ALTAR COUNSELOR'S GUIDE
© Harvestime International Network
Table Of Contents
Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I 1 1 1 2 3 3 3 4 4 6 6 6 7 9 12 12 12 12 12 14 14 14 18 19 21 21 21 24 31 Introduction . . . . Types Of Altar Calls . The Altar Counselor’s Role General Guidelines . . .
Counseling Those Who Respond For Salvation . Introduction . . . . . Ministering To Those In Need Of Salvation Questions About Salvation . . . Key Verses About Salvation . .
Counseling Those Who Respond To Receive The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit Introduction . . . . . . . . . Ministering To Those Needing The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit . Questions About The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit . . . Key Verses About The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit . . . Counseling Those Who Respond For Commitment . . Introduction . . . . . . . Ministering To A Person Responding For Commitment Questions About Commitment . . . . Key Verses About Commitment . . . . Counseling Those Who Respond For Healing . Introduction . . . . . Ministering To Those In Need Of Healing Questions About Healing . . . Key Verses About Healing . . . Counseling Those Who Respond For Deliverance Introduction . . . . . Ministering To Those In Need Of Deliverance Questions About Deliverance . . Key Verses About Deliverance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Note to pastors, evangelists, and spiritual leaders: This manual is designed so you can easily personalize it for your own ministry. For example, if you are a pastor, you can insert information about special classes you might have for new believers or information on special services you may conduct for healing and deliverance. You can insert information on where cards are located to record new decisions, where the church prayer room is located, where a counselor secures an identification badge, etc. Copy this manual to the hard disk of your own computer, insert any changes you want to make, and then print it out. Use this manual to train counselors so you will have properly skilled people ministering around your altars. Whenever you need more counselors, conduct another training session using the manual. We pray that God will use this little guide to help you train an army of men and women that will reap a great spiritual harvest around your altars.
Serving as an altar counselor can be an exciting and rewarding spiritual experience: You have the opportunity to "reap" spiritual fruit for the Kingdom of God. As a minister shares God's Word, he is actually "sowing" it in the hearts of those who listen. At the conclusion of the service when he provides opportunity for listeners to respond to his challenge, a great spiritual "harvest" is ready to be reaped. As an altar worker, you serve as a counselor to those who respond to the altar call made by the minister. You are working with the minister to "reap" the spiritual fruit of men, women, boys, and girls who have received and acted upon the Word of God. TYPES OF ALTAR CALLS The majority of altar calls usually concern: Salvation: A call for those who need to repent from their sins and be born-again. A call for those who want to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. General calls for those who want to recommit their lives, desire a deeper walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, missionary appeals, etc. An appeal for those who need physical, mental, or emotional healing. An appeal for those needing deliverance from addictive substances, from depression, fear, anger, bitterness, other works of the flesh, demonic influences, etc. THE ALTAR COUNSELOR'S ROLE After an appeal has been made, workers are needed to pray individually with those who respond to the call. This is the role of the altar counselor--to draw along side of someone who has responded to the altar call and minister to them. The purpose of this training is to prepare you to be an effective altar counselor and work cooperatively with the pastoral staff.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit:
In this manual, you are referred to as the counselor. The individual responding to the altar call is the counselee. Here are some general guidelines for you in your position of counselor: 1. When the altar call is made, be ready to move forward immediately when you see people begin to respond. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the person to whom you should minister. Step out into the aisle, start moving towards the altar, and expect the Lord to guide you. Men should counsel men, and women counsel women. Exceptions would be in cases where the person responding is a relative (i.e., you are a woman and your brother responds to the salvation call) or when a husband and wife minister together to an individual of either sex. If a person is crying or responding emotionally to an appeal, do not interrupt this process unless it becomes "out of order" (extremely loud, disruptive, attention getting). Just draw along side and begin to pray for them quietly. We are emotional beings, and God often deals with us first at the emotional level. When the emotion subsides, then you can talk with the counselee. It is important to follow up with ministry even when strong emotions have been evident. For example-- crying because one is sorry for sin is not enough. The counselee must understand the plan of salvation and make the proper response of repentance after the "godly sorrow" has subsided. 5. Serious problems should be referred to the pastoral staff. For example--if you counsel someone who is suicidal, a young lady planning an abortion, or someone whose home is about to break up--such situations are examples of serious problems that should be referred to the pastoral staff. If you encounter a problem in counseling at the altar and you do not know what to do, ask assistance from a member of the pastoral staff in your immediate area. Be careful about personal hygiene. Carry a supply of breath mints or breath spray and use them as you see the minister concluding his message.
