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Deliverance session suddenly became a serious highlight in most charismatic churches in recent times but not many people really understand what it’s all about. While some people claim to have gone through and got positive results, some still claim their problems are intact, if not becoming worse. This interview, Apostle Mike Adunade, the general overseer of Christ Covenant Family and Prophetic Church, Isheri Magodo, Lagos, focuses on deliverance, who should and when to go for it, what happens during and after the session, why it succeeds or fails and some random thoughts on spiritual warfare. Excerpts.
The issue of deliverance is so controversial is the Nigerian church. What is deliverance all about?
Deliverance appear controversial because the orthodox churches that brought the gospel to Nigeria emphasize on meeting the needs of the people and not spiritual liberation. That was the level of their scriptural insight. Also it was deliberate so as to keep people in bondage of colonialism. Just as our education was tailored for colonial service, same for religion. Jesus came, incarnate into this world so as to set the captives free from the yoke of sin, bondages and captivity of Satan. These are the issues settled on the cross and power of His resurrection given to His church. These are the part of grace inheritance for every believer. That’s the complete gospel preached by Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry. Every preacher therefore should preach this balance doctrine of the church.
When someone has any challenge in Christendom, people say he should go for deliverance. Who should actually go for deliverance? At what stage of challenges should one go for deliverance?
In the beginning of the church in the wilderness, which is a prototype of church of today, God’s people were in bondage of Pharaoh of Egypt. They cried to God for help and He sent them a deliverer, i.e. Moses. By the power of God, Moses took them out of bondage, through the wilderness and eventually to the Promised Land in time of Joshua. That’s the template of our journey on earth and the present dispensation of the church. That is why Jesus has to come to integrate the gentiles to same process of inheritance, to fulfil their God’s purpose on earth and eternity.
Based on the above understanding, every believer should go through deliverance at the inception of their salvation so as to have a fruitful and peaceful journey of life. That was what Jesus was doing in His ministry on earth. Holy Spirit raised the fivefold ministries of church leadership for this purpose. Salvation, deliverance and water baptism should be compulsory for every convert at inception of their Christian journey. This is what prompted me to write the two books on this subject with testimonies and prayer guide to assist believers. However Christians suffering affliction is due to ignorance. Bible says my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Who can conduct deliverance? What qualifies a pastor as a deliverance minister?
Deliverance ministry is a grace for all believers. Mk 16:15-18. However this is subject to level of faith in individuals and relationship with the Holy Spirit. Sadly, some people don’t even believe in it. Every church should have trained deliverance ministers to handle new converts as part of the foundation class and to handle members with less faith to handle their life afflictions. At this point, I may not speak against any ministry specialising in deliverance because the Holy Spirit, the owner of the church is the One that calls and rewards.
How do you recognise a qualified or good deliverance minister?
Bible says by their fruits you shall know them. Jesus commanded the demons to get out of people by the word of God and power of Holy Spirit. We should follow His steps. The lifestyle of the minister should also reflect holiness that he preaches. In desperation for miracles, all sorts of things have been added. These days, people should be careful so as not to add to their bondages in the name of miracles.
Is deliverance as conducted in Nigerian churches biblical? Can we have a biblical support for it?
There are various dimensions added to deliverance ministry in today churches. My earlier answers have taken care of Bible standard to follow.
What spiritual activities transpires when deliverance is being done?
The process of deliverance is a spiritual operation based on delegated authority. Man is a spirit in physical body. As a believer, the Holy Ghost comes inside of you and empowers you to operate with His authority. Jesus never had so much authority publicly until Holy Spirit descended on Him. Demons are fallen angels or defiled spirit beings who have lost their glory. In their defiled spiritual state, they are looking for bodies to inhabit to express their characters of wickedness. When men sin and rebel against God, these demons have access to the open door of the individual or family in judgment to perpetrate their evil deeds. As a carrier of Holy Spirit and the authority of name of Jesus, believers are empowered to cast them out of their falsely acquired bodies of victims who come for deliverance. They must obey as long as you speak the word of God which they know it is true from foundation of the earth.
Is deliverance a subject to be taught in the seminary?
Deliverance as a subject should be taught in foundation course in churches and also as a course to prepare ministers for ministry in seminary. This will eliminate the fear and wrong notions about its importance in a believer’s life.
