Inner Healing and Deliverance

 It is not the intention to delve into every aspect of these two broad topics, but to familiarize the reader with them. (1) Whereas, if the reader is in need of them, they will be familiar with them and be able to contact the resources needed for obtaining healing and freedom. This is the commission on the ministry of Jesus and the commission that has been, subsequently, passed to us. (Isaiah 61:1)

Inner healing is a healing that takes place “on the inside” as opposed to a physical healing. Much of this field owes special thanks to the Charismatic Catholics who pioneered this healing ministry. The basic theory is that, just as one needs healing in their body, one can also need healing in their emotions and in their soul. It is my belief that anyone suffering from an addiction needs this type of ministry. Furthermore, just about every human being alive has some inner wounds from childhood that need to be healed. As one psychiatrist friend of mine used to say, “You spend 18 years of your life growing up and the rest of your life trying to recover from it.” This is the essence of the inner healing ministry. “The basic idea of inner healing is simply this: that Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, can take the memories of our past and: 1) Heal us from the inner wounds that still remain in our memories or subconscious and affect our present lives; 2) Fill with his love all these places in us that have so long remained empty.” (2) Inner healing is indicated when the false identity is rooted in some emotional wound from the past. “The idea behind inner healing is simply that we can ask Jesus Christ to walk back to the time we were hurt and to free us from the effects of that wound in the present. This involves two things: 1) Bringing to light the things that have hurt us. Usually this is best done with another person; even the talking out of the problem is in itself part of the healing process. 2) Praying to ask the Lord to heal the binding effects of the hurtful incidents of the pasts.” (3) The premise is to walk the person back to the point of injury and pray for healing at the moment. There will be a need for forgiveness of the offending party on the part of the one needing healing. There will be a need to receive healing from Jesus regarding the event, and there may be a need for deliverance.

Deliverance

Deliverance, at its essence, is simply, casting out demons. The biblical evidence for the existence of demons is to numerous to mention here. Suffice it to say, that the bible never seeks to prove the existence of demons, it only describes their activities and the fact that part of Jesus mission was to “destroy the works of the devil.” (I John 3:8) A great summary statement of the mission of Jesus is found in the book of Acts. It says, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth, with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went about doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” (Acts 10:38 NIV) Jesus was constantly setting free people who were under the influence of evil spirits. They constantly recognize who He is, and He constantly defeats their activities in the lives of wounded and hurting people. It is a foregone conclusion that if the Kingdom of God is at hand then the Kingdom of Satan is being defeated. Evil does exist in the form of invisible spirits that have various levels of function and activity.

Evil spirits affect humanity on different levels. Some of them are from without (outside of us) and some are from within (inside of us). Let us begin by identifying the ways we are affected from without. There are two basic mechanism, that of thought and of emotions.

Let us begin by defining what is meant by thoughts and emotion and then delve into how the spirit realm affects these. It is important to note that a thought is not an emotion. There is a distinct difference between the two. An emotion motivates one to action while a thought is simply an idea that comes into ones mind. Emotions are powerful and they can dictate all other functions of the soul. The word emotions is derived from a Latin word, “emotio” which roughly means “to move”. Hence, emotions are those things that stir us into action. (Shame and fear moved Adam and Eve to construct fig leaf clothing) Emotions are more than feelings, they get things moving. Emotions are defined as “an internal motion or agitation of the mind which passes away without desire; when desire follows, the motion or agitation is called a passion…This strong impression, or vivid sensation, immediately produces a reaction correspondent to its nature, either to appropriate and enjoy, or avoid and repel the exciting clause.” (4) In other words, if an emotion is pleasant, the soul is stirred to continue the action that causes the pleasant experience or to repeat the action of the emotion after it has passed away. Furthermore, if the emotion is unpleasant, the soul is stirred to repel or prevent the circumstances that brought about the disagreeable experience.

