We have always had this belief and practice of binding and losing the devil in our warfare prayers, where two or three are gathered together.
In my early days as a believer, we were taught that this is the prayer of AGREEMENT.
While I believe in the prayer of agreement, the question is what was Jesus teaching in Matthew 18:15-20? Was Jesus directing us to bind the devil here? Was He enforcing the Church authority against recalcitrant members of the Church or the devil? Will it be misapplication of scriptures if we for the sake of the passage be binding and losing the devil? Did Jesus ask us to bind the devil or to cast him out? These are some of the things these series of study shall unveil.
Praying the scriptures is very powerful a method, but it’s good we pray as directed by the scripture for maximum results so we don’t just be rejoicing in that acts of prayers, like fulfilling a religious obligation but rather that we are in agreement with the Father’s will.
The passage in question is; Matthew 18 “15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”
Now was Jesus discussing the devil here or fellows in the Church? There is nowhere the devil is ever mentioned in the whole of the entire discussion if we must be honest with ourselves.
So what was Jesus setting forth, perhaps you may ask? Why is this important to us? Because the Lord told us if we pray according to His will He will hear us. Therein lies the power in praying in His name.
So was Jesus setting forth a prayer pattern here? Not at all!
I think to understand this passage and the language of Jesus, we must go back to a few preceding verses to see the line of taught that Jesus was pursing.
In Matthew 18:10 downwards, we are told, “10Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. 11For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. 12How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and ONE OF THEM BE GONE ASTRAY, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? 13And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. 14Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish”
Then immediately in verse 15 we read;
“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother…”
So the goal of Jesus’ teaching here is that of reconciliation and restoration of the member of His Body that will bring Joy to the Father.
He was teaching on the need of harmony within His Body the Church and that such who will not yield to that goal of the Father’s heart in his Body should be treated as an unbeliever.
Truly speaking, nothing to do with the devil here as we shall see more clearly later. You may do all your binding and losing with this passage, but that is not what this passage is all about beloved.
To be continued…