Casting out demons is an extremely powerful supernatural tool to help Christians free people from demonic torment. These meaty tips will help you navigate around common mistakes and become a more powerful witness for Jesus Christ.
The 10 mistakes we make when casting out demons are listed here:
- We try to cast out the demon too fast.
- We try to cast out the demon at the same time many others are doing so.
- We are too loud.
- We stop too soon.
- We minister with our eyes closed.
- We pray when we should be commanding.
- We command when we should be praying.
- We don’t understand our righteousness.
- We focus too much on manifestations.
- We are ashamed of casting out demons.
Mistake 1: We Try to Cast Out the Demon Too Fast
We can sometimes be like the wannabe gunslinger in a comedy western when it comes to casting out demons. You’ve read about casting out demons in the Bible. You’ve heard others give their own testimonies. Or you may have heard others tell a secondhand or a hundred and second-hand story of a demon being cast out. And now your trigger finger is itchy!
I know the feeling.
I got radically saved when I was seventeen years old. It didn’t happen in church or another kind of Christian meeting. It didn’t happen because someone was witnessing to me. It happened because I was reading the Bible off and on as a sinner. And it happened as I sat on an aircraft on my way to (at the time) West Germany for my first year in the military.
I was fascinated when I read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and especially the book of Acts. Jesus was a miracle-worker! But what was even more exciting was that He apparently wanted His disciples to be miracle-workers.
Now that sounded good!
Several Years Later
For several years afterwards, I personally experienced the power of God, and witnessed and participated in miracles and healings and other gifts of the Spirit. I also received unmistakable answers to prayer.
Then in 1992 I decided to take a big step of faith. I formally incorporated and started Power Evangelism Ministries. One of the first things I did was to place an ad in a local weekly newspaper named Thrifty Nickle. It ran in January 1993. Below is the actual ad:
Not a pretty or well-designed ad in the least! But what’s obvious is that I had an itchy trigger finger. I was A Fist Full of Dollars, Dirty Harry, Pale Rider, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider, and Unforgiven—all in one deliverance minister. Let me at ‘em!
Yes, I like Clint Eastwood movies.
Here Comes the Demons!
Guess what? You put an ad like that in the paper and folks are going to call you. Our first deliverance session occurred in my car. My friend, Larry, was in the opposite passenger seat, and the woman seeking deliverance was in the back seat.
I don’t recall exactly why the session had to be done with her in the backseat of my car. But I do recall this was the best that could be done due to extenuating circumstances. Obviously, this wasn’t textbook protocol!
Well, what happened?
That depends. If you’re into manifestations, something happened. But if you’re into true deliverance, not much at all happened.
Our Second Deliverance Failure
Our second failure could more appropriately be called a butt-whipping from the devil. This time the person needing deliverance was a woman who, in the words of her sisters and mother, had gone “crazy.” She had been a brilliant medical student until the day she had mysteriously lost her mind.
We were excited. A genuine “crazy” person. We were going to cast these things out of her and go on to clean up Atlanta. Well, a few hours of going back and forth with a bunch of belligerent, talkative demons who gave themselves names like Big Al, Terrible Tony, Niki the Chin, and so forth, this woman was no closer to being free than she was prior to our arrival.
Matter of fact, one of them even taunted us by saying, “I’ll be here tomorrow watching the Super Bowl.”
I thought, who does this devil think he is? He must not know who we are? He must not have read the ad or my business card. Well, I don’t know what that demon was doing the next day. But since we were unsuccessful in casting him out, he may have watched the Super Bowl!
What We Learned from Our Failures
First, let me give you a graphic of our progress from January 1993 to June 1994:
Notice the focus of this ad. It’s not generic like the first one. It’s on a particular stronghold: Rejection. Check out the sentence: “We have seen many delivered of various mental and physical afflictions due to rejection.”
You see, during that year and a half of private sessions and public meetings, we learned some things. We learned a lot of things! But for the purposes of this tip list, I’ll focus on one.
Slow Down and Ask Questions Before You Cast Out Demons
The woman in the back seat of my car, and the woman who lost her mind, were not delivered in part because we were too fast. In those early days, instead of Ready. Aim. Fire! We were, Fire! Fire! Fire!
Sure, in an evangelistic setting, you probably won’t have time to talk to the person for thirty minutes or an hour before casting out the demon. But when you have a scheduled one-on-one session, you need to do as much pre-work as possible. This means talking to the person enough to determine the following, at a minimum:
- What is the actual problem(s)?
