman.
(3) In this context, “bind” means the exercise of authority and power so as to prohibit and prevent the exercise of authority and power. Through the direct agency of “the spirit of weakness,” Satan “bound” her so that she was prevented and prohibited from having power to do what she wanted. We also note that the direct work and activity of the spirit under the rule of Satan is attributed to Satan himself.
(4) In this context, “loose” means the exercise of authority and power to set a person free to act as they desire. The specific thing from which the woman was set free was “the spirit of weakness.” Being “loosed” from this spirit, she was free to use her power and ability to act as she desired.
C. SUMMARY OF OBSERVATIONS FROM JESUS’ USE OF “BIND” AND “LOOSE”
(1) Jesus uses the terms “bind” and “loose” to identify and describe the exercise of authority and power. Authority is the right to act in the area of jurisdiction. Power is the force to act.
(2) “Bind” means to restrict, restrain, prohibit, or prevent the activity, influence and control of a spirit. “Loose” means to release and/or to set free from the activity, influence and control of a spirit.
(3) Authority and power to bind and loose can be either that of the kingdom of God by the power of the Holy Spirit or the kingdom of Satan by the power of other evil spirits.
(4) Authority and power are directed in areas or regions of jurisdiction. An area or region of jurisdiction is a location or place of “legal ground” where the authority of the kingdom has the right to exercise its power. These areas of jurisdictional authority are greater and lesser. Jesus described them as a “kingdom,” and “city” and a “house.” He also identifies greater areas or regions of jurisdiction as a “city” and the overall “kingdom.”
(5) Jesus was given authority and power from the Father to manifest the kingdom of God. His assignment was a specific area of jurisdiction and was not and could not be exercised outside that area of jurisdiction. His jurisdiction was the covenant people of Israel and the individuals who are spiritually “children of Abraham.”
III. THE DELEGATION BY THE LORD JESUS CHRIST OF AUTHORITY TO BIND AND LOOSE SPIRITS GIVEN TO HIS CHURCH
A. THE DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY TO BIND AND LOOSE
On two different occasions, the Lord Jesus Christ declared, “Whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”
The first declaration is recorded in Matthew 16:19. The immediate context is that Jesus has asked His disciples who they say and confess that He is (Matthew 16:15). Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” To this confession of faith, Jesus said, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:16-19).
The second occasion is recorded in Matthew 18:18. The greater context is that Jesus is giving teaching to the disciples about “the church” and church discipline, outlining the procedure and steps of church discipline. He concludes with the words, “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector” (Matthew 18:17). Immediately following this, He states, “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18:18).
It is most significant that in the two different contexts in which Jesus makes the declaration concerning “binding” and “loosing” both have to do with “the church.” There are only two places in which the gospels record Jesus making the declaration of the delegation of “binding” and “loosing” and there are only two times in the gospels where He specifically uses the word “church” and these are used in the same contexts with both statements being used in relationship to each other. While the first declaration by Jesus concerning authority to bind and loose in Matthew 16 is directed to Peter, the context shows that Jesus’ concern is His church and the building of His church. The individual Peter confessed faith in Who Jesus is and Jesus then declares that such a confession is the rock on which Jesus will build His church. It is after this that Jesus says that He will give to Peter “the keys of the kingdom” and one of the keys is the authority to bind and loose. Thus, the individual Peter who stands as the representative of the Church in His confession of faith in Jesus also stands as the representative of the Church in being given authority to bind and loose.
The context of the second declaration in Matthew 18 is that of the church and the exercise of church discipline. The fact that the declaration concerning “binding” and “Loosing” immediately follows the teaching of Jesus about church discipline shows that the authority to bind and loose is given to the church.
Because Jesus delegated authority to “bind” and “loose” to His “church,” this means that every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has been delegated this authority. Every person who, like Peter, has confessed faith in Christ and is a member of His Church, the Body of Christ, has been given “the key of kingdom” in Christ to bind and loose.