Thoughts don’t necessarily prompt one to action. The Biblical Greek word for thoughts is the word “dialogismos” (Strong’s #1261), it is the word from which “dialogue” is derived. Hence, the thought often times works in tangent with mind. It is defined as, “inward reasoning, questioning, consideration, and deliberation, turning thought over in the mind; reckoning by mental questions, opinions, designs and disputes.” (5) Hence, ideas are discussed and “tossed around” inside of ones head without inciting to action, as an emotion would. However, once certain ideas are tossed around long enough, they can evoke an emotional response. For example, an addict may have a using thought come into his mind. Initially, it is just a thought. But, if the thought is meditated upon and romanced in the mind, it will become a drug craving, which is the emotional response of the romanced thought. Once the emotional craving kicks in, the addict begins to strategize and use the intellect to plan the next use. Once a plan is decided upon, the plan is executed in the action phase. Thus, we see that our flesh can be activated by our thought life. An undisciplined thought life can trigger the flesh mechanism which leads to sin and ultimately to death. Scripture is very clear in this regard, “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:5) And again, “Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought.” (Ecc 5:2).

The spiritual realm exhibits its influence over the thoughts and emotions of humans. One can consider that human beings are composed of a body, a soul, and a spirit. They physical body is simple enough to explain. It is the outer shell, or tent, of the soul. It is the shell that the soul lives inside. The human soul has been defined as “It is the seat of the affections, will desire, emotions, mind, reason, and understanding. It is the inner self.” (6) The Greek word is “psuche” (Strong‘s #5590). It is the word that psychology is derived from. Hence, psychology is the study of the human soul. The soul is vaguely comprised of a will, an intellect, and an emotional seat. The emotional seat is at the center of the soul. The mind and the intellect function around the emotional center and the will carries out the actions and decisions of the emotions and the intellect.

The spirit is the communication link between the physical realm and the spiritual realm. One can think of the ones spirit as a cell-phone link to the spiritual realm. When a spirit wants to communicate with us, it sends a “text message“, if you will, from them to us via our spirit and it “pops” into the soul or mind, as a thought. If these thoughts are left unchecked they can have disastrous consequences. If they are caught and brought into subjection to Christ, then they can be resolved. This is one aspect of the spiritual realm communicating to us. This is how some prophecy takes place, the Holy Spirit flows with our spirit and sends messages to our mind which we speak to an individual or situation. We can speak the mind of God when the Spirit of God communicates with our spirits. Then our minds understand the message and speak it to the situation. Whereby, we become the spokesperson for the Spirit. This can work for the Holy Spirit, but it can also work for demonic spirits as well. Once, a thought is romanced and decided to act upon, an individual may begin to discuss the issue with people. Let’s take our addict again. Once a spirit of bondage (or addiction) has influenced and gained control of the thought life and mind of an addict, that addict begins to talk about using drugs. Thus, this individual becomes the spokesperson for the spirit of bondage (or addiction). A Biblical example is evidenced when one lying spirit influenced every prophet Ahab had to entice him into battle to be killed. The Bible states, “I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left. And the Lord said, ’Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, and said, ’I will persuade him.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the Lord said, ‘You shall persuade him, and prevail. Go out and do so.” (I Kings 22:19-22). Thus, once one prophet became the spokesperson for this spirit, all the prophets were brought under its influence.

My dear friend Patrick Pegues proposed another mechanism of contact between us and the spiritual world. Oddly enough, it is through our emotions. As it has been demonstrated earlier, emotions tend to motivate human behavior. This becomes a powerful means of communication. A spirit can send our soul an emotional download. Thus, in the presence of some spirits, an emotional download is given to a person and they respond with action out of this emotion. Thus, bypassing the ability to think things through. This is true when people tell us that they don’t want to do the things they are doing but they just “can’t help it.” This may be the outworking of a spirit. For example, a spirit of anxiety will produce an emotional response of anxiety in a room. This is why we are taught to walk during a fire drill. The emotional spiritual experience is much stronger than just the thought experience because emotions can move us right into action. These spirits are much more influential over human behavior. Conversely, the Holy Spirit has similar effects on individual as evidenced by the holy laughter and crying that can be exhibited in time of revival and renewal. Being able to discern the presence of these sprits is difficult. One must posses the ability to tease out their own emotions in a given situation versus an unprovoked emotional response caused by a spirit. Oftentimes, people who are untrained in the gift of discerning of the spirits, struggle with seemingly wanton mood swings and can’t figure out what is “wrong with them”. Nothing is wrong with them, they are just untrained in their giftings but are oftentimes medicated and diagnosed as bipolars. The essence of some forms of temptation come from spirits sending us emotions. We are not saying that all temptation comes from demons, but we are certainly saying, that there are times when it absolutely comes from evil spirits.

