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BRINGING BALANCE

TO THE DELIVERANCE DOCTRINE/“MINISTRY”


I may get some flak and pushback from the demon chasers, but this has been an increasing burden in my heart to bring balance to some of the excesses and extremes and abuses I’m seeing in the so-called deliverance “ministry” today.


Every 25-30 years there are cycles of extreme teachings and practices that come around in the body of Christ. I saw the craze over demons and deliverance in the 1980s.


For example, in that decade during the height of the teaching on spiritual warfare with demons over cities, one zealous group dressed in army fatigues rented the 60th floor of a building, so they could be closer to the prince of the power of the air and do battle with him. Zero scripture on this folks. Not even close.


During this same period of time, there was also an extreme practice of casting out devils where people were expected to vomit them out, and the candidates for deliverance had to bring buckets and toilet tissue to these so called deliverance meetings in expectation of demons coming out of their mouths. Zero scripture on that, too as far as a practice.


IT’S HAPPENING AGAIN TODAY


Now, the same sort of thing is happening today. Due to the emphasis and momentum of the popular movie, “Come Out In Jesus Name!”, we are seeing virtually the same craze. I’m not going to contest any results or fruit that is coming forth from any of these deliverance efforts. I rejoice when people are truly set free. But undoubtedly, there has been great error through overemphasis.


There is also one group now that goes into detail concerning every demon ruler of different cities, regions, and nations, and this group does battle in prayer against those demons. Again, zero scripture on that folks. I appreciate zeal but excessive zeal without wisdom and understanding will undoubtedly bring more harm than good in the long run.


THE MOST OBVIOUS EXTREME


One obvious extreme I am seeing is the focus given to casting demons out of believers. First of all, although a demon can oppress and harass the mind or body of any believer, he cannot have a demon in his spirit. The Holy Spirit does not share the same dwelling place with any demon.


Secondly, if a true believer is being oppressed or harassed by a demon, then he had to give place or access to it. If you set him free and then don’t teach him how to close that door and stay free he could become worse later.


Thirdly, we cannot mistake or confuse a work of the flesh for a demon. I find that most believers have flesh problems, not demon problems. The devil gets credit for many things much to his delight.


Fourthly, one young proponent of deliverance, and what he calls the most important message in the body of Christ right now, says that casting out demons is the first sign that should follow believers (Mark 16:17). But what he missed in that passage is that these signs are ministered after preaching the gospel to the world, not to believers. We are to bring deliverance to the world, not necessarily to already born again believers.


NOT ONE EXAMPLE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT


You cannot find one case in the New Testament of a demon being cast out of a believer. No one in the gospels was a believer yet, so don’t look for examples there. In the book of Acts neither Simon the sorcerer nor Ananias and Saphira qualify as having a demon (They both have been used as examples of needing deliverance), but they had a serious heart problem influenced by demonic deception, but they didn’t have a demon.


Furthermore, the human will is stronger than any demon. If even a sinner doesn’t want a demon he more than likely won’t have one. As a sinner, I was deceived and blinded by Satan, but I never had a demon. And if I did, when I came to repentance and surrendered to Christ that demon scattered and never returned.


LIMITED AUTHORITY


Moreover, you cannot overide another person’s will. If he in fact has a demon, and refuses to repent and renounce any sin or disobedience or rebellion that opened the door to demons you really can’t help him.


Even when you discern a demon in someone’s life your authority is still very limited. You can pray for them, and even command the demons away from them, but if they willfully live in sin and rebellion and never repent, those demons don't have to obey you. At best they may find relief for a time, but when the demons return they will yield again to them, and the cycle begins all over again. Sadly, I’m

afraid this is happening more often than these demon chasers would like to admit.


NO DELIVERANCE OR DEMON TALK IN THE LETTERS TO THE CHURCHES


There is hardly any mention of demons or deliverance in the letters written to the New Testament churches except to resist them (James 4:7) and to give no place to them (Ephesians 4:27).


For example, some members of the body of Christ in Ephesus, before they came to Christ, were involved in deep occultic practices (remember Acts 19 records they burned their books on the occult when they came to the Lord). So we would expect Paul to write about demons extensively in his letter to the Ephesians - but we don't see that. Instead we see prayers for the eyes of their understanding to be opened, for them to be strengthened by the Spirit of God in their inner man, and so on. Those prayers in Ephesians 1 and 3 are focused on Christ in them and walking in who they are in Him.


WORKS OF THE FLESH OR DEVIL?


In fact, even when naming the works of the flesh, no works of the devil are mentioned. Even “witchcraft” or “sorcery”as well as idolatry and several sexual sins mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21 is not called demonic but works of the flesh.


I’d rather hear a donkey bray in a tin barn at midnight than to hear some Christians espouse the deliverance ministry and call it a priority in the body of Christ. Frankly, that is demeaning the finished work of Christ and the power of His Blood.


Also Romans 13: 14 tells us: “Put on the Lord Jesus, and don't make provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof."


The devil gets much more blame for the private sins of believers than he is responsible for. There is no demon mentioned here by Paul. Instead he tells born again believers to deal with their flesh.


I got more to say on this, but this is sufficient for now. Thanks for your time. I hope this teaching is a blessing.


NOTE: we are starting an online school of the Word and Spirit with some Bible courses. First one is up. Check it out under book section. Below is only a photo, not a link.


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