Serious questions that we need to be asking!
There are a lot of misunderstandings about whom the deliverance ministry is meant for. This teaching rises some very important questions that cannot be realistically overlooked. I want you to consider these questions and keep in mind that Jesus referred to deliverance ministry as children's bread.
Matthew 15:26, "But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs."
How are you supposed to cast a demon out of somebody who is spiritually defiled? When a person involves themselves in evil practices, it defiles them spiritually and makes them vulnerable to receive unclean spirits. When removing demons, it is vital to first remove their legal rights, then preceed to drive out the demons. The truth is that unless a person has accepted Christ and repented of their sins, they are spiritually defiled and the demons have a right to be there. This is why Jesus said that if we cast demons out of the wicked generation, they will return with 7 more even worse evil spirits. The Bible tells us clearly that it is through the forgiveness of sins that our legal grounds are removed and the demons are disarmed. Of course this also means that if a person does not receive that forgiveness, then the demons are not disarmed. You are going into a situation where the enemy has a right to operate in their life.
Colossians 2:13-15, "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
Why would you cast a demon out of somebody, who will receive 7 more even worse demons when it returns? When we cast demons out of non-believers, we are setting them up for disaster because the demons have a right to be there. They can freely return as they please, because the person is still defiled. Why would you ever want to set somebody up for something like this?
Luke 11:24-26, "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him 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."
Why cast a demon out of somebody who refuses to accept Jesus as their Lord and savior? If a person comes to you, wishing to remove a demon, but refuses to accept Jesus as their Lord and savior, then the purpose of such a deliverance would be to simply fix a problem in their life. They aren't interested in Jesus, they just want their problem solved. The truth is that you aren't really helping them, because the root of their problem has not been addressed, and therefore no lasting results will be achieved. The demon can return before they even get to their car, because it has full rights to that person's life!
Why did Jesus call deliverance the Children's bread, if it was not meant for those in covenant with God? This is a good question. Jesus referred to the casting out of demons as Children's bread, referring to those who are in covenant with God. Those who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and savior, are not children of God, and have no covenant with Him.
Matthew 15:26, "But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs."
If light cannot dwell with darkness, and all darkness leaves a believer's life when they become a Christian, then why do we still have evil thoughts, desires, feelings, and bondages to lust, pornography, anger, etc. long after we accept Jesus? This is a very good question. Is there anywhere in the Bible which tells us that some darkness can remain, while other types of darkness is automatically shed at the time of salvation? No, it does not. If light could not dwell with darkness, then Paul couldn't have had both the Holy Spirit, and evil present in him at the same time, as we can see in this passage:
Romans 7:20,21, "Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me."
Why is authority required to cast out demons, if they leave on their own the moment their legal rights are removed? It is through our authority in Christ, that we are able to drive out demons. Why did God give us this authority, if what we should really be doing is simply winning souls for Jesus?
Mark 1:27, "And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him."
Why did Jesus drive out demons, when He had the power on earth to forgive sins? If Jesus could forgive sins while He was here on earth, and if all it took was removal of the demon's legal grounds in order to send them to flight, then why did Jesus go about casting out demons? The Bible is clear that He had power here on earth to remove the demon's legal grounds through the forgiveness of sins:
Matthew 9:2-6, "And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house."
If all you had to do was get a person saved and their demons went away automatically, then what is the point in casting out demons at all? After all, are we trying to bypass salvation and just apply a patch to that person's problem or bondage? What is the point of going through a messy deliverance session where you have to confront demons face to face and drive them out, when all you have to do is get the person saved, and all the demons go without a whim?
The truth is that this belief that Christians cannot have demons, completely undermines the whole point of casting out demons. The reason the church today does not practice deliverance is because they don't really see the purpose of it... they think it all happens automatically, and that's why most pastors have never cast out a demon in their life!
Does Jesus' warning about spiritual defilement not apply to us Christians? Jesus made it clear that there are things which defile a man, meaning, they make the man unclean spiritually. Do we dare say that a Christian can do such things, and not have Jesus' words apply to them?
Matthew 15:18-20, "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man."
Apparently, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to warn the believers that through bitterness, they can become spiritually defiled:
Hebrews 12:15, "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled."
When Jesus shed His blood for our spiritual freedom and physical healing, does this apply to believers or those who reject Christ? In Matthew chapter eight, Jesus was demonstrating what was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah when He went about casting out demons. At the same time, He was demonstrating the healing that was purchased for us through His work on the cross. Do we dare say that these things were intended to be received by those who reject Jesus?
Matthew 8:16-17, "When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses."
If casting out demons was only valid while Jesus was here on earth, then why did Jesus appear to His disciples after He rose from the dead, and told them that His children will be casting out demons as well? Also, why did the early church go about casting out demons as well? The fact is that the early church went about casting out demons, long after Jesus went on to be with the Father.