Counseling Those Who Respond For Salvation
INTRODUCTION The Bible teaches that salvation (being born again) is necessary for a person to see the Kingdom of God, to receive eternal life, forgiveness of sins, to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and to become a child of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Salvation is received by faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the atonement of sin and includes a turning from sin (repentance). Salvation is by God's grace through faith. MINISTERING TO THOSE IN NEED OF SALVATION Here are guidelines for ministering to those in need of salvation: SHARE THE NEED OF SALVATION: Using the Scriptures, explain that they need salvation because all have sinned. SHARE GOD’S SOLUTION: Using the Scriptures, share God's solution for sin, salvation by grace through faith. BRING TO A POINT OF DECISION: Bring the counselee to a point of decision, a positive affirmation that he wants to be saved. PRAY WITH THE COUNSELEE: Pray out loud together. Have the counselee confess His sins and receive Jesus Christ as Savior. If help to pray is needed, ask him to follow you in a prayer such as: Jesus, I acknowledge that I have sinned. Please forgive me of my sin as I now repent. I take you at your Word that you forgive those who ask. I accept you as my Savior. Thank you for cleansing me from sin. In Jesus name, Amen. PROVIDE FOLLOW-UP CARE: Decision cards should be filled out on each new convert to secure their name and address 3
for follow-up. Keep these cards somewhere in the altar area. Return completed cards to the church office for contact by the pastoral staff and referral to the discipleship class. QUESTIONS ABOUT SALVATION IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING SORRY AND REPENTING? Yes. Godly sorrow worketh repentance. Being sorry or being sorry you got caught is not enough. You must repent. WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO REPENT? You must repent in order to be saved: Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the time of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:19) DO ALL MEN NEED TO REPENT? Yes, because all have sinned. WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT REPENT? I tell you...except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3) WILL REPENTING CHANGE MY LIFE? Yes. The joy of salvation is visible along with the growth of the fruit of the Spirit: Love joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, meekness, and faith. You will be able to live a new life. KEY VERSES ABOUT SALVATION For God so loved the world; that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9) But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them 4
that believe on His name. (John 1:12) Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to Him, and will sup with Him, and He with me. (Revelation 3:20) But godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (2 Corinthians 7:10) I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance. (Luke 15:7) And they went out, and preached that men should repent. (Mark 6:12) ...Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:46-47) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) I tell you Nay, but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)
Counseling Those Who Respond To Receive The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit
INTRODUCTION The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the overflowing of the Holy Spirit into, upon, and out of a born-again believer. It is the fulfillment of the promise of the Father to all believers. It leads to a full, purposeful, and victorious life in Jesus Christ. Speaking in an unlearned language is for one's own spiritual edification (1 Corinthians 14:2,4); to extol the works of God (Acts 2:11); and to present a message from God (1 Corinthians 12:10; 14:6). It is a sign of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Power for service is the confirming evidence. Salvation is the qualification to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit. MINISTERING TO THOSE NEEDING THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT Here are guidelines for receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Encourage the counselee to: REPENT AND BE BAPTIZED: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38) BELIEVE THE EXPERIENCE IS FOR THEM: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:39) ACCEPT IT AS A GIFT: The Holy Spirit has already been given. It was given to the Church on the Day of Pentecost. Because it is a gift, you can do nothing to earn it: ...the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38) This only would I learn of you. Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 6
He therefore that ministereth to you in the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles; through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:2,5,14) PRAISE AND WORSHIP GOD: Join the counselee in praise and worship of the Lord and wait for the evidence to come forth. Expect it to do so! The evidence may come at first with "stammering lips.” A fluency in language comes with usage. The counselee should offer any sound not understood by himself as praise to God. For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. (Isaiah 28:11) If, after a period of time, the evidence of a Spirit given language is not forthcoming, encourage the counselee to continue seeking the Lord through praise and worship. Assure him that the experience will come as he continues to praise God in his prayer time and learns to yield to the Spirit. QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THIS EXPERIENCE FOR TODAY? Yes. "For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." (Acts 2:39) ...Be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18b) AREN’T YOU FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT WHEN YOU ARE SAVED? It is the Holy Spirit who draws you and enables you to be saved through the blood of Jesus, but there is a difference between His being with you and baptizing you. He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:17) Paul asked the Ephesians, "Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?" (Acts 19:2)
WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT? For directed power: Power to witness, power in prayer, power over Satan. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8) Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26) God's Word tells us to be filled with the Spirit: And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18) DOES EVERYONE WHO IS FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT SPEAK IN TONGUES? This is accepted as the initial sign of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, paralleling the experience of those who received this in the New Testament Church: And they were all filed with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:4) And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. (Acts 19:6) ARE TONGUES A SURE SIGN SOMEONE IS FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT? Not necessarily. The Devil can imitate and people can mimic. Remember that Satan is a deceiver. THEN HOW DO I KNOW THAT MY EXPERIENCE IS REAL? By the collaborating evidence: Power in your life to witness, in prayer, and power over the enemy. I WANT THE BAPTISM, BUT I AM AFRAID I WILL GET A WRONG EXPERIENCE Be sure your heart is right towards God. If you are sincerely seeking Him, He will not let the Devil put anything false on you.