- Is the person desperate enough for deliverance ministry?
- Is the person familiar with deliverance ministry?
- Has the person received this type of ministry before? If so, what were the results?
- Is there unforgiveness in the person’s life?
- Is there any unconfessed sin in the person’s life?
Pre-Work is Critical When You Plan to Cast Out a Demon
Certainly, there are many other questions one could ask prior to the actual casting out of demons. And, certainly, God could overrule any such pre-work requirement and deliver the person and leave us scratching our heads. But I’m dealing with the general rule and not the exception.
Had we not been so busy shooting our toes off trying to get our deliverance guns out of our holsters, we would have done enough pre-work and discovered that the lady in the back seat of my car wasn’t desperate enough to let go of unforgiveness.
We also would’ve found that the lady who had lost her mind, as well as her mother and sisters, all of which who were at the session, were all strong believers and practitioners of abortion.
You May Learn Information That Can Help You Cast Out the Demon–If You Listen
All of the women had had abortions, and the suddenly severely mentally ill, ex-medical student had terminated four pregnancies before suddenly losing her mind. That bit of information came out right as we were ending the session.
We were sure that God had revealed this so we could lead the woman in repentance for killing her children. We’d then go against the insane spirits with renewed vigor.
The women rebuffed us and told us there was nothing wrong with abortion. There’s not a lot you can do when the person you’re trying to help won’t confess sin as sin.
Could’ve saved us all a lot of time had we done a little more pre-work!
Do your pre-work.
Note: If you’re speaking at a public gathering, you can do pre-work for the entire audience with a teaching message. A teaching message explains. The more detailed your teaching, the more potentially powerful the demonstrations of God’s power and mercy.
Mistake 2: We Try to Cast Out the Demon the Same Time Others Are Doing So
There’s several of you trying to cast a demon out of a person. One of you is binding. Another is loosing. One is shouting, “Tell me your name. How many of you are in there?” Another is demanding, “I forbid you to talk. Shut up and come out!”
This normally happens in one of two ways:
- The deliverance team has no designated leader or protocol to facilitate the session.
- The person starts manifesting in a public meeting, and a bunch of people (again with no designated leader) counterattack with uncoordinated shouts, commands, and instructions.
Why Confusion is Bad for Deliverance Ministry
I really, really…really dislike confusion in deliverance ministry. Why? Four reasons.
First, it complicates everything. Casting out demons is not that difficult. But it becomes difficult to reach the destination of freedom when several people try to steer the deliverance vehicle in different directions at once.
Second, it makes Satan look stronger than he is. Satan’s back is broken. There’s not a whole lot he can do when confronted in deliverance ministry except to deceive, intimidate, or delay. He’s…coming…out! It’s always just a matter of time.
But when onlookers (and even the victim) see a bunch of people bumping into one another in disarray with their disjointed commands and instructions, they can’t help but assume the demon must be incredibly powerful to cause such confusion among the deliverance team (or crowd!).
Third, it dishonors the person. People we pray for should always be treated with the dignity of someone created in the image of God. Confusion creates an atmosphere where respect for the person may take a back seat to getting the demon out.
Fourth, it makes the person fearful. People who come to us for help need to know that we know what we’re doing. Perceived confusion among the deliverance team does exactly the opposite. It makes us look as though we’re throwing darts while blindfolded—at their expense!
Get rid of the confusion.
Mistake 3: We Are Too Loud When Casting Out Demons
Deliverance folks often fall into a pattern of shouting at demons. I understand the temptation. I’ve done it myself. And, honestly, I’ll probably do it again. It can be hard to keep your cool when casting out demons. But here’s the deal: loudness has absolutely nothing to do with the power of God.
On the infrequent occasions when I notice my voice rising to match the level of my disgust for what Satan has done to the person I’m ministering to, I calm myself and lower my voice. I do this for four reasons.
First, I don’t know how long the session will take. One hour. Two hours. Five hours. How long would my voice last if I try shouting for hours at a time? It just doesn’t make sense.
Second, I want the person to be calm and confident as I minister. If I seem like I’m having a nervous breakdown trying to get the demon out, the person may wonder whether the demon may win the battle. This could negatively affect their faith.
Third, I don’t want the person to think the battle between God and Satan is a battle among equals. It’s not. It’s a battle between the eternal, Almighty God and a created being with a definite, disastrous, soon-coming end.
