Midnight Cry: A Message To All Churches
The Imminent Fall of America
Is this possible? More importantly, is it scriptural?
While I don’t dispute the latter – that Jesus has given us authority in His name, and that authority can be exercised over demons (Luke 9:1) – I do not subscribe to the former claim. The Bible does not teach that we have power to ‘bind’ demons, in the way that is suggested, as I will explain.
I have been in meetings of charismatics to hear them command various demons: “I bind you in the name of Jesus...!” And I have done it myself in the past, when I knew no better.
But the scriptural injunction is not to bind them – whatever that means. It is to cast them out!
This erroneous teaching about binding demons comes from a misunderstanding and misappropriation of some biblical texts. What Jesus said has been misconstrued:
If you took those texts the way some believers take them, you could bind Satan in the symbolic ‘bottomless pit’ and confine him there with all his demons. You could command Satan off earth with every demonic power, and there would be no more wars, no more suffering, no more sickness and disease, no more famine, no more catastrophes, no more car crashes and other disasters, and all people would begin to be receptive to the Gospel. Oh that it were that simple! Fighting demons is far from simple!
What Jesus was referring to in those texts from Matthew quoted above, I will explain in a moment.
One other passage oft referred to on this topic is in Luke 11:
Jesus was likening Satan to a strong man guarding his possessions. People who do evil are his possessions, and Satan jealously guards them. To free those possessions, you have to first overcome or conquer (literal meaning of ‘overcome’ in Luke 11:22) the ‘strong man’.
Bill Subritzky produced a video entitled Binding The Strongmen, recording some of his exploits in casting out demons from various people. The title is based on these two texts:
These accounts are allegoric. They use vivid imagery to convey what needs to occur for a person to be delivered – you need the greater power of the Spirit of God to help you conquer. In no way did Jesus mean to infer that you are to literally bind Satan or demons, whatever that ‘binding’ could mean! He was giving an illustration.
Too many have drawn a wrong assumption from what Jesus said, where deliverance ministries have wrongly taught about ‘binding’ demons, and now we have a church full of people who speak to demons to ‘bind’ them instead of casting them out!
It is significant that in Luke’s account of the same command of Jesus, the term ‘bind’ is replaced with ‘overcome’ (NKJV), meaning literally ‘conquer’, proving the point I am making.
Jesus had just cast out a demon (Luke 11:14), which impressed the ones who saw Him do it. He didn’t say that He bound demons. He said He cast them out (11:20).
If you look up the various New Testament texts about deliverance from demons, you do not find any that say you are to ‘bind’ demons. They all with one voice unanimously refer to casting them out! For instance: Matt 8:31-32; 9:33; 10:1; 12:27-28; 17:18; Mrk 1:26, 34; 3:23; 16:17; Luke 8:2; 11:14-20; 13:32; Acts 16:18; 19:12.
In Luke 10, we find the well-known account where Jesus affirms that He has passed authority onto each of His followers who has faith and resolve to cast out demons:
The power Jesus confers upon us, while it makes demons subject to us, is not to bind THEM. It is to ‘bind’ their effects upon us.
Jesus did not bind demons, but He did loose those whom demons had bound. As an example:
In the explanation opposite, you will see that the binding principally relates to people, and agreements that bind people together in harmony.
“The words ‘bind’ and ‘loose’ are rabbinic terms meaning ‘to forbid’ and ‘to permit’...” (Footnote on Matt 16:19, in NKJV Believer’s Study Bible.)
Matthew 16:19 is similar to Matthew 18:18 in content.
That millennial prophecy tells us when Satan and his demonic spirits under his command will be ‘tied up’. For now, they are loose to do their dirty work of temptation and evil. Of course, they are all under the ultimate control of God. But He lets them do various wicked things, as they serve God’s overall purpose with mankind, and with each person’s life. (This is explained more in The Devil’s Role in Why Church Divisions?)
Satan and evil spirits lure people into sin. Their temptations can be intense. It is your duty to bind the power they try to exert over you by resisting them (Jas 4:7). Only by your own individual effort, coupled with help from the Holy Spirit as you submit to God’s will, can you bind the effects of demons. Obedience to God is the key to cause demons to flee!
Malcolm B Heap
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