Monday, May 03, 2010


Truth-telling is another major responsibility for a person being helped in a deliverance.

Jesus called satan "the father of lies." When we choose to act like satan in hiding or distorting truth, we give satan ground in which to act against us. Sometimes the mere stepping into truth about one's life and behavior is the turning point in attaining freedom.

A man brought his brother to me. Both were Christians, sons of a pastor. The subject brother's behavior had become uncharacteristically erratic and destructive. The nurturing brother sensed something supernatural at play. He suspected demonic presence.

I worked with the troubled brother for over an hour, with no success. No amount of praying, scripture reading, or commands of authority showed any reaction by evil. Finally, I said to the nurturing brother, "I think the Lord wants you to do this. He wants you to be your brother's keeper."

Instead of picking up where I left off, the nurturing brother encouraged his sibling to talk about his life, to reveal truthfully and confessionally any poor choices which had led him into sin. The troubled brother began to speak truthfully about a pattern of sexual deviancy which was spiralling downward, out of control and hurting others as well as himself. At the first confession of sin, the tormented brother doubled over on the couch where he was sitting, head almost to the floor, gagging and coughing as the first fleet of demons wracked his body on their way out. The pattern repeated himself for about thirty minutes. Confession - deliverance. Confession - deliverance. Confession - deliverance. Every time the afflicted brother confessed a sin, his body convulsed in deliverance and his old personna emerged clearer and clearer.

In spite of my best efforts earlier, simply stepping into honesty about his life became the catalytic agent of deliverance. The tormented man left my office exhausted, but free, his brother's arm around his shoulder as they walked to their car.

Deliverance team members have a great responsibility here, too. Confession only comes in an environment of grace. No judgement. No condemnation. No condescending self-righteousness. Demonically afflicted persons have already beaten themselves up pretty good. They don't need any help from pharisees. When grace is provided, confession is possible. Sometimes that's all that remains for freedom.

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Sunday, May 02, 2010


Simply put, a person who seeks deliverance from evil must, at minimum, truly desire to be free and must place faith in Jesus Christ for that intervention. It is not possible to permanently deliver someone from evil who does not want it at all costs and who does not invest faith in Jesus during that process.

The Bible never portrays Jesus casting demons out of someone against that person's will. He did not "mug" afflicted persons by pouncing on them unawares, nor did He ever force Himself upon them. A more common biblical scene is of tormented individuals running to Jesus and falling at His feet while demons within cry out in protest.

This does not mean the person seeking help must be perfect in his desires or faith. Jesus meets us where we are in life, takes what is offered and works His miracle with it. Think of the feeding of the great multitude with the five loaves and two fish, that little which was offered Him. Think of the father of the demonized boy, who cried, "Lord, I believe. Help Thou my unbelief." In both cases, Jesus did much with little.

If in spite of the chaos within, a demonized person cries out to Jesus with whatever's left of his free will, Jesus will answer. In that appeal and in that faith (however little, but sincere), the Lord is invited in.

Sadly, this simple prerequisite sometimes falls beyond reach. I personally have tried and failed to help some individuals of far-eastern religions who came seeking deliverance from evil spirits, but who declined to trust Jesus Christ in that quest. And I have failed to help some who were Christians, but who refused to give up the behavior which first got them into trouble, such as witchcraft or illicit drugs.

There is another responsibility of the person being helped which we will consider in the next blog entry.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Exorcism is not a clinical procedure

Sometimes observers imagine exorcism to be like a science, like a discipline which follows established rules subject to rational explanation. They imagine a checklist which must be completed, whose completion ushers forth a desired result, like some medical protocal or mathematical equation. If one does certain things, a predictable consequence follows.

That's just not the case.

Exorcism is about relationship, not rules. . .about a person, not a procedure. . .about faith, not facts. There is nothing at all scientific about demons being driven out of a person by the participating presence of Jesus Christ, who will forever live beyond human understanding. Just as the incarnation and resurrection of Christ defy comprehension, so do His miracles. We can't package exorcism into a set of rules with guaranteed results anymore than we can spiritually heal the sick following a prescribed formula.

Exorcism is about bringing demonically tormented people into a yielded relationship with Jesus Christ and then joining them in petitioning His intervention in faith. The use of tools (scripture, music, etc.) and techniques (commands, annointings. etc.) all take their power from this environment of faith in Christ. By themselves, they are nothing.

This means that the first and most important ingredient of Christian exorcism is bringing the tormented person into a faith relationship with Jesus Christ (or strengthening a relationship that already exists), then partnering with that individual with one's own faith, presented in true compassion for the afflicted and true trust in Christ to do what only He can do.

Exorcism is not clinical!

Monday, April 23, 2007

"Deliverance" or "Exorcism"?

A frequent question concerns two words commonly used to describe the expulsion of evil spirits. "Is there any difference between a "deliverance" and an "exorcism"?

In everyday usage, the terms have mostly become synonymous and interchangeable. Both describe the casting out of demons through faith in Jesus Christ.