Fourth, I want the person to leave my presence believing they have similar power and authority over Satan. Again, if I’m a nervous wreck, they may leave delivered. But chances are they’ll think they don’t have what it takes to get other people delivered.
Lower your voice.
Mistake 4: We Stop Too Soon When Casting Out Demons
Somehow, we got the idea that all of Jesus’s miracles happened instantly, with Him laying hands once or speaking the word once, and going about His Holy Ghost business. So we assume this should be the norm for us. But this often wasn’t true for Him. And it will usually not be true for us:
- Jesus prayed for a blind man twice before he was healed (Mark 8:22-25).
- Jesus commanded demons to come out of the insane man several times before they came out (Luke 8:26-36).
- Jesus told His disciples tens, and probably hundreds of times, to “fear not” before they became men of courage in Acts 2.
Additionally, Jesus taught us that some demons will not come out without adequate prayer and fasting before the session (Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29). He also taught us explicitly in two parables that some situations will not change without persistent prayer (Luke 11:1-13; 18:1-8).
I also cover a lot of other possibilities in my book on this subject. See it at Amazon.
My Testimony of Persistence in Casting Out a Demon
I see many more healings, deliverances, and miracles than most people for one preeminent reason: I keep praying and commanding when most people find reasons to give up. (There’s always a good reason to give up!)
On a mission trip to Honduras, we didn’t gain victory over a stronghold of demons in a woman until after we had spent two days and two sessions of commanding these things to come out.
Six hours the first day.
Five hours the next day.
Victory was won after eleven hours.
Don’t stop too soon.
I’ve written a short, easy-read book on persistent prayer that many people have found helpful. The name is You Can Get Answers to Your Prayers: Turning Impossible Problems into Spectacular Answers to Prayer. You can learn more about it at Amazon.
Mistake 5: We Minister with Our Eyes Closed When Casting Out Demons
I’ve often had to ask those who minister with me to open their eyes as they pray for people. Why do I do this? It’s because much of what occurs in the invisible, spiritual realm can be “seen” in the visible realm—if you’re trained to interpret the visible by spiritual truth. (Read 2 Corinthians 4:18)
This is one application of the Scripture that says, “watch and pray” (Matthew 26:41). We are praying for a purpose, right? In the context of ministering to someone, how will we know we are getting close to the purpose being achieved if our eyes are closed?
But before we develop this further, I want to examine some reasons people like to close their eyes when they pray for people.
Why We Pray for People with Our Eyes Closed
Reason One: We Feel Closer to God
One reason we do this is because we feel closer to God with our eyes closed. But guess what? The Holy Spirit is inside of you whether your eyes are open or closed (1 Corinthians 3:16). So take control of your feelings and walk by faith and open your eyes.
Reason Two: We’re Less Distracted
The second reason is we’re less distracted. This one is totally understandable. Nonetheless, we must be able to walk and chew bubble gum at the same time, so to speak. Life is far too fast-moving and complicated to limit ourselves to closed-eyes ministry.
Which of your favorite Bible heroes did anything heroic with closed eyes? Did Abraham walk the desert with his eyes closed? Did Moses confront Pharoah’s demonized magicians with his eyes closed? Did Joshua and Israel attack Jericho with closed eyes? Did David rush Goliath with his eyes closed?
Then why are you trying to cast out demons with your eyes closed? Come on. Open your eyes.
Reason Three: Our Gifts Work Better
The third reason is some of our revelation gifts work better when our eyes are closed. I understand. Come to think of it, I’ve received nearly all of my visions when my eyes were closed.
Now, this is fine when we’re in a nice, peaceful setting. But my opinion is that it’s quite out of place when we’re confronting a demon.
Why don’t you try this instead: Ask God to communicate with you with your eyes open as you cast out demons. Then by faith, listen for the faint voice of the Holy Spirit. Become deliberately aware of thoughts bubbling up inside of you.
Look at the invisible realm even as you physically look at the person you’re praying for. You’ll begin to spiritually see with the same clarity you once had only with closed eyes.
Don’t be afraid to ask God for this. He won’t be offended that you’re trying to grow. He’ll be pleased.
Reason Four: We Feel Foolish
The fourth reason we close our eyes is we feel foolish. Ohhh, boy, you don’t have to tell me about this one! I’ve been dealing with this feeling for thirty-five years. Nearly every time I seek to minister supernaturally, Satan tells me I’m about to make a fool of myself. I’ve learned to accept this accusation as routine, but not true.
He tells me God won’t work through me, and God works through me. So no need to try to hide from the feeling of foolishness by closing my eyes.
