When I was first drafted into battle back in November of 2007, I had no clue what deliverance ministry was. I want to emphasize the word drafted, and not the church lingo of being called. There is a difference. In deliverance ministry, God may call and raise up ministers to do some more extreme deliverance ministry than was identified in Luke 10:17. All Christians are called to exercise their authority over the low-level demonic spirits. If a lot more Christians stepped into their authority like the 70 disciples did, their would be less fear filled cries for help in our ministry e-mail in-boxes for curse breaking.For next level darker battles, God has raised up deliverance ministers to go a little bit further in these battles and work with souls who are stuck in strongholds and curses. There is another level of ministry, which I call Mark 9:29 ministry, and the Roman Catholic Church calls the office of exorcism. It is my firm belief that God drafts (anoints) ministers into this ministry. How and why God selects these individuals, only He knows.
The Early Days of Being Drafted into WarfareBack in November of 2007, I was a devout Christian who thought I had a deep relationship with God. I was a member of my church, I was active within the church and participated in various ministries. I thought I was doing pretty good spiritually. But in reality, looking back, I was a member of the frozen chosen. There simply wasn’t a deep relationship with Jesus Christ. I could hear his voice, but it was intermittent. How do you know you are a member of the frozen chosen? Simply ask yourself this question, “Where will I go when I die?”. If you can’t answer this question with certainty, then you need to spend more time getting to know Jesus. If you are a deliverance minister who can’t answer this, remove yourself from deliverance ministry and work to resolve this spiritual issue. When the timing is right, Jesus will release you back into ministry.
Because I was drafted into dark warfare, all hell broke loose, literally, right away in my home. This was my thawing from the pew of the frozen chosen. The demonic did not want me actively responding to God’s marching orders. Remind you, I had a mediocre to good prayer life. But there were a lot of things God needed fixed in my interior life in order for me to be effective in His battle campaigns. The most memorable incidents were the fire alarms in our house would go off when my wife and I started intercession for those we worked with who were oppressed.
During this time, as we were spiritually growing, we started hosting home church in our residence. This is where we invited speakers and equipping ministers to help us grow in areas our then regularly attended Sunday church was not ready to grow in. There was internal strife at our church at this time regarding the movement of the Holy Spirit. We had to go outside the church and start home church meetings that didn't involve or affect our home church. This is probably another blog in itself. But you will learn the hard way not to bring a movement of the Holy Spirit into the church that it is not ready for it. Always keep a checks and balances with your pastor and clergy on where the church is at. Don’t ever push anything on a congregation it is not ready to embrace. When your Pastor tells you NO! on something,that’s that! Never ever be in rebellion to church leadership.If you need to seek training outside the walls of your regular church, do so. But at the same time use discernment of what churches you are going to in seeking spiritual growth. In spiritual warfare you will need to grow primarily in the area of hearing God. This is far more fundamental than which curse breaking curses you know. Jesus is the one who sets the captive free. So learn to talk with Him. As you grow spiritually, you may start having some weird dark dreams as you take on spiritual stuff. This is all God raising you up so you can stand in dark battles with Him. He will do a lot of internal and generational house cleaning in these dreams too.
God’s PresenceSo is this the advise you expected? I haven’t mentioned any spiritual warfare books yet, and I won’t! We are looking to move into another home here in Spring of 2018, and my plans are to throw out my library of spiritual warfare books. I don’t plan to give any away because I believe a lot of these books are disinformation. Many spiritual warfare books are nothing more than pastor’s sermons on digital recorder translated over to print by a Christian publishing house. I am amazed at the amount of bad information on warring in the second heaven that are prevalent in these popular Christian books.
The number one thing a spiritual warfare minister can do to learn to keep oppression out of their home is to learn to hear God. PERIOD! I learned from a great course by the late John Paul Jackson, called The Art of Hearing God. The class now appears to be on youtube.
John Paul Jackson’s The Art of Hearing God
There are also some great teachings by Mark Virkler on youtube.