How do you know that a person has been delivered?
I was once blind but now I can see. When deliverance is accomplished, the afflictions will seize completely.
There are instances of people who went for deliverance and yet they are still enmeshed in their troubles. Is this a failed deliverance? Is the pastor fake or the enemies bigger than the pastor?
There is nothing like partial deliverance. The truth is it’s the Holy Spirit that sets the captives free. Seek His counsel before handling cases, especially the ones that are perceived to be beyond your understanding. That’s prophetic deliverance, when God Himself gives you the solution to the problem.
A pastor said all women should go for deliverance. Does it mean all women are demonic right from birth?
It is unfortunate women are always victims of evils in families or spiritual issues from bad child upbringing to adultery and witchcraft. Demons will possess anyone that opens the door through grievous sins and rebellion against God. Maybe because women have easily persuaded hearts, they easily give to sweet words and temptation as we see in Eve. In the same way, you willingly submit to salvation, people can willingly invite demons into their lives whether male or female, even Christians. Anyone that breaks the hedge, the serpent will bite.
What signs should one watch out for in his life to make him decide on going for deliverance?
Like I said earlier, deliverance is for new converts or if you have never been prayed for before. Whenever a believer begins to see signs of oppression and affliction around him and his dreams. It is a sign that your relationship with the Holy Spirit is dwindling. What you need is not deliverance again but separation in fasting and prayers or acquire the missing knowledge to rekindle the fire. No one touches a glowing coal of fire. That’s the reason for setting up all the prayer camps and mountains you see today. Unfortunately many don’t believe in it for lack of understanding. I may agree that some of these places have been abused out of purpose but it’s a major necessity for the church to keep the fire burning.
Does deliverance guarantee success in life?
Many people believe you don’t need deliverance but faith to claim your inheritance in Christ. How do you buy a new furniture and put it into the house that is already filled? People come from different backgrounds and family history. In many cases, the level of faith of many young converts can’t handle the challenges of the afflictions. Many times it gets worse when you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Many who have been involved in occultism and satanic covenant need higher authority to break the yoke. It’s after the bondage is lifted that you can serve God easily in peace and prosperity.
A deliverance pastor, Oyor of GOD WILL DO IT MINISTRY said after 14 years of operating in deliverance ministry, he suddenly realised he needed deliverance himself. So deliverance Pastors could also need deliverance?
God expects His children to be progressive both spiritually and materially. When your hour of promotion is due, He takes you through exam or trials. There is no trial that is new on earth. The solution is usually available with God through a chosen vessel. As a man of God, when these trials come, you seek solution from higher authorities who have succeeded in similar experience as the Holy Spirit directs you. I call it trial of faith which depends on your wisdom to come out of it. It’s higher than deliverance but promotion exams, if you don’t address it, you remain static. That’s the experience with men of God.
Do you subscribe to the idea that anybody starting a business to go for deliverance before starting?
When you start new ventures, it is better to commit it to hand of God. Bible says except the Lord builds a house, the builder is labouring in vain. That’s different from when you have personal foundation issues that requires deliverance. If you have such issues, it will affect your efforts therefore address it early. For you to succeed in business, ask God first whether it’s a line you carry the grace to succeed otherwise you are on your own. Thereafter, commit it to God from inception and be faithful to your covenant responsibilities.
Have you also gone for deliverance before? Just like Oyor, what were you delivered of?
I have gone through deliverance before concerning deep foundation problems. I made a covenant with God to share my testimonies with people who have similar challenges so as to help guide them through and also expand the kingdom of God. My testimonies and experience in deliverance ministry in step by step exposition is compiled into two books Foundation of Life and Ministry and Kingdom of God Foundation Doctrines and Spiritual Warfare. They are all available on request locally and on Amazon.com for international community.
Are you a deliverance minister? What is your rudest shock or experience in the ministry?
What I can say amazes me about this ministry is the attitude of believers to what is their inheritance. Many people today push aside the torments of Satan and cope with it by proclaiming faith instead of confrontation with deliverance and spiritual warfare. We are carried away with glossy facades and glamour to the negligence of putting Satan where he belongs. Ministers of God are not excluded. Many show off publicly only to be crying in loneliness with their pains in marriages, finance, spiritual lives, etc., because you don’t want to be seen as having problems.