There are two levels of activity from within, inside of us. They are demonization and possession. Let us begin with demonization and then progress to possession. It is possible to be demonized without being possessed. “The Greek word used in the New Testament can best be translated as “to have a demon” or to be “demonized” rather than to “be possessed.” This correct translation makes all the difference because it is quite possible to have a demon yet not be possessed.” (7) What we are talking about here, is that demons get inside of people and influence their actions and lives without actually possessing them. An example is a man who is plagued with use of pornography. He seeks spiritual help and goes to a deliverance team. They pray and bind a “perverse spirit” and command it to leave him. It leaves, and the man voices an immediate peace and release. More importantly, he reports that the compulsion and desire to use pornography has completely left him. He is free from it. He was not possessed but nonetheless, he was demonized by a spirit that lived inside of him and influenced him in powerful ways. Once the spirit is gone, there is relief. This is how the majority of deliverance ministry takes place. Just like this. More often people are demonized but not possessed. They come for prayer and get better immediately. This is also an indicator of a spiritual problem, after prayer, the client gets better rapidly. The cause of the problem being removed with deliverance. Cindy Jacobs lists several causes of demonization, they are: Bitterness and unforgiveness, iniquity (including sins of the fathers and past generations), the occult, sin (particular sexual sin as it is a union that transfers sprits), trauma, and abuse.(8) These are all portals of entry for the demonic. Jacobs goes on to list stages of demonization. They are:

1. Regression: a person no longer has a desire for the things of God.

2. Repression: the absence of joy in the individuals life.

3. Suppression: a general sense of melancholy or lethargy.

4. Depression: a state of worthlessness and hopelessness involving loss of appetite and loss of sleep.

5. Oppression: the sense of being weighed down by an unseen force.

6. Obsession: a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling. This changes the mind and calls what is evil, good.

7. Demonization: the individual has given demons the right to dwell inside of them by the sins of their flesh.

True cases of demonic possession are extremely rare. Personally, I have never seen a case. However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. They are just extremely rare. Noted German theologian Kurt Koch identified eight “marks” of demonic possession. They are: 1. the demons are really living inside the individual and seem to have control. 2. Unusual or supernatural strength. 3. Visible conflict within the possessed person. 4. An opposition to the things of God. 5. Clairvoyance- Koch sites the demoniac of Gadarenes ability to identify Jesus even though they had never met before. This is a knowledge of hidden or secret things 6. Ability to speak in voices not their own and often in languages that they don’t know. 7. An immediate instantaneous improvement of the patient once the exorcism is complete. 8. Transference: Koch sites the legion that was cast into the pigs and destroyed the herd. This transference is a sign of possession. (10) Exorcism of these individuals is possible, but oftentimes, it takes longer and is much more involved. It should be noted that no novice in the deliverance ministry should attempt an exorcism without the help of trained professional ministers.

The person suffering from an identity crisis will, probably, be in need of some inner healing, if not, deliverance. Again, this section is not intended to be exhaustive but to familiarize the reader with the process of becoming whole in Christ.

 

 

 

Endnotes

1. Here the reader is referred to “Healing” by Francis MacNutt. “Healing the Wounded Spirit” by John and Paul Sandford, and “The Healing Gifts of the Spirit” by Agnes Sanford. Also, “Strongman is His Name, What is His Game.” by Jerry and Carol Robeson, “Deliverance from Evil Spirits“, by Fances MacNutt, “Demonology, Past and Present” by Kurt Koch, and “They Shall Expel Demons“, by Derek Prince. “Deliver Us From Evil” by Cindy Jacobs.

2. MacNutt, Frances, Healing, Ave Marie Press, Notre Dame, IN, 1999, page 146.

3. Ibid, page 147.

4. Webster Noah, American Dictionary of the English Language 1828 edition, San Francisco, CA, Foundation for American Christian Education, 2006, page

5. Hayford, Jack, The Spirit Filled Life Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1991, page 1512.

6. Ibid, page 1557.

7. MacNutt, Frances, Deliverance from Evil Spirits, A Practical Manual, Chosen Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 1995, page 69.

8. Jacobs, Cindy, Deliver Us From Evil, Regal Books, Ventura, CA, 2001, pages 189-190.

9. Ibid, pages 193-195.

10. Koch, Kurt, Demonology: Past and Present Discerning and Overcoming Demonic Strongholds, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids MI, 1973, pages 136-140.

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