Setting Believers Free

APOSTLE KIMBERLY DANIELS TRAVELS THE WORLD TEACHING CHRISTIANS HOW TO OPERATE IN DELIVERANCE MINISTRY.


Apostle Kimberly Daniels has always been a fighter. As a child, she made it a point to get in at least one fight every day and formed a gang with the tough- est girls in her school. As an adult she joined the U.S. Army and became a staff sergeant.

But today Daniels uses her strength and determination for another purpose. She's known as the Demon Buster, the leader of a small army of deliverance ministers who are exercising spiritual authority through prayer to confront demons of drug addiction, violence and witchcraft in their community.

Pastor of Spoken Word Ministries in Jacksonville, Florida, Daniels also travels the world teaching about spiritual warfare and recently released a book, Clean House--Strong House (Charisma House), on the subject of deliverance ministry.

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It's a topic some want to shy away from because of the intensity and controversy that accompany it. But Daniels has never been one to run away from a fight--at least, not usually.

"You've got to know when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em, when to walk away and when to run," she once told a crowd of conferencegoers. She had been invited to minister during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, a city long known for occultism and witchcraft. The pastor of the church she was visiting persuaded her to stay a day longer than she intended.

"A demon came into my [hotel] room," she says, using the incident as an object lesson to stress the importance of staying within one's God-assigned territory. "I could smell the sulfur. I just started saying, 'Greater is He who is in me,' and he let me go."

When she called her ministry team and told them it was time to leave, she could hear the sound of birds flapping in the walls. "Unto whom much is given much is required," she says, noting that the level of warfare she engages in often brings this kind of attack. "You have to obey God."

These kinds of demonic encounters have served as her training ground in ministry. Once an Olympic track hopeful-turned-crack addict, Daniels was saved in 1987 after watching the end-times flick A Thief in the Night. She became part of a charismatic ministry in Germany, where she was stationed in the military. But even before she understood what the Bible taught about deliverance ministry, Daniels says demons would manifest when she prayed for people.

Her first encounter with deliverance ministry came while she was working in a military hospital in Germany. "I had never cast demons out of anybody," she says. "I just wanted to pray for this young woman whose baby was dying."

As Daniels began to pray in tongues for her, the woman fell out under the power of God. But when Daniels reached down to lift her up, "she looked up with her eyes rolled back in her head, with her face cracking, with smoke coming out of her mouth," Daniels says. "She began to say: 'Hallelujah. Thank you, Jesus' in demonic voices. That was the first time I ever saw religious spirits. It was a demon that was mocking God."

Though she knew nothing about deliverance, she says, "I heard a voice saying, 'In My name they shall cast out devils.' All the way through, the Holy Spirit was giving me visions and telling me what to do, and that young lady was set free."

That was the start of deliverance 101, a course she is still taking. In her book, Daniels describes the weapons of a believer's warfare--chiefly, a correct understanding of Scripture, as well as binding and loosing--and lists the characteristics of several "strongmen." These include Leviathan, which she describes as the prince of pride (see Job 41); Python, a spirit of divination (see Acts 16:16); Religion (see 2 Tim. 2:15-16); and Rabshakeh, who releases fear and discouragement against a Christian's faith (see 2 Kin. 18:19).

She says every spirit she writes and teaches about is one she has encountered personally. In the early days of her ministry, she laughed at ministers who addressed demons by name. Then she met a woman who was plagued by Succubus, a demonic spirit said to have sexual intercourse with humans (see Gen. 6:2). It is closely related to Incubus, another spirit that does the same thing.

The woman, who was an evangelist, began manifesting a demonic spirit as Daniels prayed, and she heard the name "Succubus" whispered in her ear. When she called out the name and commanded it to go, she says the woman was set free. The evangelist later told her Succubus had been raping her for years.

Subsequently, Daniels says she began to hear the names of demons--"Rabshakeh," "Poltergeist," "Pokemon"--whispered in her ear. And as she began to study strongmen, who she says are demonic gatekeepers that "control the traffic" of strongholds, and address them by name, she says attacks on her family and their finances lessened.

Though her position is controversial, Daniels is a firm believer that Christians can be influenced by demons and may need deliverance ministry. "The Holy Spirit doesn't dwell in our flesh," Daniels says. "James [3:10-12] asks how can blessing and curses come out of the same person."

In Clean House--Strong House, she writes, "[James] had observed some things coming out of Christians that should not be....I would paraphrase James and say, if a Christian can fornicate, a Christian can have a demon!"

Her perspective is shaped by experiences with Christians who manifested demonic spirits. However, she cautions against looking for demonic spirits around every corner. She urges believers to develop the spiritual disciplines outlined in Romans 12:1-3: Present your body as a living sacrifice; be not conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind; and don't think more highly of yourself than you ought.

Ultimately, she says, Christians must learn to discern. "Get to know the voice of God, not the devil's," she says. "Because I know God, a stranger's voice I will not follow."

