The Ministry of Deliverance
This article is directed towards pastors, ministers, and anybody who is interested in entering the ministry of deliverance. It will give you a brief overview of what you should know before entering this ministry, and how to effectively prepare yourself for this ministry.
Many people enter this ministry with barely any knowledge of what they are doing, and it's given the ministry of deliverance a bad name in many people's eyes, because of failed deliverances, unsuccessful ministering, and people walking away still in bondage, because the minister didn't really understand what the root of the problem was in that person's life
The purpose of this article is to point you in the right direction and to prepare you for this ministry, so you will be ready to help and minister to a wide variety of people, in a wide variety of bondages, and bring them into complete freedom in Christ! This article alone is by no means a complete manual, it was never intended to be, but it will give you an overview of what you will need to learn before entering this ministry.
The purpose of ministering deliverance
Guess what? This ministry isn't about demons! That's right! It's about guiding and helping our brothers and sisters come into the victory that Christ died to give them! The purpose of ministering deliverance is to set free those who are in bondage. As Jesus was sent fourth to preach deliverance to the captives (Luke 4:18, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to... preach deliverance to the captives..."), so we are also sent out (John 20:21, "Then said Jesus to them... as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.") to do the works He did (John 14:12, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also..."), and this includes casting out of devils (Matthew 10:8).
The ministry of deliverance is about bringing spiritual victory and freedom to those who are in bondage. It doesn't matter what you call it (demonized, possessed, oppressed, etc.), if they are in demonic bondage, whether they need to tear down a stronghold, break up a legal ground, cast a demon out, or all three... it's still deliverance, because it's setting the captives free. Casting out demons, is just part of the overall ministry of deliverance.
Four important elements of this ministry
This is where I see some deliverance ministries miss the mark. They think it's as simple as commanding the demon to come out, and there's nothing more they can do. This is a grave mistake that causes a lot of people to walk away from a deliverance still in bondage. There is more to it than simply casting out demons. In Luke 9:42, we are told a story of how Jesus not only rebuked demons in a boy who was mentally affected by evil spirits, but also is said to have healed the boy. There is no mention of the boy needing physical healing, but if you look up the word healed in this passage, one of the meanings is, "to free from errors and sins...", which is likely what Jesus did with the boy, Jesus removed the boy's legal grounds (sins) and freed him from errors (strongholds). This case of deliverance required more then just rebuking demons!
There have been times when I have successfully helped people out of their demonic bondages, without even having to cast out demons! Sometimes all that is needed is the pulling down of a stronghold, or a breaking up of a legal right. Other times, all three areas need to be addressed to bring the person into complete freedom.
A educated deliverance minister should be knowledgeable with all three of these very important elements, and be prepared to address them without hesitation:
Inner healing: Many times when a person has been abused, rejected, wounded, or hurt in some way, there is an emotional wound that needs to be healed. Demons will use these wounds and weaknesses against the person, as leverage to hold them in bondage and get them to re-open doors so that they can re-enter. Inner healing is a vital step in the overall restoration process that needs to take place in the lives of many who are seeking deliverance. There is more information on this process in the teaching Steps to Inner Healing.
Tearing down strongholds: Strongholds are incorrect thinking patterns that people develop over time, and are often set up and nurtured by demons through lies and deception. Demons thrive on strongholds, and use them to hang around a person and torment them. I recommend reading the teaching on Strongholds for a clear insight into exactly what a stronghold is, and how to go about tearing them down. Failing to tear down strongholds can hold up a deliverance and prevent us from walking in complete spiritual freedom.
Removing legal rights: Legal rights are things that give demons permission to enter and remain in our lives. Before demons can often be cast out, it is important to address and remove these legal rights. The teaching on Legal Rights lists the most common legal rights and how you can go about removing them. Failing to remove legal rights can hold up a deliverance very easily.
Casting out the demons: This requires two basic elements: knowledge of your authority in Christ Jesus over the powers of the enemy, and faith in that authority. Demons are cast out with a simple spoken command, such as, "I command the spirit of fear to come out in the name of Jesus!" You can learn more about your authority and how it works from the teaching on Spiritual Authority.
I believe it is usually a good idea to give the person requesting deliverance a Deliverance Questionnaire that will give you an overview of their background, the bondages they are facing, the root or source of their problem, as well as legal grounds, strongholds and any particular spirits that need to be addressed. Then begin to work with them to receive inner healing, break up any legal grounds, and tear down any strongholds you see in their life and of course, cast out any demons that need to go.
It is always helpful to have a general idea of what the different common demons are, what they do and how they enter, how they usually operate, etc. For example, the Bible speaks of spirits that cause physical health problems such as the spirit of infirmity, blindness, deafness, etc. along with spirits that cause fear and depression (King Saul), mental illness, etc. The teaching on Demon Possession is a good place to start and will help you begin to understand how demons affect us, and what it really means to be 'possessed with a demon'. I don't necessarily recommend reading occult books or books on demons that were not written by solid Christian ministers, because that can cause you to pick up demons yourself! Whatever you do, don't wander into the dark world to learn about it! The best place to learn about demons, is from the Bible itself! Whatever you can't find in the Bible, you can learn from other solid Christian ministers such as Derek Prince, Frank Hammond, or Doris Wagner.
Don't lose insight on what really matters
Do you know what bothers me? When I see people placing so much of their focus on demons, curses, and what the enemy is up to, that they lose their focus on Jesus and what the true purpose of this ministry is all about. It is important not to lose sight of what Jesus has done for us, the goodness of God, and what the true purpose of this ministry is all about. It's not about the demons at all, it's all about what Jesus has done for us on the cross, and helping fellow brothers and sisters in Christ come into and walk in that freedom in their lives.
Fear-driven ministries: One thing that I like to watch out for, is fear-driven ministries. I call them fear-driven, because they often put a lot of fear into people that is NOT from God, and is completely unnecessary. They don't show you the love of Christ and build you up, instead they are good at giving you warnings and telling you how serious of a condition you are in, or how badly you messed up and how serious your sin is, etc. They tell you that if you aren't careful, the demons will return and you'll be worse off the second time than the first (which is true if you are a sinner, but that doesn't apply to believers). They give you the impression that you're in serious danger and if you don't follow their instructions to the tee, you aren't going to be set free. They overall speak a lot of fear and condemnation to you, which can set you on the edge of your seat sometimes. By the time you are done, you could be worse off than before, because of all the false lies and deception they feed people who are in bondage. I do not affiliate myself with these kinds of ministries, and I don't support them. I like to keep 95% of my attention on God's goodness, and 5% on kicking the enemy out. I myself have experienced "bad ministering" before, so I know what it's like. I walked away worse off than I came. The more I began to see through their tactics (and some of the areas they were WAY off), the better I felt. But I didn't let that stop me from receiving TRUE deliverance ministry, and thank God... true deliverance ministry is well worth the wait!
Always remember this important point: It's not about the demons... it's about the children of God receiving and walking in the freedom that Christ died to give them!
Free in Christ by Pablo Bottari
They Shall Expel Demons by Derek Prince
Unbound by Neal Lozano
Free at Last by Larry Huch
Breaking Generational Curses & Pulling Down Strongholds by Vito Rallo
Demons & Deliverance by H. A. Maxwell Whyte
Pigs in the Parlor by Frank & Ida Mae Hammond
How to Cast out Demons by Doris M. Wagner
Seductions Exposed - The spiritual dynamics of relationships by Dr. Gary L. Greenwald
Blessing or Curse: You can choose by Derek Prince