Chapter 18 Should I Be A Deliverance Minister? “How did you get into deliverance ministry?” That question is put to me rather often. It surely was not something I desired and sought after. I often tell people, “If you look outside on the ground you will find furrows made by my toes when I was being dragged into this business.” The Lord did not call me into this facet of ministry - He thrust me into it! In Matt. 9:38 Jesus tells His followers to pray that the Lord of the harvest will “send forth” labourers. The literal interpretation is that He will “thrust” or “force out” workers. This is how I experienced “the call”. The Lord did not ask me; He told me! It was a thrilling discovery to learn that Jesus is “the same yesterday and today and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). When I experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit I discovered that miracles did not end when the twelve apostles died or when the canon of scripture was completed. Miracles are for today. I went to hear Kathryn Kuhlman and witnessed many miracles of healing in that service. My faith was quickened, and I began to think of friends who needed healing. A fellow pastor was much upon my heart. I wanted to see him healed more than anyone I could think of. For sixteen years he had suffered continuous headaches. This was the result of a serious head injury. Doctors offered no solution. They suggested exploratory brain surgery, but Fred would not consent to such dangerous surgery with so little promise of help. Because of the pain he could not sleep and his nerves were going to pieces. He could not study and make adequate preparation for his sermons. The constant pain made him cross and irritable. His family was under heavy tension. The children could not make any noise. Everything revolved around Fred’s affliction. I told Fred that I was going to pray for him until I saw him healed. Every day for a week I spent time in prayer for him. Then one morning as I was praying, the Lord told me that Fred’s problem was due to an evil spirit. Had I really heard the voice of God? How could I share such a revelation with my friend? What would he think? After all, what did I know about demons? I had heard a few references to them at a couple of meetings I had attended, but I had never read anything on the subject. How could I be sure? What should I do? The impression to share my revelation with Fred would not go away; it grew stronger. One day when we were together I cautiously approached the subject. “Fred, I promised to pray for you until God healed you,” I reminded. “I have been praying for you each day. The other day the Lord told me what your problem is.” I paused for Fred’s reaction. I had his attention all right. “Well, praise the Lord,” he said, “What did the Lord tell you?” “Now, Fred, I don’t know what you will think of this,” I offered, choosing words as carefully as I knew how, “but the Lord told me your headaches were caused by a demon.” I held my breath as I watched his face for a reaction. I didn’t know that Fred was more knowledgeable about demons than I was. He took it in stride. “Well, praise the Lord!” he exclaimed, even appearing jubilant. “Doesn’t the Bible say demons can be cast out? I want you to cast it out of me.” “Now, wait a minute,” I protested. “I don’t know anything about casting out demons, but I think I might be able to find someone who knows how to do it. Give me a few days to pray about who can do this for you. I’ll let you know as soon as I find someone.” I went right to prayer asking God to lead me to a deliverance minister. The Lord said, You do it.” So I prayed again. I carefully explained to the Lord how unqualified I was. I must have sounded worse than Moses at the burning bush making excuses as to why he could not lead his people out of Egypt. The Lord would give me no other course. I must perform the ministry. Many thoughts began to turn over in my mind. What would happen to me if I made a frontal attack against demon spirits? Wouldn’t they make a special target out of me? I would be in trouble for sure. The prospects were frightening. A week later I talked to Fred again. I told him the results of the prayers. It didn’t seem reasonable that I should be the one to minister to him, but he was completely willing to go along with it. We agreed that we would pray another week and study what the Scriptures had to say on the subject. Then we and our wives would get together and see what would happen. The day came when we were to have the attempted ministry. Fred and his wife were to meet at our house for dinner, and then we would go over to the church building for the prayer meeting - or whatever it would be. I was rather glad the day was so busy for us. It was necessity to make a business trip out of town. We got back home about two hours before Fred and his wife were due. On my doorstep was a little pamphlet, weighted down with a rock. A friend had come through town and not finding me at home had left the little pamphlet for me. I could hardy believe my eyes as I read the title - “An Introduction to Expelling Demon” by Derek Prince. My friend did not know about the impending ministry. The timing was perfect. It had to be God! Within a few minutes I had devoured the contents of the pamphlet. It was very practical and crammed with helpful information. We could anticipate some kind of manifestation when the demon came out. At least I felt a little more confident about the whole matter. When Fred arrived I had him and his wife read the booklet before we attempted the ministry. We spent some time in prayer before we challenged the demon. And I was thinking only in