Articles on Strategic-Level Spiritual Warfare

Matthew 16:19  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.” 

Matthew 18:18  “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Based on these Scriptures, some teach that believers can bind Satan, bind powers and principalities and also loose God’s angels to do their will.

However, the practice of binding and loosing in such a fashion is not seen in the ministries of any of Christ’s disciples as recorded in Scripture. So being conservative in our interpretation of Scripture, we do not bind and loose as is commonly taught and practiced. We do not practice spiritual warfare in the sense of directly rebuking and driving out territorial spirits from geographic regions. Jesus never commanded his disciples to perform such actions; neither does Scripture record Him performing them.

Understanding exactly what Jesus meant by “binding and loosing” is problematic. As applied to spiritual warfare, there is a possible interpretation which is quite the opposite of what spiritual warfare proponents believe. When we bind and loose on earth through preaching the gospel, healing the sick, casting out demons and making disciples as Jesus clearly commanded His disciples, we cause changes to take place in the heavenly realms. The grip of powers and principalities on a region is loosened as the kingdom of God comes in manifest power in that region and as people turn to Jesus in repentance.

There are Scriptures in Luke which support this position.

Luke 10:17  The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18  He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 

As the disciples cast demons out of afflicted people on their short mission trip, Satan was falling like lightning from heaven. What they did on earth—healing the sick and casting out demons—caused changes to take place in heaven: Satan fell like lightning and his kingdom suffered.

Therefore the Scriptures in Matthew where Jesus taught binding and loosing could mean the very opposite of what the proponents of strategic-level spiritual warfare believe. We have not been commanded to bind and loose in the heavenly realms, and when we presume to do so we are not effecting positive changes on earth for the gospel. Rather, when we mind our own business and do what Jesus clearly commands by healing the sick, casting out demons, preaching the gospel and making disciples, we are effecting positive changes in the heavenly realms and loosening the hold of territorial spirits over the region.

1 Corinthians 4:6 …“Do not go beyond what is WRITTEN…” 

Nowhere is it “written” in Scripture that New Testament disciples practiced “binding and loosing” as is commonly done today. Nowhere is it taught that we are to “bind and loose”—in the manner as some do today. Out of an abundance of caution in this supernatural realm with its potential dangers, it would be better not to place emphasis on this practice. I personally never talk to Satan as in “I bind you, Satan.”