One of the main things that Jesus did in His earthly ministry was deliverance. Deliverance ministry refers to casting out evil spirits in order to free people from torment, oppression, and bondage.
The supernatural world is real and has impact on the natural world. Evil spirits–also called demons–are part of the kingdom of darkness, and they desire to carry out the work of the devil to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10).
The gospels abound with stories and descriptions of Jesus casting demons out of people. This may sound strange to us today but it was everyday life for Jesus.
When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick.
And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons.
Deliverance ministry is just as important for us today as it was in the ministry of Jesus. Demons have not gone away. Have you ever wondered why something that was so common for Jesus is practiced so little by much of today’s church?
I believe the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead has some symbolism in it that relates to the need for deliverance ministry.
Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead He gave two commands. The first was, “Lazarus, come forth!” Lazarus emerged from the tomb perfectly alive, but he was still bound with grave clothes. So the next command was “Loose him, and let him go.”
Many Christians today find themselves wrapped in spiritual “grave clothes.” They have received God’s salvation and have been raised from the dead spiritually, but they are still bound in certain areas of their life.
These believers know that they are forgiven, but they are not experiencing the true freedom that Christ purchased for them on the cross. They have heard the message of salvation (“Lazarus, come forth!”) but not the message of deliverance (“Loose him, and let him go”). They often find themselves in a cycle of defeat; bound by fear, addiction, depression, wounds of the past, bitterness, sin, or other bondages.
God never intended salvation without deliverance. Not every problem we face is caused by a demon, but there are many people–even sincere believers–who are oppressed by evil spirits and need the ministry of deliverance. Have you ever wondered if some of the struggles and problems you face contain a demonic element?
Maybe the concept of deliverance ministry is new to you. I encourage you to check out the many articles on deliverance that I’ve written on this blog. My hope is that many of your questions will be answered and you will learn some keys to walking in freedom and setting others free. I also encourage you to check out my books Can a Christian Have a Demon? and Keys for Deliverance.
May God give us revelation into this important ministry and equip us to set the captives free!