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Posted: 05/15/07

Binding and Loosing Part Two

By Bob DeWaay


In Part One of Binding and Loosing we saw from Scripture that binding and loosing concerned both the terms of entrance into the Kingdom and the authority to declare God's mind on matters of doctrine and practice. However, some have interpreted binding and loosing to be the authority to bind Satan and demons through verbal declaration, a misunderstanding primarily based on Matthew 12:28, 29: "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.  Or how can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house."  This statement was Jesus' response to His critics who claimed that he cast out demons through "Beelzebul" (the ruler of demons).

      Matthew 12:28, 29 offers Jesus' own interpretation of the deliverances they had just observed-that these  were done by the Spirit of God and showed the power of the kingdom of God in the person of Christ.  In these deliverances, Christ confronts the powers of darkness, and Christ is victor!  The Pharisees should have recognized this and committed themselves to Christ, but they were unwilling.  Jesus goes on to warn them about blaspheming the Holy Spirit (verse 31) by accusing Christ of being of the Devil.

      The key verse, which some claim as support for "binding" Satan through direct verbal assault, is Matthew 12:29. In this passage, Jesus uses a metaphor to illustrate His own mission.  A strong man controls his own house until a stronger man comes, binds him, and plunders the house. "Bind" in this metaphor means "to tie up with a rope." It is used literally. "Binding and loosing" when used together in other settings are technical terminology where to "bind" is to obligate, to "loose" is to remove obligation as we showed in the previous article. "Bind" in Matthew 12:29 is in a different context and is part of the metaphor.

      Consider Luke 11:21, 22 which records the same illustration.  Luke does not use the term "bind," but says the stronger man "...attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied..." (Luke 11:22).  So "attacks and overpowers" describes the same concept as "bind" in Matthew 12:29. This is a realistic story with a spiritual application. The application is that Jesus is the stronger man who has power over Satan and can and does plunder his "house." The deliverances proved Jesus' power over Satan.

      Therefore, "bind," as used in Matthew 12, is metaphorical terminology, not a magic word, the utterance of which will stop the activity of evil spirits. That the Luke account does not even use the word "bind" shows this.  "Bind" is incidental to the picture of a strong man's house being plundered.  Whether victory is accomplished by binding, overpowering, or disarming, it is not as consequential as the fact that it is a stronger man who must do it. 

      The casting out of demons, however, is a precursor to the greater work of plundering Satan's "house" that Jesus would carry out through the cross. The Bible consistently ties the conquest of Satan's kingdom of darkness and the liberation of its subjects to the Incarnation, which leads ultimately to the cross.  The stronger man is Jesus, not us.  When the author of Hebrews says that it was "through death" that Jesus would render the devil powerless to hold his captives, he can only be referring to the cross where Christ paid for our sins:  "Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives"  (Hebrews 2:14, 15). We were in bondage to Satan, not because of his great power, but because of our own sins which put us under the penalty for sin, which is death.

      For further light on this, consider the following passage:


And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. (Colossians 2:13 15)


The margin of the NASB, as quoted here, has a note indicating that the last "Him" could be "it, i.e., the cross."  Christ triumphed over the forces of darkness through the cross. If the "goods" of Matthew 12:29 are people held in bondage, then the "binding" of the strong man that accomplished their release was through the cross.

      We can better understand this by contemplating how it was that humanity first came into this bondage.  The book of Hebrews describes human bondage as the "fear of death."  We know that death is the penalty for sin.  Satan's first lie, as recorded in Genesis 3, was that Eve could sin and not die as God said she would.  When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, sin entered human experience for them and all of their descendants.  As Paul declares in Romans, the wages of sin is death.  Romans 5:12 explicitly says that sin and death spread to all because of the original sin.  We were born sinners by nature, children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3), in bondage to the "strong man."  Spiritual death was our present reality, and ultimate death our certain destiny, unless God did something to rescue us!  It is no wonder that the passage in Hebrews 2 calls human bondage, "The fear of death." 

