What did Jesus mean by binding and loosing?

Jesus builds His church on the testimony, that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God. As long as His church stays in Him, the gates of hell shall not prevail against His church. Jesus has given all authority to His church; He has given the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatsoever His church shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever His church shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. But what does binding and loosing mean? Does binding and loosing mean to bind demons (evil spirits), spirit of poverty, spirit of rebellion etc. in a person? Because this is a popular doctrine concerning spiritual warfare and deliverance, that is preached from many pulpits.

There are many believers, who apply this doctrine of binding and loosing and bind evil spirits in persons or areas. But is this doctrine of binding and loosing confirmed in the Word? Where does Jesus bind evil spirits? In which context did Jesus talk about binding and loosing? What did Jesus mean, when He said to Peter: “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven“ (Mat 16:19).

Jesus has given the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven

Jesus promised, that He would give His church the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever His church would bind, would be bound in heaven, and whatsoever His church would lose, would be loosed in heaven. Binding and loosing are part of the keys of Heaven, which Jesus gave to His church; the assembly of born again believers.

The keys of the kingdom of HeavenAs I discussed in the previous blogpost, keys represents access, authority and responsibility. When you buy a house and get the keys of this house, you will become the owner. The keys will give you access to the house and you are responsible for the house. Therefore you should be careful with your keys and who you allow and don’t allow into your house. With the keys you can open the door and close the door. Now that’s what binding and loosing is all about.

Jesus has given the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to His church. As I wrote before in the blogpost ‘what’s wrong with the church?’, the church of Jesus Christ is appointed upon this earth to represent Him and His Kingdom.

The church is a gathering of born again believers, who are His body. His body represents His will on this earth. Jesus has given all authority in the heavens and on the earth to His body. The church has all authority in Him, and a responsibility to open doors in the congregation and allow things and to close doors in the congregation to forbid things. In other words the church has authority and a responsibility to bind and loose; to forbid and to permit.

Binding and loosing in the Old Testament

In the Old Testament the congregation; God’s people (Israel) was set apart from the world. God gave them, through Moses, His commandments, which represented His will and His Kingdom. The congregation had to execute His will upon this earth. It was the responsibility of the congregation to keep the commandments of God.

The leaders of the congregation were responsible to protect God’s people and to guard the congregation. They had to make sure that none of God’s people would trespass God’s law and sin and do the evil works of the darkness; habits and works of the pagan nations. If a person became rebellious, by disobeying God’s commandments, it was the responsibility of the leaders of the congregation to execute Gods will and remove the evil (the person) out of the congregation. Because as soon as one person became rebellious and did evil, the whole congregation would be affected by his evil.

As long as the people of God stayed obedient to His commandments, they were protected. But as soon as they allowed things, that were against God’s will, God withdrew Himself and His protection from His people. The leaders of the congregation were responsible to protect the people and to make sure that they stayed obedient to God’s will; His law and deal with evil (sin) according to God’s will.

The church of Jesus Christ represents the Kingdom of Heaven

The church of Jesus Christ represents the Kingdom of Heaven, which is the Kingdom of God, on this earth. Peter was the first apostle, who testified about Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God. Through his testimony, he opened the door for the gospel of Jesus Christ and gave the ability first to the Jews and later on to the gentiles, to become part of the body of Christ; the church of Jesus Christ.

Allowing the gentiles to the body of Christ

At first, the gospel of Jesus Christ was only meant for the Jews; God’s people after the flesh, and not for the gentiles. The gentiles were not allowed to enter the congregation. However through a vision of God, Peter was given the commandment and the approval of God to open the doors for the gentiles.

On this rock I will build My churchWhat was forbidden (bound) in the first case, became allowed (loosed). The gentiles were given the opportunity to become part of God’s people and become part of the church; the body of Christ (Acts 10:28).

The church has received in Christ the spiritual authority and power to govern the church and to lead and teach the believers into all truth of the Kingdom of Heaven. So that, they will grow up into the image of Christ. The congregation has been given power to allow and to forbid things in the congregation. The church represents the Kingdom of God, therefore the church is responsible to execute His will on this earth.

The church of Jesus Christ is responsible to do everything according to the will of God. God’s will is also the will of Jesus Christ and therefore also the will of the Holy Spirit. The church is responsible to do and permit things, that are according to God’s will (loosing). But the church is also responsible to forbid all things, that go against God’s will (binding).

Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven

It is written, that ‘whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven’. It doesn’t say: ‘whosoever thous shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven’. Binding doesn’t refer to people, angels, demons etc. refers to things, regulations, laws, works, acts etc.