terms of a single demon at the time. My comprehension was not any greater than that. Fred was still on his knees when I suggested that we begin to address the demon. My wife and I laid hands on his head and both of us said, “I command the demon to come out of him in the name of Jesus.” After I had given this command and my wife had repeated it, we waited to see what would happen. Finally I asked, “Did you feel anything, Fred? Do you think anything happened?” Fred shook his head negatively, lie had not sensed anything. We held a brief consultation and decided to try it again. The command was given several more times. What was happening to Fred? His face was contorting! He was trying to speak, but he could not get any words out. He appeared to be choking. It was no time to slack off now. We continued to command the demon to come out of him. Fred began to cough violently. This lasted for about a minute. Then he slumped sideways to the floor and lay motionless. “Is it out, Fred?” I inquired. “I think so,” he whispered. He could hardly talk. “I’m so weak I cannot get up,” he explained. We prayed for Fred and thanked God for his deliverance. It was at least five minutes before Fred was able to sit up. Fred’s wife had been sitting and praying all this while. Now I heard her singing softly. I recognized the tune a fam ili ar hymn... “Amazing Grace”. I thought I would join her in the hymn, and as I listened to catch the words I realized she was singing in tongues. A few weeks previously I had prayed for her to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and she had only been able to speak one short phrase in tongues. Now she was singing with complete liberty. The four of us were jubilant. It was a week later when I saw Fred again. I was eager to get a report on his headache. I was confident that he would tell me it was all gone. “Frank, I don’t know what to make of it,” Fred began, “but I still have my headache. It is not any better.” The sick feeling of disappointment came over me. How could a ministry be so dramatic and yet not be effective? We were both baffled. Fred told me that he had accepted the call to pastor a church in another state. He would be moving immediately. It was six months before we saw him again. We were on a trip that took us near his new place of ministry, so we drove a few extra miles to have a visit and spend the night. As we had prayer that evening it was decided that we ought to minister to Fred again. During the past months we had learned more about demons. There could be more than one of them. Maybe we didn’t get the one that caused the headache. We would be more persistent. We had Fred sit in a chair as we gathered around him. He was most cooperative. He was willing to do anything that offered a ray of hope to be rid of the incessant pain that was destroying him. At this point we did not know how to detect different types of spirits and had never received any supernatural discernment on specific demons. So we gave a general command for whatever demons were in him to come out. Each time we commanded, Fred would have a spell of coughing. He could feel a pressure in his throat which would be relieved through coughing. This happened about six times. “Has your headache gone yet?” I quizzed. “No, it hurts worse than ever,” Fred explained. We could tell there was something still inside of Fred. I recalled having listened to a tape on deliverance in which the minister commanded the demons to name themselves. It was decided that we should attempt this. “What is your name?” I demanded of the demon I felt sure was still in Fred. “In the name of Jesus I command you to tell me your name.” His face began to contort just like it had during the initial ministry. We kept commanding the thing to name itself. Fred’s lips protruded and his mouth contorted into a snarl. Very slowly and in a voice that was scarcely audible there was one word spoken - “P..a..i..n”. It sounded so simple. Why hadn’t we figured it out before? “Demon of pain, come out of Fred!” Our words were insistent. “In the name of Jesus, come out of him!” Fred’s wife must have sensed in her spirit what was about to happen. She grabbed a newspaper off the coffee table and threw it on the floor between Fred’s feet. Immediately Fred coughed and threw up two big blobs of phlegm onto the paper. The demon was out! And the pain was gone! Almost five years have passed and Fred is still healed. God had answered our prayers! Overcoming Fear Fear is keeping many persons from becoming deliverance ministers, both the fear of demons and the fear of men. My original theory about the devil was that if I left him alone he would leave me alone. Nothing could be farther from the truth. To leave the devil alone is to permit him to work unchallenged. We have no reason to fear the devil and his demons because Jesus has conquered them. In I John 3:8 we are reminded that Jesus came into the world for the express purpose of destroying the works of the devil. In Col. 2:15 it is shown that through the cross Jesus disarmed principalities and powers, made a public display of them, and completely triumphed over them. In order to move against the evil principalities and powers without fear it needs to be understood that Satan has no real power left. He is a liar, deceiver, usurper, trespasser and thief. Jesus has already passed judgment upon him. (See John 16:11). IT IS NOW THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CHURCH TO EXECUTE THAT JUDGMENT. When we rise up against the demons with the authority of the name of Jesus and the power of His shed blood, the demons have no choice but to yield. We have no need to fear any enemy