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WHAT IS 'BINDING THE ENEMY' ?

by Jacques More


Brothers and sisters we do not fight flesh and blood,

but wrestle with powers of darkness.

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 spirit.

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 prayer occasions.

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 8:29a).

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.



Unless otherwise stated Bible quotes are from the New King James Version

© copyright Thomas Nelson Inc. 1979,1980,1982.

© copyright Jacques More 1999. All Rights Reserved.

 

 


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