PREPARATION FOR YOUR DELIVERANCE APPOINTMENT
I. Preparation for Deliverance
B. Examine your reason for wanting deliverance
C. Can a Christian have a demon?
D. “Deliver Us from Evil”, by Don Basham
II. The Deliverance Appointment
A. Chaperone required for a female candidate
B. The opening prayer
C. The interview
D. Legal work
E. Casting out the demons
1. What are demons?
2. What you may feel during the process
3. Common tactics the enemy will use
4. The eviction of the demons
III. Deliverance is not a cure-all
IV. After the deliverance appointment
Approximately one third of Jesus’ earthly ministry involved casting demons out of people (deliverance). Scriptural treatment of the subject is extensive, and it was considered by Jesus’ disciples to be a normal part of ministry (Mt 10:1, 8; Lk 9:1; 10:17-20; Mt 12:28; Jn 14:12; I Jn 3:8).
When referring to someone who has a demon living inside them, some modern bible translations have followed the form of the King James Version in using the phrase “demon-possessed”, or “possessed by a demon”. This is unfortunate. In the original New Testament (which was written in Greek) there is no Greek word that would mean “possessed” used in connection with demons or evil spirits. In the original Greek text of the New Testament, two verbs and one preposition were used to describe a person afflicted by one of more demons:
“daimonizomai”, which means “to be demonized”, or “to be tormented by one or more demons” (Mt 15:22). “Daimon” is demon.
B. Examine the reason for wanting to receive the ministry of deliverance.
The desire to receive the ministry of deliverance can be influenced by a number of ideas which are not entirely in line with God’s plan for setting His people free. Ordinarily, people who are troubled, even tormented, by the demons that live inside them are looking for relief from this torment, anguish, fear, anxiety and many other disquieting conditions. Their thoughts can follow the line of “I’ll try anything, if it will make me feel better”, or “I’m not sure if my problem is demons, but if it is then I surely do want them to come out”, or “If I can just get some relief from these thoughts and feelings (sometimes, voices), then I can get my life back on track the way I want it, and I’ll be fine.” These people are not yet adequately prepared for the ministry of deliverance.
In addition to a strong and sincere desire to live a life fully yielded to God, the most important requirement for a successful deliverance appointment is for the candidate to come to the place where they believe that they have demons living inside of them, and they want them out.
Many Christians are reluctant to speak of a demon living inside a person, because they find the thought repugnant. When this idea is suggested, some have said, “Oh, I would hate to think so”. Some seem to prefer the idea of a person being “oppressed”, which would suggest that the demon is outside of the person, harassing that person in some way. However, as we read the New Testament, we find that demons needed to be “cast out” of people, not shooed away from them. Jesus said, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” (Mk 5:8). This terminology is typical, in describing deliverance (Mt 9:33; 17:18; Mk 1:25; Lk 11:14; Acts 16:18).
Demons are living beings without physical bodies, which live inside people, on a mission to afflict and torment them, largely by manipulating their thoughts and emotions, sometimes subtly, sometimes severely. They want to create anxiety, fear, anger, a desire to do violence, self-rejection, and a whole list of unhealthy and ungodly thoughts and feelings, which generally lead to behavior that is not wholesome or godly. They have plans to “steal, kill, and destroy”, like their master (John 10:10).
When a child has an experience which creates strong fear in him/her, this provides an opening for the demon of fear to enter (this is not to say that every child who has a fearful experience will have a demon of fear). If a demon does enter, it may begin to afflict the child with fear immediately, or it may remain dormant until later. Large numbers of adults have demons of fear (such as, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of vulnerability, even fear of emotions), and have found ways to rationalize and accept those fears as “part of life”. However, some will ask the Lord if their fear is caused by a demon, and after revelation from Him they will then be able to accept that one or more demons are there, which need to be cast out. Then, they are ready for the ministry of deliverance.
Some Christians struggle with the question of whether a Christian can have a demon, especially Pentecostal Christians, since their denominations have taken a doctrinal position which says this is not possible.
The Bible has plenty to say about casting out demons, but the accounts do not clearly indicate whether those from whom demons are cast are believers (see Luke 13:10-16). Therefore, we will try from our search of other parts of Scripture to draw some conclusions.
