The need for deliverance is manifested by an inability to be free from mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual bondage associated with demonic activity or works of the flesh.
Our warfare is with the forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12). Our weapon is the Word of God. The battle involves prayer (Ephesians 6:14-18) with the authority and power given by Jesus (Mark 16:17; Acts 1:8).
Cases of actual demon possession are relatively few compared to those oppressed by the enemy with habits, depression, discouragement, etc. and those in bondage to the works of the flesh.
MINISTERING TO THOSE IN NEED OF DELIVERANCE
Here are some guidelines for ministering to those in need of deliverance:
INQUIRE REGARDING SALVATION:
If you do not know if the person is a Christian, inquire regarding their salvation. Salvation is necessary for true deliverance.
DETERMINE THE SPECIFIC PROBLEM:
Ask the person, “What is the problem?” Their request is in itself an act of faith that can set in motion the deliverance processes (James 5:14-15). Ask for a specific statement of brief facts.
Do not try to psychoanalyze the information you are given. Your function is to minister deliverance. Some unique cases may require privacy and more time for counseling.
These should be referred to the pastoral staff.
Ask the person who is to be prayed for, “Do you believe Jesus can deliver you?” If they answer positively, then ask, “Do you believe Jesus will do it now?” If the answer is “no” to either of these questions, further instruction from God’s Word is needed.
Use the information from the interview and/or the wisdom God has given to you to
determine if the problem is in the:
• Spiritual Realm: Problems related to sin.
• Physical Realm: Bodily sickness caused by demonic spirits of infirmity.
• Emotional Realm: Problems concerning anxiety, fear, anger, bitterness, resentment, guilt, doubt, failure, jealousy, selfishness, confusion, frustration, perfectionism in the energy of the flesh, unforgiveness, and past situations.
• Mental Realm: Problems stemming from negative thinking, attacks of Satan on the mind, mental retardation.
Remember: Because man is a triune being, problems in one realm affect the whole person. As you minister, deal with the whole person, not just one area. Man is body, soul, spirit: Wholeness implies dealing with all of these.
PRAY THE PRAYER OF DELIVERANCE:
Pray a prayer of deliverance which focuses on the specific problem of demonic influence which you have identified.
You do not have to persuade God to deliver by your prayer. Just as salvation is already available, the same is true of deliverance. Just as salvation is based on the condition of faith, so is deliverance. God wants to deliver, just as He wants to save.
Although the power of God is sometimes present in a special way for deliverance (Luke 5:17), you can still pray without a special anointing because Jesus commanded you to do so just as He told you to spread the Gospel.
Jesus taught that first you should bind the enemy, then you can exercise power over him:
Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
If demonic powers are binding in oppression from the outside, pray for their hold to be loosed and their powers to be bound. For example, Jesus loosed the woman in the synagogue from the spirit of infirmity. She was not possessed, but oppressed. A casting out was not necessary.
In cases of demon possession, you have the authority to cast demons out in the name of Jesus. It is not authority in your own power or ability, but in His name. It is important to use the name of Jesus in the actual prayer of casting out the demon. When demon possession is evident, you should seek the assistance of the pastoral staff.
Yelling and screaming is not necessary. It is your authority in the name of Jesus that brings deliverance, not the volume of your voice during the prayer of deliverance.
Do not spend time talking with a demon, should it manifest itself through spoken words. Jesus rebuked demons and told them to be quiet (Luke 4:34-35). Remember that any conversation with demons is dangerous because there are lying spirits. Always forbid the demons to reenter. This is an important part of the prayer of deliverance:
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee come out of him, and enter no more into him. (Mark 9:25)
Do not permit the demons to make a show. When Jesus saw the actions of a demon attracting a crowd, He immediately stopped the performance being staged by the evil spirit and cast it out (Mark 9:25).
Do not attempt to cast demons into Hell. Jesus and His disciples did not do this. We have authority only to bind, loose, and cast out (Matthew 8:29).
PRAISE GOD FOR THE ANSWER:
Follow prayer with praise to God for deliverance. Praise by faith and not by sight. You have done what God’s Word said to do. Believe He has done what He said He would do. Thank Him for it.
In cases of demonic possession, sometimes the demons come out with a struggle, such as crying out or throwing the person on the floor. When demons have departed (whether in possession or oppression), there will be a sense of release, joy, like the lifting of a weight.
PROVIDE FOLLOW-UP INSTRUCTIONS:
After deliverance from demonic forces, the counselee should be led in a prayer of confession, repentance, and renouncing of any sins or involvements connected with the demonic activities. If the person has any occult items (for example idols, voodoo items, witchcraft equipment, etc.), these should be destroyed.
