Here’s a little behind the scenes look at what happens when I’m writing a blog post. I was studying the book of Revelation. I had a bunch of books open all scattered around me. I was trying to track down the historical roots on the teaching of the Rapture. I was looking up some information about Cotton and Increase Mather, two early colonial Puritan preachers, and trying to get a copy of a very old manuscript. We live in a marvelous age where many old manuscripts from the 1600s – 1800s are available free online. My search led to a link about Doug Clark, Rapture date setter and convicted felon, which I’ll blog about at a later time. From Doug Clark, I fell into a Fundagelical rabbit hole. I’ve written about this particular rabbit hole before, in my cleverly titled blog post Demonology: A Fundagelical Rabbit Hole. (Not to self, come up with better titles.) Yep, I found myself falling down the rabbit hole of demons and deliverance ministry. I started saving bookmarks to websites of Fundagelical weirdness, and soon I had dozens. This stuff is really popular with the Charismatic crowd. Anyway, all of that is just to explain why I’m going off on demons and deliverance ministry for the next few posts. I need to clear out some of those bookmarks.
Let’s start with some of the bad theology behind deliverance ministries. Deliverance ministry is the belief that many spiritual, emotional, and psychological/psychiatric problems are caused by evil spirits and that people can have demons inside of them or around them causing these problems. Further, there are specific techniques to remove these evil spirits, so the problems are relieved.
The first two terms to understand are the difference between demonic possession and oppression. Demonic possession means the demon is inside the person and can directly control their actions; demonic oppression means the demon is on or near the person causing problems. The idea of demonic oppression isn’t derived from the Bible but is used to explain how Christians, who are filled/possessed by the Holy Spirit, can be affected by demons.
OK, so, you might be demon possessed or oppressed, how do you get rid of demons? While clicking around some deliverance ministry sites, I found numerous processes that range anywhere from ten steps to two. One of the steps frequently mentioned is revoking the legal rights of demons. Didn’t you know demons have legal rights? That’s probably because you are demon oppressed and they are hiding that knowledge from you. Better call a deliverance minister. The legal rights of demons are ill-defined and hard to pin down. I had to try a dozen websites before I can come up with a good definition for demonic legal rights. Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with equal opportunity for employment or discrimination.
Bob Larson, who runs a school for exorcism and deliverance (I’ll blog about deliverance ministry schools later), has this to say about legal rights:
“The concept that evil spirits will operate where they have authority to do so, regardless of the faith position of their victim, is little understood and almost never taught in most churches. Consequently, many Christians suffer needlessly from spiritual attacks that could have been avoided. These assaults are emotional, physical, and spiritual, and often all three.
The entire universe is bound by spiritual laws. For example, what a person morally sows, that he will reap (Galatians 6;7). Confess Christ as Lord, and you will be saved (Romans 10:9). The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Obedience to God brings blessings and disobedience brings curses (Deuteronomy 28). In the same manner legal rights are both a protection (if the Word of God is adhered to) and an opening (if spiritual rebellion is present with an individual).
Among the ways that Satan gains legal rights to operate in the life of a Christian are: grievous generational sin, personal moral failure, covenant rights granted by ancestors, abandonment by a parent who neglects the responsibility to spiritually protect a child, covenant bloodline rights (such as a family member practicing witchcraft), trauma resulting from egregious abuse, ungodly soul-bonds with unbelievers or morally corrupted individuals, to name a few”.
My quick question is: are these really laws? It seems Bob might be equivocating here. Although he does point out that there is a Bible verse for “our actions have consequences”, (Gal 6:7) when it comes to what opens us up to demonic possession/oppression there is no Bible reference.
Let’s try another explanation, shall we? Michael Bradley from Bibleknowledge.com says,
“Bottom line – demons cannot enter into a person’s body without having some kind of legal permission and legal right to be able to do so. They need some kind of an entry point to be able to get in and attach to someone, and that entry point will be their door opener.
There are spiritual laws that are in operation in our world, and even demons have to abide by these spiritual laws that have been set up God. The Bible tells us in Revelation 3:20 that Jesus Himself will stand before us and knock on our doors to see if we will be willing to open up that door and allow Him to come into our lives.
In order to have Jesus come into our lives, we first have to be willing to give Him our direct permission to be able to do so, as God will never force Himself on any of us. He will let us know that He will want to come into our lives and that He will always be knocking on our doors, but we will always be the ones who will decide whether or not we will be willing to open up that door for Jesus to be able to come into our lives.
The reason being is that God has given each one of us a full free will and He will never violate that free will that He has given to each and every one of us.
And it’s the exact same way with demons. Demons cannot enter in on the inside of a person unless they do something specific on their end that will open up the door for them to be able to come into them. And that something specific will be their legal right.”
From these two explanations, we get that God has ordered the universe with laws. We have to follow them and so do demons. If we break one of these laws, then demons are allowed to possess/oppress us. That means demons are some kind of cosmic enforcers. Cosmic lawyers? Cosmic debt collectors? Anyway, anything that allows a demon to possess or oppress a person is considered a legal right.
Well now, what are some of these things that give demons legal rights?
Anything that can be labeled sin is a legal right. Fornication, adultery, drunkenness, yoga, karate, or watching The Wizard of Oz are all grounds for legal possession//oppression. You sinned, you pay. What happened to all that forgiveness Jesus gave us? Oh, you’re forgiven but rules are rules, and you opened the door. You see demons are like vampires; they can’t come in or hang around unless you give them permission. Your sin is permission.
Generational curses, ancestral sins, and ancestral covenants are popular ways for demons to gain legal rights. Many people are good Christians who have never been involved in witchcraft, Satanism or playing with Magic 8 Balls. So, how did they get demon oppressed? It was their great-great-grandmother, Prudence, in a moment of imprudence, who went to a séance. When she stepped through that door and joined hands trying to contact dearly departed second cousin Griselda, she gave legal rights to demons to plague her family for generations. Having transgressed the law, she and her offspring fell victim to another law, “Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:7)
So, God would protect you, but rules are rules. Forget about what God says in Ezekiel, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father; neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” (Ezekiel 18:20)
Every day, either you or someone close to you or someone from your past has done something that let a demon have legal rights over you. That’s why deliverance needs to be done daily! If you are obsessive/compulsive about cleaning the house, forget it. You can now be obsessive/compulsive about cleaning your spiritual house. Spend every day obsessively going over the minutia of your life to find out where you sinned. Annoy family and friends to find out who in your past once had their fortune told. Better yet, go to a deliverance minister who will receive a word from God telling you that great-uncle Fitzgerald once said: “Damn this leaky old house” while trying to patch the roof, and that’s why your whole house has been damned for generations. They don’t call it cursing for nothing!
Remember there are thousands of loopholes that give demons legal rights and only deliverance will temporarily close them. If you believe any of this, maybe you need deliverance from the spirit of gullibility.
Thanks for reading, don’t forget to like the post and subscribe if you haven’t already. You can watch my vlog at Rev’s Reels on YouTube. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Join me and a bunch of other former Fundagelicals at Open Door Ministries in Westminster at the Westminster Mall.