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You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free

Renette Vermeulen

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THE ONLY SCRIPTURAL ACCOUNTS OF CASTING OUT DEMONS AFTER JESUS’ ASCENSION WERE FROM UNBELIEVERS

It is to their own disadvantage and the destruction of the body of Christ that preachers and ‘deliverance ministries’ twist and confuse the two different Testaments or Covenants of the Bible to subtract from, and add to the Truth of Scripture to justify their abuse of God’s Word and believers.  In their so-called ‘deliverance’ of believers from ‘indwelling demons,’ they deliberately confuse Jesus’ ministry to the Old Hebrews before His death and resurrection, with His ministry to Holy-Spirit indwelt disciples after His ascension and Pentecost. 

The result is a deadly deception. 

After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, with the Holy Spirit indwelling believers, there are two Scriptural accounts of casting out demons from unbelievers, but never from believers.  Yes, I know about the “resurrection power” of the bones of Old Testament Elijah, and we saw on the previous page how ministers of all sorts misinterpret the sequence and context of Acts 8:5-13 where Philip preached in Samaria.  We also find confusing accounts in Acts 5:15, where the “shadow” of the “holy man” Peter supposedly cast out demons, and in Acts 19:11-16, where Paul’s “handkerchiefs” supposedly did the same.  These “holier and more powerful than other believers” verses reek of Roman Catholicism and Pentecostalism.  ‘Special’ holiness and ‘more’ power or anointing does not exist in Scripture, (1 Jn. 2:20; 27.) Different callings and gifts, yes, but we all share in the same anointing of the Spirit Who dwells inside each of His sincere believers, (Rom. 8:9.)  Because these verses do not fit into Jesus’ Gospel or any of the Epistles, I suspect they were abused to speak the false language of church doctrine, not the Truth of Jesus.  These occult-style ‘healings’ by “the bones of the dead” also resulted in the blasphemous practice of grave sucking in churches such as Bethel Culture.  The monopoly on shadow and ‘rag’ healings too, do not warrant believers to copy such practices.  Jesus commanded us to “lay hands on the sick” - or to anoint them with oil with confession of sin, (Mark 16:16-18 — Jam. 5:16.) 

· In fact, the unbelieving Jewish exorcists that tried to cast out demons by the name of Paul’s Jesus because they honored him as some god, had to flee naked before the demon in that man.  The only other contextual, Scriptural account I could find of casting out a demon, (it is non-existent in the epistles,) was in Acts 16:18, where Paul delivered an unbeliever from demonic possession, (or as it is now called, ‘demonic oppression.’)  After enduring days of demonic harassment from an unbelieving slave girl and clearly out of bare necessity, Paul, greatly annoyed, silenced this fortune-teller by casting out her demon of divination.

Ridding an unbeliever of her demon does not mean we must cast out demons from blood-cleansed, Holy-Spirit indwelt believers, as this practice is totally against the entire New Covenant of Jesus, (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 6:15-18.) 

Note also that Paul did not wear special religious clothes, or used a crucifix or any other strange “iconic” thing to cast out this demon from the slave girl.  He simply turned and calmly said, “I command you in the Name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.”  Immediately, the demon left her. No gimmicks; no Roman Catholic collar, Shofar, crucifix, ‘holy’ water, showmanship; shouting; falling over; twisting of Scripture, or any other religious trick.  This was just the unassuming work of the calm, assured, almighty Holy Spirit, Who indwelt Paul. 

We can be certain that this is how the Holy Spirit also delivers unbelievers as they accept Jesus — although, as seen in Acts 8:5-13 where Philip preached to unbelievers, there might be manifestations such as screaming as demons leave them before the Holy Spirit indwells them. 

Similarly, the Holy Spirit, through Paul and all the other disciples, healed many believers from sicknesses, but He always manifested His gifts orderly, as “God is not the author of confusion.”  To this day, the Holy Spirit’s gifts of tongues, interpretation of tongues in the assemblies or ecclesia, true prophecy, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, supernatural faith to do miracles, and the discernment of spirits for the purpose of ministering to the needs of the body of Christ, remain a reality, (1 Cor. 12:4-11; 14:26-39.) 

Þ Note that the gift or power to cast out demons is never mentioned in ministering to believers themselves!  (Mark. 16:16-18.) 

