Don't fall prey to "Deliverance Ministries"- part1
Deliverance Ministries may have various definitions among Christians. The most common definitions revolve around solving a person’s problems related to demons, spirits, and possession. Those who promote and practice deliverance ministry claim that Christians can be indwelt with demons.
In order to be free from addictions, depression, and all sorts of sins that may weigh or afflict the person, the demon must be exorcised. Deliverance ministries claims that this sets the afflicted person free from the “bondage” they are experiencing. It is common for the person to attend a series of “discipleship” classes ending with exorcisms as the form of treatment. Exorcism is the religious or spiritual practice of evicting demons from christians, that are believed to be possessed. This practice is anti-christianity.
Deliverance Ministry is a contemporary movement that is gaining ground and is crossing denominational lines. Although it is gaining popularity, many Christians are now seeing it as a negative and unbiblical practice that can have serious and disastrous consequences, even though it claims to offer “freedom” to the individual. There are even support groups forming to help people who have been victimized from various deliverance ministries.
Dr. Juncker defines Deliverance Ministry as “the name commonly given to Christian individuals or ministries who believe:
(1) That Christians can have demons inside of them
(2) That there are specific methods, techniques, and prayers for discerning the
presence of demons and for casting them out
(3) That such exorcisms are a necessary prerequisite for living a successful and victorious Christian life.
Evidence for these beliefs is derived from experience and from a handful of Scriptures that have been taken out of context.” This belief system preaches circumstantial messages which are found wanting when subjected to the scrutiny of scripture.
Deliverance Ministries – Demons and the Believer
When we study what the Bible says about demons, it is very clear that Christians cannot be demon possessed. However, the Bible does say that a believer can be oppressed or influenced by a demon. What’s the difference? Possession means that the demon has full control over the person. Examples of this can be found in Matthew 17:14-18 and Luke 4:33-35; 8:27-33. Demon oppression is very different. If a person is oppressed by a demon, that demon influences the person toward sin.
There are no instructions or commands in the Bible to cast a demon out of a believer. Instead, believers are instructed to resist the devil: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). 1 Peter 5:8-9 says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
Today’s deliverance teachers often claim that it is a matter of semantics (meaning of words, or definition). They say that a Christian cannot be possessed and state that he can be “influenced” or “oppressed” instead. However, their practices are not in agreement. They believe that a Christian can be influenced or oppressed to the point of becoming indwelt with demons with the need to cast them out. They state there is a space inside the believer’s body where a demon can indwell, but the Bible nowhere teaches such specifics.
Believers are a new creation and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, not indwelt by demons. Romans 8:9-11 says, “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”
The Bible is very clear that believers war with Satan and his demons, but not from within themselves, but rather externally. “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you [God] is greater than the one who is in the world [Satan]” (1 John 4:4). Chuck Smith explains how proponents of Deliverance Ministry get around these clear verses, “The proponents of this unscriptural doctrine use such terms as Christians being ‘invaded by demons’ rather than demon possessed.
This is nothing more than a word game and a smoke screen to hide the scriptural weakness of their position. They also present an illogical supposition that demons can invade or control the mind or body but not the spirit. God’s Word declares that the body is a temple of the Holy Ghost who is in us.”