Angels and Demons in the Bible: Bound and Loosed

Philip Galle after Maerten van Heemskerck (Flemish, 1537 - 1612 ), The Apostles Delivered from Prison by an Angel, , engraving

Philip Galle after Maerten van Heemskerck (Flemish, 1537 – 1612 ), The Apostles Delivered from Prison by an Angel, , engraving

I’ve been meditating on some verses in Matthew.  Jesus is setting up Peter as the head of His new church.  It’s a huge moment.  He gives Peter, and by extension the members of His entire church, the keys to the kingdom.

Matthew 16:18-19

‘And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’

Keys represent authority and Jesus made a point of transferring that authority before He left earth.  We’ve already seen the apostles casting out demons in Jesus’ name and by His authority (Acts 8:7).  Now Jesus mentions Hell, and He tells Peter that the demons there cannot win against the church.  So what is being bound and what is being loosed here?  I think that Jesus, in this passage, gave us authority to bind demons and loose angels.

This same phrase comes up again in Matthew 18:18 where Jesus is talking to all the disciples.  He brings it up in the midst of a discussion about forgiveness of fellow Christians. So He is definitely referring to binding sins on earth that have already been bound in heaven and forgiving sins on earth that have already been forgiven in heaven.  But I think we can also apply this verse to binding demons and loosing angels. Demons are often manifestations of sin. And angels are often manifestations of grace.

There are other biblical references to binding that are tied up with sin and demons.

Isaiah 58:6

Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?

Wickedness (including sin and evil spirits) can bind us and hold us in bondage for years, if not a lifetime.  But Jesus sets us free from that.

Isaiah 61:1

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has annointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

In Acts 12:7-11, God sends an angel to free Peter from prison. So angels can be freeing agents while demons can bind us.  But Jesus gave us authority to bind those demons and loose the freeing angels into our lives.  So let’s use it.  The next time you’re feeling angry or oppressed, try calling on Jesus’ authority to bind the demons that are disturbing you.  Bind them and send them to hell.  Then try calling forth God’s grace by asking for angels to be loosed into your presence.  Surround yourself with the manifestations of God’s love and protection.  He gave us the keys to the kingdom.  Let’s use them.

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