Deliverance Ministry Expose
An eleven-part teaching series biblically critiquing the deliverance ministry movement. Please click on the PDF links to read each article in full.
There exists today a growing movement that is making vast inroads into the lives of many who profess faith in Jesus. This movement goes by the name of “Deliverance Ministry” and is prevalent most, within Pentecostal and Charismatic circles. Proponents of this movement take for their modus operandi, isolated incidents recorded in the Gospels – like the woman with the spirit of infirmity, and the mute man possessed with a devil – to build a case for this being a normative experience in the life of every Christian. Those holding to this teaching believe that the majority of sin, sickness, and disease in the life of a believer is a result of them having demons. Want to get free from your toothache? Cast out the demon of toothache! Suffering from long-term depression? You need deliverance…get the demon of migraine cast out of you and you’ll be right as rain! Struggling with lust? I discern that you have a demon of lust and if you ever want to stand a fighting chance of being free from that sin, you need that demon casting out!
If this movement was relegated to a few hundred people, one might readily write it off as some crazy fringe movement. However, a quick search on YouTube reveals this not to be the case. Videos abound on deliverance with hundreds of thousands of hits per video.
In this first teaching part, we seek to bring a basic overview of the deliverance ministry and introduce some of its founding fathers.
Derek was born into a military family in Bangalore, India in 1915. At the age of 13, Derek won a scholarship to the prestigious Eton College, England where he studied Greek and Latin. From Eton, he progressed to Cambridge University where he furthered his understanding of languages, graduating with first-class honours in Classical Tripos (a course studying Greek and Latin languages, culture, and history). Academically, Derek Prince was a brilliant man, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned over time it’s this; brilliance in one area of expertise does not make you brilliant in every field of expertise. No one can question the academic background of Dr. Derek Prince, but when it comes to his revelations and ideas on demonology, it is shocking! So much of what Dr. Prince has to say about this topic is purely anecdotal, it is his experiences, his encounters. When he does turn to the text of Scripture in an effort to support what he is saying, his exegesis at the best of times leaves little to be desired.
In this teaching, I don’t want so much to examine the teachings of Derek Prince as it relates to deliverance but to look at Derek Prince the man, and the personal journey which led him into the deliverance ministry.
We have spent the last two teachings introducing the topic of deliverance ministry and the key architects who helped shape and fashion it in its formative years in the early 1960s and 70s. Due to the anecdotal nature of the movement, it is impossible to speak with one united voice for all the leading figures within it. However, what we are able to do is examine the teachings of two of the founding fathers of the movement, Dr. Derek Prince and Mr. Frank Hammond. I think it would be fair to say, no two other people have done more to shape and influence the deliverance ministry movement than these two individuals. Frank Hammond, for his legendary book “Pigs in the Parlor”, and Derek Prince, for his pioneering efforts in this field long before Frank Hammond ever got involved in the deliverance ministry.
It may be that as you have heard the teachings thus far critiquing deliverance, you have asked yourself the question, how on earth can Christians get sucked in by this. How as a Christian, can I be demon possessed and not know it until some so-called minister came and told me so? Surely, if a demon possessed me, I would know it! How is it even possible for a Christian to be possessed by the Holy Spirit and at the same time by an evil spirit, and if so, where is the Biblical evidence to support this? It is my aim in this third teaching part to answer these questions in the hope that we can better understand the deliverance movement so as to bring its teaching into the light of the Holy Scripture and expose the error which I believe is deeply damaging the lives of God’s people.
If you were tasked with answering the question, “…how do I know if I have a demon”? How would you respond? In the case of the Gadarene Demoniac, you wouldn’t even need to be a Christian to spot something was seriously wrong with the man. “Normal” people don’t live naked among the tombs, screaming and cutting themselves with stones. “Normal” people don’t speak in the second person plural! Admittedly, this is an extreme case, but I want to submit, those in the Bible possessed with demons are known to be, not only by themselves but by those coming into contact with them.
Why do I take the time to point out the patently obvious? Those within the deliverance movement would have us understand that the vast majority of believers in Jesus have demons in them, but the problem is, they know it not! If this is the case, the question that follows is, how is one to identify whether or not they have a demon from which they need deliverance? It is this question that is the focus of this fourth teaching part.
As we have begun peeling back the veil of deliverance to see the teachings that lie beneath, there’s one thing that has been striking to discover, and that is the all-consuming nature of the movement. According to the deliverance practitioners, there is no Christian outside the scope of needing deliverance.
Having looked at the list of the identifying characteristic hallmarks of supposed demonisation in the last teaching part, we turn our attention in this teaching to ask the question, “How do Demons Enter?”. As we explore this question by comparing Scripture with what leading figures within the movement teach, namely Derek Prince and Frank Hammond, what you will discover will both shock and horrify you.
We have spent considerable time exploring the realm of deliverance ministry – a movement impacting the lives of millions of Christians worldwide. In the last teaching part, we examined the teaching of Dr. Derek Prince and Frank Hammond as it relates to how demons “supposedly” enter a person. In this sixth teaching part, we want to look at how they “supposedly” leave.
