Christians being oppressed by the devil and his demons is very real. I've not said anything otherwise.
And I believe just as the Lord's prayer says, we are to pray for deliverance from the evil one. The devil and his demons, as well as our flesh and the world, lie to us constantly and so it's a daily battle to take our thoughts captive and believe the truths of God instead of the lies we hear daily.
I just believe it's looking to Christ and all he has accomplished for us, and believing all the truths of the bible, including that we are safe in Christ and that he is sovereign over our lives, not the devil and his demons, that is the answer. I believe the deliverance ministries teach lies that keep people in bondage. I believe they teach doctrines of demons which is kind of ironic when they are supposed to be all about deliverance of demons. Part of fighting the battle against demons everyday is fighting against all the doctrines of demons that have come into the church to deceive Christians.
You said, "If someone believes that deliverance only comes once they go to heaven, then they are not expecting any now. This is where you are."
No, this is so far from the truth. I believe Christ has delivered me already and that he continues to deliver me from the lies of the devil, the demons, the world, my flesh, etc. every day as I said up above.
13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Here's a guy that feels like I do about the deliverance ministries. Some of what he says gets a little repetitive in places, but maybe that's what's needed:
The Deceptive and Destructive Doctrine of Deliverance Ministry Teachings:
Dear deliverance minister/teacher/practitioner, who is casting out demons from fellow believers,
Please take heed in the name of The Sovereign Lord, and deliver yourselves from this insidious doctrine born of demons (1 Timothy 4:1) addressed herein.
I submit this to all “Contemporary deliverance teachers/ministers” practicing among fellow Christians exhorting you to repent from the madness and insanity of what you claim is bringing freedom, for nothing could be further from the truth (2 Peter 2:19). You unknowingly have been enslaved and are enslaving those you teach into further bondage just as 2 Peter declares. You have “demonized” the flesh and have erred in doing so (Galatians 5:19-21). Please heed the serious warnings and escape the consequences of your rebellion in His sight. You say you are not focused on demons, but your actions deny this as you now have demon names for every behavior and even our thoughts. You say we can have a demon of intellect. In addition, even a religious spirit. Can one have a spirit or demon of a Berean? Have you not been trapped in your own thinking and have lost the ability to reason and use sound judgment? Can one think critically anymore without being "demonized" with a "Critical Spirit"? Where is the freedom in your never-ending need to cast out your demons with the continued and endless need for maintenance that is the result of this belief?
Additionally, you are teaching your children this. Please consider the passage in (Titus 1:11). Deliverance teaching seems to be spreading like gangrene which can now ruin entire families (2 Timothy 2:17).
May the Lord grant you repentance and grace you with His mercy while there is still time, but you must repent to receive it.
It seems your eternal destiny remains in the balance, and has been declared by Christ himself in the gospel of Matthew (chapter 7:15-23). The practice you partake in is found wanting and void of the truth (2 Timothy 4:3- 4, 1 John 4:1-6, Galatians 2:4, Revelation 2:2). Can you not see how false prophecies, casting out demons, and signs and wonders are working into the hands of the coming man of lawlessness, in which you have been tricked into assisting with his will?
Have you not been easily bewitched by listening to and following after lying, deceitful spirits? (Galatians 1:7). Is not confession of sin and repentance of sins, which grants forgiveness, the provision for us, rather than endless exorcisms? Deception is not absent among you with so many demons being given a platform and your willingness to talk with them. You literally invoke their presence with your obsession with them, calling upon them.
There is sometimes the genuine need for casting out demons of an (empty vessel), if and when necessary, but what you are doing is a spiritually deadly counterfeit game. The demons are simply playing with you, while keeping you in bondage. Can you not see this? Your only hope is to forsake these ways, returning to the Sovereign Lord. Forsake your ways and return to Him while there is time or suffer the consequences (Titus 3:11).
Return to Him, who is mighty to save, standing with and in the message of the Gospel (Romans 1:1-32) of confession and repentance which offers forgiveness, and salvation from eternal damnation.
(Titus 2:11-12) teaches us to say “No” to all forms of ungodliness; by grace through faith which gives us self-control. We must not forsake the preaching of the cross from which we get the power and the need to die to self; and yes, that offends many but is foolishness to those who will ultimately perish (1 Corinthians 1:17-18).
