By Joanne Highley
The subject of deliverance cannot be ignored in homosexual ministry -- for demonic activity is quite real to many who have left themselves vulnerable to it through the continual use of alcohol and drugs, involvement in sexual immorality and occult activity, rebellion, or even by an outright decision to invite Satan to take over one’s life.
Some people are fearful of deliverance ministry (binding out demonic spirits) for a number of reasons. Perhaps they may fear the power of Satan; or feel they do not have the ability or strength to deal with such a problem; or fear that they will cause others to look for demons behind every tree. We must bear in mind that 1 John 4:4 is always true (“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them [demonic spirits], because the one who is in you [the Holy Spirit] is greater than the one who is in the world [Satan].”). Therefore, by the power of Jesus in us and by the authority of His name, we can bind and loose spirits and set people free from demonic oppression.
Who should administer deliverance? I believe that any Christian who has (1) a strong walk with the Lord, (2) his spirit in control of his flesh, and (3) a good mouth confession, can bind and loose without repercussions from demonic powers. (It is good to have a few brothers and sisters present if possible, but it is not necessary.)
The following teaching is taken from a sermon preached by Ernie Gruen in Full Faith Church of Love in Kansas City, Missouri.
Demon “possession” is the state of being inhabited and controlled by demon spirits. A Christian cannot be demon-possessed because the person is possessed by the Holy Spirit. However, a Christian is not automatically immune from demonic “oppression”, when demons work in the soulish realm of a Christian. Demon spirits can affect the personality and emotional life of a Christian and endanger his physical body and safety.
In the account of the demonic in Luke 8:26-39, we see seven signs of demonic activity. One of the signs is withdrawal from society and friends. The scripture states that the demons had driven the man to solitary places and that he lived among the tombs in the graveyard. A desire to flee from people and demanding situations (such situations could be good for our growth) is often dropped into our minds by demonic spirits, and we must resist that thought and take it captive.
A second sign of demonic activity is moral uncleanness or lust (Luke 8:27): the man was running naked among the tombs. When we set our eyes on R-rated movies or pornography, enter a bar, or set foot in a bookstore or bathhouse, we invite an onslaught by demonic spirits. I am sure that the glazed-eyed look so common in people I counsel comes from the oppression of demonic spirits, which lie to them continually, and, of course, from their believing the lies.
A third sign of demonic oppression is violence. Jesus is the Prince of Peace; when we become violent we turn from His way and follow the way of our flesh. Anger and bad temper, in themselves, can at times signify demonic activity. Satan wants us to be violent because his purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy.
A fourth sign of demonic activity is self-torture, often expressed in condemnation, guilt, and suicidal tendencies. The demoniac living among the tombs cried out night and day and cut himself with stones. If you cut yourself down or think ill of yourself, this may be the result of demonic activity -- rebuke it now. Belittling yourself is a useless, destructive activity. If you are a Christian and have sinned, confess your sin, repent and be forgiven. Then, forgive yourself and get on with the wonderful work our Lord has created you to do as a part of His Body. If you cut yourself down, you are trying to self-atone or win the favor of God by punishing yourself. You believe you deserve torture because you do not fully understand that the blood of Jesus has washed away your sin. Jesus was tortured for us -- we don’t have to win our own atonement by self-torture.
A fifth sign is religious obsession -- demons love religion -- "having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). In Acts 16:16-18 we read that a fortuneteller followed Paul for several days, declaring that “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” Though she was telling the truth, she spoke in a disruptive manner, glorifying herself. Paul recognizing this as demonic activity commanded the demon out of her.
A sixth sign is disruptive behavior. A disruptive person many times wants to manipulate, dominate other people, and is oppressed by demons.
A seventh sign is perverted, supernatural wisdom. The demons in the demoniac knew who Jesus was, believed in hell, and called Jesus “Son of the Most High God”; they begged Him not to torture them. They knew His power. You see here the perversion of their wisdom in that Jesus to them represented torture. This perverted view is found in many people who are oppressed by demons. It is not enough to know Jesus is the Son of God -- He must be your Savior and Lord.
Four principles to remember in deliverance are:
Do not talk to demons -- Jesus told them to “be quiet”, and asked only their names.
Demons want to inhabit someone in order to manifest their personality through the person. Demons live out their hatred, lust, etc., through people. How unlike the Holy Spirit, who seeks someone through whom He can manifest love, joy, and peace.
Many times demons travel in packs. A person generally is plagued by more than one demon spirit.
The person’s free will is always left intact. Even the demon-possessed man had free will and was responsible for his actions. God will never violate your free will. He will never let the Devil control your free will.
In the account of the demoniac, the Greek word for “bowing before Jesus” (Luke 8:28) is the same as “worship”. He worshipped Jesus out of his own free will even in his naked, deranged, insane state. You can never say, “The Devil made me do it”, because you must choose to let the Devil make you do it.
Many people have been confused by films, such as “The Exorcist”, which seem to indicate that Christians will have a long struggle in casting out or binding demonic spirits. This obviously is not borne out in scripture. Since we bind out spirits in the name and by the power of Jesus, we need only speak a word and they have to leave. This, of course, is contingent on the person’s desire to be set free from (or continue to be subject to) demonic oppression. If the person does not truly want to be free, then his resistance will make a home for those spirits.
After binding out demons, be aware that continued freedom from demonic oppression is largely dependent on the individual’s walk with the Lord. A Christian must walk daily in his faith. He must have a quiet time with the Lord every day and continue to keep his feet from evil (Proverbs 4:27).