Throughout the New Testament Covenant, which was inaugurated at Jesus’ death and resurrection, believers were healed by prayer, confession of sin to God, their confession of abusive and personal sin against each other to each other, the laying on of [holy] hands, and the anointing of oil, (Mark 16:16-18; Jam. 5:16-17.)  It is true that Jesus, at His ascension, gave all believers, through the particular gifts of the indwelling Holy Spirit and in His Name, the authority to cast out demons, (1 Cor. 12:4-11; Mark 16:17.)   But in the context of the entire New Testament, after the cross and Pentecost, there is not even a suggestion that believers can be inhabited by demons and the Holy Spirit. 

 

‘DELIVERERS’ TURNED SCRIPTURAL TRUTH UPSIDE DOWN BY USING SO-CALLED ‘QUICK FIXES’ AND NEW-AGE FORMULAS  TO SUPPOSEDLY ‘REMEDY’ PROBLEMS

“Deliverers” allegedly “cast out demons” from believers and implement the most incredible occult-Christianized formulas to attain ‘deliverance’ and ‘healing.’  Instead, they must teach them that they are the fully “redeemed,” blood-bought “possessions” of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who must follow God’s Moral-Law commandments to glorify His Name, (Jn. 13:34; Eph. 1:7; 13-14, Kjv.) 

Þ But believers will never be able to follow Jesus if they do not first “submit to God” (Jam. 4:7) or decidedly and sincerely “present their bodies, [spirit, soul, and physical body, Ths. 5:23,] as holy, living sacrifices to God, [because this is their] reasonable [or basic, ongoing] service to God, (Rom. 12:1-3; 1 Pt. 13-19, Kjv.)  

Þ Moreover, they will not be able to present themselves as “holy sacrifices to God” if they do not repent from “conforming to the [dogmas and practises of the religious world or churches,] to “renew” [or transform] their ‘minds’ [thoughts and beliefs] to understand what God’s… perfect will is,” to become “doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving themselves,” (Jam. 1:22 Kjv.)  “Conformation to the world” is conversion from one church’s dogmas to another while people are “ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of [real Scriptural] truth,” (2 Tim. 3:7.)  As long as the “churches” control their minds, they will remain their captives whether they realize it or not. 

Þ Submitting to God as living sacrifices, repenting from all “conversion,” lies, and deception to transform their minds or renew their thinking through real Scriptural knowledge in Holy-Spirit leading, is the only way they will be able to “think soberly about themselves and not more highly than they ought to think, (Rom. 12:3.)  Not thinking “how they aught to think about themselves,” birthed and fosters all these disgusting doctrines and occult-Christianized practises among believers.  These teachers and ‘deliverers’ simply do not know what true submission, presenting themselves as living sacrifices to God, repentance from conversion or conformation to the world, and the renewing of their minds are.  Thus, neglecting to wholly submit to God to ‘transform our minds,’ is the dreadful sin of failing to present ourselves in “reasonable, sacrificial service to Him.”  Missing these fundamental truths can never make true disciples for Jesus.  Understanding and obeying God’s will in every situation is what keep us safe in Christ.  It enables us to follow Jesus through all the darkness of this world, (Mt. 7:21-24; Jn. 8:12.)  

 

Teachers and so-called ‘deliverers’ fail to tell believers that the devil has no power over them because they were fully redeemed at their rebirth, because this incredible truth will break their wilfully created church bondage on them!  When Jesus stood before Pilate and was threatened with the notion that he could do anything to Him, Jesus said, “You could have no power at all over Me unless it had been given you from above,” (Jn. 19:11.)  Only God decides the fate of His true disciples; no one else!  Jesus’ atonement in the place of all sincere believers was completed at the moment He sighed on that cross, “It is finished!”  Paraphrased, He actually declared, “I have done everything in full for everyone who would accept and follow Me as their personal Lord, God, Redeemer or Deliverer, and Savior,” (Jn. 3:16-17.)  The devil and his demons are vanquished enemies.  All they have to use against true believers are deception, lies, manipulation, intimidation, persecution, and oppression that work through demon-controlled people, (Jn. 8:43-44.) 

And the greatest wonder is that all we must do to attain the perfection that Jesus already achieved in our place, is to sincerely accept Him and His atonement, and stand in everything He had done for us; following Him in obedience to the precepts of His Moral Law as His Holy Spirit leads us, (Col. 2:9-10; 12-15.) 

Look at what Jesus had accomplished in our place.  Under the Old Testament Covenant, Jesus’ completed work for us was prophesied as follows, 1) “Surely He has borne [past tense] our griefs [we suffered without God.]  2)  He carried our sorrows [we endure for His Name’s sake.]  3)  He was wounded for our transgressions.  4)  He was bruised for our iniquities.  5)  The chastisement for our peace, [spiritual and emotional peace,] was upon Him, and  6) by His stripes we are [present tense,] healed!” (Isa. 53:4-5.)  And under His New Testament Covenant, 7) Christ  has [already fully] redeemed (delivered) us from the curse of the law, [Deut. Chapter 28,] having become a curse for us… that the [entire state of blessedness…] might come upon [believers] in Christ Jesus…” (Gal. 3:10-14.)  There is not a single area of our lives that He did not redeem or bought with His blood at the cross, so that, spiritually and emotionally, we can live absolutely free in Him. 

