by Jeff Hagan
(Tacoma WA )


While it is true that Jesus and the Apostles cast out demons, does what we see in operation today, in regard to “Deliverance Ministries,” follow any type of biblical pattern? We are surrounded by preachers and deliverance ministers constantly speaking of demons, devils, spiritual warfare, territories and more, but is what they are saying and practicing even biblical? 

Deliverance ministries seem to have the specific purpose, or goal,  of delivering us from evil entities (casting out demons) or healing us from some kind of physical illness or hindrance that they believe is caused by an evil spirit (demon). But is all of this even biblical?


Coming up with a definition that encompasses all of what can be seen in different deliverance ministries is difficult. Most would simply define it as casting out demons or deliverance from evil spirits. Some of these deliverance ministries put more of their focus on delivering people from what they deem to be harmful emotions which connect directly to a specific demon. For instance, anger, pride, bitterness, depression, etc. 

Dr. Junker provides us with a formulated definition below:

“The name commonly given to Christian individuals or ministries who believe (1) that Christians can have demons inside them; (2) that there are specific methods, techniques, and prayers for discerning the presence of demons and for casting them out; and (3) that such exorcisms are a necessary prerequisite for living a successful and victorious Christian life” (as quoted in “What Is Deliverance Ministry and Is It Biblical,” by Ashley Hooker on

Deliverance ministry became well known in the late sixties and early seventies with a change of direction regarding spiritual warfare. General speaking, four varieties of thought emerged with the first one including preachers and Bible teachers like Don Basham, Bob Larson, Derek Prince, and Benny Hinn who took a more charismatic approach. Dispensationalists arose, who were more non-charismatic, from the likes of Dallas Theological Seminary and Moody Bible Institute. Their focus centered around pastoral counseling and prayer (adapted from Ibid).

The third variety of deliverance ministries centered around what is known as the “Third Wave Movement” which arose from the campus of Fuller Theological Seminary and the Vineyard Movement. The most well-known leaders of this movement were C. Peter Wagoner and John Wimber. They emphasized signs and wonders, third-world missions, and church growth. The fourth variety is more of a soft evangelical approach having more to do with a self-help model.

Performing a quick online search will show that the popularity of deliverance ministries is still alive and well. Currently there are many leaders who have created ministries for the alleged sole purpose of helping people get rid of demons or evil spirits. Some have even come up with ways to deliver people without ever having to even meet that person, but it's strange how money always seems to get involved.


In the Bible, we find several references to Satan and his demonic cohorts. What we don’t find is any kind of dialogue about deliverance or deliverance becoming a ministry. In Ephesians 4:11 we see Paul writing about the offices of the church. In this verse he says some would become apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. It's interesting to note that deliverance is missing from this list.

When we take a look at the fruit of the spirit, again we see no reference to deliverance ministry. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If we are in Christ, if he is abiding in us, there is no room for a demon to reside inside of you. We are filled with Spirit and with the fruit of the Spirit. We have already “crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires” (Ephesians 5:24). We read in Romans 8:9 that we are not controlled by our sinful nature if the spirit of God lives in us.

God’s Word certainly does tell us that those of us who are born again will experience spiritual warfare. We will indeed fight Satan and his demons, but NOT from inside of us. The fight is an external one. 1 John 4:4 states, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Here again we are told that as believers no demons can enter us, because Christ already resides there.

Paul also gives us clear instructions regarding our spiritual battle. Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take a stand against the devil’s schemes. God also says “to be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for somebody to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

What we don't find in Scripture, in regards to spiritual warfare, are directions to pace back and forth on a stage screaming and yelling and throwing our suit jackets. We don't find anything instructing us to strike up conversations with demons and carry on a dialogue with them before casting them out. We also don't find demons with names such as depression, anger and bitterness.

Throughout all of God’s Word we do not find any mention of deliverance ministry. Let's not mistake what Jesus himself, and a handful of selected Apostles, did on occasion as some sort of call to arms to communicate with Satan face to face.

"What we do find is a warning that the devil and his demons will try to oppress us. Satan’s minions can never enter into the believer. If we have Jesus, there is no place for them to dwell. If we are feeling tempted or oppressed, it is the fault of our sin nature. We must repent of our sins and turn back to God. Meditate on His Word and pray" (Ibid).


Deliverance ministries are not biblical. They are man made and include many ingredients that are completely foreign to Scripture. The idea that "soul ties, demons, hexes, and curses" are real is not biblical. They come from a new age or spiritualist worldview. There is not a single person that can cast a demon out of a Christian because as followers of Christ, demons cannot reside in you. Only God can save us from the temptations that come from the Evil one.

Our Bibles do not speak of deliverance ministries. However, God’s Word does make clear what the ministries of the church are (Ephesians 4:11). God also gives us clear instructions on how to fight Satan in Ephesians 6:11. I think to say that deliverance ministries are biblical would, at the very least, be implying that God himself is somehow not strong enough or powerful enough.

Another interesting thing that Christians should take note of is the names of “demons” claiming to be cast out of people. Deliverance ministries claim to drive out the spirit of depression, the spirit of fear, the spirit of anger, and the spirit of grief. These are human feelings, NOT evil spirits. They are normal human feelings that a person might experience.

Some forms of depression are serious, clinical, medical conditions. As an individual who has suffered with depression for years, it's rather disheartening knowing that there are men and women of God who believe I have an evil spirit inside me. It's just ludacris. What I do have is a sin nature, and since the Fall of Man, the world and everything in it is in a fallen state and will be affected until Christ returns and renews all things.

Jesus himself felt anger, fear, and grief. In Matthew 21:12 Jesus became angry at the people buying and selling items at the temple. He got so angry that he flipped their table over. When Jesus was in the Garden on the night he was arrested, he was fearful . Fearful to the point of asking God if there was another way things could be done (Matthew 26:42). And his grief was displayed when his friend Lazarus died (John 11:1-44). Not a single one of his emotions were the result of a demonic spirit.

What IS biblical is that our Lord and Savior has already won the battle. He rose from the dead and is victorious. Only he can help us through whatever trials and tribulations we may face. If we read His Word, meditate on His promises, follow his instruction, and spend time in prayer, we can overcome anything.


So, are deliverance ministries biblical? In my opinion they are not. While it is true we are in a spiritual battle every day, there is no ministry or person who can “cure” us. Christians have the very Spirit of God in us, which leaves no space for demons to take up residence. God’s Word specifically tells us that He alone can save us from our sins. When our hearts are regenerated , when we are born again, we are freed from our sin. Our sin may follow us like a shadow, but it can no longer control us because we are children of God.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Jeff Hagan Sermons.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

© 2008-2028 - All rights reserved.

No content on may be printed or

copied to any other site without permission.

The Preaching Ezine

Click Here!

Subscribe to my free newsletter for monthly sermons and get a free book right now. Just follow the link above and get the details!

Sermon Supply Ministry

Click Here!

Be ready for Sunday…before Saturday night!
Just follow the link above and get the details!

Manna Seminary

Click Here!

Did you ever want to start or finish your Ministry Training?
Just follow the link above and get the details!


Your Web Page:
Want your own sermon web page? You can have one!
Your Outlines:
Share YOUR skeleton outlines.
Your Illustrations:
Share YOUR Illustrations.
Encourage other ministers
by sharing
YOUR great sermons!
Your Poems:
Encourage us all
by sharing
YOUR great poems!