Deliverance Is Just Part of Normal Christianity
Saturday, 24 January 2009 13:49 (slightly updated March 2014)
Leviticus 17,7: "And let them no longer slaughter their slaugterings to demons, after whom they whored. This is a law forever for them throughout their generations."
Mark 1,32-34: "And when evening came, when the sun had set, they brought to him all who were sick and those who were demon possessed. And the entire city had gathered at the door. And he healed many that were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons, and was not allowing the demons to speak, because they knew him."
Matthew 10,1: "And having called His twelve disciples near, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every bodily weakness."
The Hebrew scriptures are almost silent as to the existence of demons. There's Levitcus 17,7 above and the deliverances of King Saul by David, by playing sacred music 1Sam16,14-23. Anybody plagued by demons should firstly turn up some good Christian music.
Gospel music is to deliverance what tilling hard soil is to farming.
Demons in traditional Hebrew theology were more associated with foreign beliefs from Persia, or uneducated folklore, or that "pretender" Yeshua and his contentious era. Thus, mainstream Rabbinic Judaism has avoided teaching on deliverance, for it risks sounding "too Christian." The other part of it is that traditional Mosaic Judaism basically teaches, and I'm not being flippant, that if you follow the Mosaic Law, live a repentant life, particpate generously in the faith community, everything should be OK. Many Christians believe similarly- if we just go to church everything will be ok.
The spirit realm just wasn't and still isn't the focus of traditional Judaism, and the era when it began to be- about 200BC and thereafter- was apocalyptic, messianic, and culminated in the Christian sect led by Jesus who specialized in these matters.
Thus, traditional Judaism, which didn't accept Christ, didn't accept the sort of foreign seeming work of deliverance.
It is clear that the demon possessed and the very sick in the time of Jesus were no longer welcome in the Temple. It apparently had no remedies for them. They were unclean, unfit for the assembly. Thus, Jesus messiah of Israel, came to deliver these Temple exiles, which included the chronically sick, back to his Father's house. The Brit Hadassah, the new covenant, is all about the the law of Grace, God agreeing to live inside of anyone, and thus the general ability of all Christians to have victory in the spirit realm, to heal the sick and deliver the captives.
At Mark1,33 we see this excluded-from-the-temple dynamic in the healing of the former leper (deliverance is part of this same healing-Temple worthiness context of Mark 1): "go show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses ordered as a witness to them." In other words, "go show them what I'm doing-restoring folks to the temple-what they are supposed to be doing, making the Temple a house of prayer for all people. And, by the way, if they want to do the same, they should follow me."
The Law and it's Temple Priesthood had no answer to restore the sick and demon possessed. An occasional prophet in the past may have had healing or deliverance powers, the Judahite King David, Elijah, Elisha. But Jesus showed and brought this new and broadly given power by sending down the Holy Ghost, so that deliverance and healing powers and all manner of authority would be exercised by anyone who had the faith to do so.
Deliverance-healing was the first thing Jesus did- before preaching, before an assembly of any kind, before anyone gave him any title, before he started his church.
When it comes to deliverance, it's also worth noting what Jesus didn't do:
He didn't make people feel bad about being demon possessed. It was just an ever present reality of the spirit realm.
He didn't say "you are a bad Jew and that's why you have a demon."
He didn't say "you haven't tithed" and that's why you are sick or demon possessed.
He didn't even say you had to profess your faith in him to get delivered.
Instead, He just did it, as the first order of business- "come out" and they did. Deliverance sets the stage for faith, and service. It begins it. It makes everything easier.
I've done over 1000 deliverances. But there is no room for complicated expertise here, there is merely a willingness, a why-not-nowness in the face of hurting folks.
Yes, it's best if people repent and profess faith in Christ before they are delivered. Better if they can enter a bible church that will support their continued healthiness. Better if they are willing to change their habits of mind and heart that their demons have influenced for so long, better if they understand which open door to their soul gave them the demons in the first place.
Better if they realize the demons came from: their own really bad sin (one is enough); someone elses' really bad sin against them (one time is enough, and this is unfair, but that's the way it is); a family curse like alcoholism or anger, or battering what 1Pt.1,18 calls "futile conduct;" playing with Quija boards; dressing up as a witch or wizard; doing-selling drugs; asking satan for help; living by horoscopes; lusting after power money, or sex; or whatever sin taken to the max.