Reason Five: We Lack Faith
The last reason I’ll mention is we close our eyes because of lack of faith. Closing our eyes is the easiest way to hide from the belief that we don’t think anything is happening or will happen! Yet, if you’re ministering authoritatively in Jesus’s name, something is definitely happening.
Why We Should Open Our Eyes When Casting Out Demons
Here are the reasons why I feel you should open your eyes when casting out demons:
- We should open our eyes to avoid being inadvertently hit or kicked. I’ve heard the wild stories of people being thrown all over the place when trying to cast out a demon. I’ve never had that happen to me.
This is probably because of the pre-work I do in dismantling strongholds before attacking (Thank you, Dr. Charles Kraft!), and also because I use my spiritual authority to forbid manifestations of violence.
Actually, the closest I’ve come to anything like that is when I was inadvertently kicked in the shin by a lady who jerked as I prayed for her. Nonetheless, during a deliverance session people may flail or jerk. If your eyes are closed, you can’t move out of the way!
- We should open our eyes so we can see what God is doing. We are workers together with Christ (1 Corinthians 3:9), and He works together with us (Mark 16:20). Since we are a team, it’s important that we are aware when He’s doing something.
Jesus said He worked where He saw His Father working (John 5:17, 19). When you minister authoritatively in Jesus’s name, the Holy Spirit works with you to glorify Jesus. Much of what He’s doing inside the person may be seen by the person’s responses to your commands and petitions. Not always, but often.
If your eyes are closed, you may miss what God is doing as you pray.
Open your eyes.
Mistake 6: We Pray When We Should Be Commanding
The Scripture says, “He [Jesus] has made us kings and priests to His God and Father…” (Revelation 1:6). We are to minister as kings and priests. Kings command; priests pray. Let me clarify.
The Lord has given us authority to command things to happen that further His kingdom (Mark 11:22-23). This is our kingly ministry. Similarly, He has given us access to ask Him to do things to further His kingdom (Mark 11:24). This is our priestly ministry.
We are most effective when we deal with situations operating in the correct ministry.
For instance, Jesus told us to cast out demon: “In My name shall they cast out demons,” (Mark 16:17). We are to deal with demons in our authority as kings.
Yet, I have seen Christians trying to cast out demons by asking God to make the demon leave. I’m not saying God can’t answer such a prayer. I’m simply saying His plan is for us to cast out demons. It is not to ask Him to do it. A quick look at an example in the life of Moses will illustrate this point.
The Lord had freed Israel from the Egyptians, but now Pharoah and his army were fast approaching. Israel was trapped. They were doomed. Moses turned to God for assistance and began to pray.
Hear what God told Moses, and never forget it: “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to Me. Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea,” (Exodus 14:15-16).
Are You Asking God to Do What He Told You to Do?
“Why do you cry to Me?”
That’s an incredible thing for God to ask a man facing an impossible situation. Aren’t we supposed to pray when we’re in trouble? To seek Him for deliverance? There’s like a thousand Scriptures telling us to run to Him for help. So what’s with this weird question?
The problem from God’s perspective was that Moses was asking Him to do something that He wanted Moses to do. Had God explicitly told Moses to lift his rod previously before telling him this time? Probably not. That would’ve been why Moses was in God’s face asking for help.
But here’s what Moses discovered. God doesn’t want to have to explicitly tell you to do everything. He wants you to do some things because you have grown in spiritual experience and intimacy with Him.
(Carefully read Matthew 14:15-21; 15:32-38. You’ll see that in the miracles of Him feeding the 5,000 and the 4,000 with a few fishes and loaves of bread, He was throwing strong hints to His disciples so they’d work the miracles.)
As for casting out demons, God has explicitly commanded us to cast out demons. Multitudes of spectacular miracles of deliverance never occur because we’re asking God to do what He told us to do.
Stop praying and start commanding.
My book on casting out demons can help you with this. See it at Amazon.
Mistake 7: We Command When We Should Be Praying
The opposite error of praying when we should be commanding is commanding when we should be praying. There’s a humiliating example in the ministry of the twelve disciples that shows this perfectly.
Jesus had given the disciples authority and power to cast out demons and heal diseases (Matthew 10:1, 7-8). The disciples went out and had spectacular success. Then they ran across a little boy who was severely demonized and sick. They tried their best to cast this thing out. It wouldn’t come out.
Jesus appeared, cast out the demon, and when the disciples asked why their commands didn’t work, He said this:
Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.
