THE MANIFOLD WISDOM OF GOD

Deliverance?

"I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them," Matthew 18'19-20.

DELIVERED!

There is a question that is likely to come up in a conversation or counseling session with a Believer who is experiencing chronic spiritual experiences that are distressing and causing a lot of concern. Consequently the person feels helpless and hopeless. The question is this: "Have you thought about deliverance?".

At this stage, self-questioning has already come into play: "Have I sinned?" "Am I really saved?" "Could I be demon possessed?" They are at a loss. For them freedom from these experiences is impossible.

So is freedom possible? Yes it is! Freedom is God's will for all who believe in Jesus. Anything that robs a Believer of God's peace and joy can be removed in Jesus' name - today.

The wonderful thing is that just reading this article through in a receptive frame of mind could very well bring the wonderful spiritual restoration that's longed for.

DELIVERANCE?

So, how did this idea of deliverance" come about and what is it? It came about because there were Believers who were known to be sincere and diligent in Christ and yet found themselves being seriously disturbed spiritually and personally. They had tried reciting Bible verses, praying and counselling, etc, without success.

However, "deliverance" was successful, for the most part, although it was controversial. As time went on the idea strayed somewhat so that, to some, it became the general answer for almost every problem. That brought "the deliverance ministry" (as it came to be called) into some disrepute.

Also, the upsetting thing is that the process can be dishonouring of God because it tended to be carried out like casting out demons (but that is exorcism ministry for unbelievers). Some deliverance sessions were disorderly, unruly, including loud commands for evil spirits to come out and/or name themselves and distractions that hindered progress.

Nevertheless, deliverance is still practised because there are Believers who are spiritually distressed.

CAN A CHRISTIAN HAVE A DEMON?

There is another question that seems to pop up automatically in any discussion about "deliverance" and it's this: "Can a Christian have a demon?". The short answer is: "No! It's not possible for a Believer to be possessed by a demon.

And always understand this: "... if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new," 2 Corinthians 5'17.

And understand this too: Our heavenly Father "has delivered us from the power of darkness ...". This is the deliverance. He has (past tense) delivered us.

Further to that, having been delivered from the power of the enemy, our Father "has conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love". That means that every born again Believer stands in the same relationship with the Father as Jesus did when He lived on earth. And that's all possible because "... we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins," Colossians 1'13-14.

Believers who are being seriously troubled by the enemy and feeling hopeless and helpless should know that they still are redeemed and forgiven and stand in the kingdom of the Son of the Father's love.

What the Father has done through Jesus guarantees deliverance and freedom from Satan's lies and deceptions. There's no demonic activity in the Kingdom of the Son of the Father's love!

SOME BASIC UNDERSTANDINGS

Early in the process of ministering deliverance it is crucial to ask if there is any unresolved sin in the person's life, like unforgiveness or disobedience. It's important to deal with it straight away by confessing it to the Father, repenting, asking His forgiveness and thanking Him for it. This is also an opportunity for others to checked themselves out too.

Trying to uncover or discover some specific cause for the distress can be used by the enemy to distract and hinder. It isn't necessary to know. Knowing the symptoms is sufficient.

Seriously distressing spiritual experiences can come about in a Believer's life through a number of things like:

* Being deceived by the devil or yielding to one of his devices. Temptation is the major one. Adam was the first to yield. The consequence of that was disastrous to say the least. The fact is, everything he suggests is unacceptable to the Father and destructive to Believers.

* Believing a specific Satanic lie is believing, and being affected by, things that Satan declares are true but which are untrue. He brings to mind things that have occurred in the past. He brings up sins, experiences, curses, negative remarks against us and presents them in a powerful way. Not knowing what to do, Believers continually believe his lie and helplessly suffer the torment. He is very clever at deceiving.

Jesus was very clear about the enemy's intentions: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy". And He was just as clear about His own: "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly," John 10'10.

* Unresolved sin and giving place to the devil are what Believers bring upon themselves through their own decisions. Paul says:

“Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, neither give place to the devil," Ephesians 4'26-27.

Being angry is not sin. The sin committed here is leaving anger in place and the situation left unresolved. But holding on to it is. The anger could be about anything. However, forgiveness is required, but it's not given. And when it comes to the sin of unforgiveness Jesus said that our Father will only forgive us our sins if we forgive others their sins (Matthew 6'9-15).

Withholding forgiveness can give place to the devil. It's really disobedience. In His parable of the unforgiving servant Jesus ends by saying: “... his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him."
Then He said to the Disciples: “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses,” Matthew 18'34-35. The Father has no choice.