      The way Christ was ultimately to "bind" the strong man and plunder his goods was to die a substitutionary death on the cross, paying the penalty for us.  Now liberated by faith from spiritual and eternal death, we walk in victory because of the power of God.  Christ's victorious encounters with demons prior to His death on the cross were demonstrations of His Messianic mission and His power over evil.  However, they were not an end in themselves.  Had Jesus not gone on to die for our sins, the "houses" (Matthew 12:43-45) that had been "swept" clean would have remained empty, inviting places for evil spirits to return.  Those delivered from particular spirits during the public ministry of Jesus were still spiritually dead sinners like everyone else.  They needed to have the penalty for their sins to be paid, so that if they responded in faith to the gospel, they would be born of the Spirit and their "houses" thus filled.  These were delivered from certain demons, but still needed to be transferred as individuals from the house of Satan into the Kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13). 

      The Gospel of John also shows the importance of the cross in the defeat of Satan and the deliverance of people from his domination. During the week immediately preceding His crucifixion Jesus said "Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out.  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." (John 12:31, 32). The next verse tells us explicitly that Jesus was speaking of His death on the cross.  The casting out of Satan and the drawing of men (previously "bound" by the Evil One) to Christ is accomplished through the cross! This confirms our interpretation of Matthew 12:28, 29.

      The Bible does speak of an actual future "binding" of Satan in the book of Revelation:


Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time. (Revelation 20:1 - 3) 


Some also link this to the cross and claim that the thousand years is figurative language for all of church history. Two strong points of evidence mitigate this interpretation. 1) The binding of Satan through the cross is only efficacious practically in the lives of believers. The "nations" are still very much deceived by Satan and even blinded to the gospel (2Corinthians 4:4). Individuals are delivered from Satan during the church age, but not entire nations. 2) Whatever "binding" happened to Satan in Revelation 20:2 he is eventually "released from" according to Revelation 20:3. The effects of the cross are eternal; never will there be a "release" from what God did through Christ on the cross. Therefore, on exegetical grounds, I conclude that this passage is talking about the future millennial reign of Christ during which Satan is "bound" in the abyss and has no access to those living during this time. 

      No passage in the Bible instructs believers to say, "I bind you Satan," as if that would change anything. If we are concerned, as we should be, about seeing people delivered from their bondage to Satan, then we should preach the gospel. When Paul asserted that Satan blinded the eyes of the unbelieving, it was in the context of his defense of preaching the unadulterated gospel (see 2Corinthians 4:1-6). God provides no other means of deliverance from bondage to Satan apart from the cross. Through the cross those who believe are transferred from Satan's kingdom to Christ's as we see here: "For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:13, 14). And for this we are thankful-it is sufficient.

Distributed by

By Bob DeWaay

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Binding and Loosing Part Two
Posted On: 06/05/07 12:37:11 AM Age 62, TX
Please don't misunderstand my intention, I was reaching out to you. I was truly trying to offer you something that would help because your post touched me. I told you the whole answer in a nutshell because it's the only way to do it justice. Because of who Satan is now and the power he has on mankind, I am able to understand why the world is in such a vile, sinful messed-up state. If Jesus were fully reigning now, it would not be this way. If this is your idea of God's perfection, we believe in something totally different. I, too, can do all things through Christ Jesus, and that is what allows me to be obedient to Him. I can do it because I have the mind of Christ. So, you see, I don't believe "nothing" because I believe God keeps His promises, and we have so much more to look forward to. God Bless You

