The Discerning of Spirits and Deliverance

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Greg Locke

In 1 Corinthians 12 we find a list of the manifested gifts from God to the body of Christ. These spiritual gifts are given “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,” (Eph. 4:12). I’ve heard pastors say there’s no such thing as deliverance ministry in the Bible, but one of God’s gifts to the body is the discerning of spirits, whether angelic or demonic, and the proper use of this gift is directed to the church.

Deliverance and its derivatives are indeed Bible terms that pervade the whole of Scripture, so the fact that the word ‘deliverance’ is never found followed by the word ‘ministry’ is irrelevant, and it’s foolish to think otherwise. The words ‘youth’ and ‘ministry’ aren’t found together in the Bible either, and no one would ever claim there is no biblical basis for such ministry.

Though the word ‘deliverance’ is used broadly in reference to all types of spiritual freedom, the discerning of spirits should always involve the casting out of demons once demons are discerned. This is what we call deliverance ministry.

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As we see in our key passage, Jesus clearly teaches that deliverance is the first (not the last) sign of those who believe. He said in effect, “It’s all done in My name,” because that’s where the power is found and that’s where all the glory goes.

Some people make the ministry of deliverance sound crazy, but if you stay within the confines of the Word of God, people’s lives will be radically set free in the name of Jesus. No one can ever rightfully say that the power to cast out demons ever ceased, because in doing so one would be saying that the name of Jesus—and its power—is no longer available. Such a notion is nothing but heresy.

It’s bewildering how people who believe that Jesus’ name can save and Jesus’ name can heal can also refuse to believe that there is power in Jesus’ name to cast out devils. For this I challenge all who are reading this text: let’s not live the whole of our lives and die having never done what Jesus said we must do in this regard. We are privileged to live out the text of His Great Commission—to do what Jesus did and in turn instructed us to do—and watch as it is fulfilled every day.

To read more from Greg Locke’s newest book, “Cast It Out,” visit

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