Deliverance has become one of the most debated topics in the church today. It is closely linked to demons rather than to Christ. When the word deliverance is mentioned, many think of the occult. It is seen as some kind of exorcism of demons from evil people. Many Christians today believe that once you are saved, the devil is now history! Once saved life should be plain sailing. However in reality it appears to be the opposite. Once saved, the devil pursues you more because he attacks the children of God more than his own children.
Lets put it this way, “it is the the striker with the ball who is closely marked”. The moment you receive Christ in your life, the focus of the enemy turns to you. When Jesus was born, King Herod, under the influence of the devil wanted to kill him (Matt 2:16). He was prepared to kill every baby in the whole county for the sake of one, baby Jesus! The devil did not end there; the day Jesus was baptized the devil intensified the attacks. The funny thing is when the Spirit of God came upon Jesus, the first thing the Holy Spirit did was to “lead Jesus to be tempted by the devil” (Matt 4:1). Instead of shielding Jesus the Holy Spirit actually led Jesus to be tempted by the devil.
The Jews were people who lived a life of going to the synagogue. They served God always. When Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit, he went to the synagogue where he grew up going. This time it was different; he was full of power. Mark 1:23-28 (NLT) records something that griped church goers on this particular day. Suddenly, a man in the synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit began shouting, “What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus cut him short. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. At that, the evil spirit screamed, threw the man into a convulsion, and then came out of him. Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. “What sort of new teaching is this?” they asked excitedly. “It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders. The news about Jesus spread quickly throughout the entire region of Galilee.
2000 years after this the same debates are still in the church today! If a demon manifests in your church today and a person suddenly talks incoherently, it is most likely the ushers and the security would scramble to throw the man out of the church!People were mesmerized! They had never heard or seen anything like this. They had just seen the first deliverance session! To make matters worse, the demon through the man to the ground and there was a weird behavior from the man. The man convulsed violently. Then the demon left him and the man came back to his senses. The poor man found himself dirty on the floor with no idea of what had just happened. All eyes in the synagogue were on him. This became the talk of the town with some theologians thinking this couldn’t be God doing this because there was nothing recorded in the old testament like it. Some people thought it was God.
Some would call the mental health nurses immediately! Jesus through the demon out of the man and left the man in the church! Jesus didn’t deal with man, but with the spirit in the man. Too much carnality is destroying the church today!
Jesus made a declaration that defined his ministry in Luke 13:32. Jesus replied, “Go tell that fox (King Herod) that I will keep on casting out demons and healing people today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose“. This is what he came to do so he is telling Herod, I will not abandon my mission of casting out demons from people until the day my mission will end. When did Jesus’ mission end? It hasn’t ended! He passed the button to the apostles. They passed it on to us! We are his workmanship (Eph 2:10).
That evening, after sunset, people brought to Him all who were sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door to watch. So Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases, and he cast out many demons. But because the demons knew who he was, he did not allow them to speak (Mark 1:32-34). This is fascinating, that same day when a demon was cast out in the temple, people went to their relatives who needed healing and deliverance and brought them en-mass to Jesus! This shows us people were living with issues but they didn’t know what to do. Today our houses are hiding sick people and many of these are demon possessed and oppressed. People don’t know what to do. Jesus did this daily. Mark 1:38-39 says, But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons. 1 John 3:8 says, He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. This clearly shows that casting demons was central to Jesus’ mission. Why then is deliverance not even mentioned in the church today? In some churches there is deliverance but there is no demon manifestation! What exactly is going on?
Purpose of Anointing
What is the purpose of anointing? Isaiah prophesied and said, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing”, (Isaiah 10:27). The purpose of anointing is to set people free! Free from who? From the devil and his agents! Isaiah also prophesied in Isaiah 61:1 when he said, The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor …… and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. Demon oppression and possession is imprisonment! The world is crying for help but the church is doing nothing! Simon Peter, the man who walked with Jesus and was mandated to continue with Jesus’ mission said in the book of Acts 10:38, And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. God anointed Jesus Christ of Nazareth for a reason. He was on earth on a mission, to destroy the works of the evil one! There is something people today don’t quiet explain. There is a thin line between deliverance and healing.
Healing is actually part of deliverance. Deliverance simply means, setting free from bondage or rescuing someone. In Luke 13:16 Jesus healed a lady from a sickness. Then He made a statement saying This dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?“. So clearly sickness is bondage from Satan! Sicknesses come from the devil. The root cause is always the devil. I have seen many sicknesses leaving after expelling the devil from someone’s life. The bible says, “The creation waits in eager expectation for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God, For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. Romans 8:20-23 . Why until now Paul? Because the anointing of the Holy Spirit has come! People are looking for the sons of God who would deliver them but sons of God are busy debating theological arguments instead of delivering the world!
I have seen many Christians who believe demons are only in Africa! Was Jesus casting out demons in Ghana or DRC? Jesus was casting out demons from the decedents of Abraham, who walked with God all their lives in the Holy Land! These people went to synagogues every week! They were not oculists! They were ordinary people who feared God. Failure to see demons in churches today does not mean that the church is now perfect and there are no demons in the church. It simply means there is no power in the church to reveal the demons! Where there are sicknesses, there are demons! Do we have sick people in the church today? Yes, starting with the pastor right to the visitors! You can be born again, full of God but not in control of certain areas of your life. Proverbs 25:28 says, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that has no walls” If you are not in control of any area of your life, that may mean you need deliverance. Your defenses are weak. Demons can occupy one’s mind and he may become mentally disturbed.
Demons can occupy your soul and you become an emotional wreck, depressed, or feeling angry, or be envious, or proud but yet you are born again! Demons can occupy your physical body and give you cancer,diabetes asthma etc. Are you still born again?Yes of course. The only problem is there is an area in your body that the devil has occupied. You need healing or deliverance. The devil can even occupy a place in your marriage and destroy it, or your career or even your finances. There are demons of addictions that make people addicted to pornography, to eating food, biting nails, masturbation, alcohol, smocking etc. The purpose is to make someone a prisoner! Demons adapt easily to local people and destroy them silently. If your culture does not believe spirituality, demons lie in quietly destroying you from within. All problems in society are blamed on someone or something else all the time. But in such communities one thing is very clear, people’s lives are always getting worse and they are drifting away from God slowly!
The Church’s Mission
Jesus appointed disciples he was training to take over after he was gone. There was never a time he asked them to preach to people before they delivered those people from demonic oppression. Never! There is no gospel without dealing with people’s problems! Good news is about setting people free from the demonic powers! The very first thing that Jesus did when he wanted to use his disciples was to call the twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness (Matt 10:1). He said to them, Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. I said earlier the purpose of anointing is for breaking chains and destroying spirituals yokes. Its not for preparing to go to heaven as many Christians have been doing for ages.
The twelve disciples and did as they were told by Jesus. After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go (Luke 10:1). When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!” Luke 10:17. Even novices who had gone for the first time to preach, demons were manifesting when they went in the name of Jesus! How come you are a Christian but demons don’t manifest when you speak? In whose name are you preaching? Jesus was healing and casting out demons daily.
At the end of his journey he gathered his apostles and explained to them what was important. And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages Mark 16:15-17. In Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them (The Disciple) and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and TEACHING THEM TO OBEY everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
There is one surprising thing; all those who call themselves “Pentecostals, speak in tongues”, but they have never cast out a demon from a person; yet they live with people who are demonized everyday. Demons are cast out only by those with Power. Jesus commanded the disciples to do nothing until they received the power (Acts 1:4,8). How genuine are your tongues? If there is no power you better think twice! For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power, (Corinthians 4:20). Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13:5)