You must crucify the flesh and walk in the strength of The Holy Spirit as “Living Sacrifices” as your holy and acceptable sacrifice (Galatians 5:24; Romans 12:1)
Is it not Pastoral malpractice and a misdiagnosis to label a born-again believer as “demonized” with the prescription of casting demons out of them, confusing the works of the flesh as “demonic,” when scripture declares specific things are works of the flesh?(Galatians 5:19-21). Are now the flesh and demons one and the same? We know demons can be cast out, but can you cast out the flesh? Why not consider living and walking by the Holy Spirit rather than wallowing in the flesh (Galatians 5:16)?
I submit this proclamation to challenge and rebuke the teaching, belief, and practice of casting out demons in fellow Christians, post salvation, for this has now been identified as a destructive heresy spoken of in 2 Peter 2:1-3; 1 Corinthians 11:19.
Please take notice and be warned.
The deceptive and destructive doctrine of “deliverance ministries” seems to be entrenched among us.
Please consider the following carefully, and may it challenge you to walk out of darkness and into the light.
I believe we now have the answer as to why Christ prophesied and warned us that he would reject many for not knowing Him. When it comes to casting out demons from other Christians/Believers, there are many things wrong scripturally, and we must ask and answer as to why Christ calls many, workers of iniquity or lawlessness (Matthew 7:23; Luke 13:27).
I would exhort you strongly to consider the points below if you are practicing or seeking to practice “deliverance among believers” in which I have written for you.
Multiple points against “deliverance ministries/teachers” that believe, teach, and practice exorcising/casting out demons from fellow Believers/ Christians:
1. Deliverance ministers confuse and shift the blame for their disobedience towards sin on demons, such as Eve blamed her disobedience on the serpent and Adam's on his wife which was a bad idea then; and no different today as the carnal mind wants to blame other things rather than take ownership and responsibility for their own sin (Romans 8:7).
2. Deliverance teachers tell us that demons can inhabit the Christian’s body, in which God has declared is His Temple (1 Corinthians 6:19), when we have been delivered out of the dominion of darkness (Colossians 1:13), seated with Christ in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2:6). Furthermore, we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13), bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20), and are to be bond slaves to Christ (Romans 1:1, 2 Peter 1:1, James 1:1). We are a part of Christ’s Royal Priesthood (1 Peter 2:9) and given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). We are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1).
3. Logical conclusion and reason would make the Jesus of deliverance ministry pathetically weak and helpless to us, if once Christ grants us salvation and then somehow can not keep us safe, however, the scriptures declare otherwise (1 John 5:18). Did not Jesus cast out “Legion” and is it not Christ in us who is our Strongman who can never be bound? As greater is He who is in us than he who is in the World (John 4:4). Beware of this weak Jesus, another spirit, another gospel (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).
4. They teach that demons can re-enter the deliverance victim repeatedly, which requires "maintenance,” which is repeated exorcisms/casting out of demons.
5. They are deluded into thinking they have demons and that they can perform self-exorcisms on themselves. Where did Christ or the original Apostles ever teach or yet even demonstrate this? Their bondage and focus is towards demons even though they would deny this; however, their actions and practices contradict their words. They have a form of godliness, yet deny the power thereof (2 Timothy 3:5).
6. The deliverance ministers (among Christians) have learned their craft, which has been introduced from demon's themselves, gathering endless names of demons by conversing with them which scripture has forbidden. It’s a very bad idea since they lie and can be identified as the authors of "doctrines of demons" declared in scripture (1 Timothy 4-1).
7. Does not the deliverance minister slander celestial beings and blaspheme in things they do not fully understand, attempting to “bind” Satan and send him to the pit. Who keeps letting him out (2 Peter 2:10-12, Jude 1:10, Revelation 20:1-3)? He will one day be bound but not until Revelation 20. You must simply stand against and resist him, and he will flee as our Lord demonstrated as well as commanded (James 4:7). Yield only to the Lord God instead. Logic should tell us that if the deliverance ministry practice really worked, by now Satan and his demons would have been completely bound keeping us all safe.
