This is a common question that is always asked whenever I speak about this subject. The moment you mention demons, how they operate and what they do, people immediately want to know if they need to go for deliverance.
A few years ago, just before Rensia and I moved to New Zealand, I was doing weekly talks on this and other subjects. The last talk I held focused a lot more on deliverance and I subsequently had 6 people phone me the next morning to ask if they can come see me for prayer. We only had 1 day left before we would fly out, so I scheduled the people in for the next morning in 2 hour blocks.
Rensia was doing the final packing, I was praying for people in the empty living room. The people who came for prayer were my friends. We had been going to the same church for the last year and we all knew each other well. They all had the same question.
“Do I need deliverance?”
My answer to them was the same as what I generally give to people, ‘Come anyway and let’s check.’ What I mean by that is I am going to pray for you. If there are demons, they will leave. If there aren’t demons, you’ll get blessed either way. It’s a win-win situation. So they came. Some knew they had problems that needed to be dealt with, so their questions were more ‘I have this problem, is it demonic or just me?’ My answer to that question is exactly the same. ‘Come anyway and let’s check.’
All 6 of my friends were Christians. We all understood grace very well. We were pastored at that time by Rob Rufus, one of the pioneers of the current grace revolution, the very man who taught me about grace. We knew about the finished work of the cross, the new creation etc. We went into Mainland China together and held meetings in the underground church. We saw healings and miracles on a weekly basis inside and outside church. We weren’t strangers to the Holy Spirit or to the supernatural in other words.
Yet all 6 my friends, when I specifically prayed for their respective problems, manifested demons in varying degrees before they were cast out. How can grace-believing, presence-encountering, healing-administering believers have demons? Simple answer, because demons steal. Too often people try to justify the demon’s occupation because of sin. (Read more myths here)
“Sin opened the door to the devil, that gave it a right to operate.” No it didn’t. Sin doesn’t give demons the right to oppress you. Demons steal, which is inherently illegal. Nobody ever has a right to steal. If they had a right to steal, it wouldn’t be called stealing in the first place.
“But didn’t Jesus defeat the devil at the cross?” Of course He did. The devil is defeated.
“So if he is defeated, why do you say demons can still influence us?” Because Jesus told us, after the cross and resurrection, to go cast out demons. If the devil was defeated the way it is popularly preached (where defeated is interpreted as powerless) why did Jesus say we are to cast demons out? Casting out demons is the first signs that is supposed to follow believers. This doesn’t mean they weren’t defeated at the cross, it means we have been given the keys to free the oppressed; all we need to go do is unlock their chains.
If the devil was no longer an issue, why would Jesus tell us to cast out demons? (Mark 16:17)
Why would God be crushing satan under our feet? (Rom 16:20)
Why is Jesus waiting for His enemies to be made a footstool? (Heb 10:12-13)
Why would Paul warn us to not be ignorant of the devil’s schemes so satan wouldn’t be able to take advantage of us? (2 Cor 2:11)
Why would James tell us to resist the devil so that he will flee from us? (James 4:7)
Why did Peter tell us the devil is still walking around like a lion looking for people to devour? (1 Pet 5:8)
There is only one person who wants you to believe the devil and his demons are no longer an issue that you need to deal with in your life and the lives of those you encounter, and that person is NOT the One who commissioned you to go cast demons out. The greatest lie the devil ever told was to convince Christians he doesn’t exist and doesn’t have power to destroy and oppress anymore.
Do not be ignorant of his schemes, instead expose and crush him under your foot. I’ll talk more about the how-to’s soon.
To be continued…