It is important that deliverance ministers are as transparently honest to their clients as those requiring deliverance are transparent to their deliverance ministers and caregivers. So I will begin by telling you, the reader, the truth about deliverance ministry: only a small percentage of those who come for deliverance actually get delivered. And although this is sometimes because the deliverance ministers themselves lack the skills to minister properly, by far the overwhelming majority are not delivered because they don't actually want to be delivered.
I knew a lady who had a medical condition. She was ill, knew it, and wanted to be well again. She visited her doctor and the doctor prescribed medicine for her illness. Each month she visited her physician, each month her renewed her prescription, and each month she went to the drug store to ger her medication. When it was finally time for her to move house and we went to help her pack, we discovered a cupboard in her home that was full of unused medications. Not one of the bottles or boxes had been opened. You she, she not only knew that she was ill and she not only wanted to be healed, but she didn't want to be healed enough to actually take the medication and get well. Today she is a very sick woman.
Whether you are coming for deliverance because you have a simple problem with smoking, or whether you are a victim of horrendous Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA), your deliverance will only be successful in proportion to (a) your willingness to be delivered, and (b) your consistent obedience to the 'course of treatment'.
The reason most deliverance fails is because the victims themselves fail to grasp the fact that deliverance is more than simply getting demons expelled: true deliverance means become an active and faithful disciple of the Lord Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Deliverance isn't just about kicking demons out: it's also about being filled with the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) so that the demons don't come back. I have had very complient clients do exactly what I have told them to get rid of their demons but who, once delivered, have declared independence from the Deliverer, believing they could continue their own lives in their own will. Such have always got redemonised, and usually far worse than when they first came to me for help.
People want to be rid of their demons without becoming true Christians and there is no way you can stay free of demons and not become a true Christian. Many deliverance ministers do great harm to their clients when they don't tell their victims these things so that what happens is that victims make a nominal committment to Christ to get rid of their demons and then, when the demons are expelled, soon forget Christ, thinking they can live their own lives. Let it be made perfectly clear from the outset: life is about either following Satan or Christ - there isn't a third alternative called following self-will. Life is about totally submitting to Christ or submitting to Satan or yourself ... which are the same thing ... because the only way you can follow Christ is by transferring the sovereignty of your life from self or Satan to Christ.
The first truth that all victims of demon oppression have to be taught is that they do not belong to themselves. And that goes for the deliverance ministers too. Has God given us free-will or free-agency? Yes He has. We have the freedom to choose what we will do in life. But it is important that we clearly understand exactly what that means, because the bottom line is this: the only ultimate choice we have is to either live our lives the way Christ wants us to live (and so be demon-free) or to live our lives the way Satan wants us to be (and so be demon oppressed or possessed). The reality of life is that we either choose the path of life we were created for (loving and obeying the Saviour) or choose one of many millions of related paths that we were not created for (loving Satan and obeying him). However ludicrously simple this may sound it is over this one principle - which lies at the head of deliverance ministery - that so many stumble and never get proper deliverance. It is why so many fail. And it is the one issue that faces every single human being because a life without Christ and a life without obedience to the commandments gives Satan legal rights over you. And when he has those, then the demons flood in.
People sometimes accuse me of saying these things to 'scare' them into 'my religion'. If this were 'my religion' then I guarantee it wouldn't work. The object of telling the brutal facts is not to scare people into heaven but to scare them out of hell. You can't be scared into heaven - you can only be attracted to it by the pure force of divine love. The reason most people come for deliverance, however, is because they know they are in hell and are already scared - they know that some malevolent, evil force is controlling their lives and they desperately want to be quit of it. When someone goes to a physician for help with a painful disease, they're already scared - to then attack the doctor because he prescribes medicine which in the short term makes her feel even worse is insanity, and yet that's what people do. That's what that lady did because she didn't like the side effects of her medication. She rejected long-term healing because she would not choose the short-term discomfort of the medication. In short, what she lacked was true faith.
When unbelievers come for deliverance they are usually desperate enough to be rid of their demons but not desperate enough to see that it is their sinful condition that was usually what was responsible for their misery in the first place. Deliverance ministers - if they are genuine - are not like the doctor prescribing a method to kick out demons: their task is to simultaneously map out a whole new way of life. Their task is not just to expell demons but to get the victim to confront their sin-nature that propelled them on a course of life that led to them making wrong choices that in turn led to demonisation. And even if you are an SRA victim who had little or no choice in being abused, you do have the choice in the way you respond inside. Just because as an SRA victim you have been subject to the most unspeakable horrors does not mean that had you not be abused you would automatically have been an angel. SRA victims have sin issues to deal with too, and if they are not dealt with, the doors will remain open for redemonisation after deliverance.