When a demon is cast out, he will seek another body through which to operate. Jesus taught that the departure of evil spirits leaves an empty place. There is danger of a demon
returning to his former victim accompanied by worse spirits (Luke 11:24-26). When a demon is cast out it is restless and discontent outside of a human body. It is only by indwelling and controlling a human life that a demon is able to fulfill Satan’s evil purposes.
This is why casting the spiritual “house” must be filled by the new birth experience and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Follow-up counseling and ministry is necessary. The person should be immersed in the Word of God and prayer and become part of a community of believers.
QUESTIONS ABOUT DELIVERANCE
ARE DEMONS REAL?
The ministry of Jesus demonstrated that demonic spirits are a real force of evil. Jesus accepted the fact that Satan is the ruler of a host of demons. He taught of the reality and power of demons. He said that the casting out of demonic powers was one of the signs that the Kingdom of God had come. Read Matthew 12:22-30, Mark 3:22-27, and Luke 11:14-23 for a summary of what Jesus taught concerning demons.
A large portion of the ministry of Jesus involved dealing with demonic powers. It is the example of Jesus and the authority of His name that provides the Scriptural basis for dealing with demonic powers.
Jesus ministered to all who came with demonic problems. (Acts 10:38)
WHERE DID DEMONS COME FROM?
Lucifer, an archangel from heaven who is known to us as Satan, rebelled against God and was banished from heaven along with his followers. These are evil angels or demon spirits.
WHAT IS THEIR PURPOSE?
Demons are used by Satan to oppose God, His plan and purposes, and His people. They also war against unbelievers to keep them from the truth of the Gospel.
Opposition to God’s will is Satan’s main objective. The word “Satan” means “adversary.” Satan is primarily God’s adversary (Job 1:6; Matthew 13:39). He is, secondarily, man’s adversary (Zechariah 3:1; I Peter 5:8).
HOW DO THEY OPERATE?
Demons control specific territories (principalities) such as the prince of Persia mentioned in Daniel 10:12-13. Demons also work through personalities, through men and women, to accomplish Satanic objectives in the world.
Demons have different natures. One demon identified himself in I Kings 22:23 as a “lying spirit.” A “deaf and dumb” spirit is identified in Mark 9:25.
Demons of various natures operate as spirits of infirmity, seducing spirits, and unclean spirits. Satan uses them to war against man in body, soul, and spirit:
Spirits Of Infirmity:
These are spirits that can afflict the bodies of believers as well as unbelievers. Read Luke 13:10-17. This woman was afflicted with a spirit of infirmity. She was present in the Sabbath services and Jesus called her “a daughter of Abraham.” Both of these facts indicate she probably was a follower of God, yet her body had been afflicted by Satan for eighteen years. For other examples of demonic powers afflicting the body see Matthew 12:22; 17:15-18; Acts 10:38; 2 Corinthians 12:7.
These spirits afflict the spirit of man, seducing him to believe doctrinal lies and be condemned to eternal punishment. They are the spirits of false doctrine, cults, false Christs, and false teachers (1 Timothy 4:1). These seducing spirits are deceptive. They actually work miracles which lead some to believe they are of God (Revelation 16:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10). Seducing spirits include the “spirit of divination” mentioned in Acts 16:16.
Such spirits of divination or “familiar spirits” operate in fortune tellers, witches, and palm, crystal ball, and tea leaf readers. Through unscriptural methods, the spirits of divination claim to foretell the future or discover knowledge which is naturally unknown. Warnings against familiar spirits are given in Leviticus 19:31; 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:9; 18:10; Leviticus 20:27; and 1 Samuel 28:3.
Seducing spirits sear the conscience, seduce, entice, tempt, allure, interest, fascinate, excite, arouse, attract, and deceive. Seducing spirits are operative in every cult and wherever doctrinal error exists. Satan craves worship and he will take it any way he can get it. Seducing spirits entice men and women to worship idols and even Satan himself.
These demonic powers afflict the soulish nature of man. They are responsible for immoral acts, unclean thoughts, temptations and other strategies of Satan used to bind men and women. When Satan controls individuals with unclean spirits, he can also operate in homes, churches, and entire nations as these groups are composed of individuals. This is how Satan works in the various levels of structure in society. For examples of unclean spirits see Matthew 10:1; 12:43; and Mark 1:23- 26.
Evil spirits can oppress people. To oppress means to bear down, come against, or bind from the outside. This oppression is accomplished by evil spirits in various ways. They cause depression, create negative circumstances, and insert wrong thoughts into the mind such as thoughts of suicide, immorality, unbelief, fear, etc. Demons create Satanic circumstances and situations which tempt men to sin (Acts 10:38).
Demons can also possess human beings. Demon possession is a condition in which one or more evil spirits (demons) inhabit the body of a human being and take complete control of their victim at will. Some people prefer using the word “demonized” rather than possession, but regardless of the term, the possessed person is host to resident demons.
