Over the last several years, I have been involved in what is called “deliverance ministry.” Deliverance refers to freeing people from the influence of evil spirits; casting out demons in order to set others free from torment, oppression, and bondage.
This type of ministry is not something that I grew up seeing in church. It was not talked about, nor did I ever witness a demon being cast out. The Lord led me into deliverance ministry through a series of events and I have been involved in it ever since. It is certainly not the only focus of my ministry, but it has become a consistent and valuable part.
For Jesus, deliverance was normal. In the gospel accounts we see Him frequently dealing with the reality of evil spirits, and setting people free from their grip. It was actually as common for Jesus to cast out a demon as it was for Him to preach a sermon: “And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons” (Mark 1:39).
The way that Jesus was able to command demons to leave people—and the way that the demons obeyed—got the attention of the people:
Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.
Jesus did not see Himself as the exclusive One to cast out demons. He passed on the ministry of deliverance to the twelve disciples (see Mark 6:7, 12-13), 70 others (see Luke 10:1, 17), and ultimately the whole church (see Mark 16:17).
Though it is unfortunately somewhat rare to find churches in the West that practice deliverance ministry, God is restoring this ministry to the church. He is opening up our eyes to truths that have been in His Word all along. More and more believers are becoming aware of the reality of the spiritual realm and our need to cast out demons to set captives free.
The subject of demons and deliverance is certainly a controversial one, and one that is surrounded with many questions and fears. Some believers have been exposed to bizarre and harmful things done in the name of deliverance. Hollywood’s portrayal of demon-possession conjures fear and misunderstanding. These circumstances add to the need for clear, scriptural teaching and practice in this area.
Every time I teach on deliverance or dialogue about the topic, there are many questions that arise. But without a doubt, the most common question I encounter is “How can a Christian have a demon?” Many believers have a forgone assumption that a true Christian cannot have an evil spirit; that even if deliverance is real, it is not for Christians.
I understand this position well; I used to maintain it myself. My presumptions about this, however, were not based on biblical grounds; they were based on what seemed logical to me. After all, how can an evil spirit dwell in the same place as the Holy Spirit? How can light and darkness live together? The very thought of it seems repulsive and altogether impossible. But does the Bible actually teach that a Christian cannot have a demon?
Whether or not a Christian can have a demon is a very significant question with far-reaching implications. It is with this in mind that I recently released the book Can a Christian Have a Demon? In this short book, I overcome some of the most common misunderstandings about deliverance ministry. I show scriptural evidence that the answer to the question “can a Christian have a demon?” is not as cut-and-dried as the church has often believed. When the misunderstanding and confusion about deliverance is cleared, the way is paved for many to be set free by the power of God.
I encourage you to click the image below to get a copy for yourself. Prayerfully consider what is written, and ask the Holy Spirit for His insight and wisdom into this important topic!