I learned my lesson in this matter the hard way when I worked with an SRA victim for two years. Like most SRA people, she wanted deliverance desparately. After hundreds of hours of work and much sacrifice from those helping economically her live a life so that she was not dependent on her satanist abusers, and after delivering about a hundred alters (sub-personalities) and leading them to Christ, often very dramatically with incredible supernatural happenings that would be the envy of your average Christian, we came up against a wall that prevented full deliverance taking place. Apart from perhaps 5 or 6 alters who wanted to dedicate their lives to Christ and serve Him with all their might, mind and strength, none of the rest did. Yes, they wanted to pay Christ lipservice, were grateful for their deliverance, but did not want to live the Christian life or integrate with all the other alters. In short, they wished to retain sovereignty over their own lives, and live the lives the satanists had denied them. The heartbreaking result was that they ended up prisoners of the satanists again and are even more oppressed than ever before.
There aren't two gospels. There isn't a 'special-favour' status for SRA victims or for anyone who has lived a life of hell, because if there was, God would be impartial. There aren't any exceptions for those who have lived a life of terror. There is only one Way, one Truth, and one Life, and the conditions are the same whether you are a generational victim of SRA or just dabbled with an ouija board when you were a teen but went no further.
My Christian doctrine has become sharpened and polished through deliverance ministry as I have witnessed the powerlessness of certain so-called Christian teachings. The SRA victim I have mentioned believed within all her parts - because this is what she had been indoctrinated with by her satanist controllers who operated under cover in a church (her satanist uncle had been a pastor of it) - that 'once saved, always saved' and that salvation by grace means that we don't need to obey the commandments any more. These two heresies have ruined more deliverance than any others that I know of, with the exception of those that deny the full deity of Christ. And the reason why? It is because disobeying the commandments is what gives Satan legal access through demons in the first place! Pure and simple.
This woman is totally under the control of satanists again. She has, to all intents and purposes, given up her faith, even after the most incredible personal appearances of the Saviour to her many times - even after angels of Yahweh delivered her many times, even after she experienced the sweet and overwhelming presence of the Ruach (Spirit) many times, even after she experienced one miracle after the other many times - indeed, more times than a whole congregation of ordinary believers combined would ever hope to experience in a lifetime. She believed that once you're saved, that's it - you've made it and are guaranteed a place in heaven. Indeed this belief in part led her to attempt suicide many times so that she could be free of her demons. This part of her believed she had no real need of church life or of continuing to work out her salvation with fear and trembling. To put it bluntly, she was controlled by religious demons. When she was not delivered in the way she expected and wanted, she turned against her benefactors in a spirit of accusation. She turned to others who attacked her benefactors. In short, she never actually displayed the fruits of one truly born again. The fruits of repentance were lacking time and time again.
Whoever we are, whatever our background, we are responsible for our own sinful behaviour. Victims often fall into the trap of believing Satan's lie that they are a 'special case' and deserve to be given the red-carpet treatment. They betray, rather, resentments and bitterness which they take out on those who are trying to help them. The anger, hurt, and bitterness are more than understandable but nevertheless these are sinful responses to adversity that the victim has to humbly confess and seek deliverance from. Turning against the hand that feeds you will not help the victim. Indeed, the demons usually use this to get the victims to reject their deliverance ministers and caregivers altogether out of a misguided sense that they 'deserve' to be loved in whatever way they want instead of the way that Christ demands. And it is not difficult for such to find sympathisers who all too ready to accuse and fault Yahweh's ministers who make no sacrifices themselves to help and whose behaviour reveals their own lawlessness and sin. The tendency of the carnal man is to turn to those who will tickle the ego - there are plenty of such in the Body of Christ who ought to know better but who end up inadvertantly supporting the satanist agenda. Satan knows this and exploits it to the full. Our most vigorous opponents have been misguided people in the churches.
As I said, we have learned the hard way. And Lesson #1 a deliverance minister has to learn is that unless he gets to the root of a victim's soul-desires, he will end up going around in circles, burning himself out and neglecting those who would truly respond. We are, after all, finite. It is a frightening responsibility but a deliverance minister needs to determine who will come to Christ and who will not before he gets into full deliverance. He needs to operate in the Ruach (Spirit) and know Yahweh's will. I minister to everyone who comes to me, of course, but I do not allow the demons to put me on a merry-go-round as I once did any more. If it is clear that a victim has no intention of repenting and leading a life in Christ after deliverance, then a deliverance minister has to challenge him directly. Ignoring the issue and simply plunging into deliverance will be a waste of time. I have done that. Because we are stewards of our time, health and financial resources, and because there are so few proper deliverance ministers, we have to be discriminating. Many victims are satanic set-ups who pretend to want Christ but who don't really. Indeed I met one lady who, after deliverance, wanted to go into white witchcraft (so-called) and who simply viewed Christ as the 'most powerful' deity around who could serve her. Yes, there are so-called 'Christian witches' but they are every bit as demonised as the black ones and who do not (of course) lead souls into deliverance from hell. How can they when they are not themselves saved?
