Talk of deliverance is everywhere in the Christian community. It has become almost faddish to speak of casting out demons, especially among Christians of Gen X and Z. This is cause for much rejoicing and some hand wringing. Where Christ is preached, we rejoice (Phil 1:18). But Satan knows that he has been delivered a blow and isn’t sitting back. If he can’t stop the wave of interest in deliverance, he’ll find ways to discredit it with extremism, indiscretion, and lack of practical, theological balance. He’ll add to it over-zealousness that borders on spiritual abuse. Caution, maturity and carefulness when addressing the matter of demonic possession seems in short supply in certain Christian circles.
If Satan can’t succeed by getting the church to avoid the subject of demons, he’ll try to derail the matter with eccentricities, questionable epistemology, and unwise tactics. I could give you a long list of specifics, but that might reflect negatively on some well-meaning deliverance ministers. Instead, let me emphasize the positive approach of what SHOULD be done instead of slamming the lack of prudency with a broad brushstroke. Consider these five basic approaches to deliverance and exorcism that I believe should be heeded. If you want to know more, check out our online teaching track at boblarsonuniversity.org.
1) PROPER INTAKE OF INFORMATION: A conclusive exorcism should NEVER be attempted without first gathering sufficient information about the person who is supposedly manifesting demons. Demonic displays may erupt unexpectedly, but unless the demon’s host is known to the deliverance minister, the demons should be shut down and some fact-finding ought to be done. When someone schedules a virtual or in-person encounter through our ministry, a detailed personal and family profile is always required before their appointment is confirmed. Even with the live, spontaneous manifestations which occur in our public meetings I stop to get some basic facts before proceeding. Commanding demons to leave an individual you don’t know and about whom you have no understanding of their mental health history is dangerous and unethical in most cases.
2) METHODICAL PROCEDURES: Deliverance and exorcism is ALWAYS about a process. It should never be an abrupt interruption. Even what some call “power encounters,” aggressive prayer techniques, need some format of procedure. It is clear from Christ’s example, that he got information from demons (Legion), he asked questions of family members (the man with a possessed son), and he took time to test the supplicant’s faith (the woman with a possessed daughter). In Bob Larson University we teach a protocol of deliverance with guidelines on how to proceed. There can be exceptions to this rule in extreme cases, such as an unanticipated violent outburst. Even then what happens next should be methodical and structured, leading to the demon’s acknowledgment of defeat and its doom in the pit.
3) BREAKING CURSES: Both generational and contemporary curses need to be broken. Some who seek my help have read our “Curse Breaking” book and are already familiar with the appropriate renunciations. I may still “spot check” by having the individual repeat breaking some curses which are obvious, such as a family history of witchcraft. When no curse breaking prayers have taken place, it is essential to confront these bondages to properly go on with the deliverance process. Not taking this precaution, can disrupt the exorcism at some later point.
4) INNER EMOTIONAL HEALING: When and where to insert this part of the deliverance process can be variable. But the client’s emotional and mental status must be assessed in some way. The one doing deliverance should be acquainted with the possessed person’s life history. This is especially important when the one seeking prayer has been a victim of physical or sexual abuse. Deliverance on a person afflicted with PTSD, anxiety disorders, severe depression, or mental health issues should not be attempted until past emotional wounds have been addressed. This may mean using so-called inner healing prayers, dealing with dissociative identity disorder, or referring the possessed person to a Christian counselor to deal with past hurts. In addition, prayers for physical healing are often necessary due to the internal systemic damage that demons have done to the body.
5) OBJECTIFY DEMONIC ACTIVITY: Don’t rely alone on hunches or prophetic and intuitional insights alone. In most cases, demonic verification is helpful by having the demon confirm his right of entry. The demon can also reveal the exact source of any bloodline curses as well as mental strongholds or addictions. It’s usually helpful to force the demon to acknowledge what other evil spirits inhabit the host and reveal the hierarchical structure of power inside the supplicant’s soul. What I’ve set forth is a very abbreviated outline compared to the many hours of teaching in Bob Larson University. If you are serious about helping those bound by Satan, please make the deliverance process a matter of study and life-long learning. The need is great, the laborers are few, and the moral decay of our world has resulted in a ripe harvest field of souls desperate to be free. Do your “homework” before doing deliverance. You’ll be more spiritually successful, and Christ will truly get the glory for a labor of love well done.
What I’ve set forth is a very abbreviated outline compared to the many hours of teaching in Bob Larson University. If you are serious about helping those bound by Satan, please make the deliverance process a matter of study and life-long learning. The need is great, the laborers are few, and the moral decay of our world has resulted in a ripe harvest field of souls desperate to be free. Do your “homework” before doing deliverance. You’ll be more spiritually successful, and Christ will truly get the glory for a labor of love well done.