The Ties that Bind

The Bible indicates that two or more persons can be spiritually joined together by ties or bonds. They are called “soul ties” – spiritual ties or supernatural linkages that bind people together. There are different types of spiritual bonds which I classify into:

1. Positive soul ties

(a) Godly ties

These are ties with which God binds His people together in love, compassion and peace. “I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed” (Hosea 11:4).

This is a bond fostered by the Holy Spirit and it’s geared towards a godly or benign intent. This is the kind of tie we see between David and Jonathan: “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan” (1 Sam. 18:1 ESV)

There’s no evidence that David and Jonathan had sex for their souls to be so joined. It’s atrocious to find some modern gay advocates gnawing their unwashed fingers through the Bible to point at David and Jonathan as biblical gay icons because of the statement: “Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women” (2 Sam. 1:26).

Really, it takes someone with a perverse spirit to see this scenario in such a grossly distorted and perverted fashion (That’s a topic for another day).

In the New Testament, Christians are commanded “to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). This bond is sustained by the Holy Spirit in every believer. This is something we all need – a fellowship of Believers who love and care for one another regardless of status, race or tribe.

(b) Marital bond

This is a covenant link that is formed when a man and woman come together sexually to become one flesh. Jesus said: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” (Matt. 19:5).

God created sex as a powerful force to sustain the marriage bond and participate in the creation of life. The devil too understands this, thus, one of the first things he did was to pervert both the physical and spiritual aspects of sexuality.

Though the secular world has trivialized sex; thrown chastity to the winds; distorted marriage and reduced humanity into ‘animals’, the coming together of two people in the act of sex is not merely a physical act.

A spiritual link is formed between two people through sexual acts and when this is abused outside the confines of a godly marriage, it results in one common problem in many marital relationships today: incomplete ‘leaving’ and incomplete ‘cleaving.’ Both spouses are unable to truly bond with each other as they should, because they still have unbroken ties to other persons (or themselves) before or after they got married. This leads us to:

2. Negative soul ties

(a) Illicit sexual bonds

1 Corinthians 6:15 says “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!” This passage also applies to sexuality and it comes in different forms:

  • A negative type of soul link is formed through premarital and extramarital sexual affairs and the more sex partners a person has, the more soul links (and demons) he acquires. So, when a “swinging single” eventually gets married, these spiritual factors may cause some problems.

A victim may find himself/herself emotionally entangled to his/her ex-lovers even if they are married to someone else. Some would have fragmented minds. Others could experience strong, tormenting sexual urges that make them seek their old sex partners when they were unbelievers. Some would find themselves constantly dreaming of them.

I heard of a man who before marriage had been with many women. His wife said after they got married, every night for several weeks, she would have vivid visions of different women coming over to share their bed until she began to learn how to address it through spiritual warfare.

The usual front line of satanic attack is sexual seduction. This is because the enemy understands the power of sexual soul ties. He knows that once you become one flesh with his own agents, it will be fairly easy to bring you down because the luggage of unclean spirits inhabiting them is transferred to you and they start to mess with your mind. These soul ties enable demons to move from one person to another and they can be traced in the spirit realm.

In Numbers 25, after Balaam’s effort to curse Israel failed, the next strategy was to send the women of Moab into the camp of God’s people. When the children of Israel began having sex with them, the next step was to join them in Baal worship. Talk about soul ties. This is why when you see a fervent Christian who dabbles into promiscuity, it’s only a matter of time before he’s backslidden.

  •  Sexual ties are also formed through rape or child molestation. In Genesis 34:2-3, after Shechem the Hivite raped Dinah, “his soul was drawn” to her even though she was an unwilling victim.

Many victims of sexual assault or molestation are held in bondage to their past even if they later became Christians. I have come to realise that sexual molestation doesn’t always stop at one experience. Even when a victim keeps that experience hidden, s/he still ends up being molested by other people s/he meets later in life, if not addressed.

These folks don’t have to know the victim’s childhood history because there seems to be a “link” established in the victims’ soul through their first sexual abuse which invariably attracts the demons in other perverts to them.

It’s not an accident that ladies that were abused as children are curiously drawn to men who physically, verbally and sexually abuse them and they tenaciously cling to them. Psychologists call this Stockholm syndrome. When a person is unwilling to break out of controlling, abusive and destructive relationships, he is bound by negative soul ties.

  •  This also comes into play with those who have engaged in homosexuality and lesbianism. This is why they often return to their sexual sins and former partners even if they claim to be married to a “straight” spouse.

(b) Selfish or Inverted soul ties

These ties are forged by a person with his own flesh. The victim’s soul is spiritually “locked” up within himself and is unable to normally connect with others.