The Word is very clear about the will of God and that the church of Jesus Christ should be obedient to the Word; Jesus, instead of walking on self chosen paths. The church should be led by the Word and the Holy Spirit, and shouldn’t be led by her senses, emotions, feelings, findings, opinions, wisdom, revelations etc.

The Head of the church is Jesus Christ; the Word, and not man. As long as the church does what the Word says, and stay obedient to the Word, the church shall represent the Kingdom of God upon this earth. But when the church becomes disobedient to the Word, then the church will not represent the Kingdom of God, but the kingdom of darkness and represent man.

Binding and loosing; to forbid and permit

In Matthew 18, Jesus speaks one more time about binding and loosing. When you read it in this context, then you find out, what Jesus meant by binding and loosing. He wasn’t talking about binding evil spirits in a person. But Jesus spoke about the responsibility of obedience to God’s will and forbidding sin in the church.

‘Whatsoever thou shalt bind’

Jesus says, that if your brother trespasses against thee, that you should go to him and tell him his fault between you and him alone. When he hears you (and repent), you have gained (saved) your brother. But if he doesn’t want to hear you, then you shall take one or two with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. If he shall neglect to hear them, tell it to the church, but if he neglects to hear from the church, then let him be to you as a heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

As long as a person want to keep walking in sin and isn’t willing to repent and remove the sins out of his life, then you should treat him as a heathen man and a publican. Heathen man (gentiles) and publicans were not allowed in the congregation. Therefore it means that you should remove him out of the church. Because the church represents the Kingdom of Heaven and not the kingdom of darkness; the devil.

Remitting sins and retaining sins

Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained (Jn 20:22-23)

The church has been given authority, to remit sins and retain sins. Only when a person will listen and repent of sin, the church has the power to remit sins. When the church remits sins it will be remitted in heaven. But when a person is not willing to listen and to repent, then the church should retain the sins to the person. When the sins are retained, the person belongs to the kingdom of darkness; the world, and therefore the church shall remove the person out of the congregation and by doing that the person shall be delivered unto satan.

In Him is no sin, who abides in Him sin notWhosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.
Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil (1 Jo 3:6-8)

Every person, who keeps walking in sin, has the devil as father and does his works and therefore shall represent his kingdom. That’s why the church’s job is to reveal and forbid the works of the devil (sin) in the church. Because sin binds man to the devil and gives him power.

Everything that the church shall forbid in the natural realm, shall be forbidden in heaven, in the spiritual realm. That’s why it’s so important to get to know God’s will through His Word, so that the church shall be able to execute His will upon this earth. The church shall be able to forbid those things, that God has forbidden, in the church upon this earth, so that they shall also be forbidden in heaven (binding).

Ananias and Sapphira

In the Bible we read about Ananias and his wife Sapphira, who lied to the Holy Spirit. Because of their sin, they died. The church was holy and consecrated by God. But the devil tried to enter the church, through the lives of Ananias and Sapphira. The devil wanted to affect the church; the born again believers, by evil; the darkness. Because a little leaven, leavens the whole lump. But the Holy Spirit prevented that from happening, and Ananias and Sapphira, who also had the character of the old man; the devil, both died.

Fornication in the church

Another example has been given in 1 Corinthians 5,  where fornication took place in the church. A person had committed fornication with the wife of his father. The leaders of the church knew what had been taken place. But they were puffed up, and instead of mourning and removing the person out of the congregation, they didn’t do anything.

Can you be complicit in the sin of fellow believers?But the Holy Spirit sees everything, and there’s no distance in the spiritual realm. Therefore Paul, who was led by the Spirit, saw what was going on in the church of Corinth. Paul confronted the church with her behaviour and responsibility.

The leaders of the church should have taken action against the person, who had given access, to the devil to the church, by his sin. Because by his deed he affected the whole congregation with evil. Therefore Paul instructed them to remove the person out of the congregation and deliver him unto satan; the kingdom of darkness; the world.

In this age, many believers would say: “what a nasty man, this Paul! Paul shouldn’t be so hars, and shouldn’t treat that poor man that way. He should have been tolerant and forgiving. He should show some love by allowing that person to the congregation and not by removing the person. We are all sinners, and we all make mistakes. It all by the grace of God that we are saved. And by the way, you are not allowed to judge!”

The new man is led by the Word and Holy Spirit

But you know, Paul and the other apostles weren’t the old man anymore. They were not led by their flesh; their feelings, emotions etc. They weren’t led by what they saw or heard, but they had become the new man. They were led by the Holy Spirit, and what He revealed to them. The apostles knew the will of God by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the knowledge of the Word. They knew their enemy and were on guard, and were not mislead and seduced by the lies of the devil.

