In the phrase 'binding and loosing' when referring to the Christian's
ministry and evil spirits, the loosing involves deliverance or casting out. On
the whole this casting out concerns those who desire this to occur in their
lives, but binding is something quite different.
When you tie someone up like the strongman in Jesus' mention (Matthew
12:29), they are unable to move or cause mischief, but they remain in
the vicinity. Effectively it is a restriction upon their normal activity and
influence whilst they are still present in an area. It is carried out by binding
them under a command effected in the authority invested in Jesus. Jesus gives
his disciples 'authority to trample on serpents and
scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means
hurt you' (Luke 10:19).
Jesus himself restricted the activity of demons; he did not just cast them
out. When he commanded them not to speak that was a form of binding (Mark
1:34, 3:12, Luke 4:41). It was a restriction placed upon their activity
or influence in communicating information, ideas, thoughts, etc.
This restriction as effected by a command is simply carried out by
addressing the spirit concerned directly. I recall being drawn to go into the
entrance lobby of a church during the beginning of a celebration event. There I
came across a lady writhing on the floor in what looked like a kind of epileptic
fit. I spoke in the lady's direction words like this "In Jesus' name I bind
you Satan in and around this lady". Immediately she relaxed and opened her
eyes and then began to get up. I then received a name in my mind as to the
spirit troubling this lady, but unfamiliar with this, I held my peace and
rejoined the gathering. Later I saw the lady go forward for laying on of hands
and I heard the minister cast out a spirit using the very name I received
earlier. It was then I realised the name I had been given was the name of the
Satan, Principality, Power of darkness are names I tend to use when binding.
Evil spirits are all part of the same kingdom and any direct mention of the
enemy involves them (Matthew 12:25-26). There are no set
words or mumbo-jumbo: there are no set formulas as such. It is just a matter of
addressing them by a command and then stating my authority. It is also a small
fraction of the time used when praying about a matter. Once the enemy is bound
we need to 'stand in the gap' (Ezekiel
22:30) and intercede with our requests which is the major time facet of
God gave the earth into Man's care (Genesis 1:28). Man
handed it over to the enemy (Genesis 3:1-6, 4:7) and
specifically goes on doing this by deliberate sin and other such activity. The
enemy has a right/authority of operation where he is invited or where he is
permitted (i.e. when he tempts or tries to act and is not resisted).
Resist the devil and he will flee (James
4:7), but if you do not resist and are passive then he is welcome, he
has authority to stay (Luke 11:24-26). This also tells us that
a binding command remains effective only for a season, dependent in length on
the invitation/permission given to the spirit again (which releases him from his
'bind'). This is not just to do with an individual's life but also with
different geographical areas or buildings etc.
We then need to regain spiritual ground and ask the Father to step in and
have His will done on earth as in heaven. If we just ask the Father without
restricting the enemy also, then both have permission to act, but even though
God is greater, He is not wholly free since He respects the will He gave Man in
the area of permission the enemy is active (within circumstance/reason). God has
self-control (Galatians 5:23). God will also rebuke the
destroyer for us (Malachi 3:11), but we are here discussing
the believer's own role in this... The Devil does not respect and goes over the
wall (John 10:1, 10) and pressurises, barges in, wherever he
is not resisted.
So by the authority invested in us as believers we bind him, then ask the
Father's will be done. This has the effect of spoiling the strong man's goods
(Matthew 12:29) - which he had stolen in the first place. In
the parable of the sower Jesus said the fowl of the air that took the seed sown
was the devil (Luke 8:5 12). If we bind him first and then
witness or preach, then one obstacle is removed from the effectiveness of that
work. In the parable of the wheat and tares, the enemy is doing the sowing of
bad seed and here again binding will prevent fresh deception to influence a
person or persons for a time (Matthew 13:25).
Jesus said he gave us the authority, so I don't ask God or the Lord to bind
the enemy, just like when one casts out a spirit. If you cast out a spirit you
command it directly yourself e.g. 'I command you spirit... to
leave... in Jesus' name'. We know it is in Jesus' name since they are subject
to us in His name (Luke 10:17). So in binding it is
the same 'I bind you spirit...'. It is good to be specific as to the place or
person you have in mind: "I bind you powers of darkness in and around Joe
Bloggs the 4th in Jesus' name".
Jesus said the authority he gave was over all the power of the
enemy. Not only is it up to us to use it, but being a spiritual work
means we can do it from any geographical distance away. This is just like when
Jesus healed the centurion's servant (or commanded the spirit) from a distance
(Matthew 8:5-13). Another example is where Jesus had already
begun to do the speaking to the spirits of the Gadarene demoniac (Luke
I recall a Moroccan cousin of mine come to my mind regularly for about a
month. I did not know what her need was, but I regularly bound the enemy in and
around her and asked the Lord to step in. Months later I learned that she had
had an accident, been flown to Paris and that she had been unconscious during
this period. She is now back in her country leading a normal life.
In the Autumn of 1989 the Open Doors
prayer letter requested prayer for Laslo Tokesh of Romania at a time when a
friend of his had been murdered in a wood nearby (Open Doors are a ministry
supporting persecuted believers). I was touched particularly by this at the time
and whilst in my overalls, I walked around the car in my workshop that morning
and lifted my hands in the air (1 Timothy 2:8). I was a
self-employed car mechanic in those days and used my morning tea break to read
the prayer letter. In Jesus' name I bound all Principalities and Powers of
darkness in and around Romania. I also bound Fear in and around the Christians
of Laslo's church, then I asked the Father to give them boldness and courage and
to link hands around the house where laslo was (I pictured a small cottage in my
mind - according to the subsequent book it was an apartment block)...
Brothers and sisters we do not fight flesh and blood, but we wrestle with
Powers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12)...
Jesus also said 'He who is not with me is against me,
and he who does not gather with me scatters abroad' (Matthew
12:30). The context in which Jesus said this involves the spiritual
fight against Satan and his kingdom and needs to be taken seriously.