Deliverance Definition

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Deliverance, in its religious usage, concerns the means by which someone who is possessed of a demon (evil spirit) is delivered or set free from the bondage of the disobedient spirit. Deliverance ministries, common in many Charismatic circles, believe they have been given the supernatural ability by God to discern the influence or possession of demons in the lives of other people.

Some leaders in the Charismatic movement are convinced that unusual manifestations of supernatural power, such as the alleged deliverance from demons, miracle healings and so on, must be incorporated into successful evangelistic efforts.

Several times during his ministry Jesus Christ cast demons out of people (Matthew 4:24, 8:16, Mark 3:22, Luke 4:41) and even gave his disciples the power to do so as well.

He called the twelve disciples together and sent them out two by two. He gave them authority over the evil spirits . . . 12 So they went out and preached that people should turn away from their sins. 13 They drove out many demons . . . (Mark 6, see also Matthew 10:1, Mark 16:17)

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Roman Catholics, considered the world's largest Christian body, have developed special rituals and methods they use to perform deliverance and free an individual of demonic influences. Known as exorcisms, they are usually performed by a priest or other official in the clergy.

It has not been common, historically, for exorcisms to be part of Protestant practice. But the rise of the Charismatic movement has been accompanied by a surge in interest in topics related to demons within some Protestant groups. Such "demonic-centered" deliverance ministries have become common in many Charismatic circles. Some involved in such ministries commonly use the term "demon possession" to indicate specifically that they are convinced a particular person is being controlled or manipulated by an evil spirit.

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