The devil shall always try to enter via the flesh. That’s why it’s so important to lay down the flesh. As long as the flesh is not laid down yet, people shall keep walking in sin and allow sin in the church.

In the Book of Revelations, we read about the seven churches. We don’t read anything about binding and losing of demonic powers. Instead we read about what the churches had done (permitted) and what the churches should have done, but hadn’t done (forbidden).

“Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”

Jesus said: “Your will be done in heaven as on earth”. This applies to loosing. The commission that Jesus has given to His church is to represent and preach the Kingdom of God and bring the Kingdom of God to the people on this earth. The church shall do and permit all those things, which are according to the will of God.

This means first of all, that those, who repent and want to follow Jesus, be baptised in water and the Holy Spirit. It means to preach the gospel and to teach the believers all things, that Jesus taught His disciples, and make them disciples of Jesus Christ, heal the sick and cast out demons. They shall tread upon serpents and if they would drink any deadly thing, it won’t harm them. Because as long as the believers stay in Christ, the powers and works of the darkness shall not be able to harm any of them.

Where did Jesus command us to bind demons?

Now, let’s have a look at the doctrine of binding and loosing in reference to binding demons, spirit of poverty, spirit of sickness, spirit of rebellion, spirit of anger, spirit of self-pity etc. and loosing healing, wealth, riches etc. If these doctrines are inspired by Jesus, then why don’t we read anywhere that Jesus said: “I bind you, you spirit of …” We also don’t read that the apostles bound demons (evil spirits).

If Jesus would have wanted us to bind demons, then why did He commanded us to ‘cast out’ demons? Jesus didn’t command us to bind demons. Because how else can you deliver a person if you bind a demon in the person? The demon will not be able to expose himself and you will not be able to cast the demon out of a person. You don’t set people free by binding demons. But you set them free by commanding the demon to ‘come out’ and leave the person.

The devil comes as an angel of light

The devil will always try to raise new doctrines and spiritual revelations in the mind of people, that seems so spiritual and promising, and make many people enthusiastic, but deviate from the Word. He will always try to mislead believers by false doctrines, that seems so godly, but in reality derives from him.

The devil knows, that the more false doctrines and methods, and the more steps believers must take in order to deliver a person, the more confused they’ll get. The believers shall be more focused upon their words, and shall rely more on the methods and steps, to deliver a person. Instead of trusting in Jesus Christ and rely on His power and His work.

what are doctrines of devilsIf believers bind demons, than they won’t be any danger for kingdom of darkness, because the demons will still have access to people’s lives. They are only (temporarily) bound.

The person shall not be delivered, but shall still be possessed.  And that’s exactly what the devil wants, so that he will stay in control of people’s lives. As long as he stays in control of people’s lives, he will have dominion in heaven, in the spiritual realm.

He will even empower the words of the believers, by commanding his demons to be silent for a while and not manifest themselves. So that the believers will experience result and a person will experience a temporary deliverance. But after a while, the demon shall manifest himself again and shall continue his destructive work. Because nothing has happened to the person and the person is still possessed. But the believers think, that ‘binding and loosing’ works and shall continue.

Only through the Word, we will be able to discern the truth of God and the lies of the devil.

The church has been given the keys to bind and loose

The church is always connected to Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven and is a reflection of the Kingdom of Heaven on this earth. Therefore the church shall walk according to the law of the Kingdom. The church is seated in the heavenly places in Jesus Christ. Only from this spiritual position, shall the church reign and execute the will of King Jesus.

Everything that will be forbidden (bound) on this earth in the Name of Jesus, by the believers, shall be bound in heaven. Jesus shall empower it in the spiritual realm, just like God empowered the works of Jesus, by the Spirit.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heavenJesus knew the will of His Father and therefore all He deed and all His actions; His works were according to the will of His Father.

He forbade the works of the kingdom of darkness (binding) and He permitted the works of the Kingdom of God (loosing), by bringing the Kingdom of God to the people. Jesus allowed the works of the Kingdom of God and God empowered all His words and works, by His Holy Spirit.

As long as the church shall do the will of Jesus, which is also the will of God, then He shall empower the words and works. But He shall not empower the words and works that go against His will.

The church has been given, in Jesus Christ, the highest spiritual authority upon this earth. There is no higher authority. Jesus has given His church; His body the commission to bind and to lose.

Binding and loosing means to forbid the works of the kingdom of darkness (binding) and to represent and bring the Kingdom of God, by keeping His commandments and doing His will on this earth (loosing). So that, His Kingdom shall come and His will be done in earth as it is in heaven and He shall be exalted and glorified.

‘Be the salt of the earth’

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