What's the Difference Between Deliverance Ministry and an Exorcism?

There is a huge difference between deliverance ministry and exorcism.
There is a huge difference between deliverance ministry and exorcism. (Lightstock )

Jesus came to set the captives free. When we search out the gospels, we see the model for how Jesus did the ministry of deliverance.

However, with our churches often not discussing or embracing the ministry of deliverance the people of God don't know the difference between a deliverance minister and an exorcist and can end up falling into deception. In the 1913 Webster's Dictionary, we find the definition of both an exorcism and deliverance.

Exorcism is defined as, "Driving out of evil spirits from persons or places by conjuration." Conjuration is incantation, which is a witchcraft definition. Exorcism is an expression or trick used in conjuring. Synonyms to conjuration are: abracadabra, bewitchment, charm, spell, enchantment, hex and incantation—which are all witchcraft terms and practices.

Related words to conjuration are: curse, jinx, magic, necromancy, sorcery, voodoo, and wizardry—which are again practices involving evil spirits. The 1828 and 1913 unabridged dictionaries define conjuring as, the act or process of invoking supernatural aid by the use of a magical form of words and the practice of magic arts. 

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Deliverance is defined as, "The act of delivering or freeing from captivity." Synonyms to deliverance include rescue and saving. It is interesting to note here that the word saving is what Jesus came to do. When you study the word salvation out in the Greek, the original context of the Bible, it actually means deliverance.

Related words to deliverance are: cleansing, discharge, disposal, emotional release, purge, redemption and release.

The word exorcist is not listed in the KJV version of the Bible. The Complete Jewish Bible mentions exorcist twice. 

"The Chaldeans answered before the king and said, 'There is not a man on the earth who can tell the king's matter, inasmuch as no great king or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician or astrologer or Chaldean'" (Daniel 2:10, MEV).

"Daniel answered in the presence of the king and said, 'The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot tell the king'" (Daniel 2:27, MEV).

In this text the exorcists are listed along with other false occult practices. Exorcists will minister to anyone, believers and non-believers. In the Bible it clearly states that, "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation," (Matt. 12:43-45). If you cast a demon out of a person and they are not saved, filled with the Holy Ghost and prepared to walk a life of surrender to Christ, that person is going to be worse off.

Jesus spoke of needing faith for healing to manifest. In Matthew 15:28, Jesus describes the faith of a woman. The centurion came to Jesus with great faith in Matthew 8:13. Jesus also put on the Father the faith for his daughter to be healed in Luke 8:49-50. Jesus used faith for healing and deliverance. If He did that then, why do exorcists exorcize people who don't have faith?

Exorcists consult with demons, talk to them, ask them their names and what is their entry point. "But Jesus rebuked him, saying, 'Be quiet, and come out of him!'" (Mark 1:25). Jesus did not consult with demons. He said, "Be quiet." The only one time Jesus spoke to a demon and asked its name was AFTER it was cast out, in Mark 5:9. When Saul consulted with a medium in the Bible, it ended up costing him his life. Why should we consult with a demon when Satan is the father of lies, when we have the Holy Spirit in us to give us the discernment we need?

Exorcists use highly intense mannerisms by using props for deliverance. Half of the reactions from the people receiving ministry can be due to the fact the exorcist is thumping a Bible and pressing a crucifix into their chest and near their face. With all the screaming and movement that is going on so close to them, these people are probably simply scared at the fact they don't want to get their eye poked out or their face scratched.

In situations like these how can you effectively tell if it is a demon manifesting or the person being scared? After such an intense time how do you know if the demons lashed a person unto the floor or if the person was so tired and collapsed? It may appear the demon is gone because the person isn't struggling when in fact the demon went back into the person and stopped external manifestations. 

Even people in the Bible tried to loosely cast out demons. "Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, 'We command you to come out in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches.' There were seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva doing this. The evil spirit answered, 'I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?' Then the man in whom the evil spirit was jumped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled from that house naked and wounded" (Acts 19:13-16, MEV). The Bible instructs us to test the spirits, "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect," (Mark 13:22, MEV).

A deliverance minister is an imitator of Christ, (1 Cor 11:1). We have authority!

"Look, I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. And nothing shall by any means hurt you," (Luke 10:19, MEV). Jesus spoke to demons and told them to, "GO." We tell them, "Go, In Jesus name." Jesus modeled how to do deliverance. Jesus rebuked the demon, took authority over it by giving it a command, and then it had to obey Jesus.

  • "And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was healed instantly" (Matt. 17:18, MEV).
  • "When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the foul spirit, saying to it, 'You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and enter him no more.'" (Mark 9:25, MEV).
  • "While he was coming, the demon threw him down and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and returned him to his father" (Luke 9:42, MEV).

Jesus cast demons our with simple commands we can follow:

  • GO!
  • Cast out demons by the Spirit of God
  • Rebuke the demon
  • Be quiet and come out of him
  • Come out of the man unclean spirit
  • Deaf and dumb spirit I command you come out of him and enter him no more.
  • Loose (unbind) him and let him go

In the Bible it says, "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord" (James 5:14, MEV).

It doesn't mention, using holy water, crucifixes or Bibles to heal people. In the end times many will be deceived, be educated through the Word of God, so that you aren't one that will be deceived.

Kathy DeGraw is the founder of DeGraw Ministries a ministry releasing the love and power of God. She travels hosting conferences, teaching schools and evangelistic love tours. Kathy enjoys writing and is the author of several books that educate, empower and equip people, including Time to Set the Captives Free and Flesh, Satan or God. Connect with Kathy at www.degrawministries.org.

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