Written by: Pastor Pam Sheppard
I no longer consider myself a deliverance minister within the general expectations of the Christian world. In fact, I only use the title for want of a better keyword to fit the requirements of Internet search engines. Since 1983 with my first deliverance, I have developed a skeptical sense about what is actually going on within deliverance ministry circles. What has been proven to me particularly within the last decade is that evil spirits love deliverance ministry because it provides them with unique and almost unlimited opportunities to communicate and “put on a show of theatrics with their various “manifestations.”
For example, take Catholic exorcisms. With all the demonic teachings like the deification of both Mary and the saints, how could a Catholic cast out demons, as both are a part of the same kingdom and as the Lord stated, “Satan does not cast out Satan.” So logically speaking, how can holy water when scattered on a captive bring about a response of agony coupled with horrendous groans and howls, as if the demons are affected by water blessed by a Catholic priest? Such acting on the part of evil spirits should earn them an Academy Award. For Catholicism as it stands does not have power over Satan or any fallen angels or demons under the devil’s command. Therefore, a demonically inspired religion does not impress me to believe that holy water has any power over demons and therefore the “over the top” manifestations are theatrical at best.
In general, what I have discovered is that the more an evil spirit is able to speak through a captive and move the captive’s body parts, the more in control that spirit is. What follows is a probability that that spirit is not coming out very easy. Oh it may pretend to leave but it has not been cast out. This is yet another aspect of their theatrics. Most evil spirits know how to fake a deliverance.
So as a rule of thumb, I do not cast out demons until I am familiar with the captive and his or her issues. During this stage, my most useful weapon is the application of truth by overthrowing all preconceived notions, assumptions, false religious doctrine and practices, as well as challenging the captive’s tendency toward passivity.
Once I confront the spirits, if there are no manifestations, then I consider the possibility that:
1. There are no demons in the captive and that the symptoms represent outside oppression or
2. The captive is oppressed by a fallen angel and not a demon or
3. The demon is clever enough to hide or “play possum.”
In all three cases, deliverance counseling is the option of choice.
However, if there ARE manifestations, then I have to consider that
1.the evil spirits are playing games or
2. The spirit knows it will prevail because it has legal rights so it becomes bold and boastful with the manifestations, or
3. The evil spirit will pretend to go.
Nevertheless, I guard against labeling the oppressed as there are no real blueprints. Every deliverance counseling session unfolds in it’s own individual fashion. I am simply not impressed by either the lack of demonic manifestations or conversely, spirits desiring to use the captive as a channel to speak to me.
In either case, I will not entertain a conversation with evil spirits. In fact, I will not allow these beings to speak.