B. WHAT THINGS CAN BE BOUND AND LOOSED?
In answering this question, the first thing that must be observed is that Jesus makes this very same statement two times on two different occasions in two different contexts. The significance of this is that because He makes this very same statement in two different contexts shows that the authority to “bind” and “loose” can be applied to different areas of life. It is, therefore, not a delegation of authority that is or can be directed and applied to only one area exclusive of anything else. While the immediate context gives us understanding of how the act of binding and loosing is to be directed and applied, it does not mean, then, that it is the only and exclusive way in which this delegated authority can be directed and applied.
When we consider (1) the contexts in which the statements are made, and (2) the use of the terminology of “binding” and “loosing” by Jesus, we can see there are at least three ways in which the delegation of the authority to “bind” and “loose” can be directed and applied.
The context of the first declaration by Jesus in Matthew 16:19 is the confession by Simon Peter that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16). To this, Jesus declares that this knowledge of Who He is came by revelation from God the Father. It is this revelation from God that then resulted in the confession of faith by Simon of Who Jesus is. Jesus then gives Simon the name “Peter” (Greek “petros”) and says, “On this rock (Greek “petra”) I will build My church and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18). This confession of Who Jesus by “Peter” is the “rock” on which Jesus will build His church.
It is after this that Jesus declares He will give Peter “the keys to the kingdom.” A “key” is an instrument that is both the symbol of the right to exercise authority and the power to exercise that authority in a specific area or place (Revelation 1:18). Just as a key opens a door to a specific room or place a “key of the kingdom” is authority and power that is given by the Lord Jesus Christ to exercise authority and power of the kingdom of God in a specific area (Revelation 3:7). This is an authority and power that was first given to Jesus from the Father and that Jesus then delegated to Simon Peter. Because the context of this pronouncement is the building of His church, it is to be understood that Peter stands as the representative of the Church as a whole. The Lord Jesus Christ will build His church on the “rock” of faith and confession of Him as Peter as just done. And it is to the church through Peter as representative that Jesus has given “the keys of the kingdom.” Jesus then identifies one of the keys saying, “and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19).
In what way is this key of the kingdom to “bind” and “loose” to be applied? In this specific context of Matthew 16, it would be the authoritative determination and teaching of the doctrine concerning the Lord Jesus Christ on which the church is to be built. The understanding of authoritative determination and teaching of doctrine in terms of “binding” and “loosing” was spoken of by Jesus on different occasions. Jesus used the terminology “bind” to identify authoritative teaching of doctrine that sets forth obligations that people are to obey saying of the Pharisees, “They tie up (“deo”) heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger” (Matthew 23:4). The greater context is that they “sit in Moses chair” (Matthew 23:2) which is the seat of authority of teaching of the nation of Israel. Jesus used the term “loose” to describe the releasing or setting people free from obligations to obey authoritative teaching of doctrine or the commandments of God saying, “Whoever then annuls (“luo”) one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:19). Thus, one way the authority to “bind” and “loose” is exercised in the church is by authoritative teaching.
In my next and final newsletter on BINDING & LOOSING Part 3, I will explain the second declaration by Jesus which deals with the matter of sin under letter B. WHAT THINGS CAN BE BOUND AND LOOSED? I will continue with C. THIS AUTHORITY IS EXERCISED UNDER AND ACCORDING TO JURISDICTIONAL ASSIGNMENT. D. THIS AUTHORITY IS EXERCISED ACCORDING TO ONE’S JURISDICTION. E. THIS AUTHORITY CAN BE FORFEITED BECAUSE OF SIN. F. THE EFFECTUAL EXERCISE OF THIS AUTHORITY CAN BE LIMITED BY THE SOVEREIGN PURPOSE OF GOD. G. BINDING AND LOOSING SATAN HIMSELF. Finally, I will close with H. which is titled, BINDING AND LOOSING SATAN, MEANING THE SPIRITS WORKING AND MANIFESTING SATAN’S KINGDOM RULE AND AUTHORITY. May God richly bless you!
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