Matthew 18 (NLT) “15If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.
16But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector. 18I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven. 19I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them. 21Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
Again, we state that the above has nothing to do with a devil of any sort. Jesus was dealing with how to reconcile warring brothers in the faith and how to reconcile issues when they erupt. How we turned this to the binding of the devil is what I don’t understand yet. Paul rightly said the same thing in 1 Corinthians 6:1-4;
“1Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 2Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.”
The statement of Peter in response to Jesus’ words reveals what Jesus was dealing with “Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” (Matthew 18:21).
So, it was the issue of forgiving a brother in the faith if he or she sin against you, offended you or you discover that he is not happy with you. You are to follow the constitutional authority of the Church in making peace.
(1) Go to that individual.
(2) Two other people with you when you are trying to make peace that they might hear what you are saying to him if he refused your personal visitation.
(3) If he still fails, get the elders of the Church to come in and mediate.
And this should be the final step if he fails to yield to the voice and all moves of reconciliation from the highest authority which is the Church, then let him be treated as an unbeliever.
So, Peter’s response was, so how many times must I forgive my brother?
Jesus talking said “Seventy Times Seven” which means unlimited times, in Luke’s account in a day.
But essentially Jesus was referring to Daniel 9:24, which is when the everlasting righteousness of God shall be established through the once and for all sacrifice of Jesus, ushering in the era of Grace and peace through His abundant forgiveness of the sins of mankind who died in Adam.
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” Daniel 9:24.
So, “…when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Romans 5:10
This then was the prophetic answer that Jesus gave to Peter. He wasn’t referring to your daily continuous forgiveness of people who will hurt you for this number of times in a single day. No man can hurt you that much in one day. So, he was actually referring to His sacrificial death that will bring an end to the daily sacrifice in the Temple and so as to establish the everlasting righteousness on the face of the earth.
So, friends the discussion was on forgiveness, not the issue of a supposed devil that must be bound or loose on earth.
Next, will be verse 18 “Verily 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.”
To be continued…