 

“EVERYTHING GOD DOES IS NOT IN THE BIBLE.  WHY LIMIT GOD BY OBEYING HIS NEW COVENANT COMMANDMENTS?”   

The Pentecostal-Charismatic Movement call those who stand on the contextual truth of God’s entire Word “Religious Pharisees.”  Sadly, the unscriptural doctrines, masonic affiliations, and occult manifestations of these people come directly from the great deception, which the Promise Keepers Network and Rodney Howard Brown in particular teach.  They make themselves into ‘christs’ and ‘gods’ by saying, “Not everything God does is written in the Bible.”  Of course the Bible can never contain everything He did, but they use this phrase as blatant deception to ‘push’ God to ‘perform’ their way and to ‘do’ their will.  Of course God can do anything, but He chose to work in the boundaries of His revealed Word, the Bible.  Everything God does might not be written in the Bible, but everything God wants us to do or not to do, is written in the BibleWe should not do what is not written in the Bible, but what was written in the Bible for our own spiritual, emotional, and physical protection, and true service in Christ.  1 Cor. 10:11, Kjv, “...These things were written as examples... [and] admonitions for those [who are in Christ.]” 

As all false teachers, they twist and abuse the Scriptures to ‘make’ God say what suits them, but in the context of the Bible, God really did limit Himself.  God works in the boundaries of His Word where redemption, salvation, and blessing are concerned.  So, He openly declared, “I Am the Truth, the Light and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me,” (Jn. 14:6.)

So, “Add or take away nothing from My words. [The contextual truth of the Bible; interpreted in the ‘entirety of God’s Word,’ which is His truth,]” (Ps. 119:160; Rev. 22:18-19.) 

“He that rejects Me and receives not My Words, has one that judges him: the Word that I have spoken [as found in the truth of Scripture,] will judge him in the Last Day,” (Jn. 12:48, Kjv.) 

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in That Day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name, cast our demons in Your Name, and done many wonders in Your Name?’ And then I will declare to them:  ‘I never knew you: depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!  For whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on [Me,] the Rock…’" (Mt. 7:21-24.) 

Jn. 8:12, “I Am the Light of the world.  He who follows Me, [the Word of God; the Truth,] shall not walk in [deception or] darkness, but have the light of [eternal] life,” (Jn. 8:12.)  “The entrance of My Words gives light: it gives [spiritual] understanding to the simple,” (Ps. 119:130.)  My Word is [the only] lamp unto your feet [in the spiritual darkness of this world,] (Ps. 119:105.) 

The entire Bible is filled with Jesus' warnings to guard our spirits, souls, bodies, and lives by living according to The Truth: Jesus, The Word!  We must “test and prove everything to see whether it is from God,” (1 Ths. 5:21; 1 Jn. 4:1-4.)  Hence, this so-called 'limiting-God' doctrine can be compared somewhat to you telling your children, “When you cross the road, look left, and right, and left again. And only when it is safe to walk, cross the road.” But your children say, "We will not limit you in what you are saying.  We will cross the road our way and by the power of our words, we will make all those huge cargo trucks and cars and stop for us!" 

 

SUFFERING: IS IT ALWAYS FROM THE DEVIL, OR DOES GOD MAKE US SUFFER TO TEACH US SOMETHING? 

There is no darkness or evil in God.  All evil comes from the devil, but God is the Righteous Judge Who always resides over everything we do - and He knows how to turn everything bad into good for us.  Thus, sexual and other sin against our bodies, such as drug and alcohol abuse, (which always affect the whole body and our loved ones too,) can cause major problems for unbelievers and believers alike.

Even after believers have repented from such sin against the temple of the Holy Spirit, they can still experience constant demonic harassment, and spiritual and emotional problems, because Satan focuses on our weak spots.  Once he had a foothold in some area of our lives, he will not easily let the matter rest. I guess he reckons, if we did it then, we will do it again.  He must just apply enough pressure and we will turn back from where or from what God delivered us.  He is wrong, of course.  Jesus promised, “If the Son has set you free, you are free indeed,” (Jn. 8:36.)  Problem is, believers were so indoctrinated by false teachers, they don’t understand the reality of this promise! 

