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Warfare Part 2d
The Spiritual Warfare of the Believer
Warfare Part 1a: A Study of Demonic Activity
Warfare Part 1b: A Study of Demonic Activity
Warfare Part 2a: The Spiritual Warfare of the Believer
Warfare Part 2b: The Spiritual Warfare of the Believer
Warfare Part 2c: The Spiritual Warfare of the Believer
Warfare Part 2d: The Spiritual Warfare of the Believer
Warfare P. 3a: Biblical/Historic View of Angels & Demons
Warfare P. 3b: Biblical/Historic View of Angels & Demons
Warfare P. 3c: Biblical/Historic View of Angels & Demons
Warfare Study Conclusions
Warfare Additional Quotes and Definitions
Point No. 6
Binding and loosing deals with forgiveness and excommunication
within the church and NOT with taking authority over angels.
Christians are NOT given authority over angels anywhere in
the scripture (at least during this present age).
In the New Testament we see in Matthew 16:19 and Matthew 18:18
that Jesus tells his disciples "and whatsoever thou shalt
bind (1210) on earth (1093) shall be bound (1210) in heaven
(3772): and whatsoever thou shalt loose (3089) on earth (1093)
shall be loosed (3089) in heaven (3772)."
Looking at the context of Matthew 18 we can see that Jesus'
remarks here are a reference to forgiveness and excommunication
within the church, and NOT to taking authority over angels.
This is clear from the preceding verses (v.15-17).
But we must also note that the Greek words that are employed
in these passages are not meant to be taken as technical terms
regarding any specific topic, let alone binding and loosing
angels through prayer. This can be demonstrated from Matthew
18:27 where a derivative word for "loosed" occurs.
Matthew 18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with
compassion, and loosed (630) him, and forgave him the debt.
The word loosed in Matthew 18:27 is apoluo (630), a compound
word from apo (575) meaning separation and luo (3089), which
occurs in verse 18 as well, and is translated as "loosed."
These words are used to describe the release of someone from
some circumstance, and in chapter 18 are meant to instruct
Christians on forgiving others.
Likewise, we must address Luke 13:16, where we see Jesus loosing
a woman from an infirmity that satan had bound her in for
Luke 13:16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter
of Abraham, whom Satan (4567) hath bound (1210), lo,
these eighteen years, be loosed (3089) from this bond (1199)
on the sabbath day?
There are four things to note from this passage that prevent
us from concluding that Christians bind angels in spiritual
warfare. First, we see the same terms that Matthew 18 used
to refer to forgiveness and excommunication are in this passage
used to refer to physical disability (as is the case also
in Mark 7:35). This show that these Greek words for binding
and loosing were generic terms that were applied in different
manners at different times to different subjects. They were
not used as technical references to Christians taking authority
This conclusion is further supported by our second point,
which is that binding in this passage has to do with causing
physical infirmity. Therefore, if one wants to conclude that
Matthew 16:19 and 18:18 are speaking of the same subject that
is being discussed here in Luke 13, then they must conclude
that Jesus was giving the disciples the authority to physically
disable people or to make them sick. This is clearly incorrect.
Third, in Luke 13 we do not see Jesus bind the devil, instead,
he merely looses the woman from the Devil's bond of infirmity.
So, while this may be an example of loosing from physical
affliction it is not an example of binding an angel. And therefore,
our fourth point is that Matthew 16:19, 18:18, and Luke 13:16
do not make any statements whatsoever about Christians binding
angels or that the binding that is discussed has anything
to do with spiritual warfare as many modern Christians conclude.
Furthermore, there is no place in the New Testament where
Christians are given such authority over angels (at least
not in this age) or where such activity is connected to the
spiritual warfare of the believer. Instead, we see that the
New Testament repeatedly confirms that the devil won't be
bound until the millennial reign of Christ and that as yet
he has not been put in subjection to Jesus' authority.
Revelation 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon,
that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound
him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless
pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he
should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years
should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little
Hebrews 2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection
under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under
him, he left nothing [that is] not put under him. But now
we see not yet all things put under him.
Romans 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan
under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
[be] with you. Amen.
What must be understood from these passages is that it is
God and not the church who binds and subdues the enemy. Christians
who suppose that we do have authority over the angelic adversaries
should also consider Jude 1:8-10 and 2 Peter 2:10-12.
Jude 1:8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile
the flesh, despise dominion (2963), and speak evil of dignities
(1391). 9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending
with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, darest
not bring against him a railing (988) accusation (2920), but
said, The Lord rebuke (5659) thee. 10 But these speak
evil of those things which they know not: but what they know
naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
2 Peter 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh
in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government (2963).
Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid
to speak evil of dignities (1391). 11 Whereas angels,
which are greater in power and might, bring not railing (989)
accusation (2920) against them before the Lord. 12 But
these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed,
speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall
utterly perish in their own corruption;
In these passages we see that both Peter and Jude disapprove
of speaking evil of and rebuking angels and heavenly powers.
They rebuke those who do such things for doing that which
is not even done by angels. And they inform us that these
men do not understand these things, which they presume to
rebuke. Jude tells us that even Michael the archangel did
not rebuke the devil nor does he bind him, but simply leaves
this task to God. The clear teaching of these nearly identical
passages is that no one except God can or should take authority
over, rebuke, or bind the devil or the angelic adversaries,
not Michael the archangel, not other angels, and not Christians.
If the angels who are greater in authority than we are do
not do such things, we, too, should leave these tasks to the
Lord. Similarly, James does not instruct us to rebuke the
devil, bind him, or to take authority over him, but simply
to resist (or withstand) him.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist
(436) the devil (1228), and he will flee from you.
James is reminding us here of what Jesus did when he was tempted
by the devil in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. He withstood his attempts
to deceive him about God's will by speaking back to the devil
a sound understanding of the Word of God. The result was that
after being resisted by Jesus the devil left him.
Having shown that binding and loosing of angels is not something
the New Testament has Christians doing and that such activities
are not related in any way to the spiritual warfare of the
believer, we can also make a brief, but similar claim regarding
casting out demons.
Point No. 7
While Jesus does give his disciples authority to cast our
demons, casting out demons is NOT associated or connected
with spiritual warfare anywhere in the New Testament.
First, let us say that the New Testament is clear that Jesus
gave his disciples authority over demons and the ability to
cast them out (Matthew 7:22, Matthew 10:1, Mark 3:15, Mark
6:13, Mark 16:17, Luke 9:1, Luke 10:17). However, this authority
and these actions are nowhere connected to the spiritual warfare
of the believer anywhere in the New Testament. To conclude,
therefore as many in the modern church do, that spiritual
warfare involves casting out demons, is an entirely unscriptural
Conclusions about Spiritual Warfare
In this section of our study we have addressed the nature
of spiritual warfare. We sought to answer the following questions,
which we stated at the beginning of our study.
2. How does the Bible portray spiritual warfare? What does
it entail? How do Christians engage in it, etc.?
We answered this question by examining the modern church belief
on this matter, which we defined as follows:
4. Spiritual warfare is the prayer life of a believer, which
involves our engaging in combat, binding and loosing, and
casting out fallen angels and demons in heavenly realms.
We further specified this view into the following three points.
1. Angels fight in heavenly realms in attempt to affect the
minor, daily activities our lives.
2. The success or failure of angelic activity to accomplish
or hinder God's will is dependent upon the prayer of the believer.
3. That the prayer life or praise and worship of a Christian
is our spiritual act of warfare.
Consequently, as we looked at this subject within the scripture
we rejected these modern church views and instead showed the
following to be true regarding spiritual warfare:
4. Spiritual warfare is a personal and worldwide struggle
between the truth of God and the deceit of the Devil and those
under him. This struggle is largely concerned with our minds
and understanding, and while it involves prayer, it not exclusively
the prayer life of the believer.
Within this conclusion we can make several more specific points
based on our study.
1. The New Testament DOES NOT bear out that angelic behavior
affects the minor, day to day activity of our lives.
2. The New Testament DOES NOT support the idea that the success
or failure of the angels to accomplish or thwart God's will
is in any way dependent upon anything we, as believers, do
including prayer. The only area of exception is that we do
determine how successful the enemy is to lead us astray from
3. Prayer life and praise and worship ARE NOT given a large
role in the spiritual warfare of the believer.
4. Our spiritual battle is with angelic adversaries.
5. Spiritual warfare is a mental struggle to reject the carnal
mind and become mature in Christ, through studying and applying
the Word of God.
6. The carnal mind is at enmity with God and is a product
of man's sinful nature and the worldly wisdom of the angelic
rulers of this age.
7. Spiritual warfare involves being able to discern sound
doctrine from heresy.
8. Spiritual warfare involves ridding ourselves of ungodly
thoughts, philosophies, beliefs, and behaviors that do not
align with Jesus' teaching preserved for us in God's Word.
9. The armor of God is not actual spiritual battle gear, but
refers to specific instructions toward godly living, preparedness
for the coming tribulation, and being in sound faith and doctrine,
10. In the last days, some in the church will lose the spiritual
war that we are to fight, fail to become mature, prepared
believers who understand the truth of God's Word, and instead
will depart from the faith.
11. Spiritual warfare involves being able to contend for the
faith and refuting, correcting and rebuking those who oppose
12. Binding and loosing angels IS NOT a part of spiritual
warfare and the New Testament DOES NOT give this authority
13. Casting out demons IS NOT connected to spiritual warfare
in the New Testament.