However, some see a distinction in "exorcism" representing a more formal, liturgical rite, such as the Roman Catholic ritual of exorcism, where written prayers, commands, symbols, etc., are used in prescribed order. In this view, "deliverance" represents a contrasting informal, freeflow meeting where the spontaneous leadership of the Holy Spirit is sought and followed. In American practice, the latter scenario portrays the overwhelming majority of actual cases.

But there is another possible distinction between the two terms.

"Exorcism" is what the ministering team does to demons. They exorcise (cast out) evil spirits by the superior power of Christ.

"Deliverance" is what the ministering team does for an afflicted person. The team partners with Christ in setting a captive free. The word offers a softer, gentler feel, not for what happens to demons, but for what happens to the recipient of ministry. Variants of "deliver" are frequent in scripture, i.e., "deliver us from evil."

Monday, June 12, 2006

Wikipedia Listing

The listing for "Brian Connor" in the on-line encyclopedia, Wikipedia, has been updated. Editors of Wikipedia recently reviewed the listing, deliberating whether to retain or eliminate the article. By a clear majority, reviewers not only preserved the posting, but updated content. We are grateful.
We do not know who wrote the original piece, nor exactly when it was first posted. Persons contacting GSI told us about it. There are additional publications and telecasts which we will add in time. These may prove useful to students and other researchers seeking information about issues related to
spiritual warfare.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Role of Free Will in Deliverance

There is no record of Jesus ever exorcising someone against his will. In all recorded cases of Christ casting out evil spirits, cooperation by the patient is obvious or implied. The Gadarene demoniac ran toward Jesus and fell before Him, even as demonic spirits within the afflicted man protested. In spite of the severity of the possession, free will remained, unextinquished by evil. (Mark 5) The son of the father with imperfect faith brought his child to Jesus. The tormenting spirit within the boy manifested in resistance. But the freely chosen action of the father engaged Jesus in partnership in behalf of his son. (Luke 9) The demoniac in the Capernaum synagogue received deliverance because he had come to hear Christ teach, an act of opening himself to God's truth through Jesus. (Mark 1) And so on. . .

The point is, The Lord doesn't mug anyone. He doesn't attack evil within a person's life without some connection between Himself and that person. Some act of submission and reaching out to
Jesus is always prerequisite. Jesus was - and remains - a gentleman. He stands at the door and knocks, entering only upon permission. Those who do not wish Him to interfere in their lives will never experience His power.

All this means that for deliverance to happen, the heart must be broken and yielded to Christ, reaching out to Him in surrender and faith. Christ works bilaterally with us, not unilaterally to
us or for us. Remember Nazareth, where Christ could do few miracles because of the townspeople's absence of faith. (Luke 4) And remember Bethesda, where Jesus asked an obviously sick man, "Do you want to get well?" (John 5)

Family members and friends cannot drag a loved one against his/her will to a deliverance minister and expect anything positive to happen. Nor can a tormented person present himself for deliverance without a true willingness to step into the will of Christ for his life, with accompanying confession, repentance and free-will faith.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


A writer asks if acknowledging satan is the same as making satan one's god, thereby giving evil the right to torment that person.

Good Shepherd Institute believes acknowledging satan is both a necessary part of resisting evil and a necessary part of following God. Jesus recognized and resisted satan in the wilderness. Scripture warns Christians to watch out for satan and resist him. Jesus told satan to "get behind" him during an encounter with Simon Peter. Many Biblical references encourage the acknowledgement of satan's reality.

Worshiping satan is another, completely different matter. Worshiping satan includes activities such as praying to satan for favors or guidance, trusting satan to control one's life, following spiritual directives to do evil, renouncing and resisting Jesus Christ as an enemy of satan, sacrificing to satan, opening one's mind and heart to satanic communications, and dabbling in occultic activities as prelude
and part of seeking spiritual truth independent of God.

Worshiping satan - and/or any of its representative evil spirits - constitutes a grave sin and confronts the participant with serious danger. In this freewill choice, "ground" is given to evil, a form of spiritual permission for that evil to torment its host. Only through sincere repentance, the public renouncing of satan, the public acceptance and confession of Jesus Christ as Lord, and petition to God for mercy can remove thesse grounds. Directly confronting evil spirits in forms of spiritual warfare may be essential in completing one's escape from the deadly fruits of satan worship.

Spiritual Warfare

A student from Washington state writes to ask the definition of "spiritual warfare." Good Shepherd Institute understands spiritual warfare to be the on-going conflict between good and evil, personified in the work of God's Holy Spirit and angels against satan and his evil spirits (fallen angels) in this world, in concert with the free will choices of humans. Human resistance to evil and cooperation with God's righteous will meets challenge and resistance from animate powers of darkness, who actively oppose the furtherance of God's sovereignty in this world. That resistance constitutes a warfare which mainifest in human experience within mental, physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions of everyday life. Most dramatically, it manifest in direct confrontation between representatives of God, through Jesus Christ, and satanic spirits which torment their victims. This confrontation often results in the phenomenas of exorcism, the cleansing of cursed places and objects, the inner healing of wounds to the spirit, the healing and cleansing of generational family trees, and other acts of freeing persons oppressed by evil. Key weapons of spiritual warfare include godly love, faith in Jesus Christ's presence and sovereign power, discernment of evil, and scripture.