He/she may be an admirable, charismatic or socially exposed fellow, but because of this soul tie, his/her intimacy would be like a running tap blocked with a cork – unable to form intimacy with anyone. This can be a result of a traumatic experience. A guy wrote to a Vanguard columnist, describing his abuse:

We had to leave the school premises to his house, and immediately he finished doing the thing to me, he told me to do what he did to me, to him. I had no choice but to have sex in return. Afterwards, he gave me money. I felt ashamed of myself and could not look him in the eyes. I was angry that my parents had caused everything that happened, because if they had been able to pay the examination fees, I would not have found myself in that situation.

“…After that day, another problem started for me. It seemed as if everything died in me that very day… now I don’t have any friend at all. The same applies to female friends as well. I have lost all emotions and interest where friends and relationships are concerned.”

Unless this guy gets help, he will find intimacy very difficult. The intense shame and anger fixated into his mind by that abuse have made his soul inverted.

This can also happen in the case of masturbation, an act which undercuts one of the purposes of human sexuality: to relieve loneliness. Thus, sexual fulfillment and intimacy in marriage may pose an uphill task for many involved, because they have created a covenant link to always please their sinful flesh first.

Unless they renounce such selfish ties, those addicted to it also observe they find the act more satisfying than sex with their own spouses. It results in “incomplete cleaving.”

(c) Direct demonic linkages

In this case, a demon steps in when (a) or (b) becomes a besetting sin, and attaches itself to the victim through the cords of their sins. The class of demons known for this are called “spirit husbands” or “spirit wives” – because they bind themselves to their victims, sexually wear them out and war against marriages.

These demons can impersonate anyone, especially former or present lovers known to their victims. Some are resident in their hosts while others come from outside, but they bind themselves to their victims and feed off of them.

People involved in the occult commonly have sex with demons. It’s believed that a female demon (succubus) draws seed from men and changes to a male partner (incubus) to molest a human female.

Another type is when a person has a link with a familiar spirit or demon spirit guide. I read a man’s testimony years ago. His sister died about 3 years prior, but in his dreams, he kept seeing her playing and discussing with him and at times, he’d see a sort of rope joining them together.

During a church service, his pastor invited all who have such experiences to come forward for prayer. He responded, and they were prayed for. He said after that day, the only time he saw her again in his dream, she was standing at a distance and waved him goodbye and he did the same and the dream stopped abruptly.

Was that really his dead sister? No, it was a familiar spirit.

(d) Ungodly, non-sexual ties

These are negative ties that emerge from relationships in which strong bonds are formed. These could be parent-child relationships, sibling relationships, mentor-student relationships or friendships which could degenerate into emotionally and spiritually destructive relationships.

When you are in a relationship with someone who stands between you and all that God wants you to be, or uses your mutual bond of affection to control or manipulate you, you are getting into ungodly soul ties. This can happen so subtly even in the name of a parent-child relationship which borders on manipulation.

The sad reality is that many people have passed through life either dominating or being dominated by others. They are being pushed here and there even though they have a mind of their own and know what to do. Many of them can’t make any meaningful decision unless they first consult that person to whom their soul is tied.

(e) Occult ties

These are ties wielded by an occult individual, group or organization to exert demonic control over their victims. These links are forged by rites, sexual and/or non-sexual acts, but generally function as dark bridges through which demons can pass from one person to the other.

From the Bible, we can see that almost every instance of reference made to pagan worship is associated with sexual sins. In Western witchcraft and satanic covens, ‘The Great Rite’ or ritual sex is often performed during which male and female members engage in sex orgies.

This is often done to raise a ‘cone of power’ – an etheric energy generated in occult magick circles. Sexual rites are also performed during higher level initiations to pass the mantle of evil spirits to the intending.

There is also Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) during which dozens of sexual contacts are forced on a victim (usually a child) in a ritual setting. It’s done to break the victim’s mind – through drugs, torture and sexual brutality – so as to allow powerful demons enter them and become their power totem or guardian, which others can use to work the occult through the child.

Through demonic links, the satanists control the victim, making him/her their puppet. Even if the victim doesn’t get involved in the occult later in life, s/he is still a mind-controlled slave for satanic elites and other covens.

Generally, there’s an occult bond that binds every witch and wizard together making it very easy to know and work with one another even when they change their geographical location.

People involved in Masonry and Mormonism can also have spiritual ties binding them to these groups through temple rites, baptism, Lodge oaths, initiation rites etc. which may need to be broken.

Finally, these can be dealt with by:

Repenting of the sin through which negative soul ties were formed. Renouncing vows, oaths, pacts or covenants and rash commitments you’ve made or that was made on your behalf and prayerfully cancel their effects upon your life.

It’s also necessary that you walk in forgiveness. This particularly applies to those who have been sexually abused or emotionally drained by dominating relationships. You can’t break yourself free from people whom you still hold in unforgiveness.