One part of the consideration is the tripartite makeup of humans: spirit, soul and body (I Thessalonians 5:23; Heb 4:12). As stated before, the intention of demons is to manipulate and torment the person’s mind, will and emotions (the soul), as well as afflicting the body (as in Mark 9:25).
As explained earlier, demons are on the lookout for children who undergo some form of trauma, thus providing an opening for their entrance. This is usually found in the lives of children who live in dysfunctional families, and/or have little or no prayer covering. The Scripture records several instances where Jesus ministered to children who had been invaded by demons (Mt 17:14-18; Mk 7:25-30; 9:16-27; Lk 9:38-42). Once the demon is in the soul, or even in the body, it will stay there until cast out. Ordinarily, the child who has not yet become a believer, and received the indwelling Holy Spirit, has no acquaintance with the ministry of deliverance. Once he has received Jesus as Lord and Savior, been born again (John 3:3) and received the Holy Spirit (Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:9), he is able to understand spiritual things (I Corinthians 2:12-14), and is more likely to sense that the Holy Spirit is showing him that the affliction and torment is from a demon that dwells in his soul. As the Holy Spirit begins to bring revelation to the new Christian about the house-cleaning he needs, then, he may begin to look for the ministry of deliverance, in the fellowship of believers.
Some have said that it seems impossible to them that the Holy Spirit would allow a demon to stay in the same “temple” that He occupies, since the demon is evil, or dark (II Corinthians 6:14). We understand that the “temple” (I Corinthians 3:16) includes the body, soul and spirit of the person, and that the Holy Spirit lives in the spirit of the person, while any demon that is present lives in the soul and/or the body of the person. This idea of the Holy Spirit not being willing to be in a person who also has a demon, brings up another point. Since this position assumes that the Holy Spirit is so intolerant of the presence of evil, one wonders how is He able to dwell in any believer, since all believers struggle with evil in them (see Romans 7:24-25), and have been given instruction for how to confess their evil sin (I John 1:9) when it occurs.
James, writing to Christians (see James 1:2), writes about how our tongues seem to have the ability to bless God and curse our fellow man (3:9), thus indicating that both good and evil can live in the same person (3:10), though this should not be the case. We are reprimanded for this. Here is another instance where we can see that the Holy Spirit is willing to live inside a vessel that also contains evil. Of course, He is not content with this condition, and he is at work convicting the Christian of the evil in his life, and showing him, to the extent he is willing to listen, what he must do to be set free.
Those who become Christians would do well to find for their fellowship a spiritual atmosphere where Christians are encouraged to examine themselves in order to see what “works of the devil” (I John 3:8) they have suffered. As they enlist the help of the Holy Spirit, and those in the fellowship who have spiritual maturity, then the way can be made for them to be set free from such things.
One additional observation is that it may be imprudent to cast a demon out of a non-Christian, even if the non-Christian were to seek this ministry. Jesus taught us, in Matthew 12:43-45, that when an evil spirit (demon) goes out of a man, it comes back to its former “home”, seeking to re-enter. If it finds that “home” unoccupied, it will move back in, taking seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and the last state of the man will be worse than before. The home is supposed to be occupied by the Holy Spirit, with Him ruling as King in that place. If the Holy Spirit is reigning as King in a man, then the man will be submitted to God, he will resist the demon, and the demon will flee (James 4:7). This teaching regarding the return of the evil spirit was part of Jesus’ explanation of the condemnation which will come to those who refused to repent and receive the goodness of God when it was offered (see Matthew 12:38-42). Some might think that we can cast the demon out of a non-Christian, and then just lead him to Christ, so that the Holy Spirit can come into him and protect him from the returning evil spirit. However, we can have no assurance that he will repent of being his own god, and surrender to Jesus as Savior and Lord of his life.
Prior to the deliverance appointment, the candidate needs to read Don Basham’s book. This is a very good introductory work on the demon realm, and will give the candidate an understanding of what is involved in deliverance. This book really should be a part of every serious Christian’s library. It is available in many Christian bookstores (they will be glad to order it), or it can be purchased online at Amazon.com (it will be delivered within 5 days). Near the end of the book there is a reference to self deliverance, however I strongly discourage this. Demons have been known to bring harm to those who attempt this, and without a partner there to exercise proper authority over the demon, the person with the demon is vulnerable to harm.