Well, well, well.
There goes our commanding formula. Now we find that we can command all we want, and if we haven’t done our private praying (and possibly fasting), our commands may be futile.
The Heroes of the Faith Spent a Lot of Time in Private Prayer
It is important to note, however, that the disciples were able to work many miracles without a strong prayer life. And, honestly, so can you and I. But such a deficiency will needlessly keep certain miracles out of our grasp.
Moses spent a lot of time in private prayer. So God honored his public commands of faith.
Elijah spent a lot of time in private prayer. So God honored his public commands of faith.
Jesus spent a lot of time in private prayer. So God honored His public commands of faith.
Spend a lot of time in private prayer. So God can honor your public commands of faith.
Spend time in prayer before you command.
Mistake 8: We Don’t Understand Our Righteousness
Some demons are never cast out because many Christians still don’t understand how righteousness is determined. They think it is a status achieved through living free of sin. And since sin is getting the better of them in some area of their life, they think it best to leave casting out demons to others who are presumably more righteous.
But if righteousness was awarded through right living, no one would be righteous.
This is not because we must sin, as some teach in error. Instead, we can and should stop sinning. We’re commanded to stop sinning. “Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning,” (1 Corinthians 15:34). All true children of God have a deep desire to not sin (Read 1 John 3).
In fact, the central message of the New Testament is not that Jesus died and rose again so we could escape the penalty of hell, while we remain helpless slaves of sin. Rather, it’s just the opposite. He died and rose again to free us from the penalty and the power of sin! (Read Romans 6)
Righteousness Comes by Faith, Not by Works
The difficulty for many Christians to stop seeing themselves as unrighteous is that they don’t understand that when God sees their repentance and faith towards Him, He gives them credit for Jesus’s victory over sin. This sharing with us of the Lord’s absolute standing of purity and innocence before God the Father is what the Bible calls our righteousness.
It is why there are so many Scriptures like these in the Bible:
It is because of God that you are in union with the Messiah Jesus, who for us has become wisdom from God, as well as our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, that as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord,” (1 Corinthians 1;29-30; ISV).
He made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21; NASB).
Abraham is called the father of our faith. So let’s see a graphic picture of how this worked out in his life.
Abraham Declared Righteous Apart from Works
Abraham is spoken of a lot in the New Testament. Usually, it’s regarding faith or righteousness. The reason is Abraham was clearly declared righteous by God because of his faith toward God, which is exactly how we are declared righteous before God.
Abraham’s life and relationship with God is summed up in one verse: “And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness,” (Genesis 15:6).
There it is. The secret to achieving righteousness. Put your faith in God and He counts it as righteousness. God really develops this point in Romans 4. I strongly encourage you to read it.
Read James 2:14-26, too. It gives the balance to the doctrine of justification and righteousness by faith alone, and shows that God is talking about faith that produces a change of behavior, and not simply words spoken by a hypocrite or false convert.
Now I’ll end this section with a couple of Scriptures from Romans 4:
For if Abraham was justified by works [his own efforts], he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness,” (Romans 4:2-3).
Now What About Your Righteousness and Casting Out Demons?
This final section is what the above is all about. You can’t confidently cast out demons if you feel condemned before God. John put it this way: “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God,” (1 John 3:21). So let’s get rid of this condemnation.
How I Minister in the Righteousness of Christ
Usually, when I attempt to minister supernaturally, whether it’s deliverance or healing or prophecy or speaking to a mountain or whatever, Satan is there with his accusations. His top two lies are either that my efforts are futile, or that I’m not righteous enough to ask for such a thing. I’ll address the latter.
Is there any truth to Satan’s accusation that I’m not righteous enough? Yes, I have no right to approach God in my own righteousness, or the strength of my own accomplishments. But this is where he and I part ways.
I’m not approaching God in my own righteousness. I’m approaching the throne in the righteousness of Christ that is granted me because of my living faith toward God.
I Can Be Supremely Confident Even Thought I Am Not Perfect
Therefore, in the context of me participating in supernatural ministry, I can do it with extreme boldness. I can be supremely confident even though I am not perfect. I often make mistakes and sometimes act inconsistently with my heart’s desire to please God.
Yet, I know God primarily judges me based on two things: the righteousness He has granted me in Christ, and the true desires of my heart. That’s how he judges you, too.
Don’t Focus on Your Failure
So the next time an opportunity arises for you to cast out a demon or otherwise walk in the power of God, don’t focus on your latest failure or how many times you’ve failed.
