And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed ~ Acts 16:26.
The realities which surround living in this world make deliverance from all forms of bondage a quintessential part of the gospel program. This truth must be allowed to settle down well with our theology and our belief systems.
‘Bondage’ describes a spiritual state of confinement or involuntary servitude, but deliverance is a process of liberating a person who is captured, kept in spiritual confinement and dominated upon by invisible demonic agencies of wickedness.
There are various types of nefarious spirits referred to in the Bible. These wicked entities always seek to seize the moments to oppress, initiate bondage and brutally exact upon man’s heritage and supernatural endowments when we fail to stand our grounds in Christ Jesus.
The vile spirits include: familiar spirits (Leviticus 19:31); jealousy spirits (Numbers 5:14); lying spirits (2 Chronicles 18:22); spirits of despair (Isaiah 61:3); dumb spirits (Mark 9:17); spirits of infirmity (Luke 13:11); spirits of bondage (Romans 8:15); spirits of the world (1 Corinthians 2:12); seducing spirits (1 Timothy 4:1); spirits of fear (2 Timothy 1:7); spirits of antichrist (1 John 4:3), etc.
Demons surreptitiously gain advantage over people in several ways: generational flows, acquisitions, environment, association, habitual indulgences, past terrifying experiences, curses, sins, etc.
In particular, evil works emanating from hearts that fail to yield to the lifestyles of Christ can open doors widely for demonic infiltration (Joshua 6:26; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; 2 Timothy 4:14).
Whenever we move away from God we simultaneously move away from His liberating grace, and inattention to this fact can only leave one vulnerable to satanic attacks. Nevertheless, thanks be to God who has released unto us His liberating anointing through the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Early in His public ministry, Jesus Christ declared that His mission on earth included deliverance of the captives (Luke 4:18). He preached in the synagogues throughout all Galilee, casting out demons (Mark 1:39). He also promised that believers would be empowered to cast out devils, in His name (Mark 16:17). Certainly, all these settle every argument that may contradict the place and the practice of deliverance today.
Satan’s Methods of Operation
Man is a tripartite being. He is a spirit, possesses a soul and lives in the body. But demons are unrepentant satanic oppressors, who always seek to seize man’s lots when his guards are down.
Demonic oppression can affect human bodies, souls and spirits. Indeed, most chronic ailments, sicknesses and diseases we see around today are caused by demons, especially the ones that defy medical interventions.
Recall the woman with the issue of blood in the Bible, and the one that was bent over for eighteen years. Their situations answered to nothing until Jesus Christ intervened. In fact, regarding the woman that was bent over, Jesus loudly opined: “ought not this woman … whom Satan hath bound … be loosed from this bond?” (Luke 13:16).
The human soul is the centre of intellect, mind, will and emotions, and it can also be manipulated or remotely controlled by demons.
The following point to the direction of demons at work upon a soul: bad temper, bad thoughts, mental hallucinations, unreasonable decisions, depression, uncontrollable fear, emotional torments, suicidal attempts, negative addictions including alcoholism, satanism, bi-polar behaviors, troubles with faith in God and kingdom services, etc.
Furthermore, the spirit of man, being the seat of our being, can be harassed or possessed, depending on our personal spiritual experiences with God.
Meanwhile, demons cannot get into your spirit if you are truly born-again, but they may surround your spirit, just like a glass jar surrounds its contents, until the anointing is invoked through the deliverance process to disperse them.
For the avoidance of doubt, the soul is the area mostly attacked in the believer’s life because the battlefield between Satan and the Christian man is ‘the mind’ (2 Corinthians 10:4-6).
The Deliverance Process
Spiritual bondage is more intense than physical bondage. When a person is being restrained in the natural sense, he knows the exact environment, surroundings, limitations, expectations, etc.
However, in the spiritual sense it is quite different. We cannot see the heavy chains holding the captive. We cannot see the confinement area that will not allow for mobility. We cannot even see the prison guards that monitor the captives, yet they feel the intense impacts of it all nonetheless.
Generally, the best way to keep the devil out of our lives is to enthrone Christ in there, by developing our faith and devotional life with God. Deliverance occurs when we submit ourselves to God and firmly resist the devil (James 4:7).
Notably, the most common forms of deliverance come through words and prayers of authority to cast out the demons. And, sometimes, our faith is intensified by the laying-on of hands of a minister or other believers. This is confirmed by the deliverance style of Jesus Christ in the story of the woman bent over for eighteen years (Luke 13:11-16).
The Deliverance Anointing Opens the Prison Doors
We can relate vividly with the deliverance anointing of the Holy Ghost in the encounter of Paul and Silas in Acts 16:22-26. They were flogged, and then cast into the prison. The jailer bound their feet to the floor of the cell, where they were limited only to movement within their place of captivity. This is how it is spiritually with people who are held captivate by Satan.
The only weapons that Paul and Silas used in their captivity were prayer and praises to God! They were physically bound and immobile, but their spirits soared in prayers and praise, then deliverance took place!!
There was a violent earthquake, shaking hell’s foundation to loose and let them go. Their chains fell off and the prison doors were opened, signifying that the captives can now walk freely out of the prison. This is ‘total deliverance’, and it’s spiritual equivalent is available in God’s Presence till today!
Please keep in mind that it is the anointing of the Holy Spirit through the Word that breaks the yoke, not struggling like the Seven Sons of Sceva (Isaiah 10:27; Acts 19:13-20). Nevertheless, the root of the problem must be discovered, addressed and dealt with appropriately, otherwise the anticipated deliverance will remain superficial (Luke 3:9).
In conclusion, friends and brethren, remember always that our God, though He’s a God of peace, will readily go to war if necessary to deliver any of His children (Romans 16:20). He can do just anything to guarantee our total freedom.
He will even joyfully set His axe to the roots of bondage in your life, uprooting and burning them off by the fire of the Holy Ghost, in Jesus Name. Only stand well in the pact of the redemption, which is the sure ground of our total deliverance, in Christ Jesus. Happy Sunday!
- Bishop Taiwo Akinola,
Rhema Christian Church,
Otta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
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