Deliverance is not magick. You don't wave a wand, the demons go, and the victim can walk away free and live happily ever after. Deliverance remains incomplete as long as there are sin-issues that need dealing with, so in principle it applies to everyone, believers included. Wherever there is a single lie in a life, there is a demon reinforcing it.
I have met victims who, knowing the truth, have made a conscious decision for Satan because they didn't want to continue the struggle to be delivered. Deliverance does demand courage and persistence. People who are passive about life don't get delivered. And Yahweh permits oppression often if for no other reason than to wake us up to reality. Deliverance means facing reality, however unpleasant. Many people who are demonised refuse to believe that demons exist because they figure that will make life simpler and less demanding. They would rather blame the symptoms on something else even if the supposed cure for that 'someththing else' doesn't work. They would rather believe in a futile hope that requires almost nothing of them than to face reality and fight.
Having said all of these things I am not saying I have all the answers to life. Yahweh, our Father in Heaven, permits all kinds of suffering in our lives for reasons we may never know in this life. He permitted Paul to retain at least one demon in his life to keep him humble. He permitted Satan to oppress Job as a witness to all the angels in heaven of steadfast faithfulness when there is no apparent meaning to suffering. Sometimes we are called to suffer as a witness of the love of Christ which is greater than anything the enemy can throw at us. Sometimes we are permitted to suffer so that we can see just how depraved and unworthy we are inside. Sometimes we are allowed to suffer to help us deal with pride. There can be many reasons and I don't pretend to know the tiniest fraction of them whether in my own life or in others'. What I do know is that we are not as 'good' as we think we are and that unless we deal with the reality of who were are (by first seeing these things), then we will never desire the cleansing and healing blood of Christ sufficiently to work a full salvation. And that, I think, is the bottom line: many Christians don't want a full salvation (deliverance), not in their heart-of-hearts at any rate (though they may profess it with their mouths), which is why they jealously guard sin in their lives.
If you really want deliverance then I must tell you up front that it will cost you sovereignty over your own life. The chances are more than likely that you haven't a clue what that actually means. That's alright. We must walk in faith. Our decisions for Christ are always shaken along the way to show us whether we have true faith or not. Opposition is permitted for this purpose, so that we refine the nature of our faith until it becomes pure, guileless faith.
As a minister, I do not have all the answers to the details of life - its perplexities and sorrows. I go through these too. But I do know who the Deliverer is, I know that He is real, and I know that He is who He says He is. I also know there is no alternative. I know that His love for us is unconditional but that deliverance costs us our sovereignty. I also know how deceptive human nature it - its rationalisations and excuses - and have learned to spot and deal with them, often brutally, I'm afraid to say. I know in whom I am trusting.
This frank and perhaps blustery statement has not been written to discourage you but to be real. Pretending or minimising reality helps noone. I wish sometimes that life could be easier for all of us but wishful thinking does us no service. The bottom line here is that whatever circumstances we find ourselves in ultimately have a purpose, even if our carnal minds may rebel against that sometimes. Furthremore - and this is critical - whatever Yahweh permits is ultimately because of His great love for us. We don't see that love until after the trial or test, but we will see and know it if we persist in faith.
Speaking of Torah or the Law, Christ said: "I did not come to destroy but to fulfill (complete)" (Matt.5:17, NKJV). That is also true of us as human beings - He did not come here to destroy us (even though it may at times appear that way) but to complete us as human beings, by expunging the demonic in our lives. Like medicine, that can sometimes be painful and sometimes take a long time.
I once had a medical condition that caused me considerable agony and which I was told would last for life. It lasted for years. And then, suddenly, for no apparent reason, it just disappeared. I had no explanations and nor did the doctors. It just happened. I, and others, had been praying for deliverance from this for a long time. It's disappearance was somehow in God's timetable. I know now the cause of it (demonic) but had no idea how it would be taken care of.
Yahweh has a timetable for you as an individual no matter what your background. He knows your problems, He knows your responsiveness and patience or lack of it, He knows where your faith is strong and where your faith is weak. He puts all things together and knows the future. From this He forms a timetable for deliverance. You may think you have a better one but you don't. Yours, I guarantee, won't work. His will. You may think you can discern His timetable but I have to say that to date I have never met anyone who could. Usually, because of our own self-imposed limitations (like a lack of faith), it is usually a question of a little here, and a little there, rather than the whole package all at once. There are, of course, exceptions. But wisdom ought to lead is to keep our expectations general. Big changes can, and do, occur but only when we find the key to change. The problem may be a lack of submission. It may be vain self-confidence or it may belief in the lie of a total lack of self-worth. Ministers who can discern are needed to work on these key areas with you. Once the major obstacles have been traversed, one can usually take over oneself.