As Jesus told his bumbling, bickering, short-tempered, anything but perfect disciples, “You are clean through the word I have spoken to you,” (John 15:3). Do you have a living faith in Jesus Christ? Then, you are also clean.
Remember that your righteousness comes from Christ.
Mistake 9: We Focus Too Much On Manifestations
I do admit that it’s really exciting to read about the power of the name of Jesus in the Bible, then to see with my own eyes that everything the Bible says about the Lord’s name is true.
For me, there is just nothing like a spectacular display of the risen Christ working through my words to cast out a demon.
I often feel like the disciples who came back to Jesus after He had sent them out on a mission: “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name,” (Luke 10:17).
But after more than thirty years of casting out demons, I understand more fully the Lord’s wise response to these seventy new deliverance ministers.
And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I grant unto you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
“Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven,” (Luke 10:18-20).
Jesus Reaffirms and Corrects His Deliverance Ministers
The Lord answered His disciples joy not only with approval, but with a clarifying affirmation. In modern words, He said, “I know! You fellas hit the devil so hard on the ground that it even affected the strongholds in the heavens. I saw some of it crumble and fall like lightning to the earth. But if you think that’s something, you haven’t seen anything yet.
“I’ve given you so much authority and power that Satan is in big trouble. He can’t possibly win. But as awesome as this power is, I need you to stay balanced. The most important thing is not beating up demons or demonstrations of power. It’s being known in heaven and having your name written in the book of life. Eternal life. That’s what’s most important!”
How New Deliverance Ministers Stumble with Manifestations
It’s only natural that a new Christian, or a seasoned Christian just starting in deliverance ministry, should be awe-struck by the mighty power they wield in Jesus’s name. What a breath of fresh air to finally see with one’s own eyes that the power of the risen Christ is available through the use of His name.
So it’s understandable if they get caught up in the physical manifestations that often accompany this ministry. Their inexperience and exuberance may lead them to minister in such a way that the manifestations are prolonged—at the expense of the person they’re trying to help. But what about seasoned ministers who do this?
How Prideful Deliverance Ministers Stumble with Manifestations
I have personally witnessed deliverance ministers cast out demons in such a way that it was obvious that they were using the manifestations to demonstrate how powerful they were as ministers.
They not only allow unchecked manifestation; they encourage them and allow them to run their course without intervention. I’m sure God finds this repulsive, and so do I.
Deliverance Ministry Can Be Done with Impure Motives
Deliverance ministry is like any other ministry. It can be conducted horribly, with the most impure motives, and still people may be blessed. This is done despite the minister and not because of him.
God watches over His word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12). So no matter how prideful and manipulative and insensitive the preacher, God compassionately uses the opportunity to help people.
Of course, the minister and gullible onlookers interpret God’s compassion as the minister being anointed. But we know better.
As deliverance ministers, let’s take the Lord’s correction to heart. Manifestations are exciting. But the purpose of casting out demons is not to see how many manifestations we can cause. Nor is it to prove to ourselves and to others how powerful we are. It is to help people.
Focus on people, not manifestations.
Mistake 10: We’re Ashamed of Casting Out Demons
Read the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke and you’ll find two prominent features of casting out demons in the ministry of Jesus.
First, it was foundational. He did it day and night in one-on-one encounters and in large meetings. And, second, it was public. He didn’t send people to the basement for this ministry.
Read the book of Acts and you’ll find that the early church followed their Lord’s example. Casting out demons was foundational and public. So among the relatively few churches that practice deliverance ministry (compared to those that don’t), why are many of them so secretive about it?
What I am speaking of is the church’s tendency to treat this ministry as something shameful that should be hidden from the view of the congregation. A proof of this is how quickly you are ushered into a side room or basement if you show signs of being demonized.
But to be fair on this issue, I need to examine the legitimate reasons a church may reserve casting out demons for a side room or basement:
- We don’t want the demonized person to disrupt the service.
- We don’t want to frighten the congregation.
- We don’t want to embarrass the demonized person.
- We can minister more effectively to the demonized person privately.
It is my opinion that only one of these reasons can be considered a legitimate concern.
We Don’t Want the Demonized Person to Interrupt the Service
Honestly, I think most church services need to be disrupted by the power of God. Jesus’s services were disrupted all the time.
- People tearing up the roof to lower a paralyzed man on a stretcher (Luke 5:17-26).