Possession can happen willingly. A person may desire to be taken over by spirit powers in order to conduct seances, pronounce curses, become a witch, or secure some other supernatural power.
Possession can also occur unwilling. An individual does not desire to be possessed, but through sinful thoughts, actions, or contact with the occult possession results.
Demonic powers operating in parents and the sins of the parents can affect the next generation (Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Deuteronomy 5:9). This accounts for demon possession or oppression of children such as recorded in Mark 7:24-30 and 9:17- 21.
There is also such a thing as demon obsession. This is a condition where one becomes obsessed by an interest in or preoccupation with demons. It is an unusual interest in the occult, demons, and Satan which controls interests and pursuits in a dictating manner. Such obsession with demon powers can lead to possession by them.
CAN CHRISTIANS BE DEMON POSSESSED?
A true believer cannot be possessed by a demon because the Holy Spirit cannot inhabit the same temple as an evil spirit:
What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
When you belong to God and are filled with the Holy Spirit, you cannot belong to Satan and be filled with his spirits at the same time. The Holy Ghost will not abide in the same “temple” with Satan. But this does not mean believers cannot be affected by demonic powers. It is these powers against which we wrestle.
HOW DO DEMONS GAIN CONTROL?
Demons gain control through several ways:
Generations: Demons may oppress or possess a person because of previous possession or oppression of the parents. This accounts for demonic influence over children (Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Deuteronomy 5:9).
The Mind: The mind is one of the major battlefields of Satan. If Satan can control your thoughts, he will eventually control your actions. Lack of mental control eventually results in lack of use of the will. This leads to sinful actions. Continuing in sinful thoughts and actions can lead from oppression to possession and finally to a reprobate mind such as is described in Romans l. This is a mind
totally controlled by evil thoughts. Demons also gain access through mind-altering drugs which reduce the ability to resist demons and grant increasing access.
“Brain washing” or “mind control” teaching also provides an entrance point.
Sinful Actions: Sinful thoughts are soon fulfilled by sinful actions. For example, the thought of adultery is fulfilled in the actual act of adultery. Sin is rebellion, and rebellious thoughts and actions provides an entry point for demonic activity.
When a believer continues in sinful thoughts or actions they “give place” to the Devil (Ephesians 4:27). More spiritual room is given for the operation of the enemy. Sins of involvement with the occult, including objects, literature, seances, etc., are actions which are especially dangerous and attract demonic powers.
An unbeliever who lives in sin is open not only to oppression of demonic powers, but also possession. People who belong to Satan and have not experienced the new birth in Jesus Christ are his to use, oppress, or possess as he wills.
Desire: Some people desire and request of Satan to be under the control of demon powers for purposes of having supernatural power or performing supernatural acts.
An Empty “House”: Demons consider the body of the person they inhabit as their house (Matthew 12:44). When a person who has been delivered from demonic powers does not fill his spiritual house with the new birth experience and the infilling of the Holy Spirit, reentry may occur.
Permission: Sometimes God grants permission for activities of demonic powers to accomplish special purposes. This can be allowed as a trial of believers as in the case of Job. It can also be judgment for sin as in the case of King Saul.
HOW CAN I DETECT DEMONIC PRESENCE?
The Holy Spirit has provided a special spiritual gift for this purpose. This gift is called “discerning of spirits” (1 Corinthians 12:10). To discern means “to discover, evaluate, and make a distinction between.” The gift of discerning of spirits enables a believer to discern the spirits operating in others. It permits him to discover, evaluate, and identify evil spirits.
Not all believers have this special spiritual gift of discerning of spirits. If a believer does not have this gift there are signs of demonic presence which can be observed. When the Syrophenician woman came to Jesus with an appeal that He cast out an unclean spirit from her daughter, she said “My daughter is grievously vexed with a devil” (Matthew 15:22). How did she know this? She knew it by the symptoms. Detection is simply observing what demonic spirits do to a person.
Here are some symptoms of demonic activity:
Demonic obsession is recognized by an uncontrollable and unusual preoccupation with demons, Satan, or the occult. Such a person may dabble in occult practices, constantly credit everything to Satan or demons, or be preoccupied with the study of demons and Satan.
Demonic oppression can be recognized by the following signs:
- Physical Binding: The “daughter of Abraham” who Jesus relieved of a spirit of infirmity was bound physically (Luke 13:10-17). Chronic sickness may be
demonic oppression. All illness is not caused by demonic powers. Some illness is
caused by a violation of natural laws, such as not eating properly or drinking bad water. Some illness is also chastisement. One King in the Bible who did not give glory to God was stricken with intestinal worms and died!
- Mental Oppression: Disturbances in the mind or thought life such as mental torment, confusion, doubt, loss of memory, etc. Restlessness, inability to reason or listen to others, abnormal talkativeness or reserve may be exhibited.