Far too many clients, however, have prematurely done the latter, and especially SRA victims. I don't know how many times I have heard them say: "We've managed alone before and we'll manage alone ourselves now." Such betrays a lack of understanding of what the Christian life is all about - Christian live and continuing deliverance is all about Body or Community life in Christ. And the reason for that is that Yahweh has chosen to gift different people to do different jobs - He never gives all the gifts to just one person. Noone is equipped to lead a solo Christian life. He has made us for cooperative endeavour.
As a pastor and deliverance minister I work in a team. I am accutely aware of the need for team work especially in an area as complex as deliverance ministry. So that right decisions are made, multiple independent witnesses are sometimes needed. A number of times in my life I have worked with clients who simply have shown no signs of progress and I have sought assistance from others. On at least a couple of occasions I have been explicity told by Yahweh to stop ministering to them because the clients refused to repent or change their lives, and were robbing others who wanted to walk in the paths of righteousness of the time I could have been giving to them. Predictably, I have been accused to being 'unloving' when I have done this. Nevertheless, I have had to obey the leading of the Ruach (Spirit) before the carnal (and often demon-inspired) complaints of men.
So if sometimes your pastor or deliverance minister withdraws help from you consider whether, in fact, you are following their advice or not. One man who came to me for pastoral counselling many years ago constantly asked for advice and consistently did the opposite of what I told him. After years of fruitless ministry I simply told him bluntly: "I cannot help you any more. Do one thing I have asked you to do and I will resume counselling." I was condemned for that. The man never did repent or change direction and has since stopped attending churches. I, in my turn, was freed to help those who really wanted help and were prepared to act affirmatively on counsel. I still talk to the man occasionally but don't counsel him anymore. (He has been to many ministers who have told him the same thing but he doesn't do what they say either).
How do I know when to stop ministering to someone? Quite simply, the anointing to do so vanishes. When that happens, I know Yahweh is telling me to end the counselling. I continue praying for them, of course, and living in hope that they will change. Usually they have to pass through some more trials in life before, finally, they decide to release self-control and become repentant. It pains me to see their trials but at the same time I know that it is Yahweh working His salvation in them. Most of us stubbornly resist reformation and most of the time Yahweh meets kind with kind.
For those who disobey personal counselling there remains group instruction. Immersing them in the Bible study and prayer, until the necessary truth-principles sink in that will at length persaude them to repent, is the only option ... assuming that they will even do that. Many won't and, in the folly of their own sin, strike out on their own again and end up making the same mistakes over and over again. There is not much you can do for such a person other than to leave them in Yahweh's hands and to pray that He will send people into their lives to whom they will respond. More often than not, they will try the same defective cycle again, and end up just as disappointed as before. They may, for example, swap deliverance ministers. One of my clients did that, told the new deliverance minister a sob story about how I had abandoned her, and predictably got nowhere. Instead, she wasted the new deliverance minister's time as she did mine. Looking for someone who will accept our carnal justifications may tickle the ego but it does not lead to deliverance. The victims are merely deluding themselves.
The greatest obstacle of deliverance ministry, therefore, is not the demons but the people seeking deliverance themselves, and specifically, their carnal nature. They don't usually realise that the carnal nature is every bit as dangerous as their demonic oppressors. Demons know that, of course, and exploit it to the full. That is why Christian discipleship is every bit as important as the actual casting out of demons themselves. And deliverance ministers who will not disciple their victims, or at least ensure they are being well discipled by someone else, are not doing their jobs properly.
This ministry is fully integrated with a discipling program. We counsel all our clients to complete our Foundational Studies of the Bible course so that they get a solid foundation in Christianity. Many coming for deliverance abandon their deliverance when they see what the Scriptures actually demand of them (which runs counter to their false expectations) so we find this a good sifting device. Unless you have a solid foundation in the essential truths of the Faith, deliverance will not, in any case, be much good. So our task is multi-faceted.
I hope this has been a dose not only of reality but of hope too. Seeing the wider picture does help because it gives you more handles in your life, especially if you have felt like a boat drifting at sea. Discipleship will give your life a solid, rocky foundation. Sound doctrine coupled with loving and supporting fellowship that bathes its people in prayer are essential for those not just coming out of oppression but who want, and need, to live a victorious life. The order is important also. No amount of love and support are going to help if sound doctrine is not in place: it is the truth that frees a soul (Jn.8:32), not love - love is what lifts the soul into the giddy and exalting heights of God's presence that has been set free by the Truth, and sustains the soul as it grasps for the Truth.
So, do you really want to be delivered? If you do, soberly consider these things.