Jesus dealt with the demonic realm a great deal in the gospels, primarily in the context of casting them out. He trained the disciples to do it also and said that driving out demons was one of the signs to follow believers.
Paul teaches that there is a spiritual gift of discernment available to believers so that we would know what the demonic realm is doing. In conjunction with submitting to God, we are also exhorted to resist demons so they will flee.
Is there biblical support for the concept of binding spirits? What does it mean to bind them up?
In Matthew 16:19, Jesus gives a succinct teaching on binding and loosing. This verse is understood differently by many and has a broad spectrum of application in the Body of Christ.
“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Christ’s disciples have been given authority to bind on earth that which has been bound in heaven and to loose on earth that which has been loosed in heaven. In other words, we are to bring heaven to earth so His will be done, as it is in heaven, per Jesus’ instruction in the Lord’s Prayer.
The word “bind” means to tie or fasten something tightly. Is there a reference to one or more demons being bound in Scripture?
Look at Rev. 20:2: “And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, which is the devil or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.” An angel binds Satan for a thousand years so there is a precedent.
Mark 3:27 and Matthew 12:29 tell us that before we can enter a strong man’s house unless we first bind him. By any reasonable measure, that scripture applies to demonic spirits.
Believers have been given authority over demonic spirits and we have seen profound positive benefits in our Counseling Center from binding up spirits. We are not advocates of trying to bind Satan himself in the context of earthly (first-heaven) spiritual warfare, but we it is appropriate for tormenting spirits at work in a person’s life.
We contend that you bind spirits by speaking out loud and declaring that the demon is bound and will not torment the person. It does not need to be done in front of the person; in fact, that can inflame the demon even more so we recommend against it. Here is a sample declaration, to be used as a guideline only,
“In the name of Jesus, I bind up that spirit of (anger, fear, etc.) that is tormenting ‘Joe’. I bind you with the blood of Jesus. You will not be active’ you’ll not torment him and you will not communicate nor draw strength from any other spirits. I loose the Holy Spirit upon Joe that You will reveal Your great love for him and… (add any specific desired action consistent with God’s Word and His heart for Joe).”
We have seen these declarations yield excellent fruit in deliverance ministry sessions and also in the lives of many believers as they proactively move to wage spiritual warfare for the salvation and deliverance of their loved ones.
Here is a critical clarification: binding spirits is not the same as deliverance. A bound spirit can be loosed by a person’s free will so that binding effectively lasts only as long as it lasts! The duration can be minutes, hours, days, weeks or more because a person’s free will can loose it again.
Binding and loosing, if you make it a regular part of your spiritual disciplines as you pray for loved ones, families, businesses, and ministries, will yield good fruit. When you engage in this, you are recognizing and proactively declaring that the struggle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12).
Practical Applications of Binding Demonic Spirits
- When you see a spirit manifesting in a person,
- When a spirit is trying to hinder a person from speaking or responding appropriately,
- Render the demon inactive for a season so the Holy Spirit (which is loosed) can talk and minister to the afflicted person. This is especially beneficial if you are praying for the salvation of unsaved loved ones.
I encourage you to begin moving in this arena of spiritual warfare. Resolve to be consistent, persistent and faith-filled and see how the Lord responds.
Do you have testimonies of tangible benefits from binding and loosing? I would love to hear from you. Need help in the arena of spiritual warfare or deliverance? Check out our services and client success stories to see if the Lord would lead you to contact us; we help people worldwide over the internet.