The candidate should pray before reading Don Basham’s book, for the Lord to reveal what He wants the candidate to see, understand, and experience. He should pray for God to prepare him emotionally for the deliverance appointment, as well as spiritually. He should pray for revelation about which demons will need to be cast out, and he should pray for the deliverance team. He should ask for revelation about his ancestors’ involvement in occult activities, or secret organizations like Freemasonry. These two issues are very important.
A. Chaperone required for a female candidate
In the early years I would minister deliverance with my wife, Carrie. In recent years, I have been able to train men and women in the ministry of deliverance. When the candidate is a female, I will use a female deliverance partner. Scripture will not allow two men (or one man) to minister to a woman in an office without another woman present. We are to “avoid the appearance of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:22). If I don’t have a trained female deliverance partner, and a woman other than my wife is there to assist me, she must have a good knowledge of deliverance, be willing to be an intercessor, and be willing to do only that ministry she is specifically invited to do.
B. The opening prayer
Upon arrival at the appointment, candidates often have some fears about possible embarrassment or dangers that may be occur in a deliverance appointment. They may fear personal attack by demons during the appointment, or attacks upon their family. However, the deliverance team will begin by praying a covering prayer of protection for the candidate, the team and all their families. In addition, we pray for God’s anointing, for the giftings of the Holy Spirit (especially the gift of discerning of spirits), for the delegated power and authority needed for deliverance, and for the supernatural leading of the Holy Spirit throughout the whole session. The deliverance team seeks to be led by the Holy Spirit in all parts of the appointment.
C. The Interview
The interview is the first of the three action phases of the deliverance appointment. During the interview, the deliverance team seeks to discover the identity of all the demons that are present in the candidate. We expect God’s supernatural gift of discerning of spirits (I Corinthians 12:10) to enable the team to discern the identity of nearly every demon. A list is made of the names of the demons. They are “checked off” after they are cast out. Others may be discerned during the “casting out” phase of the appointment.
We ask the candidate to describe his life from the time he was in his mother’s womb to the present, primarily focusing on events and conditions that may have caused trauma, fear, or any other kind of wounding to the candidate’s emotions. This may take two hours or more. We very much want to know what the emotional climate was like in the home when he was born, and in the first couple of years of his life. During the interview, we will ask questions for clarification, and also inquire into areas that the candidate might not have thought important enough to include. We want to discover where the candidate may have been victimized, causing an opening for the entrance of demons, or where he may have been involved in activities that violate God’s will, which may have provided an opening. We will ask about involvement in occult activities. We also explain that it is likely that a number of curses may rest upon that individual, which have come down to him as the result of the sins of his ancestors. These will need to be broken during the “legal work” phase. For more information on the subject of curses, read Blessings and Curses by Derek Prince.
D. Legal Work
Legal work is the second phase of the deliverance appointment. Satan and his demons are legalists. They doggedly hold on to any ground for staying in the candidate that may have been given to them through curses, ungodly activities, ungodly vows, unforgiveness, or bitter root judgments made during his earlier life. Accepting lies or erroneous beliefs about who we are in God’s Kingdom can also be a legal “hook”. Demons know that these legal grounds give them the power to resist expulsion during the deliverance appointment. Therefore, we want to be careful to cover all the legal points.
We begin by leading the candidate in declarations concerning who he is in Christ, such as, “Father, I am Your child, and not a child of Satan. I have been redeemed by the precious blood of Your Son, Jesus, my Savior and Lord.” Declarations like these put the demons on notice that they are dealing with disciples of Jesus who know who they are in Christ, know their authority in Christ to deal with demons, and that they (the demons) will not have an easy time of it when the actual deliverance begins. When the candidate is entirely surrendered to Jesus as Lord, has revealed all that we need to know, has repented of all known sins, and forgiven everyone, the demons must come out when commanded to do so.