But all thee background details are secondary to actually doing the deliverance. Yes Jesus surely read hearts and knows the details of how and why and when people got demonized, but his main point was simply: "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. You have received without paying, give without being paid." (Mt. 10.8)
Cast out demons. Do it. Don't make the problem bigger than it is.
Yes there are some guidelines, and patterns, and gifts associated with healing and deliverance. I studied Charles Krafts' stuff (a scholar at Fullerton Theological Seminary), after a providential meeting in Roswell, NM in 1999, like "Deep Wounds, Deep Healing" (1994) or "I give you Authority" (1997) and have watched and learned from others, but I also know from doing deliverance that "now" per God's inspiration is way more important than expertise and background info.
Now some modern-day church folks say these commands were just for the first church prior to the "New" Testamant scripture being written down. And these commands and gifts are not needed now because we can go to Jesus directly. That's head in the sand foolishness!
We follow the messiah of Israel and every faith instuition in Israel passed down it's rightful laws and practices to further generations, ongoing communities, and authorized folks to speak and act for God. Christ knew that, and said we would do greater things than even he did. So if apostles then were commanded to heal and deliver, there's no reason any Christian can't be commanded now to do the same, by scripture and the Holy Ghost.
We Chrstians are called to do more than read the bible and pray to Jesus. We are told to get our hands dirty so to speak. Deliverance is an integral part of Christianity, and demons are every bit as strong today as they were in Jesus' day. Perhaps stronger. To not do deliverance today is like Moses pompously and evasively praying to God, to part the Red Sea, when God has already told him to raise the staff and do it himself. We are partners with God, laying down our life for folks. Yes He gets the glory, but we do the glory of the word, just as sure as we say "yes" to faith initially, and yes and amen to all the promises. Or not.
Now scripture teaches clearly that apostasy is a sign of the end times. Apostasy is good and saved folk gone bad. And what will be satan's chief weapon in turning us away from Christ and becoming faithers gone bad?
The Lord revealed to me satan's chief weapon, something I wouldn't have ever thought, has always been demonic possession that attacks our personal salvation and witness and effectiveness and thus the health of the entire body of Christ.
So apostasy is not just upon us because of disagreements about theological fine points and different styles of worship or legalistic turf battles and denominational church survival strategies. It's upon us because folks within the ranks of the apparently saved have subtlely given up on life long discipleship and biblical sanctifcation and spreading the whole gospel in favor of the selfishness and the Babylonian keeping up of religious appearances. And this has led to many of God's people, upon whom he has great compassion, getting demonized all over again.
Think of it- Christ and the apostles took pains to liberate the initial church from demon possession, but now what has happened? It has gone by the wayside and most stake their confidence not on their first and present love of Christ, but on one long ago profession of faith or dedication to God. "For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, thankless, wrongdoers, unloving, unofrgiving, slanderers, without self control, fierce, haters of good, betrayers, reckless, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of reverance but denying it's power. Turn away from these." 2Tm3,1-5. Turn away from these folks in the church because they are apostates, full of demons!
Literally, verse 5 here says folks in the church will have a husk of reverance, but no power within. We say "nature abhors a vacuum." Likewise the spirit realm abhors a vacuum. If the husk is empty of God, satan rushes to fills it with demons. That's what we have now. The shell of religion on the outside and invisible demons robbing folks of their true faith. Thus, the word says "Stay away from apostate souls" Don't become like them, so comfortable, so confident of their "Lord Lord," so powerless in their personal witness, so demon possessed, again.
My friends the church can't afford to lay aside deliverance from it's midst, because the very church that thinks it doesn't need delverance anymore, needs deliverance.
Here's some experiential percentage estimates that have a direct bearing on deliverance:
1. 75% of "Pentecostals" still have demons (English Pentecostal Bible teacher Derek Prince, RIP)
Even those baptized in the Spirit? How could this happen? I don't know exactly, take it up with God! Most healing is progressive and not all at once, like for the blind guy saw the trees clearly, but only gradually.