- A tormented man startling everyone by letting out a loud scream (Mark 1:23-28).
- Crowds of sick and demonized people interrupting and pressing in on him all the time (Matthew 15:29-30).
Isn’t it true that the Lord’s ministry was just one three-and-a-half-year series of interruptions of human need? Yet, He got the job done. How?
It was because the interruptions were people, and people were the mission. Therefore, a talk being interrupted so that a demon could be cast out was not actually an interruption of His schedule. It was His schedule.
The problem, as I see it, is obvious and devastating. We don’t want God or human need to interrupt our well-structured church service. We need to change this.
We Don’t Want to Frighten the Congregation
Many churches who participate in casting out demons do it in the side room or basement because if they did it in the sanctuary, they’d freak out their congregations. The church leaders are probably right. But why? It’s because all the demons are cast out in side rooms and the basement!
I believe it is a grave mistake to sanitize our services of the power of God and manifest spiritual warfare for the sake of not frightening the congregation.
If we’d come out of the side rooms and basements, our congregations would become familiar with the risen Christ and see with their eyes that His resurrection is a fact. Miracles, healings, and casting out demons would become as normal a part of our services as sermons and taking up offerings.
Is Loss of Money Behind Our Concern of Frightening the Congregation?
This is a terrible question to have to ask. Nonetheless, it’s a fair question. The world has known for a long time, and Christians with discernment are learning, that the American church is often run as a business and not as a ministry of Christ.
Money and other purely fleshly motives drive a lot church agendas and sermons.
We know for a fact that many churches have watered down the gospel and have gone seeker friendly to attract larger crowds—and money. So it’s not unreasonable to question whether some have put their deliverance ministries in side rooms and basements to keep their crowds—and money.
We can’t judge dogmatically one way or the other. I don’t have that responsibility, and I don’t want it. But I say again that the question is reasonable, and it should be humbly asked.
We Don’t Want to Embarrass the Demonized Person
This appears to be a kind, sensitive motive. Aren’t we supposed to treat people as we would like to be treated? Honestly, I’d rather not go through a spectacular deliverance session in front of a bunch of people. Especially if it lasts a long time.
But do you know who apparently couldn’t care less about me and you being embarrassed for having demons publicly cast out of us?
That’s right. The Lord has absolutely no concern or sympathy for our fear of man and our fleshly need to impress people. He will help us overcome such weaknesses, but He will not empower them. Read Matthew, Mark, and Luke. (John doesn’t record His encounters with demons.)
Jesus Didn’t Take People to the Basement to Cast Out Demons
Jesus never once told a demonized person to meet Him in a private place so He could spare them the embarrassment of being delivered from demons. He didn’t usher the sick behind bushes to spare their reputations as He prayed for them.
Quite the contrary, Jesus often went out of His way to publicly heal and deliver even though He knew it would cause a commotion (Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 13:10-17).
There is an example, however, of Jesus leading a blind man away from the town to minister to him more privately (Mark 8:22-26). But upon examination, we find this was for logistical reasons and not because He was trying to spare the man’s reputation.
Jesus healed the man and told him, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town” (v. 26). This is similar to other times when He healed people and told them to keep it quiet apparently because it would minimize His immediate ministry in some way. (For example, Mark 1:40-45)
Jesus Wants Us to Die to Our Need of the World’s Approval
One of the great secrets of experiencing God and walking in the supernatural is learning to disregard the fear of man and the need of approval by the world. The fear of man is a snare. As the Scriptures declare of some who wanted the Lord, but not enough to sacrifice their reputations:
Nevertheless, even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God, (John 12:42-43).
Do we really want to serve God’s people? If so, let’s stop hiding the power of God in side rooms and basements. It’s time to make experiencing God the service. If people are freaked out because the risen Christ shows up at the sanctuary, so be it. Teach them.
If they’re so turned off by Jesus healing and delivering people that they leave, let them go. Once word gets out that the risen Christ is regularly among your church body, those people who left will be replaced with others who want to know, experience, and serve the Jesus of the Bible.
We Can Minister More Effectively to the Demonized Person Privately
This is the explanation I feel is most legitimate. It deserves thoughtful consideration.
We have all seen the assembly line prayers where “the man of God” lays hands on a hundred heads in a few minutes. Some people cry. Some shake, rattle, or roll. Several slump to the carpet. The man of God wipes his brow after he lays hands on the last one and returns triumphantly to the stage.