Unforgiveness is a major legal ground for demons. If they know that we are holding unforgiveness against anyone, they have a right to hold on, and they will do just that, like a bulldog. As a part of the declarations that the candidate is led to make, he is asked to pray that God will reveal the identity of anyone against whom the candidate is holding unforgiveness. The candidate is then asked to declare, out loud, that he forgives these people, one by one, using each person’s first name. Further, the candidate is prompted to ask God to reveal any sins in the candidate’s life that need to be confessed to God, repented of, with seeking of forgiveness. This part can be done silently.
Because of the vast amount of sin in all of our long family heritages, there are curses on our family lines that have permitted the entrance of demons, and the resulting torment that they create in the life of candidates. The candidate is led in “legal” statements that break and nullify these curses, and destroy that part of the legal ground that the demon has used to remain in the candidate.
In addition, “legal” statements are made to renounce and nullify any ungodly inner vows that were made earlier in the candidate’s life, that have left him in spiritual bondage. An example would be, “I will never allow my feelings to get hurt like this again”. This declares into the heavenlies that this person has decided to become the lord and protector of his emotions. This action establishes the emotional mechanism that causes the person to function as though he is the god of his emotions, and he lives primarily through his mind, with feelings shut down, and this allows the entrance of the spirit of “fear of emotions”. He does not like to feel emotions. Many people have this evil spirit living inside, and they explain their condition with, “I’m just not an emotional person”. God’s will is that each of His children put their emotions into the care of the Holy Spirit. He knows what is best for us. The spirit of the fear of emotions has the right to remain in the person as long as the inner vow is in effect.
Bitter root judgments also need to be confessed and removed. When a person judges someone with bitterness, such as, “I will never be an evil person like my mother”, this is a bitter root judgment. It is a tragic step to take. Judging is a right that only God has. He is the One who will judge (Acts 17:30,31). For usurping God’s place as judge, this person will often reap a consequence that is frequently described by the person’s own lips, “I can’t believe that I have BECOME my mother.” Multiple spiritual and emotional mechanisms are put in place with this bitter root judgment. This candidate needs to be led in a confession of this sin, repentance, renouncing the judgment, asking forgiveness of God for this sin, receiving God’s forgiveness, and making a declaration to God that he will never judge his mother again. If he sees her in sin again, he will simply pray for her.
Other legal steps may be needed in order to release the candidate from demonic legal grounds that hold him in bondage. These are revealed by the Holy Spirit during the session.
E. Casting out the demons
The third, and final, phase of the active part of the deliverance appointment involves casting the demons out, in the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit. The following information should help to prepare you for the process:
1. What are demons?
It is important to recognize that demons (evil or unclean spirits) are real spirit beings that have a mind, a will, and sometimes exhibit what we might call emotions, but have no physical body. They are not to be confused with our sins, thoughts, or bad habits. Our “western” worldview may make it difficult for some deliverance candidates to accept fully the reality of demons as real spirit beings. Jesus gave His disciples full authority to cast out demons (Matthew 10:1, 8; Mark 3:15; Luke 9:1), and we have that same authority in His Name (Luke 10:17-19; Acts 5:16; John 14:12; Matthew 28:19,20).
2. What you may feel during the process.
Candidates sometimes come to their appointment with fear that they will experience some of the sensational things that they have heard about or have seen in a movie. It is true that people who attempt deliverance without training, or without properly exercising our Lord’s delegated authority over the demons can experience some unfortunate things, such as the seven sons of a Jewish priest named Sceva (Acts 19:13-16). However, since the Lord has given us authority, in His Name, over demons we exercise this authority, and dramatic manifestations of unclean spirits almost never occur in our deliverance appointments.
With this authority, we forbid such displays. As you have already seen in the section entitled “Legal Work”, the demonic strongholds are broken by the power of the Holy Spirit, using God’s truth. This process serves to pave the way for a powerful work of deliverance by removing hindrances to the deliverance. In God’s established order, He has allowed demons access to a person as a result of sin, generational curses, trauma, ungodly inner vows, and bitter root judgments. He also allows a measure of torment: physical, mental, and emotional, from these unclean spirits. This causes us to want deliverance from them. Demons often “overplay their hand”, thus allowing Christians to recognize their existence, and the need for deliverance. You may already recognize feelings that have strong influence in your life, and which are not really appropriate for your life. You may have heard voices.