stripped of his armour. (See Luke 11:22). He is absolutely defenseless. The only thing the Christian has to fear is fear itself. Satan, that old liar and deceiver, will try to make you think that he is going to retaliate. He will tell you that he will attack you and your family with sickness, injury or something sinister. But you shall trample him under your feet “and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). When we do not listen to the lies that demons whisper into our ears, they will attack us with lies in the mouths of men. Someone is continually asking me, “Have you heard about Dr. So-and-so and Bro. So-and-so (prominent men in deliverance ministry)? I hear they have ruined their ministries by getting mixed up with demons. They can no longer get invitations to minister anywhere.” But I know for a fact that these men of God have more demands for ministry than they can ever meet. These are lies of the devil to cause fear. A few pastors whom I know, started out in deliverance ministry and the devil told them that they would lose members or that prospective members would be frightened away. Undoubtedly, the devil will cause some to be offended or afraid, but when a pastor begins to guard his own little kingdom at the expense of disobeying Christ’s commission, he will lose much more than he had hoped to gain. “Have you heard that pastor So-and-so is casting demons out of Christians?” If the devil cannot defeat you with fear tactics and lies, he will resort to criticism in the mouths of others. Two ministers were talking; the first one said, “We have to be very careful these days about false doctrines and false teachers. Why, have you heard that some preacher by the name of Hammond is going around in our area casting demons out of Christians?” (The second minister passed up the opportunity of saying, “Hammond is ministering deliverance to my own block right now.”) “All Hammond ever thinks about is the devil. I believe we should just keep our minds on Jesus.” My, the devil must really delight in getting someone to take up that chorus. The devil will try any trick to keep God’s people out of spiritual warfare... he has everything to gain by it. Jesus advised his followers to count the cost of discipleship. To serve the Lord requires personal sacrifices. If one is not willing to pay the price he should never commit himself. Consider some of the demands that are made upon the person of the deliverance minister. 1. Time. Deliverance is very time-consuming. This is true from the viewpoint of the amount of time spent with one person and from the large number of persons to whom one may minister. There is such a demand for deliverance today that one who gives himself to this ministry will soon understand why it was said of Jesus... He ... entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid. Mark 7:24 2. Energy. There are times when the deliverance minister will be involved for long hours. Numbers of times our deliverance team has ministered until well past midnight and there would be others still waiting to see us. On a few occasions we have ministered as long as sixteen hours per day for a week or longer. At such times we have received added strength from the Lord. But deliverance ministers may find themselves seeking rest as did Jesus and His disciples. And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. Mark 6:31 3. Patience. There are always those who do not retain their deliverance. They are slow to learn and must be taught and encouraged repeatedly. There is the temptation to spend your time with others who show more promise, but the Lord would have us be patient with the slow learner. The Minister Must Be Dedicated As one involved in this ministry already, or as one contemplating it, have purpose and a complete dedication. Devote yourself to Christ and others. When the disciples of Jesus failed in their attempt to deliver a lunatic boy from his demon oppression they sought the answer for their failure. Jesus gave them the answer when He said... 0 FAITHLESS AND PERVERSE generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. Matt 17:17 Jesus said they were “faithless". The word literally means unfaithful or to not be steadfast. They were charged with not being completely devoted to Christ. Furthermore, He calls them a “perverse generation". The word “perverse” here means to be turned aside. The disciples were more interested in other things than they were in the Kingdom of God. In the parallel account in Mark we read in the context that the disciples were disputing among themselves which of them should be the greatest. No wonder Jesus found them unfaithful and turned aside. No wonder they were powerless. 1. Loving and Wise One must also have a genuine compassion for others. The deliverance minister will have many opportunities to show the true character of his love. He must be ever ready to go the second mile and turn the other cheek. In our own ministry we have often found it necessary to invite persons to stay in our home for a period of time in order for them to experience an adequate ministry. This requires love, but it also necessitates wisdom. I have had demons in such persons try to take over my home, rule my life and strike out with words of accusation and condemnation. Love for the person will not be expressed by yielding to pressures imposed by demons. After the person has been delivered he will appreciate the fact that you recognized the difference between his person and the demons that spoke or acted through him. 2. Free from Blame This leads us to observe that the deliverance minister must be free from demonic interference himself before he is