Of course God can forbid the enemy to harass us once we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus, (His forgiveness, 1 Jn. 1:8-10.)  But often, God allows persecution to prove to us that sin is always real and serious. That is why we need to stand steadfastly against temptation and oppression. If God allows something over us, none of the ‘deliverance’ and ‘spiritual warfare’ techniques in the world will stop Satan’s victimization, because Jesus is the Only One Who decides what He allows over us and what not, and for how long it will continue.  Enduring obedience and commitment to Christ build Godly character.  It is an overlooked fact that God allows us to actually ‘chastise’ ourselves because of our own choices to disobey His Word.  In most cases, we will only “learn obedience through the things we suffer,” (Heb. 5:8-9.)  

Suffering for righteousness is another reality in the lives of true believers.  All those who desire to live Godly, fruitful lives in the truth of His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit, will be persecuted to try and persuade them to do otherwise, (2 Tim. 3:12.) 

In the light of contextual Scripture, we can conclude that persistent problems in the lives of believers aren’t demonic infestations, but a lack of knowledge concerning our position inside the Kingdom of God; God’s forgiveness, the necessary repentance that always accompanies the sincere confession of sin, God’s complete ‘cleansing’ or redemption through the blood of Christ, the reality of Biblical suffering for righteousness, and a lack of knowledge concerning “resisting” the harassment and temptation of the devil.  Being ‘unequally yoked,’ or living with unbelievers or unrepentant believers, will also cause believers many problems, (1 Jn. 1:5-10; Jam. 4:7, 1 Pt. 3:13-17.) 

 

UNDER JESUS’ NEW COVENANT, GOD ALWAYS CALLS HARASSMENT “TRIALS,” “PERSECUTION,” AND “OPPRESSION,” AND OUR STRUGGLE WITH SIN IS THE LUST OF “THE SINFUL FLESH” 

Romans chapter 8 tells us exactly what the “sinful flesh” is.  We are called “not to walk according to the lusts of the flesh, but according to the Spirit…  For those who live according to the lusts of the flesh set their thoughts on the things of the flesh, [the things they sinfully desire,] but those who live according to the Spirit, set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death, [as sinful thought patterns have the power to entice us back into sin and darkness with its life-destroying deceptions,] but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind (or sinful thoughts) is enmity against God, it does not submit itself to the [New Covenant, Moral] law of God…  But if the Spirit lives in you [through your personal rebirth,] you are not in the flesh [or controlled by your sinful thoughts and desires,] but in the Spirit. Now if anyone does not have the [constant, indwelling Holy Spirit,] that person is not His,” (verse 9.)  And all sincerely and personally born again believers do have the indwelling Holy Spirit!

The “flesh” is also our own human needs and desires, most of which, like hunger, are completely natural and necessary.  However, under pressure and the agitation of the devil, uncontrolled appetites of all sorts can lead or push us into sin, as soon as we choose to believe what Satan is saying.  God will never ‘tempt us to sin.’  He is the all-good God “in Whom there is no darkness or a shadow of turning.” 

Demons are bad agents who tempt us to sin, but this does not give us an excuse to sin.  We are free-willed beings.  If we could blame the devil for our sin, God could never judge our unrepentant sin, (Mt. 7:21-24; 2 Cor. 5:10.)  James explained in 1:13-18, “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed…  Do not be deceived… every good and perfect gift is from… the Father of lights…”  This is so, because true believers belong to Jesus’ Spiritual Kingdom of Light, and Satan has no other weapons to use against us than lies, manipulation, deception, harassment, enticement, and the persecution and oppression of people under his control. 

Þ As a result, in Romans 8 and throughout Scripture, Paul explained away all so-called ‘demonic habitation,’ (or as ‘deliverers’ call it, “demonic oppression,”) as “the flesh.”  This is so because our will, intellect, and emotions are seated in our “souls” or “minds,” where pride, selfishness, sinful survival or self-protection, and everything else that pertain to the ‘self,’ are incubated, (1 Ths. 5:23.)  This is one of the greatest problems with religion: it pleases “the self” or “the flesh” in ways that “quench” the indwelling Holy Spirit, Who calls us to ‘crucify the flesh’ to obey God’s Biblical Truth and His Moral Law of Love.  We must also deny natural emotions such as fear in the power of the Holy Spirit to do His will.  So, to entice us to do our own will, Satan continually messes, or tries to mess, with everyone's mindHence, our actual “battle is for the mind,” (2 Cor. 10:3-6.)  The one who controls our minds, (or our thoughts and beliefs,) controls us.  So, it is the “lust of the selfish flesh” that allows and fosters the sins that keep us in bondage to the evil one. 