We shall first undertake a brief survey of the New Testament to see how Jesus and the disciples cast out demons. Having done this, we shall then turn our attention to look at how leaders within the deliverance movement cast out demons. You are going to see that the two stand poles apart and the biblical evidence supporting the “expelling” of demons (as they maintain), is non-existent. You are going to have to make a choice, whether to stand on the side of man’s word or to stand on the side of God’s Word.
As one examines the various techniques employed within the deliverance ministry, it becomes quickly obvious that they are greatly wanting in terms of Biblical support. Where in the Bible do we see Jesus leading the demonised in a prayer for deliverance at the end of which they begin expelling demons themselves? Where do we see Jesus conducting mass deliverance services? Not only are these practices non-existent, the Word of God contradicts them! Jesus cast out demons in the power of the Holy Spirit and by the Word of His authority. The Gospels inform us that He ministered to individuals, one by one, though they thronged him in great numbers.
According to leading proponents within the deliverance movement, believers have been given authority by Jesus Christ to cast demons out of themselves. Where in the Bible do we see the demon-possessed delivering themselves? In this seventh teaching part, we shall continue to peel back the layers of this harmful movement and bring its teachings to the judgment bar of God’s Word.
In the introduction to a book written by Derek Prince, titled, “Blessing or Curse”, one is met by the following words. “In the 1970s Derek Prince began to unfold for believers an astonishing, life-changing teaching from the Bible that few people had ever heard. It was a thoroughly scriptural and God-blessed message about blessings and curses. This startling revelation—which he would continue to develop and gain spiritual insight about over the next three decades—has profoundly influenced several generations of theologians and preachers. More importantly, it has provided a simple key to a better life for hundreds of thousands of Christians all over the world”.
Just as in the 1960s, when Dr. Prince began unfolding for believers a message about deliverance that few people had ever heard, so in 70’s he began doing the same again but this time from the standpoint of blessings and curses. In this teaching, we begin to examine this strange and peculiar teaching through the lens of Holy Scripture. Far from it being rooted in the word of God, we shall discover that what Derek Prince taught concerning the laws that govern blessings and curses and the vehicle through which they come, namely words, is not only unbiblical but has its origins firmly rooted in the world of the Occult!
The Bible is full of commandments from God with attached blessings to them. Conversely, there are other verses in the Old Testament with attached curses. With that in mind, it might well be said, “What’s the need for this teaching? Blessings and curses are Biblical.” However, as one compares what Derek Prince teaches, to that which Holy Scripture teaches, there are fundamental and major differences. As one looks in the Old Testament at the theme of blessings and curses one will find that it exists in the framework of covenant relationship. In Deuteronomy 28 (and the parallel passage in Leviticus 26), God lays before His covenant people Israel, a number of blessings and many more curses, conditional upon their obedience or disobedience respectively. What would you think, if one was to take the covenantal blessings and curses given to Israel and use them as a universal framework for all mankind today? That’s precisely what Derek Prince does.
In this ninth teaching part, we look at a list of blessings and curses drawn up by the late Derek Prince and ask the crucial question, “Can a Christian be cursed?” Are generational curses operative in the life of the blood-bought children of God? What about the common saying, “No curse without a cause?” We provide Biblical answers to each of these questions in this ninth teaching part.
The generation that welcomed Derek Prince with open arms, sucking up his new-fangled teachings regarding blessings and curses, failed to hold him to account to the standard of the Bible. God’s people were only too happy to sit at the feet of the guru and to be spoon-fed! Where were the Pastors warning their flocks? Where were the watchmen lifting up their voices?
We see a huge resurgence in our day of the toxic teachings of Derek Prince as it relates to blessings and curses, fuelled to a large degree by his online presence on social media platforms like YouTube. The only way in which this generation shall escape the error of the last is if they stop blindly following “Men of God” and instead begin following the “Word of God”. In this tenth teaching part, we conclude our studies of what Derek Prince taught concerning blessings and curses. We take another look at the wide spectrum of curses that a Christian can apparently be under and examine Biblically, the supposed steps needed to be taken in order to pass from curse to blessing and to then remain in blessing. What is the proper understanding of Christ’s finished work on the cross versus that of what deliverance ministers teach? How does one claim the blessing of Abraham? What is meant by the verse in Galatians 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us”? Stay tuned to find out.
It is believed by those within the deliverance movement that it is possible for a person's soul to be spiritually knitted/bonded/glued/tied to another person’s soul such that one takes on the personality traits of the one they are apparently soul-tied to. It is believed that there are godly soul ties that are from God and ungodly soul-soul ties that are demonic.
One of the main areas of focus, when it comes to the teaching of soul ties, is ungodly soul ties formed through immoral sexual relationships. Like two sheets of card being glued together such that when they are separated, bits of the card being separated remains bonded to the other piece; in the same way, it is believed that when two souls come together in the act of fornication, a piece of that person’s soul remains bonded to yours and yours to theirs. One can only imagine the effects of this being multiplied ten times over. Thus the aim of deliverance becomes about breaking ungodly soul-ties and restoring one’s fragmented soul back into one piece so as to allow for the worship of God with all one’s heart and soul. The teaching of soul ties is very dangerous and I would go as far as to call it heretical. In this eleventh and final teaching part, we look at this teaching and examine it critically from the Word of God.