3. Common tactics the enemy will use
Satan’s demons seek to discourage us throughout their time of residence in us, but especially as a deliverance appointment approaches. They will seek to discourage the candidate from going to the appointment. One of the common tactics they offer is to make you believe that the tormenting feelings they have been creating in you are just “you”, and that you had better reconcile yourself to their existence in your life, because they are just a part of your “God-given” personality makeup. For example, a spirit of fear wants you to remain in fear all of your life by causing you to believe that you are just a “very cautious”, or “very careful” person, rather than someone who simply needs deliverance from a spirit of fear. Likewise, a spirit of control or a spirit of perfectionism may tell you that you are a “Type A Personality” or “neat freak”, when actually it is an abominable demon seeking to bring harm to your life.
Another device the enemy will use, as your appointment time approaches, is to threaten you concerning what will happen during the appointment. Common lies and threats include: a) you will be humiliated, b) nothing will happen, c) the deliverance team will think and talk badly about you, d) the deliverance will be painful and/or violent, e) Christians can’t have demons, f) you will vomit, g) the demons will just come back after they are cast out (they might even quote Matthew 12:43-45). This will not happen to a willing Christian candidate, because after the deliverance, the Holy Spirit will be called upon to fill you up, so that there are no empty places left, h) you will lose your identity, personality or the protection that the demon has promised you, i) your family or property will be harmed, j) the deliverance team does not know what they are doing. All of these are tactics of the adversary. We trust in the Lord’s Word, “all who call upon the Name of the Lord shall be delivered” (Joel 2:32 NASB).
Lastly, demons do have access to our thoughts and emotions and seek to manipulate both whenever possible. It is vital to realize this as you prepare for deliverance, and to align your thoughts and feelings as much as possible with the Word of God (Philippians 4:8,9). It helps to read the Bible, or other Christian books, and to listen to worship music. It is common for a candidate to feel nervous or a bit nauseated on the day, or right before the day, of the deliverance appointment. The demons know what is about to happen, and are agitated because they will soon be facing warfare. Here is where you just trust the Lord to give you grace for this temporary warfare. It will soon be over.
4. The eviction of the demons
In Ephesians 2:2, Satan is called “the prince of the power of the air”. In the Greek, spirit is “pneuma” (pronounced “nooma”), and air is “pneuma”. A demon might be thought of as an “air creature”, except that it has no molecules, like air does. Air is the medium by which demons normally leave a person, during deliverance. Typically, they come out of a person’s mouth with the expulsion of air, in some form. Usually, coughing is seen, but sometimes the demon will come out through yawning, burping, screaming, moaning, or even the emission of air bubbles. Since the most common way they come out is through coughing, the deliverance team may encourage the candidate to give a couple of hearty coughs, at what seems like the right time in the process. This is done for two purposes: to show the demons that you are determined that they come out, and to simply get the air moving.
Typically, we cast out several demons at once, after the candidate has renounced the demons and done a few other spiritual warfare types of things. After they are gone, we check them off the list we have assembled (as you leave, you take the list and put in your bible for future reference). The team will lay hands on the candidate in order to impart the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit into the candidate. At the same time, they are exercising the delegated authority given by the Lord, as they command the demons to leave.
Typically, this part of the appointment will take an hour or more, as we evict the demons. Sometimes, an individual demon will put up a struggle, but we will ultimately get it out. This is where we wish we had Jesus, Himself, right there in the appointment, to exercise His pure and ultimately powerful and majestic authority. We are but His vessels, exercising delegated authority, which surely does prove to be enough when we exercise it diligently.
III. Deliverance is not a cure-all
Humans are plagued with many problems. If we lived in an Eden-like environment, where people were still without sin, our lives could be perfectly happy. However, Scripture tells us, in I John 5:19, that “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” The devil has been at work for a long time creating his own works that “steal, kill and destroy” our lives (John 10:10). He and his demons hate us and desire our destruction.
The good news is that I John 3:8 tells us that “the Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” Jesus said, in John 14:12, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.” So, God’s people, empowered by God’s Holy Spirit, are commissioned to tear down these works of the devil through the ministry of deliverance, and other ministries that help people.