If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him? (Luke 11:11-13) DO YOU HAVE TO BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT TO GO IN THE RAPTURE? The Bible says those who will go up in the rapture are those that are Christ's at His coming (1 Corinthians 15:23 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16). Those who have been born again and are living for Christ will go in the rapture. CAN I LOSE THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT? David prayed, "Take not thy Holy Spirit from me." (Psalms 51:11b) Satan tries to rob you of any experience you receive from God. Praying every day in the Holy Spirit will keep your experience fresh: But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost...(Jude 20) KEY VERSES ABOUT THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. (Matthew 3:11) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I got no away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. (John 16:7) And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. (Luke 24:49) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there cam a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)
But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:16-17) And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18) If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him. (John 14:7) He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. (Acts 19:2) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8) And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. (Acts 19:6) If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If he ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him? (Luke 11:11-13) And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless. (John 14:16-18) ...for with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people. To whom He said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing... (Isaiah 28:11-12)
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. (Matthew 3:11) For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. (Acts 1:5) Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that He said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. (Acts 11:16) For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13) And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. (Joel 2:28-29) Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:38-39) For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. (1 Corinthians 14:2) Study these incidents of Holy Spirit baptism: 1. 2. 3. Day of Pentecost: House Of Cornelius: Converts At Ephesus: Acts 2:2-4 Acts 10:44-46 Acts 19:6
Counseling Those Who Respond For Commitment
INTRODUCTION Altar calls for commitment are general calls made for those who want to recommit their lives to Jesus or desire a deeper walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. Such calls may also focus on dedicating to full-time Christian service, responding to mission appeals, rededicating to your marriage and family, etc. MINISTERING TO A PERSON RESPONDING FOR COMMITMENT Here are guidelines for ministering to a person responding for commitment: DETERMINE THE REASON FOR THEIR RESPONSE: Ask the counselee, "What may I pray with you about?" This will determine the reason he has responded to the call. PRAY SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THE NEED: Pray specifically for his desire., i.e., a deeper walk with the Lord, guidance for full-time Christian service, recommitting his life to the Lord and His service, etc. QUESTIONS ABOUT COMMITMENT Because the area of commitment is so vast and the altar calls so varied, there is no way we can cover every question you may be asked. If you are asked a question that you cannot answer, refer the counselee to the pastoral staff. KEY VERSES ABOUT COMMITMENT So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:33) Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)
But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:31-33) But it shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister. And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:26-28) Herein is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (John 15:8) I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable, unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)
Counseling Those Who Respond For Healing
INTRODUCTION In an altar call for healing, a minister usually requests those in need of physical, mental, or emotional healing to respond in some manner. The Bible promises physical healing, but we should never focus on physical healing apart from the more important matter of spiritual healing. The Bible does teach divine healing is available through the atonement and that God heals physically, mentally, and emotionally as well as spiritually. MINISTERING TO THOSE IN NEED OF HEALING Here are guidelines for ministering to those in need of healing: LISTEN FOR INSTRUCTIONS: Calls for divine healing take various forms:
