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A Deliverance Ministry Of Truth

   These days there seems to be a lot of so-called “deliverance ministries” in the church. Are these even biblical, and what is Jesus’ definition of a deliverance ministry?

 

John 8:31-36 – This is Jesus’ definition of a deliverance ministry.

31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed [4100- “to believe, have faith in, trust in, place confidence in (see Hebrews 3:6)”] Him [i.e. become a Christian], "If you continue [3306- “to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy), to remain, abide, not to leave, to continue to be present”] in My word, then you are truly [230- “in reality, most certainly”] disciples of Mine;

32 and you will know [1097- “come to know, perceive, understand, to know by observation and experience”] the truth, and the truth will make you free [1659- see def. below]." [In other words, “Knowing the truth, having it revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, and then doing what it says is all that you and I need to deliver us/set us free from the dominion of all that is not of God.”]

33 They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You will become free [1658- “unrestrained (to go at pleasure), i.e. (as a citizen) not a slave; exempt, freeborn”]'?"

34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

35 "The slave does not remain [3306] in the house forever; the son does remain [3306] forever.

36 "So if the Son makes you free [1659], you will be free [1658] indeed [3689- “in reality, in point of fact, as opposed to what is pretended, fictitious, false, conjectural”].

NASU

 

NT:1659 eleutheroo (el-yoo-ther-o'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:1658; to liberate, i.e. (figuratively) to exempt (from moral, ceremonial or mortal liability)

KJV - deliver, make free.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to make free, set at liberty: from the dominion of sin (John 8:32, 36)

(Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)

“to make free”; is used of deliverance from (a) sin (John 8:32, 36; Romans 6:18, 22); (b) the Law (Romans 8:2; Galatians 5:1); (c) the bondage of corruption (Romans 8:21).

 

 

   One day, while teaching in the temple, the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery before Him. After trying to trap Him into stoning the woman, Jesus confronted them, saying, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:1-7) They left Him, and her, humiliated. He then said to the woman, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” This is where the dominion of sin that gives room for the devil’s dominion in our lives is removed. It’s obedience to the word of the Lord to “Go, and sin no more” that results in our being delivered.

   He then spoke again to the Pharisees, telling them that He was the light of the world, and if they followed Him they would not walk in the darkness. After declaring to them that if they did not believe in Him they would die in their sins, and even referring to His soon coming death on a cross, many of the Jewish people who were listening to Him put their faith in Him. This is where the above passage picks up.

   In verses 31-32 He said to the Jews who had believed in Him;

 

“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

 

There are a few words in this conditional proclamation of Christ that we need to breakdown, per their Greek definitions.

   The first word is “believe.” In the Greek it means, “to believe, have faith in, trust in, place confidence in.” These are, without argument, what we would refer to as Christians. The next phrase to define is “If you continue in My word…” As already stated, this is one of the many conditional statements in the Bible. I call them “big ifs.”

   The Greek definition of the word we interpreted into English as “continue” is “to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy), to remain, abide, not to leave, to continue to be present.” Jesus then says, “then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” To “know” is to “come to know, perceive, understand, to know by observation and experience.” The Lord tells them that this truth in His word is that which “will make you free.” The definition for “free” is crucial in our understanding of deliverance in Christ. It is defined as “to liberate, to exempt, to make free.” It’s “used of deliverance from sin, the law, and corruption.”

   So, by these definitions, we come to understand that in order to be delivered we must, after believing in Christ, continue in obedience to His word which points the way in which we should walk. Once we do the truth that He reveals to us, we come to understand in our experiential knowledge that which delivers us from any and all bondage. If this is true, then there is no need other than the proclamation of the truth over those held in bondage, and the doing of that truth in order to be set free, or delivered “in reality, in point of fact, as opposed to what is pretended, fictitious, false, or conjectural.”

   Applying this truth in practice would seem to shut down many so-called deliverance ministries that appear to be nothing more than deceived impostors. In the Body of Christ, we have now formed a specialized ministry category called “deliverance,” when, in reality, this will occur along every Christian’s journey, just as it did with Christ, among whom we are sent, if we are walking in the truth. He delivers us so that we can deliver others.

   It is my belief that the reason so many Christians are in need of deliverance is because they are not walking in obedience to the truth that can deliver them. Disobedience opens the door for the devil to harass and oppress us. Looking for and discovering “the way of escape” (1 Corinthians 10:13) through the revelation of the Holy Spirit is the way for us to become “free indeed.”

 

The Slave And The Son

 

   In verses 33-36 the Lord describes the dire necessity of being set free. He compares the difference of a son and a slave in a house to make His point. He begins by saying, “everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” To “commit” is “to do, make.” According to Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, it’s “used of spending a time or tarrying, in a place.” It also refers to a continuous practice of something; “it’s used to describe almost any act, whether complete or repeated.” When we continue to practice sin, we can expect to be in need of deliverance. It is the open door for the enemy to enter into our lives. Obedience to Christ removes his “squatter rights.”