We live in a fallen environment with sinful people who frequently hurt us. We also have a sin nature, and we hurt others. Our lack of wholeness is a real issue that we need to tend to, with the help of our Lord and His servants.
When demons are cast out, the wounds remain. They do not heal in the same way that our physical bodies heal. They stay open and painful until Jesus heals them, through the ministry of inner healing. If we neglect this important phase of our search for wholeness, we will be unable to rise to our full potential as God’s servants. One example is that wounds which created the fear of vulnerability will keep us from loving others the way He wants us to, since real love requires vulnerability.
When a person struggles with extreme selfishness, he may have a demon of selfishness. Until that demon is cast out, he has no real hope of making significant progress in his effort to come out of selfishness. Once the demon is gone, he can make progress, since he is then fighting only against his flesh. We must not buy into the teaching that all of our problems are simply an “attack of the devil”. We are “fleshly” people, and even if all the demons are cast out, and all our wounds are healed, we still have our flesh to contend with. Deliverance from demons does not create sanctification. It sets us free from the torment and manipulation of the demons so that we can work cooperatively with the Holy Spirit toward our sanctification, and spiritual maturity.
Sanctification comes about when we surrender to the Holy Spirit, give Him complete control, and let Him fully develop the fruit of the Holy Spirit in us, and clean up our fleshly behavior, including the sin patterns and habits of our past. Part of this process is the removal of many erroneous beliefs that have come from the world and the enemy, and have been installed on the “hard drive” in our minds, as though they are truth. One example of this is: “look out for ol’ number one”. All of us have accepted these erroneous beliefs into our system during our growing up years in school, in the workplace, and even in our home of origin. These beliefs are not God’s truth, and He says to us, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds” (Rom 12:2). These beliefs work against our efforts to live the way God wants us to live, and can even hurt us and our relationships with those we love. We should be eager to have the Holy Spirit show us these erroneous beliefs, so we can eject them out of our system and replace them with God’s truth.
IV. After the deliverance appointment
After the deliverance appointment, you have gained freedom from the demons that harassed you. The demons are on the outside of you. They
no longer live on the inside of you, where they had such power to torment you. They are not happy that they have been evicted, and some of them may try to convince you to let them back in. They want to steal your new freedom from you and put you back into bondage. You do not have to let them back in. You have the Holy Spirit living inside you, Who gives you the power to resist them, absolutely (I Jn 4:4; James 4:7).
A few of those which have been cast out may come “tapping on your window”, causing you to feel a portion of that old uncomfortable feeling that used to lead you to act in ungodly ways. When you feel that feeling, STOP right there, and consider what is going on. Try to discern what the feeling is, and which demon is causing you to feel that way. You will probably be able to do this readily. If there is some struggle figuring it out, pull your list of demons out of your Bible (you should carry it there for a year after your deliverance appointment), and locate the demon on the list. Then, speak directly to the demon, out loud:
“You spirit of fear, I see you and what you’re doing, and I rebuke you in Jesus’ name. I WILL NOT LET YOU BACK IN. You are finished here. My Lord and Savior and Deliverer, Jesus Christ, has cast you out, and you are staying out. I stand with Jesus, and I resist you. Now leave me alone. I command you to get away from me, in Jesus Name.”
The spirit will leave. It may make a few more attempts over a period of time, but your persistent rebuking, and your strong stand against it, will show it that you are no longer a willing habitation for it. It will get the message and will eventually leave you alone.
Remember, you still have the flesh to deal with. In the case of fear, you will have to make some changes in your belief system. You will have to decide that God IS capable of taking care of you. He offers to take care of your cares, because He cares for you (I Peter 5:7) Scripture is very important, e.g. “perfect love casts out fear” (I Jn 4:18). Are you letting God’s perfect love fill you, instead of fear? Speak into fearful situations, “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7).
A very good thing to do after the appointment is to take your demon list to the Lord in a serious quiet time. Go through the list of demons, one by one, and thank Him for casting these out of you. Ask Him what life will be like without this demon, and that one. Very importantly, ask Him what steps you should take to strengthen yourself to keep each demon away from you. Seek the help of brothers and/or sisters in being discipled, and growing strong in the Lord.
Lastly, I want you to feel free to come back to me with any questions you may have regarding your walk in the new freedom you have found.