Demons can hide themselves everywhere, in the smallest of "places" of our souls, hearts, bodies, minds, emotions, memories, not to mention in our "good" habits, or our "good" character! They can hide in doubt, or lack of faith, in that secret place of pride. Are you getting it? In the folds of our death struggle with self righteousness and our flesh. These small "places" may not yet get fully filled by the wave of mercy that is baptism in the Spirit, but they do not in fact prevent baptism in the Spirit. That's what I have seen too.
I spoke recently with a dedicated Apostolic Pastor (Pentecostal in practice) and when he heard that deliverance healing was part of my service to the Lord, the first thing he asked me was "can someone baptized in the Spirit, have demons?" Yes, it's like your lawn, almost perfect, but some dandelions poke through, because the roots run deep and can be evasively subtle.
2. About 40-50% of folks who attend Pentecostal or Bible believing churches that accept baptism in the Spirit, are not really baptized in the Spirit, or show no evidence of that.
Perhaps they prayed for it, or had hands laid on for it, or babbled tongues on cue to get the pastor off their backs, as if tongues is the only evidence of Spirit baptism.
Or, they are too embarressed to ask again for it, or there is no one who otherwise has pastoral discernment to follow up and press in to this vital baptism. I know some folks are going to bristle, but this is what I have seen and God has confirmed, and taught me.
Each of us knows in our spirit man that Spirit baptism requires change and courage. That's why I agree with Gene Scott who said "faith is 90% courage and only 10% trust." It takes courage to accept nothing less than Baptism in the Holy Ghost.
Or, they lost their baptism in the Spirit, just as Saul lost his kingly anointing by not doing what the Lord said.
Or, they need a deliverance before they can receive this baptism, in their personal instance, because their demons, their doubt or some other difficulty is blocking that from happening.
3. 40% of people who have demons have the demon of anger.
There is nothing like anger that does satan's work. Perhaps this is why Jesus warned us about sleeping on only only one emotion, and that was anger.
Some other basic observations regarding deliverance:
1. Folks who have demons have a root demon, a big one, like anger, unforgiveness, hate, fear, lust or greed, based on their particular life story, but these are the most common.
Root demons can be adequately described by the biblical word "stronghold" in that they become more powerful in one's mind and habits. For example, fear is a stronghold that even some bible believing churches feed, and it's a root demon, and it paralyzes folks.
The root demon covers and heads up, a ranked group of lesser demons, depending how much demon possession that person has. So say for example, "anger" is the root demon- you cast it out and the rest usually two or three more, will go even easier. The root demon is often tied to a readily identifiable "event" (I use "event" to avoid all the baggage of the many words that could be listed here) that opened the door to the root demon, and later reaction demons, all of which the afflicted person and others in their lives might remember.
2. The root demon can be and is often different than the "symptom" demon.
For example, the sympton demon might be unforgiveness, but the root demon is anger at the unforgiven person. The anger came first, it's stronger, but unforgiveness is the symptom, the one everyone sees. To cast out the unforgivenes and miss the "anger" would just create "space" for another demon to come in, or the unforgveness to come right back.
3. Details about the demonic opening "event" are rarely the concern of the delivereror (Christ in us is the power! And He was no busybody).
God provides these details to the deliveror on a need to know basis, whereby the info either helps do the deliverance itself, or helps heal the person being delivered, and such details are only shared kindly and after reflection and direction form the Lord.
4. Anger is the most common demon in our culture, then unforgiveness, then hatred.
These are the Big Three, then greed, lust, and foolishness. While these are the major demons, go with the specific root demon revealed by God and cast that out, and don't get hung up why some folks' demons are more specific than others.
5. Possession by satan himself or complete control of a person's actions and words is very, very rare, and so "Hollywood."
These matters should be left to those experienced and those called to do it.
6. Demon possession does not excuse poor choices, but it certainly helps to explain them.
Some people afflicted are more free, some less, based on their faith level, life skills, maturity, physical condition, mental strength of will and spirit, but absent total posession by satan, we remain free, and more or less responsible for all our actions. But oh if all Christians slogged around in the fruitful mire of deliverance, there would be a whole lot more mercy in our church and our culture.
7. Certain cultures and cities within cultures are more prone to certain demons, than others, based on the biggest sins in that culture, and the religious practices and political and cultural history of that culture.
