In my previous blog, I pointed out the normalcy of exorcism in the early church, during the first centuries after Christ. (To read Part #1 of this series, CLICK HERE.) That blog quoted from a book entitled The Spirit of Early Christian Thought, by Robert Louis Wilken, professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Virginia (published by Yale University Press). Wilkens pointed out that exorcism was an integral part of baptism in the early church, particularly when the baptismal candidate applied for the sacred ceremony. Baptism, and reception into the Body of Christ, was viewed with such seriousness that the catechumen was required to demonstrate a holy life before receiving the waters. Then, once he was accepted, another exorcism was performed. Wilkens describes it this way: On this occasion there was a fuller rite of exorcism in which the priest laid his hand on the competentes, invoked the Holy Trinity, and rebuked the devil (p. 39). Wilkens adds that this was done as a “communal celebration of the entire community.” In other words, the exorcism was DONE IN PUBLIC. Imagine that. Wilkens concludes that “the drama of the exorcisms . . . heightened the experience . . . [and] was the great Christian spectacle” (p. 39).
Deliverance doesn’t always need to be done in public. In fact, that should happen in a minority of instances. Most deliverance requires extensive inner healing, often dealing with repressed, painful issues. Of course, that kind of spiritual therapy works best in an intimate and confidential setting. But public deliverance had a place in the early church, and on appropriate occasions it deserves such a place now. Just as exorcism was part of a “communal celebration” nearly 2,000 years ago, it can be the same today. In fact, those who have attended our seminars, and witnessed the public exorcisms that I perform, know that the seminar room is filled with excited celebration and exaltation of Christ. See it happen on YouTube. (CLICK HERE to visit our exorcism channel.) See it in our seminars. (CLICK HERE to see where I’ll be in a city near you.) Let’s get the ministry of deliverance out of the closet, from behind closed doors, and in the open so that the devil’s defeat can be witnessed and praise to God be given.
An encouraging word: CHRIST DISARMED THE DEVIL
Colossians 2:15 tells us that Christ “disarmed” all the powers of Satan and made a “public spectacle” of them. Today, some Christians are afraid to speak of the devil, even to say his name. Satan is a hush-hush topic in most polite evangelical circles. But Scriptures tells us that Jesus triumphed over the devil, and didn’t hide it. Ministries such as ours that publicly confront demons and the devil are criticized for doing so, as if it were some kind of circus. It’s not. Just as the Lord made an open show of Satan’s defeat, we should not be afraid to proclaim to a watching world that Christ’s power in us also openly conquers the powers of darkness.
Bob Larson has trained healing and deliverance teams all over the world to set the captives free and Do What Jesus Did (Luke 4:18). You can partner with Bob and support this vision to demonstrate God’s power in action by calling 303-980-1511 or clicking here to donate online.