   In this place of enslavement through sin, we will not “remain in the house forever.” Remember, per the Greek definitions, to “remain” is “to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy).” Only the son has the right to “remain forever” (i.e. receive eternal life) in the house of God’s family. Having our eyes opened to this truth, we understand how important it is that we move forward in the saving process of sanctification by the Holy Spirit, and be delivered. This is the right to become the sons of God that John says all who have “received Him” as their Savior have been given (John 1:12). But as we’ll see further below, this right can be forfeited because of rebellion against the Lord’s dominion in us (i.e. receiving His grace in vain).

   Regarding the Divine condition for us to continue working together with the Holy Spirit’s ministry within us in order to be set free “indeed” (i.e. in reality versus in theory), Paul declared;

 

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become [1096- “to become, come to pass, to come into existence”] the righteousness of God in Him. And working together [4903- “to help in work, to co-operate, be a co-worker, to work together”] with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain [2756- “empty; of places, vessels, etc., which contain nothing; used of men, empty-handed; without a gift; metaphorically, of endeavors, labors, acts, which result in nothing, vain, fruitless, without effect”].”

(2 Corinthians 5:21-6:1/NASU)

 

   It is when we work together with the Holy Spirit, rather than against Him (i.e. the spirit of anti-christ), that we “become” (“to become, come to pass, to come into existence”), through submission in the process, the righteousness of Christ desired by Him. It is a lifelong process of refining (i.e. sanctification) as we remain in Him until we are formed into the likeness of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).

   Paul said of himself;

 

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.”

(1 Corinthians 15:10/NASU)

 

   Paul describes the works of faith that result as proof, or evidence of our obedience to the grace the Lord shows toward us. One of the definitions for grace is “the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life.” When we walk in submission to the lordship of Christ over us, His glory will be reflected through us (2 Corinthians 3:18). It proves the genuineness of our faith. Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words defines “vain” as that which “expresses the ‘hollowness’ of anything, the ‘absence’ of that which otherwise might be possessed.”

   When we walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit, doing what He says, we are delivered from all that oppresses us. We are then able to help others be delivered through the way that the Way (John 14:6) reveals to us. This is in stark contrast from the many so-called deliverance ministers who need to be delivered themselves. May the Lord open all our eyes to the truth in this matter that is able to deliver us all, from all.

 

Freedom In Christ

(The following insight is an excerpt from chapter nine in my book The Resurrected Bride.)

 

   “What is freedom in Christ?” In this [portion] I will share with you what the Lord recently revealed to me in regards to the answer to this question. I pray that it opens your eyes and stirs your heart as it did mine.

   The citizens in the United States, where I live, have been blessed with a great amount of freedom, as long as they abide by the laws that govern it. To break the law is to possibly forfeit that freedom and be placed into prison. The Bible reveals a different freedom, a freedom in Christ that occurs from within, no matter what your external situation may be.

   [I would interject here that, because of the corruption among our leaders at this time, justice is often not carried out. Instead, those who are guilty of crimes that should be punished are let go, and the innocent are often looked down upon as those who are guilty! The righteous now cry out to the Lord as Habakkuk did; “Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.” (Habakkuk 1:3-4/NIV)]

   A person can be living in a free nation and yet be bound in an internal prison that they cannot escape from. Another may be living under an extremely oppressive government, or even in an actual prison cell, and because of their acceptance of Jesus as their Messiah be living free from within with unexplainable joy and hope. The good news in this is that Jesus Christ came to set the captives free, in all nations, under any circumstance.

 

Freedom To Choose

 

   The Gospel of John begins by proclaiming the deity of Jesus Christ, and that all things came into being through Him. It declares what occurred when He, the Light which enlightens every man, came into the world He made. John tells us that;

 

He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:11-13/NASU)

 

   In this passage, John’s subject is clearly those who “received” Christ. They “believed in His name” and were “born of God.” By definition of the Greek word that we interpret into English as “received,” they have laid hold of Christ, making Him their own. Those who receive Him are the only ones that have been given “the right to become the children of God.” This is interesting because it would be assumed that they are instantly, at the choice of receiving Christ, to be His child. But, per John, there is more in regards to bringing this right to completion in Him.

   The Greek that we interpret as “right” is exousia [ex-oo-see'-ah]. It’s defined as “privilege, power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases, the power of rule or government.” Freedom in Christ, therefore, is the “authority, power of choice, privilege, liberty of doing as one pleases” that is only granted to those who turn in repentance to Jesus Christ, taking Him as their Lord and Savior. The unbelievers do not have this freedom to choose.

