Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Kingdom of Binding and Loosing

But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Matthew 12:28)
Jesus has healed a man who was demon-possessed, blind and mute (Matthew 12: 22-23). Then some Pharisees came and accused Him of casting out demons by Beelzebub (literally, “Lord of the Flies”) whom they considered the ruler over demons (v. 24).

Now, mind you, it was not just one or two demons that Jesus expelled, or else they might have been able to make a good argument, that satan was causing a few demons to retreat in order to gain some sort of advantage — satan is a schemer. It was not only a few, but everywhere Jesus went, He was casting out demons from the multitudes that followed Him. He was doing major damage to the kingdom of satan. And that was one of the reasons He came: to destroy the works of the devil (Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8).

Jesus answered the Pharisees and showed their illogic:
Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If satan casts out satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Matthew 12:25-28)
Notice how Jesus turned the table on them — in a double whammy! First, if Jesus was casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub, then by whose power did their own exorcists manage to cast out the few demons they were haphazardly able to expel? After all, a small handful of exorcisms might be a demonic strategy, but Jesus was the one who was casting them out wholesale, running roughshod over satan and his works.

Now for the second whammy: If Jesus was casting out demons by the Spirit and power of God (as indeed He was), then it was a sign that the kingdom of God had suddenly come into the world. Indeed, the Jews believed that when Messiah came, satan would be bound. Now it was happening before their eyes. Jesus then drove the point home:
Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. (v. 29)
The kingdom of God comes binding and loosing. Binding satan and plundering his goods. Taking the devil to the cleaners and loosing people from demonic oppression. This same kingdom authority belongs to all Jesus’ disciples:
Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 18:18)
The literal sense of “will be bound” and “will be loosed” is “will have already been bound” and “will have already been loosed.” That is, we are given authority to bind and loose on earth what has already been bound and loosed in heaven. This is in agreement with how Jesus earlier taught us to pray: “Your kingdom, come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

Jesus reinforces this same idea yet again: “Assuredly, I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19). Heaven and earth are coming together at every turn.

The kingdom of Heaven on Earth is a kingdom of binding and loosing. Satan has been bound and his works have been destroyed. Our job, then, is to bind and loose what has already been bound and loosed in heaven, just as Jesus did.



The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth

The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth
Keys to the Kingdom of God
in the Gospel of Matthew

by Jeff Doles

Preview with Amazon’s “Look Inside.”

Available in paperback and Kindle (Amazon), epub (Google and iTunes) and PDF.