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Binding and Loosing Part Two
Posted On: 06/04/07 10:19:25 AM Age 56, TX
You are right about Satan being destroyed vs. was a slip of the brain. But I have to disagree about our position in Christ. He IS seated at the rigt hand of the Father, we ARE secure in Him, Jesus IS the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords RIGHT NOW! When I said I didn't get it, what I meant was I don't understand how a person can pick and choose what they want to believe. I can't---you can't---get into Revelations with a great deal of certainty on the when and how. Besides, that is not what we are talking about. All I know is I can do ALL things THROUGH Christ Jesus, I have the mind of Christ, and as He is, so are we in this world, His Holy Spirit quickens my mortal body, the Father has given us authority over all the power of the enemy through Christ Jesus, and I among many others would rather receive it all and get some of it, than believe nothing and get it all. Jesus finished the work on the cross. We will see the total fulfillment of it that we all have been waiting for one day in the near, I hope, future. Until then, we must continue to plant our faith if we expect a harvest.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Binding and Loosing Part Two
Posted On: 06/01/07 12:48:51 AM Age 62, TX
May I offer an explanation as to why you're "not getting this?" I will agree with you that "anything God has promised us has to be won by our..." (me talking now) totally repentant, submissive faith in the finished work of the cross and resurrection. But that doesn't mean God has to do it right now. God will do it at a time of His choosing, and for many things, it's still in the future. When I consider that we are in heavenly places with Christ, to me it means that we are secure in that we have that place waiting for us. (Jesus paid the price for our ticket.) I certainly don't think we are there positionally now, and Jesus won't be either until the Father tells Him it's time for His Second Coming. Rev. chapter 19 describes the shouts of Hallelujah in heaven when the wedding feast of the Lamb and His bride happens. After the wedding feast, the next event is the Second Coming when Jesus comes back NOT as a sacrificial Lamb, but as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, to judge with the sharp sword of His mouth and strike down the nations. I believe that is when He begins to actually reign, and we, His bride, will be by His side for all of it. You said "Satan was destroyed by the work of the cross." No, Satan was defeated by the work of the cross and resurrection, but he was NOT destroyed. After the Second Coming at the beginning of the Millennium, Satan is bound in chains and thrown into the abyss for 1000 years. Rev. 20:2-3. Verse 7 says after the 1000 years, Satan is released. He gathers the nations at Armageddon. Verse 10 tells us THEN, finally, "...the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown." They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. In the meantime, 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that Satan is prowling around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Peter wrote that AFTER Christ was crucified and resurrected. (Peter did not write that Satan had been DESTROYED.) It is still true today, that Satan is the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience. Eph. 2:2. So Satan is defeated and he knows it, but he has not given up, still thinking he can change the outcome. He still wants to replace God on the throne! But we believe God's Word, and know Jesus Christ will fully reign AFTER the Father sets the rest of the plan in motion. But as Rev. 20:3 says, Satan "...will be tormented day and night for ever and ever." So he is never destroyed, he will have to endure eternal torment for eternity. The beast and the false prophet were thrown ALIVE into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Rev. 19:20 If you read Rev. chapter 5, you will see Who is on the throne, and Who is there with Him now. I hope this helps! God Bless You

Re: Re: Re: Binding and Loosing Part Two
Posted On: 05/29/07 09:47:26 AM Age 56, VI
I'm not getting this. If this man actually has had experience in deliverance, then he would KNOW the power of binding the enemy. Why would someone with knowlede about this want to disclaim the power of it. All of these articles from people who have had success speak for themselves. In Ephesians, it says, we are seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. POSITIONALLY, we are there. In the natural we are still in the world. Anything God has promised us has to be won by our faith AND our actions. Satan WAS destroyed by the work of the cross. Now it is up to us to walk it out by and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Re: Re: Re: Binding and Loosing Part Two
Posted On: 05/29/07 09:45:26 AM Age 56, VI
I'm not getting this. If this man actually has had experience in deliverance, then he would KNOW the power of binding the enemy. Why would someone with knowlede about this want to disclaim the power of it. All of these articles from people who have had success speak for themselves. In Ephesians, it says, we are seated in heavenly place with Christ Jesus. POSITIONALLY, we are there. In the natural we are still in the world. Anything God has promised us has to be won by our faith AND

Re: Binding and Loosing Part Two
Posted On: 05/26/07 10:15:08 AM Age 55, ID
Dear Mr. DeWaay, Thank you for your biblical view on this subject. For without the Holy Spirit indwelling, we are subject to deception. And to the extent we do not rely upon the Spirit of God for Truth in this dispensation, the more likely we will be receptive to deception. The unbiblical view of binding and loosing you wrote against is a real problem in the professing church today. Apart of the coming apostate church before Christ returns. If born again believers meditate upon God's word by the Holy Spirit, they will see what you have presented in defense of God's Truth to be of God. May God continue to bless you and your ministry in defense of The Faith once delivered to the saints. In Christ, Kim N. Stager

