Deliverance from Evil Spirits: A Practical Manual (1995, 2009)
by Francis MacNutt
by Francis MacNutt
This is not my favorite genres. Angelology, Demonology and Spiritual Warfare topics seem too much for me to bear and digest. In the past, I read few of Mary K. Baxter's books, one Choo Thomas' Heaven is So Real!, one during my campus mission trip by Billy Graham entitled Angels, and recently Visions of Heaven by H. A. Baker. I'm curious and also skeptical. Come to think about it, I highly doubt Mary Baxter's and Choo Thomas's personal revelations. Billy Graham's is more believable because he supported his stories with the Scripture.
About this book. I read it because I'm going to attend a seminar based on this topic next week. At first, I read it out of obligation (to quickly finished my assignment), but after few chapters, I'm hooked. Of course, I read it with an open mind, critical thinking and prayed for a teachable spirit. I have to admit that this is one of the more balanced books on the topic of deliverance. The author points out the importance of discerning when the problem or a display of behavior is simply an expression of human emotions and the person may be purging his thoughts and feelings and when it may be influenced by evil spirits.
Francis mentions how many people (especially ministers) have caused damage to people who were already suffering by trying to exorcise demons from them when people were just experiencing pain and grief and needed tender loving care and comforting. He also mentions cases where people have developed multiple personality disorder from abuse and again how they are in need of healing and therapy, and not of exorcising demons. He advises ministers to be especially careful to not treat mental/physical/emotional wounds as demonic oppression. He repeatedly emphasizes the need for discernment and humility in this work. Be careful.
I like how MacNutt emphasizes the reality of what we see in the Scripture, especially in the Gospels and in Jesus' own ministry, in relation to the deliverance of demons/evil spirits. He shows how the deliverance ministry is as essential today as it was then and the church needs to be the experts in it. There is plenty of evidence in this book that demonic oppression is active in our cultures and the world today (but I might not agree with all the things that he said in this book. In fact, I have more questions than answers). MacNutt also gives good advice and warnings for Christian ministers. I personally think that he could emphasize more than he does how important a person's own devotional life is when involving in deliverance ministry, and this includes the necessity of having people to pray for and over his or her ministry and family members.
Overall, MacNutt is thoroughly Scriptural and Christ-centred in his approach to deliverance. He does not present himself as a super-minister who stands above others in ministry, but he sees himself as part of the larger body of Christians and as one who needs others. I respect that. Francis and his wife, Judith, founded Christian Healing Ministry to expand the often-forgotten, often-avoided ministry of deliverance. He writes, "Only when we are able to free the oppressed and heal those suffering from the curse of sickness can we really preach Christ's basic message: The Kingdom of God is at hand and the kingdom of Satan is being destroyed."
There are seven (7) parts in this book:
Part 1: Necessary Background: Clearing Away Misconceptions [How I Got Involved in Casting Out Demons: A Parable for the Church]
Part 2: The Existence and Kinds of Evil Spirits [Do Demons Really Exist? The Scriptural Evidence / What Is the Evidence of Human Experience? / Should We Call It Possession? / How Do We Know If an Evil Spirit Is Really Present? / The Different Kinds of Evil Spirits]
Part 3: Curses and the Power of False Judgement [Falling Under a Curse / Curse-like Judgement and Ties That Bind / Who Can Pray for Deliverance?]
Part 4: Getting Ready [How to Prepare / Selecting a Team / How the Demonized Person Prepares for Deliverance]
Part 5: How to Pray for Deliverance [The Basic Form / Freeing a Person from Spirits of Trauma / Spirit of Sin / Spirit of the Occult / Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) / Other Kinds of Spirits / Deliverance through ‘Blessed Objects' / Follow-Up]
Part 6: Setting Places Free [Larger Dimensions of Deliverance / Deliverance of Places]
Part 7: Final Words [Baptism of the Holy Spirit]
Since Francis MacNutt often quotes Derek Prince, I now listened to Prince's sermons – YouTube and audio Mp3s.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.