Mark Virkler’s Hearing God’s Voice
I can’t emphasize the importance of this enough. When you and your family invite God and talk to Him in your house, the presence of God is there. Please keep in my mind I am not talking about visions and prophetic words here. These are just conversations with God. Don't derail your ministry with prophetic ministry either. Many people don't test their prophetic messages and can be influenced by the demonic to go off on a tangent. Many self-taught prophetic ministers tend to be hearing from their own soul and not God. Again, I emphasize getting in on a John Paul Jackson course. It's a great place to start.
Hearing God is your nuclear football. Darkness can’t stand the light of Jesus.I also do something most Christians don’t do at all. I practice His presence of being with me. When I am in the deepest darkest battle or even painful suffering, I can reach out and feel the presence of Jesus with me. I can return to joy from the attack of darkness. This comes through developing a relationship with Jesus. The church cliché buzz phrase is that, “I am not religious, I am in a relationship with Jesus Christ.” Sadly, most people I hear say this don’t live lifestyles that support their proclamation. What’s your inner spiritual life like? Does it spill over into your life and people you reach? I have had people we have sheltered in our home during warfare comment on how they could tangibly feel the presence and peace of the Holy Spirit in our house. My family and I work hard to make sure the Holy Spirit is welcome in our home.
CoveringProbably somewhere around 2009, M16 Ministries garnished a reputation of being a legitimate spiritual warfare ministry. Between 2007 and 2009 I experienced some violent attacks against me that I didn't discuss with anybody. People just didn't understand the level of warfare we were in. We crossed over into the beginnings of Mark 9:29 level ministry. By this time I think we started working on our first full blown demonic possession case and we were dealing with shadow manifestations in our home as a result of this. The shadows left with our authority when we ordered them to leave. We were experiencing objects moving and being thrown on their own. We reached out to pastor and requested a spiritual covering of our church. Activity ceased nearly immediately in our house. To this day we have never had any objects move on their own again.
2009 was also the year my ministry took over San Francisco Night Strike street ministry from Bob Johnson ministries. I believe the street ministry where we worked with the homeless, drug addicts and prostitutes, put us into a favorable spiritual alignment with God. God wants us to help the downtrodden, poor, sick, widows, and orphans. These works of charity I believe were a big factor in the amount of protection we were receiving spiritually. Especially, when we frequently encountered demoniacs in street ministry in San Francisco.
There were some strange spiritual shifts we experienced in 2014 and were forced to move out from underneath the covering of our church. Church coverings can be beneficial, but they can also expose the human legalisms of church administration. Furthermore, God wasn't done moving us into deeper darker water. What the church was cable of providing intercession for was in shallow waters and not prepared for the darker waters we were now operating in. At this time, we started experiencing a lot of internal and deep cutting spiritual attacks from our own church leadership.The enemy used the church as the mechanism to bring oppression on to the ministry. This is another key reason on why you need to distinctly hear God’s voice. During some powerful and heartfelt conversations with God, He outlined and provided a covering for the ministry.There are rules, regulations,and protocols for His covering and we completely abide to this. Remember, Jesus walked us to this point where we were able to operate under His covering. It’s not something we jumped into because we were upset. We were boxed in and only Jesus could provide the resolution, and He did. We had to be patient, wait, and pray.
No Weapon Formed Against You Will ProsperYears ago, when God drafted me I would be under some severe attacks. I remember how many of people in my church family would cite, Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon formed against you will prosper.” What I found disturbing was that there was ignorance of the true meaning of this scripture by those who would recite it to me. Not to sound mean or condescending. It was just I was being given advice by people who hadn’t walked in my shoes in the level of warfare and yet somehow became self-proclaimed experts.
My issue with hearing this from my brothers and sisters was that David first had to battle the lion and the bear before he took on Goliath. There were some dark battles I never discussed with anyone that took me from the bear to the lion and finally to the giants. And the giants aren't the big guys like the church likes to believe. Here were people advising me they were slaying giants yet were calling me to swat their gnats. There was this huge disconnect for me due to the church’s inexperience in spiritual warfare, and only a few people to turn to. Don’t be frustrated if your church leadership lacks in these areas. This is a common issue that plagues both the Protestants and the Catholics. I find that some churches only bring in curriculum on spiritual warfare that don’t offend or frighten their congregation. Ever wonder why so many churches are in bondage? Don’t be surprised if you are operating as a covert ministry in your own church. God is revealing to you things the church body is not prepared to deal with or comprehend. So you're not to discuss it with the members of the church. Again, a covert ministry must never be in rebellion to church leadership. God is unity.