Mark 16:17, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils..."
Acts 8:6-7, "And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed."
Is deliverance not needed today, like it was back then? The fact is that for every 2-3 healings, there was a deliverance that took place in the New Testament. I am convinced that the percentage is higher than that, but let's just say it was a 1-3 ratio. If there is such a need today for healing, then why don't we also see such a need for deliverance? Could it be because we don't see these problems as demonic, but rather fleshly or physical nowadays?
Jesus sent fourth 70 disciples to preach the gospel and cast out demons, and they returned full of joy as they could see that this was a very real and important ministry. Now for Jesus to send out 70 men and they came back with praise reports of deliverances... that tells us that even though they were on foot, there were plenty of people in their area that needed deliverance!
Luke 10:17, "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name."
Is it possible that we just aren't seeing the need for deliverance, because we don't know how to diagnose a demon in a person's life? I honestly wonder how many people in today's churches that Jesus, His disciples, the early church and those 70 disciples would find in need of deliverance. I have to say that many times, today's pastors would not agree with me about a person having a demon until I actually get it manifesting during a deliverance and the person is set free. Many times, you would never know the person has an unclean spirit until it is confronted and brought to the surface to be dealt with! For example, when I had a spirit of fear (as many people today do), all I knew was that I was fearful, but once it was confronted and dealt with in a deliverance session, I vomited out black slime! Another time, I was doing deliverance on an older woman, and she was spitting up a yellowish phlegm as the spirits were coming out, but when I suddenly confronted insecurity, she suddenly vomited out pure jet black slime (and no, she hasn't smoked in decades!)... now you tell me how that works! Most pastors today would never think such a woman was suffering from insecurity caused by an evil spirit, and would tell her that she needs to simply meditate on scriptures about how God will never leave or forsake you. I would like to see those who oppose this ministry, give me a solid answer as to why she went from yellowish slime to jet black slime right after one of our ministers got a Word from God that a spirit of insecurity was present and I began to confront and drive it out! This woman said she never coughed up black slime like that in her life! There was no sickness present, she felt just fine before we began her deliverance; there was absolutely no physical reason for such happening. Same goes for the time when a demon was confronted in me, and it felt like my stomach physically turned upside down all of a sudden, when I've never had that happen to me in my life! And why do so many receive drastic breakthroughs and freedom as they go through the deliverance process? All this needs to be explained by those who oppose this area of ministry, just like the deliverance stories that took place in the Bible.
Is is possible that we are diagnosing spiritual problems as mere physical health issues? Jesus diagnosed the woman who had a spinal disorder as having a spirit of infirmity (see Luke 13), and a man who couldn't talk was healed when a demon was driven out (see Luke 11:14). Jesus also dealt with an evil spirit in a young boy who was having seizers in his brain (see Matthew 17:15-18), and when the demon left, the boy was restored and normal again. King Saul was said to have a demon, which tormented him with severe depression and fear (see 1 Samuel 16:14). Job was said to have boils all over his body, which were caused by evil spirits that Satan had sent to torment him (see Job 2:7). King David was tormented by evil spirits, which made him feel hopeless and his heart felt desolate (see Psalms 143:3-4). Could it be possible, that today we are diagnosing spiritual bondages, which are manifesting as physical infirmities, as mere health problems that are completely natural?
Could we be praying for a healing, when we really ought to be casting a demon out? What if we encountered one of the cases mentioned above, where a woman had a physical bone/muscle problem as a direct result of a spirit of infirmity, or a person was unable to speak because there was an unclean spirit hindering him; would we merely pray for a healing when there is a demon involved which needs to be driven out? Is it possible that we are praying for healings when sometimes a healing is not what is needed, but rather liberating from an unclean spirit? I believe this is the very reason why many times our prayers for healing go unanswered. We are asking God to do something, while we are neglecting what He told us to do (which is to cast out demons - see Matthew 10:8). A friend of mine who does deliverance ministry almost every week, told me that even though he doesn't feel he is gifted in the area of healing, he has seen numerous healings take place immediately in the bodies of those whom he is casting demons out of!
Could we be ignoring one of the most important and popular (according to the NT) areas of ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Could we be writing off a very important area of ministry that Jesus intended for us today to be operating in, so that the power of God could be displayed, and the captives liberated for the glory of God? Do these passages and commands no longer apply to those of us who are following Christ and proclaiming the gospel today?
Matthew 10:7-8, "And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give."
Mark 16:15,17, "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils..."
John 14:12, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."
Just as Jesus was sent forth to destroy the works of the devil (see Acts 10:38), so also are we sent forth. The works that He did, which included liberating those who are tormented by evil spirits, we are also supposed to be doing.
Acts 10:38, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."
Mark 1:39, "And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils."
John 20:21, "Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."