It is our own spiritual blindness or our acceptance of “deception,” which erects demonic ‘strongholds,’ or strong false beliefs in our ‘minds;’ twisting our thought patterns to perceive lies as truth, (2 Cor. 10:3-6; 2 Ths. 2:9-10.)  That is why Jesus warned, “If you abide [cling to and search for] My Word, [which is the only truth and way to spiritual and emotional freedom,] you are My disciples indeed.  And [then] you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”  There is no other way to counteract lies, deception, and the lust of the sinful flesh than to understand, believe, accept, and obey the whole truth of the Bible to remedy the ailing situations in our lives. 

 

ROMAN CATHOLIC EXORCISM

Centuries before Pentecostal/Charismatic ‘Deliverance Ministries’ appeared on the scene, the Roman Catholic Church was ‘delivering’ troubled members of their church from demon possession through the saving church rite of exorcism; the casting out of demons.  It seems, demon possession (which Evangelicals call “oppression”) has always been widespread in the lives of Christians from all denominations. In the “Mother Church” or Roman Catholic Church, only ordained priests can carry out exorcisms after an investigation proves the necessity of an exorcism, and once it is authorized by a higher authority such as a bishop of the church. Exorcism then mostly consists of reciting prescribed passages, and by confronting the possessed person with a good supply of ‘holy’ water and a substantial crucifix – all adding to the Name of Jesus and the power of the Roman Catholic ‘holy’ spirit, which is actually their so-called ‘Mother’ Mary, not the God of the Bible.

Apart from formal church sanction on this ritual, “the faith of the ordained priest and not the demon-possessed person, determines the outcome” of this long and intricate process.  The possessed person has absolutely no role to play, other than to squirm, scream, wriggle, bear teeth, spit, hiss, and whatever the demons might do to ‘fight’ the onslaught of the ‘mighty’ Roman Catholic crucifix.  The priest then has to endure this demonic battle to the end, because if he fails in casting out the demons, he believes they will turn on him personally. 

Because Catholics (and other exorcists) never realize that these ‘manifestations’ merely showcase satanic showmanship, they automatically accept them as supernatural, and view them as “sacramental” or “saving.” Contrary to the truth of Scripture, such shams provide an alternative, and thus a fake means of “redemption,” “salvation,” and “holiness;” devoid of personal responsibility, personal faith, sincere confession of sin, and repentance from transgressions of God’s Moral Law, (Jn. 13:34.) 

 

THE ‘EXPERTS’ AND WHAT THEY COMMIT IN THE NAME OF JESUS 

So, you think you need ''deliverance'' by some so-called ‘hyper-anointed expert?’ Think again. Think Jesus. Think the truth of His Word. Think believing, accepting, and obeying the Truth of His Word as the eternal Rock on which you eternally stand.  If you have forsaken your “First Love,” seriously think about returning whole-heartedly to Him.  You would not be reading this now if you were irretrievably abandoned by Jesus.  It is the Holy Spirit of God Who convicts us of sin, (Jn. 16:8.)  Satan will either destroy us though guilt over our sin, or comfort us in our sin.  He will not nudge us to deal with our sin.  When we are convicted of real sin, it is the Holy Spirit of God working in us, (Jn. 16:8-12.) 

If you sincerely gave yourself and your life to Jesus but feel you’ve lost The Way, believe what Paul said, “We did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, [that we are in bondage while, by sincerely accepting Christ, we are living inside His Kingdom of Liberty,] but we received the Spirit of adoption by Whom we cry ‘Father…’  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our human spirit that we are the [redeemed, saved, blessed] children of God, and if children, then heirs [who freely inherited all of God’s grace] if indeed we suffer with Him, [as and where God may call us to stand for truth,] that we may also be glorified together [at the return of our Lord Jesus Christ,]” (Rom. 8:15.) 

A few people believe the Scriptural truth that all believers have the authority to cast out demons, but most say only ‘the experts’ should tamper with demons in such ‘great spiritual warfare.’  [Jesus totally obliterated the power of Satan at the cross and eternally won the war for the redemption, salvation, and blessing of all believing humanity! Col. 2:9-15.]  That’s why pastors as well as ‘ordinary’ believers call on ‘specialist,’ ‘officially ordained’ reverends, bishops, etcetera. But there is no such thing as a bishop in the true body of Christ.  It is a fake, official ‘church post.’  It was slipped into Scripture by translators of the Bible and other ‘important, schooled deliverers,’ who teach that believers “cannot have demons in their

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