All in all, the enemy is only able to exercise power in a Believer's life because of an opportunity that's handed to him. And his most frequently used device to gain entry and authority is to challenge God's Word. In one way or another, he still says, "Has God indeed said?" (Genesis 3'1).  Eve fell for it and what happened next is still being felt today.

Here's how Paul looked at forgiveness in relation to the enemy:

"Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices," 2 Corinthians 2'10-11.

SO TO BEGIN WITH

In order to be sure of regaining spiritual freedom and the peace and joy that the enemy has stolen at least one other trusted Believer is needed. Two if possible. It is essential that each one agrees with the deliverance ministry and also understands exactly what is involved.

It's important that one is of the same sex as the needy person. If married the spouse should be involved. If the spouse doesn't want to be involved, another Believer, man or woman as appropriate, should take their place. And, as has been said earlier, all must be right with the Lord. One person should be chosen to lead and do the speaking.

It's also that important this ministry be carried out in a convenient place and where speaking out normally is not easily heard outside of it.

On occasion it may be that the ministry has to be one to one. Unless, there is at least one other to act as a witness of the ministry, it should be restricted to male to male or female to female.

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Although success is guaranteed there is one thing that could hinder it. And that is not clearly understanding what the Holy Spirit says to all Believers:

"... you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God - and righteousness and sanctification and redemption," 1 Corinthians 1'30.

Alongside the three other wonderful understandings, righteousness is the standout one for this ministry. Believers need to really understand that they are righteous in Christ. It should be firmly established in the minds of all present as well before going any further.

To make sure that it is established in the distressed Believer ask this simple but serious question, "Are you a sinner?" (The person should be told that it is a serious question.) The answer often is a hesitant, "Yes". The true answer is a confident, "No". If it is "Yes", then the troubled Believer should be told the truth and then asked to sincerely repeat: I am not a sinner. I am righteous in Christ. And all present say, "Amen".

Understanding that we are righteous in Christ opens the way for the Holy Spirit to work. And God is honoured by a successful and by the quiet deliverance. Freedom is achieved in Jesus' name by the Holy Spirit's power with the delegated authority that our heavenly Father has given to all present, represented by the Believer who is leading.

Nothing else is needed. No physical contact. No laying on of hands, no anointing with oil, no waving the Bible over the person, no "holy water", nothing. When those taking part agree together that the Father is the authority over the situation, He is!

The enemy has to obey. Our Father has given all authority to His Son and in Him Believers have God's authority. Jesus said:

“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you," Luke 10'19.

What the Lord gave His Disciples back then, He gives His Disciples today.

TAKING AUTHORITY BACK - 1

This is the beginning of the stage of taking power back from the enemy. Interestingly, it reveals that what is being done is restoration. The enemy has gained spiritual power which is rightly the Believer's and it's going to be restored to them. Paul describes it in Galatians 6'1:

"Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted".

So be assured that although there may be only two present, beside the Believer who is asking for help, Jesus spoke about just such situations with these words:

"I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them," Matthew 18'19-20.

Pray together, thanking the Father for His love and grace, the fact that He is the authority in the situation, His delegated authority to deal to the enemy in the name of Jesus

TAKING AUTHORITY BACK - 2

The enemy does not want to relinquish power that he has gained by deception. Taking power back involves commanding him. He may try to confuse, distract or interfere. Don't stop speaking, don't respond or engage with him except, perhaps, to tell him to be silent in Jesus' name. You have absolute authority over him in Jesus' name.

Taking back the troubled Believer's power requires addressing the enemy directly and clearly. Because the person is actually doing it themselves, the lead person can help them by speaking sentences out phrase by phrase and the Believer repeats each one. For example:

Satan.

By the authority of my heavenly Father

I take from you the power that you have had over me

and I put it (or the name of the distress. Don't mention demons)

outside the boundary of my mind and my life.

When you try to come back I will resist you.

In the name of Jesus.

Declare: The enemy is now outside the boundary of my mind and my life. His power has been taken from him. His power has gone!

All present agree by saying, Amen, meaning so be it - it is done.

Declare: The enemy is now outside the boundary of my mind and my life. His power has been taken from him. His power has gone!

Thank God for the restoration and freedom you have received in Jesus' name. Thank and praise the Father for the Holy Spirit's work in freeing you from the power that the enemy had over you.

Keep in mind that it's quite common not to feel the release that as taken place and the liberty you have. You will.

Hide these words in your heart and rejoice in them. Don't get into rationalising about your freedom. Never tell anyone who is likely to be derisive or negative about it. Give God the glory for restoring you.

"You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world," 1 John 4'4.

And never forget, our heavenly Father ...

"... has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, Colossians 1'12-14.

Amen!

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