Still, she wants Christians to get a better understanding of the spiritual realm. In the early days of her ministry, she says she learned about "the dark side" from witches and warlocks who came to her seeking deliverance. They would name the strongmen that were holding them captive, telling her that in order to help them she'd have to address the demonic spirits.

"I taught them Jesus, and they taught me warfare," Daniels says. "They were used to fighting. They were used to spiritual warfare from the dark side."

She says the spirit realm is a world as real as the natural one, complete with good and bad forces and its own hierarchy as described in Ephesians 6:12. "I don't go looking for this," says Daniels, who is a mother of six and co-pastor with her husband, Ardell. "I live a normal life. My children play soccer. But when [demons] come, I don't ignore it."

Again, most of what she teaches is based on her experience. Take her teaching on staying within your territory.

She had spent time in prayer with a friend, who later invited her to go shopping. Daniels says the Holy Spirit told her to go straight home, but her friend convinced her to take a detour.

"I had a brand-new car, and I got in a car accident," she says. During the next couple of weeks, she kept running red lights and got in more accidents.

"A carnally minded person would have said that was just coincidence," Daniels says, but she believes her disobedience made her vulnerable to demonic attack. When she addressed the demons attacking her, she says the driving accidents ceased.

Daniels' experiences often seem hard to believe, but she says her life's story is a drama in its own right. Raised in one of Jacksonville's toughest neighborhoods, Daniels grew up amid family dysfunction. She describes her blind grandmother as a "wicked" woman who was feared throughout the community.

"Big Momma" had once been imprisoned for murder and was blinded through fights. She often used Daniels as her eyes and hands. When Big Momma wanted to settle a score, she would instruct Daniels, as young as age 5, to lead her to the intended target, then back away as she cut the person with a knife. Now 42, Daniels still remembers the blood splattering on her face.

And she says that after her grandmother died when Daniels was 8, she was plagued by the same violent tendencies.

Daniels was a good student and a leader in her high school. But at age 17 she purposely got pregnant to escape her mother's house. She fled to Oregon with her boyfriend and entered junior college, where she quickly became a track star. With hopes of developing a successful athletic career, Daniels left her son with his father to join the track team at Florida State University.

While in Tallahassee Daniels met a drug dealer named Danny. The two began selling and later using cocaine.

That is until the police caught wind of what she and Danny were doing. Wanting to evade arrest, Danny suddenly returned to his hometown and married an ex-girlfriend days later. Daniels eventually returned home and later joined the military.

She had lost a baby because of her drug abuse and was accepted into the military only because she switched urine samples with another recruit. While in the military she attempted to continue using and selling drugs. But she was scared straight when she saw the harsh penalty the Army levied on drug offenders. After she accepted Christ in 1987, God completely delivered her from drug addiction, she says.

Looking back, Daniels believes hitting rock bottom was a blessing. It makes her grateful for everything she has been given. Perhaps because of her own experiences, in the early days of her ministry Daniels attracted the "hard cases"--people from the streets who she says were once criminally minded. She began a home for troubled girls when she left the military and evangelized some of Jacksonville's toughest areas with two other seasoned prayer warriors.

The women became known as the "demon busters" as a result of their street corner deliverance sessions, and the label stuck. When she closed the girls home and planted Spoken Word Ministries, the ex-prostitutes and drug dealers she reached out to eventually became her ministry team.

Interestingly, Danny reappeared in Daniels' life at this time. Though he was still unsaved and dealing drugs when they reconnected, Danny accepted Christ and received deliverance through Daniels' ministry. Today the two are married and partner together in ministry. Kimberly Daniels has a more visible, apostolic role.

Ardell "Danny" Daniels serves as senior pastor at Spoken Word, and he says initially it was difficult for him to adjust to his wife's ministry role. He says he once was a male chauvinist but now believes that though husbands have authority over their wives and headship in their homes, all men do not have spiritual authority over all women. It's a point Daniels explores in Clean House--Strong House in a chapter titled "Why the Devil Hates Women."

"Satan knows that God has put something on the inside of women to win the favor of her husband...and fight for her family, just as the lioness guards her territory to ward off danger....Deep within them, women have a spiritual radar to detect darkness," she writes.

Daniels is a frequent speaker at spiritual warfare conferences hosted by C. Peter Wagner, who has written extensively on the subject, and she is part of Ohio pastor Rod Parsley's ministerial fellowship. Her testimony has been featured on The 700 Club and on Trinity Broadcasting Network's flagship Praise the Lord program.

Still not one to back down from a fight, Daniels is hoping to assemble another gang of fighters--this time, made up of Christians who want to wage war on the devil. "The work of deliverance and warfare was an everyday walk for Jesus," she writes. "He walked it out in victory....Jesus said that when we are not with Him in this ministry, we are against Him" (see Matt. 12:30).

She adds: "This is the type of ministry people fight the most. [Satan] doesn't want the devil cast out."


Adrienne S. Gaines is news editor for Charisma magazine.

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