   Without Christ, all of mankind is said to be slaves to sin and are held captive to do the devil’s will (2 Timothy 2:26). The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus came to give freedom to the prisoners and to release the oppressed (Luke 4:18). Receiving Him as your Lord and Savior releases His power in your life to say “no” to sin and “yes” to the Father’s will. The “right to become children of God” is the right of access to the power of the Holy Spirit. When we say “no” to sin we are saying “yes” to the power of God that enables us to become an overcomer and partake of His Divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4)…

 

Potential vs. Reality

(This is chapter ten in my book The Resurrected Bride.)


   One of the definitions for potential is, “having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.” According to the Collins English Dictionary;

 

“If you say that someone or something has potential, you mean that they have the necessary abilities or qualities to become successful or useful in the future… If you say that someone or something has potential for doing a particular thing, you mean that it is possible they may do it.”

 

   Having the potential to become something does not mean that you automatically develop into that something. You can have the potential to become many things in life, but never develop into that which was possible. For example, a man or woman could have been born with incredible athletic or musical abilities but that does not mean that they will excel in either. If they lack the qualities necessary to be successful in their area of possibility, they will most likely never become what they could have been.

   Peter tells us that God’s Divine power has given us everything we need (i.e. the potential) in regards to life and godliness through the “true knowledge”, or truth of Christ that, when applied, causes us to become partakers of the Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). A follower of Christ has been given the potential, or the “right to become the sons of God” which, as I said, is the right of access to the power of the Holy Spirit. This privilege, this potential in Christ is a right that can be denied, though, through rebellion and disobedience.

   Peter then gives us a list of qualities that, when becoming ours in increasing measure, will keep us from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ. These qualities are the potential that we have to be an overcomer in Christ, thereby qualifying us to receive the crown of life (Revelation 2:10-11).

   Peter continues, saying;

 

“For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent [“to hasten, to exert oneself”] to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.”

(2 Peter 1:9-11/NASU)

 

   Potential alone, which are the promises alone, are not enough to have the entrance into eternal life in Christ “abundantly supplied” to you and I (see the Bible study Noah; A Sign Of The End for more on entering in). It is only through our diligence in putting these qualities into practice, working together with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 6:1), that we will never stumble and fall away from Christ.

   Not only will we will never stumble, but it is the only way that we will be qualified to reign and rule with Christ in the coming age. Jesus said to the church in Thyatira;

 

“To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery’— just as I have received authority from my Father.”

(Revelation 2:26-27/NIV)

 

   The key to receiving the authority of Christ over the nations is in becoming an overcomer who does His will, “to the end.” In the same manner, the key to Jesus’ authority while on earth was His submission to the Father’s will.

   In His message written to the church in Sardis, the Lord warned them to wake up and strengthen the things that were about to die. They had not yet completed their works (see my book Works And Salvation). The Lord then told them to remember what they had received and to repent or they would not know at what time He would come to them. Many today within the church are in the same state of spiritual blindness. There were some who were considered to be worthy because they had not “soiled their clothes,” symbolizing their walk of purity with the Lord. They had not stained their garment of salvation.

   Jesus then declared to them;

 

“He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

(Revelation 3:5-6/NASU)

 

   This is an extremely serious statement that many have, unfortunately, erased from their book of truth. By not persevering in Christ, doing His will to the end so as to become an overcomer, they had caused some heavenly ink written in their name to disappear (see Chapter Twenty Five, Disappearing Ink, in my book The Resurrected Bride).

   May we be encouraged to keep the faith, persevering in obedience to Christ so as not to shrink back in shame at His return which, I believe, is very close (see the Bible study The Word Of My Perseverance). Knowing the time is late, even the midnight hour, the Lord would encourage all of us to remain near Him, saying;

 

“Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

(Revelation 3:10-13/NASU)

 

   In the New Testament, James describes the difference between a hearer and a doer of the word of God. He exhorts us, saying;

 

“…get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can [or, “is able to”] save you.”

(James 1:21/NIV)

 

   Being able to hear and understand the word of God is not the end itself, but rather the revealing of the way of life that a person who has turned to Christ must still choose whether or not he or she will obey. To obey is to be set free [i.e. delivered]. To disobey after turning to Christ is to remain in bondage [and to remain a slave that, as we saw earlier, will not remain in God’s house].

   The word of God CAN save us, IF we hear and then DO what the Spirit is saying. This struggle is every Christian’s. Some sins are easier to overcome while others take longer, possibly even a lifetime…

 

   Through all of this discussion we should come to see and understand that the way of escape from all oppression that we need to be delivered from is available to us in Christ, as we walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Yes, we are to pray for one another in this, but these many so-called deliverance ministries that have become a hindrance to the real truth must be exposed for who really rules over them, and be removed. May we, the Body of Christ, be delivered from all who need to be delivered themselves from the deception of the devil.



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