Deliverance - Covering, Teaching, & Training

Pastoral Covering

In any church, for deliverance ministry to have success it must have the full support of the senior pastor. This ministry cannot be placed in the hands of those who seek to build their own little kingdoms. For all the great benefits that come from legitimate deliverance, it can also attract the weird and the wacky, giving deliverance a bad reputation. The pastoral leadership must heed the scriptural admonition, “Recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,” (1 Thess. 5:12, NKJV).

After all, the primary role of a pastor is to protect the flock of God. Wolves would like to come in and decimate the sheep. Pastors must guard them from the potential hazards – either in word or in deed. This protection is most clearly demonstrated as pastors bring encouragement and comfort to people by providing a covering of direction and accountability for this ministry.

Sound Teaching

Many churches have been shipwrecked on the rocks of unsound doctrine. How tantalizing the dark and hidden things can be. It would be easy for those ministering deliverance to become captivated with the spirit of Gnosticism, the gathering and accumulation of knowledge without the fruit of a transformed life.

In Colossians 1:9-14, Paul exposed this wicked heresy that crept into the church of Colossae. Paul wanted two things for the Colossian church: that they would be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (v.9), and that they would be “fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (v.10).

Having a multitude of knowledge without walking it out is futile. Jesus declared that casting out demons is not something to get excited about or focused upon. What is most important is to know our relationship as children of God. Our attention to His truth will keep us from getting enthralled with tantalizing “mysteries” and heretical doctrines. Effective deliverance is the result of being grounded in God’s Word and ways.

Discipleship Training

I was being interviewed by a Christian publication when the writer asked, “Cleansing Stream is a deliverance ministry, right?” Although I had not anticipated my response, I said: “No, it’s not. It is a discipleship ministry – we disciple people in the ministry of deliverance.” Our ministry is committed to partnering with pastors and churches in teaching and training leaders and maturing believers in personal cleansing, deliverance and spiritual warfare so they can be released to serve, minister and disciple others in the body of Christ (see 2 Tim. 2:2).

From this verse, it seems that God thinks in terms of at least four generations: “The things you have heard from me” (first generation), “among many witnesses” (second generation), “commit these to faithful men” (third generation), “who will be able to teach others” (fourth generation). If this principle were not true, you and I would have probably never heard the gospel. To establish deliverance into the framework of the church, there needs to be a way to continually train and mentor others.