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Studying the Deliverance Ministry of Jesus


Just as there are degrees of light and darkness, there different degrees of deliverance. It’s not a black and white issue. Anytime we try to treat deliverance in a one-dimensional way, we will get into trouble, both theologically and by experience.


There was a time when the church seemed to ignore these spiritual realities and the devil did his best to keep them ignorant, but since the 1970’s, there began a new emphasis on deliverance and spiritual warfare in the church causing the pendulum to swing the other way. I am glad to see the church grappling with the realities of the spirit realm and applaud the restoration of the authority of the believer, but I must admit that I am often disturbed by some of the extremes people take it to.


As a pastor, I am always concerned when I see deliverance promoted as a cure-all or a quick-fix for every problem we have, avoiding any need for a consistent, disciplined, walking out of our problems with the Lord.


Deliverance and warfare are an integral part of the full gospel but should never become an isolated entity. There should be a proportionate blend of evangelism, healing, and teaching, as we see in the ministry of Jesus, but those who major on deliverance rarely are balanced.


After a few years of studying the subject of deliverance and warfare, I felt impressed by the Lord to set aside all my how-to books on the subject and write out everything I believed. I took some lined paper and began to list my beliefs in bullet-point form. I felt that part of His challenge to me that I needed to find New Testament verses to support each of the doctrines and principles I had picked up along the way.


As I began to itemize these beliefs, I set out to find two or three verses to back up these beliefs. Some things I had always understood as basic principles didn’t hold up to this test. I was surprised to find a number of things I had been taught that I could not find in the Bible at all. I began to see how many of these “truths” were nothing more than Pentecostal traditions and Charismatic superstitions!


For the second part of the challenge, I felt I was to separate these passages of scripture and look for common denominators in each of them. Finding these would help set the parameters on how I was to administer deliverance. Often when the subject of deliverance or warfare was taught, it seems so vast and nebulous. On the other hand, I was surprised to find how uncomplicated deliverance really was when I limited my study to the ministry of Jesus.




If I were sitting down with a young disciple today who really wanted to learn how to help others become free, I would begin by teaching them the following concepts so they can avoid many of the extremes that are associated with deliverance I would help them focus on the things that are really important, such as:

I would tell them to learn how to study the subject from the Scripture for themselves, not just to read a book about it (including this one).


I would have them isolate all the scriptures about deliverance in the New Testament, and lay them out in such a way that they could study them again and again.


I would have them look for common denominators that help us see patterns both in possession and delieverance.


I would have them learn about dealing with demons from watching Jesus’ minister in the four gospels.


I would have them see why people become controlled by demons in the first place.


I would make sure they understood the basis for their own authority to cast out demons.


I would want them to learn how can effectively minister in Jesus’ name.


I would help them understand how faith is the biggest key to deliverance.


I would also want their faith to rest upon the power of God.


In all of this, I want them to have a solid biblical foundation under their approach to deliverance. Once they have this, they will not be blown around by the opinions of men, circumstances, or every wind of doctrine.

Degrees of Deliverance

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