qualified to minister to others. Unless he has submitted to needed deliverance for himself he will find an inward resistance and struggle that will seriously hinder his own effectiveness. I learned this lesson myself in attempting to minister to my wife. We realized that demons were responsible for certain tensions between ourselves. One day when we were at home by ourselves we decided to minister to one another in these areas. As I called for the demons to release her, she was thrown to the floor and evil spirits began to speak through her. One demon made a direct accusation against me. I knew that I was guilty of what the demon accused me. It put me under such condemnation that I could not proceed with her deliverance. It was necessary for me to confess my sin, ask her forgiveness and have her cast the demon out of me before I was able to continue with her ministry. This bonded us with love and forgiveness and shut the door on any further interference from the enemy. 3. Bearing Others’ Burdens A minister of deliverance will listen to many sordid stories of sinful acts and attitudes. He may minister to those who are respected leaders in the church and who have never shared their inner conflicts and failures with others. These are times when he will minister confidentially and in love... bearing others’ burdens and so fulfilling the law of Christ. What he has heard will not affect his relationship with that person. He will not allow himself to remember sins that Christ has forgiven or to reflect on ugliness cleansed by deliverance. The deliverance minister must be like the Old Testament priest who ate the trespass and sin offerings. According to Number 18:8ff, only Aaron and his sons were to eat the flesh of these offerings. “Every male shall eat it.” Other offerings could be eaten by the priest’s household, but only the male priests could eat the sin and trespass offerings. It was their DUTY to eat them. The “male” represents strength. It takes a strong person to perform this ministry. Under the New Testament all believers are priests. As priests it is our duty to “eat” the sin and trespass offerings of others. What is brought to us in the spirit of confession and repentance are consumed and not shared... not even with one’s household! Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual (i.e. strong in the Lord), restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering, thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so ful fil l the law of Christ. Gal. 6:1-2 4. With Prayer and Fasting Jesus made it clear that some types of demons are stronger than others, for He said ... This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. Mark 9:29 The disciples had failed in an attempt to deliver a young man from a dumb spirit. In essence Jesus attributed their failure to a lack of spiritual dedication. We, too, can fail for the same reason. Jesus recommended prayer and fasting as the remedy for their spiritual condition. The concept of fasting is being restored to the church today. Fasting is not a way of bargaining for God’s power, but a way of crucifying the flesh that one’s complete affection may be set upon things above and not upon things on the earth. Apart from fasting and prayer one will not develop the spiritual resources adequate for every encounter with the enemy. Blessings And Benefits The impression should not be left that the deliverance ministry is all hardship and sacrifice. There are many blessings and benefits. There are many occasions of joy. Even the very deliverance session itself is an opportunity for worship and praise. The Word of God finds a prominent place, for it is the “sword of the Spirit” which thrusts through the foe. Much scripture is also used to teach, correct, instruct and exhort. Then, there is praying in the understanding and praying in the Spirit... prayers of petition, intercession, thanksgiving and praise. There is singing that exalts Christ and His sacrifice, and songs of adoration. There is rejoicing over captives set free as the thrill of victory finds expression in crescendos of praise. When deliverance is conducted in such a spiritual atmosphere, power is generated that breaks the resistance of the enemy, in preeminence, and the servants of the Lord are strengthened and edified. Through this ministry I have met some of the most beautiful people in God’s family. It is heartening to find out how many Christians are seeking the fullest expression of spiritual life possible. All sham and pretense is laid aside, and you get to know people in a hurry. I could never put a price on the value of friendships gained through contacts opened by the deliverance outreach. And what a joy to see multitudes brought into victory. The most frustrating part of my pastoral ministry was counseling. I was willing to listen, offer advice and give encouragement, but most of the time there was no remedy. Now we are getting to the roots of the problems and there are answers where there used to be none. Christians are being saved from lives of ruin and defeat and brought to stability and fruitfulness. I have often commented that one of the greatest blessings that has come to me through this ministry is the insight I have gained into the spiritual realm. I have discovered a sharp line of demarcation between the realm of light and the realm of darkness. Spiritual awareness is quickened. Satan’s wiles are much more readily discerned. The path of righteousness before God is plainer than it ever was. It is easier to keep from being drawn into fleshly conflicts with others and to keep the warfare in the heavenlies.
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