So what do you the minister do when your under it? Under it is our code phrase with my counseling ministry team at ITPH, for when we’re receiving directed spiritual bombardment by the enemy. The scripture tells us that “No weapon formed against you will prosper.” When I work on equipping ministers I point out to them that the scripture used the word "formed" in the past tense. This means the weapon has been deployed, is inbound, or has already struck it’s target, you!
At this level of warfare you better be surrounded by friends and ministries that understand this level of warfare. You must be walking in a high level of your FAITH as this point in ministry. I am a counselor who works full time with ritual abuse survivors. My ministry partners with a spiritually mature Christian counseling ministry. We have survivors of severe trauma who understand the importance of intercession. We surround each other when these weapons are formed and deployed. I have supernaturally survived direct destructive attacks, and so have the intercessors I surround myself with. When I say destructive attacks I don’t say that lightly. It’s the testimony of the survival of the attack when it comes. What is curious is that during ministry right after such attacks, the demonic and the occult are apprehensive in picking a fight with me because they fully understand what God did to deliver me from that situation. When you are destructively targeted go to your secret place and proclaim the promises of psalm 91. Talk with God during your spiritual bombardment and suffering and go to your spiritual place of joy.
Why does the enemy attack us when we have a deep prayer life? Remember this is warfare. Some people tell me these bad teachings that they’re sharpening their iron in the second heaven. Really? Do you walk into a biker bar and start a bar fight and not expect to be brutally beat up? Do you walk into an Italian restaurant owned by a Mafia boss, shoot it up, and not expect retaliation? When you enter into darker warfare, such as Mark 9:29 level warfare, you are stepping into a fight. You don’t provoke the fight, you listen to God on how to proceed. When you step into this fight,especially with the occult and demonic possession, there is significant retaliation by the forces of darkness. First of all, I don’t enter every battle that comes my way. I check in with God. You would be surprised how many times God instructs me not to assist. Not because God isn't going to help. But because the request isn't legit and the person seeking help needs to trust God and look elsewhere for help. The person (a church going Christian) can also be in cahoots with a demon and are sent to your doorstep not for receiving your help, but to waste your time and wear you down. If I am released into battle by Jesus, that is one of the regulations of His protective covering. I am allowed to work with the afflicted soul and God has me protected from the occult and the demonic. I never skip this step of being released into battle, it has dire consequences if I act on my own. You must also understand the rules of the fight and how to fight.
Concluding RemarksSome of the information presented here may sound a bit harsh. My goal wasn't to knock any ministries or institutions, but to illustrate the steep up hill challenges involved with dark spiritual warfare. Not everyone is cut out for it. Some are called, and a few survive the shake out process. There are consequences for over stepping your covering. I hope some of my experiences will help you in direction for getting the protection you need. I think my transparency will help those who are truly looking for more protection as they grow in their ministry. I know if you're looking for answers here you clearly understand the severity of the attacks and how God protects you from them.
For more information on advance warfare topics, checkout my books. A Field Guide to Advance Spiritual Warfare is that covers most of what I covered here. Both books are required reading by anyone involved in spiritual warfare.
I hope this helps.
If you have any questions on how to deal with occult battles, please drop me a comment, and I will answer the question in blog posts.
If you have questions on curse breaking, or curse breaking prayers, I cover these in my book, A Field Guide to Spiritual Warfare.
If you have questions on dealing with manifestations, I cover these in my book, A Field Guide to Advanced Spiritual Warfare.
Get your copy today! Available on Amazon in:
Kindle - A Field Guide to Advanced Spiritual Warfare - Deliverance, Exorcism, Healing the Effects of Ritual Abuse. (eBook)
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A Field Guide to Spiritual Warfare - the Power to PULL the IMPOSSIBLE from the HEAVENLY REALMS