Verbally renounce and break every negative soul tie in the name of Jesus. Note: It’s not necessary to remember all the names of former partners to do this, once you make a broad statement (e.g “I break and renounce soul ties forged with every person with whom I had sex with”), it’s taken care of.

Straight Talk on Sexual Self-Stimulation

A married man once wrote to a Christian counselor: “I was [sexually] abused when I was young. I’m so addicted to pornography and masturbation.”

Two single young men also shared their struggles:

I’ve been battling with masturbation for a long time now and it’s killing me. I notice I masturbate each time I feel depressed. I’ve prayed and done a lot still I find myself doing the same thing over and over again.”

I have a very big problem with both sex and masturbation. It has really gotten to me. I am a devoted Christian … yet I find it difficult to quit … I have planned to cut myself off media, phone and internet so as to stop going through porn sites and downloading its content … Why is stopping sex and masturbation too difficult for me, or is it my FATE? I am really confused.”

Sadly, sexuality is still a no-go area topic in many Christian circles. This is why I applaud Christians who summon the courage to open up about their personal sexual struggles.

I’ve come to realise that when such “uncomfortable” issues are swept under the carpet of church rules and strict conservatism, they not only fester but eventually become elephants in the pews.

Many people in the church today are suffering from silent frustration as a result of private problems that have created turmoils in their hearts. They can’t find anyone who understands or is able to handle the details of what ails them.

Sexual issues need to be openly discussed because they are crucial to life, and it’s an area where the devil is enslaving many believers.

I was told of a Christian guy in my undergraduate days who broke with “tradition” during a Bible study by telling how God helped him beat the sinful habit of masturbation.

Typical of hyper-conservative student fellowships, his audience looked on with shock and distaste, but he defied their countenances. As he was leaving the fellowship that evening, about five Christian brothers walked up to saying, “Please sir, I’m struggling with masturbation, can you help me?”

If we are really going to help people find freedom and healing, we’ll need to blow open the citadels of pretense and role-playing that the devil has used to wall us in.

Masturbation or “solo sex” is a hot topic on several fronts. A 2016 survey by TENGA, a sexual health and wellness company, indicates that 88 % of 1,200 Americans masturbate.

To remove the stigma from self-pleasure, this company launched “an online empowerment campaign that celebrates and encourages masturbation” called #DoItInMay.

Secular society has always lauded masturbation as a safe, healthy valve of release from sexual pressure.

Some scientists tell us that it boosts the mood; has a natural sedative effect; helps maintain body immunity; prevents prostate cancer, heart diseases and STDs and even confers a longer lifespan!

If one’s life is patterned by their claims, solo sex becomes a placebo to cure virtually all of life’s hitch. I guess a time would soon come when we will be told that if we don’t masturbate frequently, our brains will stop functioning and our hearts will stop beating!

From a scientific perspective, however, one needs to tread with caution before touting masturbation as a “silver bullet” to bodily infirmity.

Masturbation triggers the brain into releasing a flood of internal chemicals like dopamine, endorphins and serotonin into the bloodstream.

These natural “drugs” give quick, temporary escape and relief from stress, insomnia and anxiety. This can make masturbation a convenient “drug” for instant pleasure and self-medication.

It also results in a chemical dependency that people use to escape from boredom, negative emotions and the stresses of life.

We all know how drug addicts resort to drugs to escape from reality. Sexual self-stimulation works out the same way. Thankfully, the debilitating effects of addictions are not disputed by secular society.

Frequent masturbation stimulates acetylchlorine and parasympathetic nervous functions and when it is excessively done, large amount of this hormone and neurotransmitters are being produced, thus altering the body’s chemistry. This leads to fatigue, erectile dysfunction and pelvic cramps.

Even in the medical world, there are check and balances that govern drug use. That’s why pain relievers are given with prescriptions. When the body is made to naturally circumvent these regulations through masturbation, it becomes a form of self-abuse.

Many scientists, psychologists and even some Christian leaders argue that masturbation is not a sin. If that is the case, why then, do many men and women feel so guilty after indulging in it?

The ready-made answer that such people are conditioned by social indoctrination and upbringing doesn’t cut it. That guilt is an indication of our God-given conscience which must not be muffled with empty rationalizations.

This is why science, psychology and philosophy – albeit beneficial – cannot be our final arbiter of truth, ethics or morals. The Bible, God’s Word is.

Science sees man as a “higher animal” that is subject to all base instincts and desires, but the Bible dignifies man, stating that he is created in God’s image.

Psychology also fails to address the complexity and depravity of the human heart. The Encyclopedia Britannica presents a lengthy discussion on sexual deviations but adds that:

“Although most psychiatrists and psychologists consider masturbation an expected practice on the path to heterosexual relations, it serves equally to gratify in fantasy many of the sexual deviations discussed above” (16:610).

That is, masturbation can be fuelled by fantasies involving sexually debased acts like paedophilia, rape, sado-masochism, voyeurism, homosexuality, lesbianism and bestiality.

