Usually that scripture is used in relation to judicial committees and how they judge someone's repentance.
They make it sound that using the Bible and through prayer they some how determine what God has decided in heaven...bound in heaven.
It follows along pretty much how the WTS "interprets" the prophecies in the Bible...interpretations that have to be adjusted and clarified as God supposedly makes things more clear instead of making them clear in the first place.
These verses read: "Truly I say to you men, Whatever things you may bind on earth will be things bound in heaven, and whatever things you may loose on earth will be things loosed in heaven. Again I truly say to you, If two of you on earth agree concerning anything of importance that they should request, it will take place for them due to my Father in heaven. For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst."
Matthew 18:18-20 (Amplified Bible)
18 Truly I tell you, whatever you forbid and declare to be improper and unlawful on earth must be what is already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit and declare proper and lawful on earth must be what is already permitted in heaven. 19 Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them.
Matthew 18:18-20 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
18 I assure you: Whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed in heaven. 19 Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them."
As the NewWorldTranslation (here quoted) and some other translations show, the things that are ?bound? or ?loosed? on earth are things that have already been ?bound? or ?loosed? in heaven. The Greek words here used literally mean "having been bound" or "having been loosed," which are in the perfect tense, passive voice. In other words, the tense suggests that the action had already been decided upon in heaven and is merely reflected in what is subsequently decided upon on earth by those who wish to reflect "wisdom from above." (Jas. 3:17, 18) "Bound" would refer to being found guilty for punishment; "loosed" would refer to being found innocent.
These words of Jesus follow his discussion of the procedure that should be followed if a servant of God has a major "fault" to take up with his brother. (Verses 15-17) This could lead to the charge being taken up by the "congregation" in that the matter would come before the responsible brothers in the congregation for review and judgment. If the charge was proved true and sufficiently gross, with the individual showing no repentance, the result would be that this one would be considered as "a man of the nations and as a tax collector." He would be disfellowshiped. All of this, of course, would require deliberations. And these deliberations are what Jesus had reference to in verses 18 to 20.
Since holy spirit would come to Jesus? disciples through Jesus from and after Pentecost 33 C.E., it could be said that "where there are two or three gathered together in my [Jesus?] name, there I am in their midst." All gathered to review the matter would need to be alert to the leadings of Jehovah?s spirit. Particularly would they need to weigh matters carefully in the light of his Word, including the instructions and teachings of Jesus, to see what Jehovah?s mind would be on the alleged conduct and what should be done if the evidence proves the charge as being true and the individual does not repent. Of course, those weighing matters impartially might find the accused innocent, or there may be insufficient evidence.
In the first century, Christians had miraculous operations of Jehovah?s holy spirit in some matters of judgment, such as in the judgment of Ananias and Sapphira. (Acts 5:1-11; 1 Cor. 12:4-11) After miraculous gifts of the spirit ceased with the death of the apostles, Christians have not expected direct miraculous indications from heaven as to how a matter should be decided. (1 Cor. 13:8-13) Nevertheless, we still have what Jehovah?s Word says about proper conduct and how matters should be decided. We can, in effect, determine what has already been decided on a matter in the heavens.Admittedly, due to human imperfections, mistakes in judgment are made at times, but this only emphasizes even more the need to adhere closely to the instructions in Jehovah?s Word in handling matters so as to be assured that what is decided is what has already been decided in heaven.
I have not to date seen anywhere that the WTS says that they "bind" on earth and then tell God what to do or think on the matter. But it is enough that they say that the rank and file can only access God through them to learn the thoughts of God.
Additional WT comments:
In handling matters this way, the elders do not make up their own standards of judgment. They apply Bible principles and closely follow Scriptural procedures that Jehovah set out. Hence, any forgiving or not forgiving on the part of the elders would be in the sense of Jesus? words at Matthew 18:18: "Truly I say to you men, Whatever things you may bind on earth will be things bound in heaven, and whatever things you may loose on earth will be things loosed in heaven." Their actions would simply reflect Jehovah?s view of matters as presented in the Bible.
Elders acting in a judicial capacity should remember that the real Judges of each case are Jehovah and Christ Jesus. Recall what the judges in Israel were told: "It is not for man that you judge but it is for Jehovah; and he is with you in the matter of judgment. And now let the dread of Jehovah come to be upon you. . . . This is how you should do that you may not incur guilt." (2 Chronicles 19:6-10) With reverential fear, the elders judging a case should do their utmost to be sure that Jehovah is really ?with them in the matter of judgment.? Their decision should accurately reflect the way Jehovah and Christ consider the matter. What they symbolically ?bind? (find guilty) or ?loose? (find innocent) on earth should be what has already been bound or loosed in heaven?as revealed by what is written in the inspired Word of God. If they pray to Jehovah in Jesus? name, Jesus will be "in their midst" to help them. (Matthew 18:18-20, footnote; TheWatchtower, February 15, 1988, page 9) The atmosphere at a judicial hearing should show that Christ is truly in their midst.
In matters involving serious violations of God?s law, responsible men in the congregation would have to judge matters and decide whether a wrongdoer should be "bound" (viewed as guilty) or "loosed" (acquitted). Did this mean that heaven would follow the decisions of humans? No. As Bible scholar Robert Young indicates, any decision made by the disciples would follow heaven?s decision, not precede it. He says that verse 18 should literally read: What you bind on earth "shall be that which has been bound (already)" in heaven.
Really, it is unreasonable to think that any imperfect human could make decisions that would be binding upon those in the heavenly courts. It is much more reasonable to say that Christ?s appointed representatives would follow his directions so as to keep his congregation clean. They would do this by making a decision based on principles already laid down in heaven. Jesus himself would guide them in doing this.?Matthew 18:20.
At Matthew 18:18 (NW) Jesus says to all his apostles: "Truly I say to you men, Whatever things you may bind on earth will havebeen bound in heaven and whatever things you may loose on earth will havebeen loosed in heaven." Thus Jesus did not tell Peter and the other apostles that heaven would wait upon their decision and would afterward confirm and abide by their decision on earth. No; but whatever Peter and his fellow apostles might decide on earth, it would be the thing that had already been bound or loosed in heaven and Peter and his fellows would be merely expressing the prior decision of heaven. Thus heaven would not be dictated to from the earth upward, but the apostles on earth would be directed Theocratically from heaven downward. And so by the simple translation of the periphrastic form of the verb, without the insertion of any added words, the NewWorldTranslation disposes of a doctrinal error.