Deliverance in a Nutshell
Demons can gain access to a person's life through doors, vows and other spiritual signatures that give them legal rights to invade our lives. Even believers can have demons, because demons most often invade the soul, while the spirit of the person is God's property.
(1) How did they enter?
This is I believe the most important part of the deliverance. It is important to find out what opened the door to the enemy, so that we can close it and void their legal right to bother us. There are a number of ways he can gain access, through sins, ancestral sins (which causes ancestral curses), unforgiving heart (which blocks God's forgiveness toward us), dabbling in the occult, demonic vows, fear, etc.
Sins (especially willful sins!)
When we commit sin, it gives the enemy a legal right to affect or bother us in one way or another. The deeper the sin, the bigger the door that is opened to the devil. When a person allows unholy thoughts to enter their mind, it can open the door to a demon of lust, which eventually causes the person to commit adultery and the matter is compounded. It starts when the enemy tempts us to think the wrong thing, then when we accept it and make it a habit, it opens the door for the enemy to move in further, then behind the bad habit which can be formed, lies a demonic compulsion that isn't easily resisted. If the person continues down this path, he continues to open more doors to the enemy, and eventually that person finds himself committing adultery, rape, etc. because the feelings and desires the demons push on that person are irresistible. Once he commits those sins, mega doors are then opened, and the problem is like a snowball going down the hill. Sin opens the door to demons, which push us in the direction to more sins, which open us wider to more demons, etc.
It is possible for two persons to share spiritual ties (open doors). For example, committing fornication or adultery can create an unhealthy soul tie and result in demonic bondage. If that person had demons tormenting them, and you had sex with them, it unites the two persons, and therefore a soul tie is created, and the demons tormenting that person can also have rights to torment you. I do not believe this applies to married couples, because there is no unhealthy soul tie created from sex within marriage.
A demonic vow can be like a spiritual signature that the enemy uses as a legal right to gain access into our lives. Demonic vows can be made consciously or unconsciously. Often when a person joins a cult coven (a group of witches), they are required to make vows with the devil. Demonic vows can be made unconsciously just by dabbling with the occult. Just by getting curious about the occult and reading forbidden materials (including horoscopes) can give the enemy your spiritual signature; it tells the enemy know that your interested.
When we don't forgive others, God won't forgive us. When God doesn't forgive us, it leaves our sins remaining, which can give the enemy legal rights into our lives. Read Matthew 18:23-35, and keep in mind that the tormentors they are referring to, are demons. The legal ground the enemy may be standing on to torment you may very well be rooted in unforgiveness! I've heard that the single most common reason that people aren't healed, is because they are holding unforgiveness in their hearts, and I believe it! Forgiveness is not an option; it's a necessity! See my sermon on Unforgiveness: Spiritual Poison for a more in depth understanding of how unforgiveness works.
When you involve yourself in the deeper sins or the occult world, you not only open demonic doors in your own life, but also in the lives of your children and grandchildren (Exodus 20:5). If your ancestors have committed gross sins or been involved in the occult, then you need to confess those sins (to the best of your ability... God knows your heart) to God, and ask Him for forgiveness (Leviticus 26:40-42). Even though you personally aren't guilty of those sins, they may have caused curses in your life, and those curses need to be broken.
Much demonic bondage is caused during childhood. For example, if a parent shows rejection toward their child, a spirit of rejection may enter. The child must forgive his/her parent, and the spirit of rejection needs to be cast out.
Points of weakness
When the person experiences weakness, such as emotional shock, physical trauma, fearful experiences during childhood, and other areas to which the natural walls of defense in the physical, spiritual or emotional system of a person are weakened.
The words we say have spiritual value, the Bible says to bless and not curse, and that the tongue has the power of life and death. If you walk around saying, "I wish I could just die," a demon may hear you and can go to God and say, "Look, she wants to die!" and here comes a spirit of death. There is a book titled, "Blessing or Curse: You can choose, " by Derek Prince, which deals with this topic of curses in much detail.
(2) Shut the door on them!
If you try to cast a demon out without first closing the doors that he used to gain access, then he probably won't leave, and your chances of encountering a manifestation increase. It is wise to first remove the rights that the enemy has, then cast him out!
