The Bible states in Colossians 1:13 that God, through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus on the Cross, “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son”.
You can see clearly from the above scripture that deliverance from the powers of darkness is an accomplished task. Christ already did it. Why should someone want to perform deliverance on you again? What is he delivering you from? And why should the Church of Christ find itself in such a compromising situation where it needs a deliverance ministry to help it to carry on? What justification is there in having such a ministry in a strong, victorious Church? Isn’t there a problem somewhere?
I believe there is a problem. There is something missing in the Church today, which is a revelation of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The fact is, not everything that comes with the name ‘gospel’ affixed to it is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul talks about the false apostles of his day who presented the Church with another Jesus, another spirit, another gospel (2 Cor. 11:4). Does that not reflect what we see happening in our day?
My humble submission is that the Church has deserted the true Biblical doctrine of the Cross and it is running after quick fixes.
The root problem of humankind is the flesh; and the solution to that is the Cross. For someone who has been born again, he/she has been granted victory in the spirit on a silver platter if they will only accomplish one thing: crucify their flesh. That is why the New Testament, of which every born-again believer is a partaker, has only one doctrine: deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Christ. That is what Jesus taught and did, that is what the Apostles and the Early Church taught and lived. We do not see any ‘deliverance’ ministry in that Church. We see the Apostles preaching a gospel that confronted the flesh. And the Church was strong – and victorious!
The Bible says in 1 Cor. 1:18 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
Further along, in verses 22-24 we read, “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”
The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of suffering (Rom. 8:17; Phil. 1:29), hence the Cross. Therein is the power of the gospel. That is where you will find men and women losing their lives, surrendering their rights, and humbling themselves one to another; in other words, living the true Christian life.
The road to Heaven has no shortcuts. It is straight and narrow. It is the road of death.
In 2 Cor. 15:42-44 we read: “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” Note those words, ‘corruption’ (death); ‘dishonor’; ‘weakness’. That is our earthly portion. And only when we are walking on the road of the Cross can we be true partakers of that portion.
The revelation of the Cross is the key factor throughout the New Testament Church, of which we are a part.
Even when it comes to confronting the forces of darkness, of which much of the doctrine of deliverance is built upon, we find a very simple and straightforward way in dealing with them in Ephesians 6:10-20. The Apostle Paul shows us that the way to spiritual victory is through living a life that is laid at the altar! The weapons of our warfare are spiritual. They are in a broken, crucified life. When you are living that life, you will have power over the forces of darkness.
When the first apostolic team from Church Team Ministries (www.ctmiworld.com) visited our church in December 1995, they found us casting demons out of Christians at every service. They never told us to stop casting out demons, in fact, that subject was never touched on at all; but as the brothers and sisters who carried these essential five-fold ministries continued coming and ministering in our midst, that deliverance ‘ministry’ simply died a natural death because no one had a demon in our church any longer! We did not need that ‘ministry’ in our midst! The preaching of the Cross brought the Spirit of Christ in our midst to set us free from the flesh – and the powers of darkness! What would happen to find us needing such a ministry in our church again after all these years? No doubt, a terrible spiritual reversal would need to have taken place.
We as a church still have our battles with the flesh; but not in the area of spiritual powers of darkness. When a new believer joins the church and they are under the influence of such powers, we simply cast them out. If we need to fast, we do so; but in everything we do with regard to spiritual powers of darkness we do in the full assurance that it is a finished work. Jesus did it all on the Cross!
The Devil is very cunning. He presents a gospel that is weak and which does not address the real problem. If he can make you believe in that, he is ready for a nap!
At best, the deliverance ministry is a placebo. A placebo is something that does not address the root problem. It could scratch at the surface of the problem and make you feel good here and there. But if the flesh is not addressed in a believer’s life, there will be no victory in his life.
At its worst, the ministry of deliverance is even a door for witchcraft (the real thing) to enter the Church.