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faith and not by sight. You have done what God's Word said to do. Believe He has done what He said He would do. Thank Him for it. Jesus thanked God for hearing His prayer before Lazarus ever came out from the tomb. PROVIDE FOLLOW-UP INSTRUCTIONS: It is important that those who have been healed receive follow-up ministry. Follow-up instructions should deal with: What To Do To Remain Healed: Teach those who have been healed to... -Recognize The Attacks Of Satan: Just as Satan tempts every convert who has been saved, He will tempt every person who has been healed. Just as you can lose spiritual victory, you can lose physical victory. Whatever you trust God for in your spiritual walk, you will be tested in that area. -Resist The Attacks Of Satan: Encourage the counselee to keep in an atmosphere of faith by continuing to study God's W ord on healing and testify about their healing to others. One way to overcome Satan is by the Word of your testimony. Tell the person who has been healed to resist the attacks of Satan with the "Rhema" Word of God by quoting specific verses about healing. The counselee should surround himself with a positive environment of faith, those who will continue to praise God with him for healing and help him resist the attacks of the enemy. -Change Their Lifestyle: A return to sinful practices can mean a return of the sickness (John 8:11). Encourage the counselee to walk in obedience to God and His Word. Willful sin can result in losing healing (John 5:14). A return to unhealthy practices can also make sickness return. Unhealthy practices are actually sin, for they defile God's temple. The counselee should be encouraged to follow Biblical guidelines for health and healing. -Return For Medical Verification: If the counselee has been under medical care, encourage them to return to their doctor for verification of healing. Under Old Testament law, priests were like physicians. They diagnosed illnesses and pronounced healings. Jesus told the leper who He healed to return for verification of his healing. What To Do If They Were Not Healed: Do not let people leave discouraged or guilty because they did not get healed. Explain that just because they do not see visible results does not mean they are not healed. Healing begins in the spirit. There are also delayed healings, i.e., that of the barrenness of 16
Abraham and Sara, even though the Word was given years before. There is also timing involved. Consider the lame man at the temple gate in Acts 5. Jesus walked through the temple gates everyday, yet we are told that the crippled man had been there for years. He was later healed by Peter and John (Acts 5:15-16). There was also a set timing in the cases of Job and Lazarus. Encourage them to: -Continue to persevere in prayer for healing: Jesus taught persevering prayer. He did not discourage it. -Continue to build their faith: This can be done by studying the "Rhema" Word of God on healing. -Continue to confess their sins: Confession on a daily basis assures that they will not aggravate a physical condition. -Use their own spiritual power: All believers possess the basics for healing and deliverance. Begin to use them. They are: C C C C C C C The Word of God. The blood of Jesus. The word of your own testimony. Authority to bind and loose. Prayer and praise. Weapons of warfare listed in Ephesians 6:10-18. The authority and power of the Holy Spirit.
-Where applicable, change their lifestyle: Eliminate sinful and unhealthy practices. Healing often comes when you bring your lifestyle in harmony and obedience with God's Word. -Create an atmosphere of faith: The counselee should surround himself with an atmosphere of faith by becoming part of a fellowship of believers. -Commit to total trust in God: Total trust means that in living or dying, sickness or health, we are in His hands: John 10:29; Job 13:15; 19:26 -React positively to suffering: While waiting for total healing, tell the counselee to react to their suffering in such a way that others will be affected in a positive way. This can be done by:
C C C
Giving thanks: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Letting God perfect His strength in weakness: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Demonstrating patience while waiting. People wait in doctors offices for the results of medical tests. We wait on medicine to work. Why can't we wait on God? Those with patience inherit the promises: Hebrews 6:12; 12:2-3; James 1:2-4; 5:10-11; Psalms 27:14; 37:34; Isaiah 40:31; Romans 5:3-5 Recognizing that no suffering is without purpose. Study the Biblical record of those who suffered which documents this. QUESTIONS ABOUT HEALING
WHY DOES GOD ALLOW SICKNESS IN THE WORLD? God never intended for man to be sick or to die, but He gave man a will of his own to choose evil or good. When Adam exercised that will in the Garden of Eden and chose to be disobedient to God, sin entered the world and as a result, sickness and death. WHAT IS DIVINE HEALING? God's direct intervention to heal sick and afflicted bodies without the necessity of physicians or medical remedies. ISN’T ALL HEALING FROM GOD? Healing through prayer to the one true God and/or legitimate medical practice is from God. God aids in medical healing because every good gift (including legitimate medicine) is from God. Healing by Satanic, New Age, or other unscriptural means is not from God. IS IT WRONG TO GO TO DOCTORS OR TAKE MEDICINE? No. There are many fine medical doctors whose talent and ability aid the healing process. Many medicines come from natural, healthful, God-created elements.