The human heart is so deceitful and depraved that most sex criminals usually start off by masturbating to fantasies of what they later indulged in.

With the way sex toys like strokers, dildos, sex dolls etc. are becoming lucrative even here in Nigeria, God’s view – not man’s opinions – of solo sex needs to be emphasised.

Granted, masturbation is not directly mentioned in the Bible and can’t be accurately termed as the “sin of Onanism,” but it’s still a sin because it involves lust of the mind (Matt. 5:28).

Virtually all sexual self-stimulation is accompanied by either sexual fantasies or pornographic materials. It cannot be imagined or carried on without committing the sin of lust.

It also fails the Bible’s eight fold test: what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8).

Our body “is the temple of the Holy Spirit … You are not your own. You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Solo sex spiritually defiles our body.

God says we are to “put to death … whatever belongs to [our] earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires…” (Col. 3:5), but masturbation does the very opposite: it energizes the fleshy nature.

Furthermore, masturbation is a selfish act. God intended sexuality to help relieve a person’s loneliness, but solo sex does not relieve loneliness. In fact, one feels more lonely than ever after this sin.

Being immersed in one’s body sensations is a form of narcissism. As time goes on, self-pleasuring becomes the brain’s preferred method for achieving sexual gratification and this ultimately affects a healthy relationship with one’s spouse.

I am not writing this to lay a guilt trip on anyone struggling with this habit. What I’m saying is that it is a sin that one can repent of and forsake just like any other (1 Jn. 1:9).

There is one more reason why sexual self stimulation should be avoided: it often attracts sexual spirits called incubi (those appearing to be men) and succubi (those appearing as women).

These demon spirits are responsible for the sexual dreams many men and women frequently have.

These sex demons are also sought after in the occult and can invited by sexual fantasies. When these spirits latch themselves to people, they wield a web around them, draw away their virtues, destroy their potential and pump their demonic garbage into their lives.

In some cases where the demon already resides in the victim, it will control his or her hands to sexually stimulate himself or herself, at times after having an erotic dream.

One of the ways to know if masturbation has led a person into spiritual bondage is that, it becomes a besetting sin and he/she would be having relationship or marital troubles (if married). That individual might be oppressed by a demonic sex partner and may need to be ministered to.

Such persons would tell you that they feel more pleasure when they have sex in dreams with demons (who appear as very beautiful ladies or handsome men) or when they masturbate, unlike with their physical spouses. This problem is a very common one. I have personally met real Christians victimized by it.

The way out

Although there are no specific “formulas” to conquer masturbation, some steps are crucial.

1. Repent and forsake the sin. This involves getting rid of porn or sex materials. Because masturbation feeds off secrecy, sharing your struggles with someone mature is also good, but it’s not compulsory.

2. Know what triggers you. Some masturbation triggers are: depression, porn, indecent dressings, images of past sexual acts, erotic chats or phone calls, stories or TV shows that border on sexual themes.

A guy named Immanuel wrote:

“I can remember heavily masturbating to Rihanna’s Rude Boy’s music video immediately it was released till my organ got painful sores.”

Now if Immanuel is going to maintain his victory, he will have to avoid music videos or lyrics with sexual innuendos. Some are triggered by certain places, smells, gestures, words or objects.

A Christian guy once admitted he gets “triggered” to masturbate once he sees a boxer short. So know your own trigger and address it.

3. Filling one’s heart with God’s Word has a cleansing and renewing power (Ps. 119: 11; Rom. 12:2). Daily meditate on the Bible and control your thoughts

4. Resistance. You can only resist what you dislike. This involves:

a) directly resisting the urge to masturbate by avoiding compromising situations and exercising bodily control (1 Cor. 9:27).

You could be tensed up and unable to sleep and feel tempted to give in to it; but don’t yield. Endure hardness as a soldier and resist the sin (1 Tim. 2:2).

b) standing back on your feet if you have a relapse (Prov. 24:16). Don’t let the devil beat you down with guilt. Some people gain victory quickly, some don’t. Focus on Christ.

c) praying fervently, especially before going to bed. That is how to draw on the power of Christ (Mt. 26:41).

Years ago, a close friend shared with me how God set him free from the bondage of masturbation.

After praying one night, he went to bed and while he was asleep, he felt a strange pressure mount over his body. With his eyes still closed, he felt someone raise his hands up and make him say: “You spirit of masturbation, I renounce you in Jesus’ name!” and the pressure lifted.

Since that day, the urge to masturbate vanished. There is great power in Jesus Christ.

If you are struggling with this sin but not yet born again, I want to tell you that the Lord Jesus Christ died for your sins at the cross of Calvary and rose again for us to have a new life.

Repent of your sins and believe in Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross. Ask Him to forgive your sins and make you a new creature.