8. Deliverance teachers deny the works of the flesh, equating these with demonic spirits instead, further confusing the "believer" (Galatians 5:16-21).
9. Deliverance teachers deny the Sovereign Lord by granting power and revering/fearing Satan more, unknowingly (the definition of deception), when God can actually be allowing Satan to be used as disciplinary means (testing, trials and sufferings), or to fulfill His will upon mankind in any way He chooses. Where Satan has meant for evil, God can use for good. False teachers deny the Sovereign Lord (2 Peter 2-1; Jude). When considering the immoral brother, or Job, or the Spirit sent to King Ahab, and those handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme, why should one think that Satan and his demons should be bound, when God might use them as a means of discipline. Even Paul’s thorn was allowed by God to keep him humble. Trying to bind and control Satan and his demons usurps God’s authority, and may be in opposition, and therefore rebellion, to what God may have willed, and places God in a position of having lost control.
10. The deliverance teacher will only enslave people into further bondage when they believe they can blame their sin on demons, placing themselves at the mercy of the false teacher. They promise “freedom” through exorcisms which will only enslave one deeper and into a delusional state of “freedom” (2 Peter 2:19) which declares they are themselves enslaved in all sorts of depravity.
11. Deliverance teaching attacks the sufficient grace extended to Christians requiring exorcisms, post salvation, which now becomes an added work to the finished work of the cross, in which Christ ransomed Himself for all of humanity. Consider Paul's thorn in the flesh and Christ’s answer to him after pleading three times which essentially stated that His grace was sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). We never saw an exorcism of Paul’s thorn but rather that grace was enough.
12. Deliverance teachers produce fear rather than peace blaming everything on the demonic while overlooking the works of the flesh and even worldly influence, enslaving them further into demonic bondage.
13. Since this teaching can be considered demonically inspired, it will deceive and mislead those who embrace it and be met with the rejection of Christ in (Matthew 7: 21-23) as He declares many lawless/evildoers and may literally invoke the presence of demons because of the platform and attention given to them.
14. How can deliverance teachers truly know the Christ of scripture if they believe and teach themselves that the Holy Spirit can indwell them, as well as Christ, and also believe they can be inhabited with demons. Is this not delusional insanity?
15. Deliverance teachers can/will be sent a strong delusion for rejecting the truth, exchanging it for lies (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12) and have become the blind leading the blind, deceived and being deceived (Matthew 15:14).
16. After thorough examination, the deliverance teachers have effectively demonstrated they have distorted and wrestled with the scriptures, which will set them and their followers on the certain road to their own destruction unless they reconsider choosing to repent, or remain stiff-necked unto ultimate destruction (2 Peter 3-16, Deuteronomy 31:27, Acts 7:51).
17. Much of their teaching is clearly outside the writings in scripture and has been derived from forbidden territory via “Christian Mystics or Shamans”.
18. The deliverance teaching among Christians denies the flesh, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Father, and is blasphemous to the rightful power, character, majesty, and glory of The Sovereign Lord, whose spirit now indwells the born-again believer.
19. Examine the scriptures and these warnings to see if they are not based in truth and turn from this delusion, and come to your senses (2 Timothy 2:25, 2 Timothy 3:16).
20. Is it not time to heed the warnings of our Prophet, Priest, and King, who spoke the very words and will most assuredly judge the souls of all who do not really know and obey Him? Have you not made Him out to be weak? Again, can you not see how it will all end, and works in concert with the man of lawlessness? (Matthew 7:15-23, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-13).
21. Why are the “deliverance ministers” of today not handing people over to Satan such as Paul did with the immoral brother or those blaspheming such as Hymenaeus and Alexander (in keeping with the truth) as you so desire to be like the original Apostles?
22. Are not the “deliverance ministers” of today, the spiritual elitist magicians (false prophets/teachers) of our day, which not only Christ, but the Apostles warned us of ? Will they not deceive and enslave those who willingly submit to their teachings and distorted scriptural beliefs and are a danger and menace to the body of Christ?
May Christ Jesus, who is rich in mercy, grant repentance to those who have ears to hear, and eyes to see, and turn from this deceptive and wicked practice.
In Christ, the Only Sovereign Lord and King,
Mitchell S. Sikich