Re: Binding and Loosing Part Two
Posted On: 05/25/07 11:22:38 AM Age 47, MO
Wow, I am very disturbed by this article. However, I am cautious about first glances. As I understand it by the first reading, I realized it would take me hours to reason an intelligent opposing view. I do not have that kind of time. So I have some food for thought. I have the gift from the Holy Spirit as a "discerner of spirits". You can choose to believe it or not but give me the benefit of the doubt. I also caution you as to what your understanding of that gift may be or its total capacity since it is not clearly defined in the Word. You would be speculating. I ask this because this is exactly where I have spent time in warfare or standing in the gap. You are absolutly correct in your emphasis that we cannot do anything in our own power. However, if you understand your true relationship as a disciple you will be and are actively involved in warfare whether you like it or not at some point in your Christian walk. I believe this is where many Christians suffer defeat. However, your involvement and actions must be by the leading and the direction of the Holy Spirit only. So we had better be in relationship with Christ. Just as declaring the scriptures, or meditating on the scriptures has a spiritual effect on the believer it has an effect on the spirit realm as well. The Lord has placed me in the gap for those that are Satanist and those lost in occult practices. My gift in this calling has been critical. I did not ask for the job. I am not sure what your experience may be in this area but some do convert to Christianity. They have the best testimony as to what takes place in the spirit realm concerning demons and the devil. Christians have become desensitized to witchcraft and demonic things and so it is ignored or Christians simply choose to believe it does not exist,or it is just to creepy and it strikes fear in their heart.(just what the devil wants)That is NOT the example in the Scriptures. As you say we have the victory.If so lead by the Spirit we can bind demonic forces in the name of Jesus. If it is in our own power we have made a big mistake. In scripture didn't somebody get beat up because the demons did not know who they were. It is a mistake for any believer to think they can engage the devil or demons on their own strength or abilitys. All of this concerns me because like other areas of sin in our culture the church would rather expain it away or not deal with it at all. Satanism and other dark religions do exist as well as Wicca and other strictly spiritual belief systems that are not based on any biblical foundation. You can not minister to them if you are not trained in that area or if you are ignorant. Dr. Rebecca Brown M.D. has a series of books she wrote concerning her calling in this area of ministry. "He came to set the captives free". Our callings are not the same. However,the Lord used her work as a tool to help train me. With all do respect at first glance I find your article more academic than revelation.

Re: Binding and Loosing Part Two
Posted On: 05/25/07 09:29:37 AM Age 48, OH
I agree with your statement of the cross being our ultimate deliverance, but Prayer is also an important element. There is a passage in the book of Matthews that states the disciples not being able to cast out demons because of their lack of faith, and then, Jesus preceded to tell them: "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." (Matt. 17:21) I have experienced applying Matt. 17:21 some years ago when my nephew had a dumb spirt. His mother took him to a speech facility to find out why he couldn't talk, and they found no medical evidence why he couldn't talk. God led me to a passage in the book of Matthews of a person having a demonic spirt(dumb). I prayed that God would remove the demon from my nephew, and he had begun to talk. I'm not sure if God will have you approach a person possessed, but I do know he will use us to cast out demons. In John 14:12, Jesus tells us that we will do greater works than he did.

Re: Binding and Loosing Part Two
Posted On: 05/24/07 11:51:17 PM Age 54, MEXICO
I believe that Jesus has been given all authority in the Heavens and the earth as it states in Mathew 28. He turns around and gives us all of his authority as his body and his church. I have the same authority as Jesus does here in this world because he gave it to me. If I choose to believe that I don't have it or choose not to use it the devil will get the best of my everyday. If I use my God given authority, I break the power of the devil in the people that I minister to. I prayed for people last night and God healed them at the service last night. We cast devils out of some of them to get them healed. When I pray for the sick or bind devils things happen because I know that God is backing me up and his Spirit does the work. I just speak the Word and God does the rest. Jesus healed the woman that satan had bound low these 18 years in the synagogue on the sabbath day. Who bound her, satan. Who set her free, Jesus, our Savior and Lord. We can and should do the same as our Lord and Savior. He says that He is in us. He says that we are one with him. He said "I only do what I see my Father doing." He said "I only say what I hear the Father saying." Let us who believe do the same work that Jesus did because we are full of the same Holy Spirit and Jesus ordered us to do it. Jesus told the devils to come out and they came out of them. When I order the devils to come out in Jesus name they come out as well. All the power of God here in this world is wrapped up in the name of Jesus. If we use His name in faith, the power of His name will break all of the power of the devil. We need to learn who we are and the authority that God himself has given the body of Christ( His Annointed Ones). Glory to God. All power is His and to those to whom he has given it.

Re: Re: Binding and Loosing Part Two
Posted On: 05/24/07 11:34:34 PM Age 43, TX
Okay, I've got to respond to this. Bob DeWaay does have alot of experience with demons and deliverance. His background is in the Assemblies of God, and yes he does know all about this. He spent years in deliverance ministry, and has written commentaries on this subject. Perhaps it might help if you knew a little more about the author before passing judgment on him.

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