All mental problems are not caused by Satan. Discouragement, depression, and disorientation can be caused by allergies to certain foods or a wrong chemical imbalance in the brain.
God is able to heal mental problems and illnesses not caused by demonic powers as well as bring deliverance in cases caused by demons. But caution should be taken not to class all illness or mental problems as being caused by demonic spirits. Sometimes a simple change in diet or lifestyle will eliminate a problem if it is caused by natural causes such as improper diet or drinking bad water.
- Emotional Problems: Disturbances in the emotions which persist or recur, including resentment, hatred, anger, fear, rejection, self-pity, jealousy, depression, worry, insecurity, inferiority, etc.
- Spiritual Problems: Extreme difficulties in overcoming sin, including sinful habits. Rejection of spiritual solutions to problems. Any type of doctrinal error or deception, including bondage to objects and literature of the cults.
- Circumstances: Demons can create difficult circumstances which are oppressive. Such circumstances usually involve confusion and can immediately be identified as demonic because God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33; James 3:16).
Demonic possession can be recognized by the following signs:
l. Indwelling Of An Unclean Spirit: Mark 5:2. This is demonstrated by a basic moral uncleanness and filthiness. It might include the desire to go without clothing (see Luke 8:27).
- Unusual Physical Strength: A person shows strength beyond normal capabilities. For examples see Mark 5:3 and Luke 8:29.
- Fits Of Rage: Mark 9:14-29; Luke 8:26-39. These fits may be accompanied by foaming at the mouth.
- Resistance To Spiritual Things: Mark 6:7; 1:21-28. The demons knew Jesus immediately and asked Him to leave them alone. Fear of the name of Jesus, prayer, and the Word and blasphemy of that which is spiritual are all symptoms of demon possession. Excessive blasphemy may be noted or contorted physical features and abrupt behavior changes when spiritual things are mentioned.
- Changes In Personality And/Or Voice: Mark 5:9. A person who is normally shy may become aggressive or violent. Actions as well as appearance may be
affected. Moral character and intelligence may change. Voice may be altered.
- Accompanying Physical Afflictions: In cases of demon possession, these appear most commonly to be afflictions of the mental and nervous system (Matthew 9:33; 12:22; Mark 5:4-5). They can also include a general “pining” or wasting away physically (Mark 9:14-29).
- Self-Inflicted Physical Injury: Matthew 17:14-21. This man’s son would cast himself in the fire. In Luke 8:26-39 this demon possessed man cut himself with stones to inflict physical injury.
- Terrible Anguish: Luke 8:28 relates that this man went about crying because of the terrible inner torments caused by his possession.
- Incapacity For Normal Living: Luke 8:27. This man could not live in society but lived in the tombs of the cemetery.
- Through Unscriptural Methods, The Ability To Foretell The Future Or Discover That Which Is Unknown: The woman in Acts 16:16 is said to be “possessed” by a spirit of divination.
The following also may indicate demonic oppression, possession, or obsession:
• Obsessive immorality such as involvement with pornography, adultery, fornication, masturbation, homosexuality, and other sex sins. Strong compulsions toward eating disorders, suicide, self-mutilation, maiming, and murder.
• Addiction to drugs or alcohol.
• Trances, visions, and meditation which are not focused on or from the one true God.
• Bondage to emotions such as fear, anxiety, depression, hatred, rage, jealousy, backbiting, envy, pride, bitterness, negativism, and criticism.
HOW CAN I BE PROTECTED FROM DEMONIC POWERS?
The most important protection is to receive Jesus Christ as Savior because demons cannot possess a true born-again believer. Keep yourself from sin, for through sin you “give place to the Devil.” You provide opportunity for him to use demonic activities of oppression against you. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Demonic spirits and the spirit of God cannot inhabit the same spiritual vessel.
Avoid an obsessive interest in demons. It is not wrong to study what God’s Word says about them, or courses such as this one which are based on God’s Word. But do not read secular books, attend seances, etc., to learn more about demons. Avoid any contact with the occult. Do not consult witches, shaman, astrologers, horoscopes, card, palm, or tea leaf readers. Do not serve false gods or allow idols to come into your home
Control your mind, your tongue, and select your associates carefully. It is also important to gain victory over the world and the flesh and use your spiritual weapons to wage warfare against demonic powers.
KEY VERSES ABOUT DELIVERANCE
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I cam out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. (Matthew 12:43- 44)
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:10-13
There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits; and they were healed every one. (Acts 5:16)
For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, cam out of many that were possessed with them; and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. (Acts 8:7)
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1)
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
And these signs shall follow them that believe. In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. (Mark 16:17)
Behold, I give unto you power to read on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (Luke 10:19)
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the Devil, and He will flee from you. (James 4:7)
And when He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. (Matthew 10:1)
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