Is anyone actually helped in these types of drive-through prayer lines. Surprisingly, as shallow as these types of prayers may appear to the cynical and thoughtful, the answer is a definite yes. There are genuine physical and emotional healings, deliverances, and baptisms in the Holy Spirit.
My Own Experience with Assembly Line Ministry
Maybe twenty years ago I ministered at two Sunday morning services. The first one began at 8:30 a.m.; the second at 11:00 a.m. There was a church picnic scheduled that day. So although the second service technically had no hard stopping time, there really was, if you know what I mean.
Nonetheless, I taught on deliverance. In those days, my team and I prayed for each person—in depth. It often took many hours. The church had around seven hundred active members. There was no way to stick with our usual routine. So I asked everyone who wanted to be set free to come forward. And—they—did!
When I looked at the first-service crowd at the altar, I thought, “God, that’s a lot of people. You’re going to have to help me. I’m used to praying for only one person at a time.”
The idea came to me (in my panic!) to instruct my team to walk among the crowd and give commands of faith…just as if they were ministering one-on-one. I did the same.
The Holy Spirit honored our efforts and moved mightily on the people. We did the same at the second service. Again, the Holy Spirit moved mightily. The pastor later told me that around one hundred people testified to being healed, delivered, or otherwise powerfully ministered to by the Holy Spirit.
Services like that are awesome. They are necessary. There simply is no other way to effectively minister to each person individually in very large crowds. Or I’ll put it this way: I don’t know another effective way to do it.
People Are Not Widgets on an Assembly Line
Now let’s deal with the other side of this necessity coin. The ugly truth is unless God does something exceptional and rare, many people will fall through the cracks in services like these.
My heart breaks for people like this. So as glorious as it is to see God move upon a crowd, I’m not satisfied if there is one eternal soul in that crowd who walks away still bound and feeling overlooked by God.
To those in leadership who share my sentiments, that’s where those side rooms and basements come in.
I concur with them. It is ideal to privately minister to people with deep problems. Often there are layers of abuse and trauma and fears and memories and unforgiveness and hidden sins that must be dealt with before the person receives true deliverance.
The usual five-second assembly-line prayer may look good, but it’s a poor substitute for in-depth ministry.
So what am I saying? That I agree that all deliverance ministry should be done privately? No, not at all. I’m acknowledging that private, in-depth ministry is legitimate and should have a place in church ministry.
Having acknowledged the legitimacy of side room and basement deliverance ministry (smile), I’ll now deal with the illegitimacy of prohibiting deliverance ministry in the sanctuary.
Casting Out Demons Should Be Mainstream!
What was it about Jesus’s earthly ministry that catapulted Him into prominence? It was His deliverance ministry. Look at what happened early in His ministry after He cast a demon out of a man in the synagogue (that would be church for us!):
And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. 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” (Mark 1:26-28).
Okay, so a man screamed in the synagogue and went into a convulsion when Jesus cast the demon out of him. What was lost? What damage did this do? The only thing lost was this poor man’s bondage. The only damage done was to the demon. Isn’t this what we want? Isn’t it?
Why Casting Out Demons Should Be Mainstream
This type of public deliverance ministry should be integrated into the public life of the church for the following reasons:
- Jesus publicly cast out demons, and He is our example.
- Often people who need deliverance the most have no idea that they need this ministry.
- They are never going to make an appointment for the side room or basement. What about them?
- The sanctuary is your only chance at reaching them.
- The world needs to know that Jesus Christ is alive and dramatically setting people free.
- They can’t see the wonderful things occurring in our side rooms and basements.
- Casting out demons is a visible sign that Satan is real and that he is defeated.
- The world needs to know this!
- An active, risen Christ will attract multitudes to salvation.
- Our church children and youth need to see a risen Christ.
- Perhaps coming into contact with the risen Christ would decrease the high percentage of church children who grow up and follow Satan.
- Many healings will never occur unless demons are cast out.
- If you publicly pray for the sick, you must publicly cast out demons. For a large percentage of people will never be physically healed until you cast demons out of them.
These are just a few reasons why we should integrate casting out demons into our public services.
Let’s not be ashamed of casting out demons.
Other Articles Related to Demons
- If You Don’t Believe Christians Can Have Demons…
- How Much Should You Pay For A Demon to Be Cast Out?
- Can Demons Cause Sickness?
- Can Demons Cause Insomnia?
- Can Demons Cause Seizures?
Some of Eric’s Spiritual Warfare Novels
Eric’s Non-Fiction Book About Demons
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