If you haven't already received Jesus as your savior, you must do so before you are entitled to the freedom that Jesus died to give you. See the sermon Why we need Jesus for more information on obtaining salvation. We need to take our sins to the Lord and obtain forgiveness. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (1 John 1:9).
If we are breaking a generational curse, I believe it is a good idea to confess your ancestor's sins to the best of your ability to the Lord, and ask Him for forgiveness. Even though we aren't personally guilty for our ancestor's sins, the Bible talks about confessing them to the Lord (Leviticus 26:40-42). I do not believe that you need to confess every tiny thing they did, but rather the bigger sins that could have opened doors for curses in the family tree. Things such as adultery, fornication, occult dabbling, and things of that nature are good examples of the deeper sins that cause curses. If the Holy Spirit leads you to confess something, then do it!
It is 100% vital that we forgive those who have wronged us. This allows God to forgive us (Matthew 6:14). If we hold unforgiveness in our hearts, it blocks us from receiving God's forgiveness toward us (Matthew 6:15). Unforgiveness is a major cause of demonic bondage, and one of the common reasons a demon may refuse to leave and have legal rights to stay.
When you think of somebody, how do you view him or her? Do you see their wrongs, and immediately remember the ways they hurt you? Or do you look upon them with love and compassion, and see them as another person whom Christ died for? Remember, Jesus commanded us to love one another as He has loved us (John 15:12), and if we don't love one another, then we abide in death (1 John 3:14). In 1 John 3:15 it says, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." If you hold unforgiveness and hate within your heart against one another, then your sins aren't forgiven (Matthew 6:15), and you don't have eternal life! He that doesn't love one another doesn't even know God (1 John 4:8). You can't love God and hate thy brother (1 John 4:20).
Closing the door is often done through renouncing whatever opened the door and maybe the demon(s) that have entered through the door being opened. For example, if there was a door opened through dabbling with horoscopes, then you could renounce your interest and reading those horoscopes, and if the 'spirit of poverty' came upon you because of what you did, then you might renounce the spirit of poverty. Unhealthy soul ties also need to be renounced.
Destroy physical objects!
Often there are items that can give the enemy legal rights to torment us. These items are things such as rings, gifts between two persons who were involved in a sin together (adultery, fornication, etc.), idols, false gods or anything related to the occult. Those items that are causing spiritual bondage must be destroyed! If the item is valuable and is not evil in itself, say a ring that was given as a love gift from one person to another while committing adultery, then the item may be sold. This breaks the legal grounds that the enemy is using through those items, to torment us.
(3) Tear down strongholds
Strongholds are incorrect thinking patterns that demons use to their advantage. The teaching on Strongholds specifically addresses this subject.
This is done when we take authority over the enemy, and break the curses and/or demonic vows we've made with him. Any vows or dabbling with the enemy needs to be renounced and the power of those vows needs to be broken in Jesus' name. When all the doors have been closed on the enemy, it's time to command the evil spirits to leave in the name of Jesus. Sometimes, it is helpful to command the spirits to name themselves, and then you can command them to leave by their names (fear, hate, murder, etc.).
Great books to read on deliverance
I have read numerous books on the topic of deliverance and spiritual warfare, and this is a list of my favorites, which I would highly recommend to anybody seeking a deliverance and/or training for the deliverance ministry.
They Shall Expel Demons (Derek Prince)
This is one of my favorite books on deliverance! Derek goes into deliverance with a clear, sound mind and makes sense of a topic that confuses many. I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anybody seeking spiritual freedom or would like to become educated on the topic of deliverance.
Free in Christ (Pablo Bottari)
VERY good book on spiritual freedom and deliverance!! This man God called into the ministry of deliverance, and he's got an anointing on his ministry! Definitely a favorite of mine!
The Believer's Authority (Kenneth E. Hagin)
This is a smaller book (70 pages), but is packed with good things to know about our authority in Christ. He goes on to tell us that we are given authority over the enemy, and we are expected to USE it, and not always expect God to solve all our problems with the enemy.
Breaking Generational Curses & Pulling Down Strongholds (Vito Rallo)
AWESOME book on iniquities, curses and strongholds!! He tells it like it is!! One of my favorite books on this subject!!
Demons & Deliverance (H. A. Maxwell Whyte)
This is another really good book on deliverance. Another one of my favorites! He's clear and right to the point and covers things that I've found other books missing.