New York City's stronghold is greed. Washington's is lust, and so on based on specific history. See Charles Kraft, PHD cultural anthropologist at Fuller Theological Seminary, who has had great suceess delivering folks coming from Asia to California.
8. Sometimes the very sin committed by the person will be the very name of the demon.
Thus , the sin of unforgiveness is often "unforgiveness." Hey, unforgiveness is a big dam between God and us. It's such a big deal, that folks often deny it when they are being delivered. "I did that a long time ago."
Don't take their word for it. Say "well you may be right, but let's make sure." And then ask them to give all that "unforgiveness" to Jesus at the cross, then cast it out. If five in a hundred times you were wrong and it already has been cast out, but still hangs in the air, rejoice with the person that the demon was/is gone, and say "just making sure." There's nothing wrong with some belts and suspenders in this ministry- this is no different than a medical doctor briefly inquiring and reviewing one's medical history.
But when dealing with demons and sensitive topics like this one doesn't necessarily believe everything folks say. Some people minimize and some dramatize, and some some rightfully hold back. And likewise be gentle, Jesus was always gentle, don't insist that they should know or remember anything of the events that caused the demonization. Hear and then do only what God says, while respecting folks' dignity and freedom.
9. Sometimes the particular sin is not the name of the demon. Thus, similar groups of sins like drunkedness, abuse of drugs, and promiscuity, credit card sprees, are "foolishness." Foolishness is another big dam between us and God.
The demon of "Foolishness"- his stock has risen 100% in the last 7 years! It is perhaps the most prominant demon in this day and age. So watch out- we who think we are wise!
10. Demons that possess individuals are distinct from the powers and principalities and world rulers of Ephesians 6, which are territorial spirits.
Demons are the evil ground forces of satan. Powers and principalities and world rulers are the evil air forces of satan.
11. Demons once cast out do not return unless they gain an access by some sin or abuse or invitation that is similarly severe to their original entrance.
In other words, delivered people should be confident and live their faith with greater freedom and joy, though they still will face external (less difficult) spiritual warfare, especially in the areas of the prior weakness-demonization.
Not A Big Deal-But A Big Blessing
Deliverance is no big deal to do, like a surgeon or dentist doing routine work.
But just as routine surgery and dentistry is a big blessing to the person in need, so is deliverance.
It's a normal part of our faith in action.
It's crucial in equipping the saints.
It, not theological debates, is Christianity's best defense against mounting apostasy. It has always been the first step for outsiders coming into the Faith Temple.
Good folks who profess Jesus, folks we love, in the pulpit, in the choir, on the right path to heaven, baptized in the Spirit or not, still sometimes need this type of healing.
In eighteen years of doing deliverance and seeing hundreds of adult folks be born again for the first time I only recall one who did it so wholeheartedly and enthusiastically that she did not need a deliverance.
Her soul was so ready, so born again-baptized in the Spirit upon her profesion she didn't need a deliverance. If she had any demons, they checked out as soon as she had faith.
So, I'll concede to my evangelical firends (who deny that baptism in the Holy Ghost is usually a distinct event), that it is possible for baptism in the Spirit to happen upon a repentant faithful profession, but here at this ministry we teach that regardless of when baptism in the Spirit happens it is one of thee three biblical milestones for everyone-profession, baptism in water as an adult in Jesus NAME, and baptism in the Spirit. Deliverance is directly connected to all three of these events and is part of the initial biblical gospel for all people.
Deliverance can happen upon repentant profession, at water baptism, or at baptism in the Spirit, at a planned deliverance, or any other moment of committed faith, the sooner it is realized the better, the sooner the better being our biblical standard.
It happens most often when someone obeys Jesus and His word and casts them out, thus setting God's people free, for service in God's church, which is governed by the norms of God's word.
That's a pastoral introduction to deliverance.
Dear friends and brothers and sisters in Jesus, particularly pastors and mature prayer partners- you are welcome to contact Br. Tobin for counsel in this area on behalf of folks you think are in need: 203.200.9177. Please secure the permission of the person you think needs prayer prior to your call or contact.
It is best if the person in need of prayer has church backing and support, the blessing and use of a sanctified facility, and a faithful Christian friend ( a "sponsor" type) for encouragment and accountability, for further contact and follow-up.