Basic Training (Kim Freeman)
This is a very simple and easy to grasp book on spiritual warfare basics. I would highly recommend it to any Christian and especially new believers, and also to those of you who seem to be struggling with the enemy or aren't experiencing the full freedom that Christ died to give us. I felt refreshed and excited when I finished reading it, because it gives a basic and simple, yet clear insight into how the spiritual world works in our lives and how we can keep on top of the enemy.
Unbound (Neal Lozano)
Loaded with helpful information to equip the believer with knowledge of deliverances and the deliverance ministry. It is definitely another one of my favorites! It's very strait forward and doesn't beat around the bush!
Spiritual House Cleaning (Eddie & Alice Smith)
Small (93 pages) yet very powerful book that goes into detail on how physical objects can hold spiritual value, and can cause spiritual pollution in our homes and lives. It is true that there are haunted houses and defiled land, and this book goes into how to spiritual cleanse your home and remove items that defile and pollute the atmosphere. I would highly recommend this book for those seeking freedom and those in the ministry or looking to enter the ministry.
Spiritual Warfare (Derek Prince)
This is a great book on spiritual warfare and how we, as Christians, can become victorious over the enemy. The enemy tries to make us feel guilty, and unworthy of God's blessings, and if he can get us to believe that, we will be at a big disadvantage in trying to live the victorious life that Jesus died to give us. The enemy tries to attack our minds and get us to doubt, but we can fight back and become victorious with God's Word! This book is packed with good information that ever believer can benefit from!
Battlefield of the Mind (Joyce Meyer)
This is a great book on spiritual warfare that focuses on the battlefield of our mind. If the enemy can overcome our thoughts, he can overcome our lives! We need to learn how to win the battle that is going on inside our minds and start living the victorious life that Jesus intended for us!
Pigs in the Parlor (Frank & Ida Mae Hammond)
This is a great book on deliverance. It is a more heavy-duty kind of book, because it goes into descriptions of some of the manifestations that the demons often perform. It is still a great book, but I wouldn't recommend it to children!
The Bait of Satan (John Bevere)
This is an awesome book that pretty much deals with one thing: Unforgiveness and how devastating it is to our lives. Unforgiveness is one of the single most important things to deal with in our lives if we want to experience spiritual freedom! Holding bitterness against somebody else in our hearts, opens us up to the demonic, and causes more problems then I care to list. Many times when demons refuse to come out because they have legal rights in that person, it is because there is unforgiveness that needs to be dealt with. Unforgiveness is a big tool that the enemy uses to block deliverances. Maybe that person doesn't deserve our forgiveness, but we certainly don't deserve God's forgiveness, and Jesus said that if we don't forgive others, He wouldn't forgive us! Unforgiveness BLOCKS God's forgiveness toward us!!!
How to Cast out Demons (Doris M. Wagner)
Great book on deliverance, written by a grandma! It has a lot of helpful information and is pretty straightforward about the topic of deliverance.
Seductions Exposed - The spiritual dynamics of relationships (Dr. Gary L. Greenwald)
AWESOME book that takes you behind the scenes of soul ties, transferring of spirits, and how the enemy can use various things to gain a 'bridge' into our souls. This is another one of my favorites!!
Victory over Darkness (Neil T. Anderson)
This book is one of the best books I personally recommend to those who are doubting God's love and acceptance for them. Knowing your identity in Christ is one of the fundamental things that many people must first get an understanding of, before moving in for a deliverance. If you feel distant from God, or doubt His love and acceptance for you, then you will love this book!
Blessing or Curse: You can choose (Derek Prince)
This book covers a topic that most Christians don't believe is a real concern today, yet is just as real today as it was back in the Bible days! Just as there are blessings, there are also curses, which hinder people from reaching their full potential and cause them problems in life that they may not think they have any control over! Do you seem to continue hitting walls in life that keep you back? Do you know of somebody who has an unusual high number of car accidents that are not his/her fault, and yet they are a very safe and careful driver?
The Beginners Guide to Spiritual Warfare (Nail T. Anderson & Timothy M. Warner)
This is an awesome book that makes for a gentle introduction to the topic of spiritual warfare. It's loaded with great truths that the enemy doesn't want you to know!