IS HEALING FOR TODAY? Yes. God does not change. Jesus healed people while on earth and He is still alive today. His commission to His followers was not only to preach the Gospel, but also to heal the sick. IS MY SICKNESS PUNISHMENT FOR MY SINS? Not necessarily. Some people are afflicted as a result of sin (Deuteronomy 28:22,27,28,35). But in John 9:2-3, Jesus healed a blind man about whom His disciples asked, "Who did sin...this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus aid, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in Him." DO SOME PEOPLE HAVE SPECIAL GIFTS OF HEALING? SHOULDN’T I GO TO ONE OF THEM FOR PRAYER? The Bible does speak of the special gifts of healing. But we must be careful to look to God for healing and not to man. All believers have the authority to pray and believe for healing. KEY VERSES ABOUT HEALING Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases. (Psalms 103:3) Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (3 John 2) I am the Lord that healeth thee. (Exodus 15:26) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) And these signs shall follow them that believe. They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:17-18) ...by whose stripes we are healed. (1 Peter 2:24) ...with His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5) That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. (Matthew 8:17) To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit. (1 19
Corinthians 12:9) And as ye go, preach, saying The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers; raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:7-8)
Counseling Those Who Respond For Deliverance
INTRODUCTION The need for deliverance is manifested by an inability to be free from mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual bondage associated with demonic activity or works of the flesh. Our warfare is with the forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12). Our weapon is the Word of God. The battle involves prayer (Ephesians 6:14-18) with the authority and power given by Jesus (Mark 16:17; Acts 1:8). Cases of actual demon possession are relatively few compared to those oppressed by the enemy with habits, depression, discouragement, etc. and those in bondage to the works of the flesh. MINISTERING TO THOSE IN NEED OF DELIVERANCE Here are some guidelines for ministering to those in need of deliverance: INQUIRE REGARDING SALVATION: If you do not know if the person is a Christian, inquire regarding their salvation. Salvation is necessary for true deliverance. DETERMINE THE SPECIFIC PROBLEM: Ask the person, "What is the problem?" Their request is in itself an act of faith that can set in motion the deliverance processes (James 5:14-15). Ask for a specific statement of brief facts. Do not try to psychoanalyze the information you are given. Your function is to minister deliverance. Some unique cases may require privacy and more time for counseling. These should be referred to the pastoral staff. Ask the person who is to be prayed for, "Do you believe Jesus can deliver you?" If they answer positively, then ask, "Do you believe Jesus will do it now?" If the answer is "no" to either of these questions, further instruction from God's Word is needed. Use the information from the interview and/or the wisdom God has given to you to 21
determine if the problem is in the: C C C Spiritual Realm: Problems related to sin. Physical Realm: Bodily sickness caused by demonic spirits of infirmity. Emotional Realm: Problems concerning anxiety, fear, anger, bitterness, resentment, guilt, doubt, failure, jealousy, selfishness, confusion, frustration, perfectionism in the energy of the flesh, unforgiveness, and past situations. Mental Realm: Problems stemming from negative thinking, attacks of Satan on the mind, mental retardation.
Remember: Because man is a triune being, problems in one realm affect the whole person. As you minister, deal with the whole person, not just one area. Man is body, soul, spirit: Wholeness implies dealing with all of these. PRAY THE PRAYER OF DELIVERANCE: Pray a prayer of deliverance which focuses on the specific problem of demonic influence which you have identified. You do not have to persuade God to deliver by your prayer. Just as salvation is already available, the same is true of deliverance. Just as salvation is based on the condition of faith, so is deliverance. God wants to deliver, just as He wants to save. Although the power of God is sometimes present in a special way for deliverance (Luke 5:17), you can still pray without a special anointing because Jesus commanded you to do so just as He told you to spread the Gospel. Jesus taught that first you should bind the enemy, then you can exercise power over him: Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. (Matthew 12:29) If demonic powers are binding in oppression from the outside, pray for their hold to be loosed and their powers to be bound. For example, Jesus loosed the woman in the synagogue from the spirit of infirmity. She was not possessed, but oppressed. A casting out was not necessary.
In cases of demon possession, you have the authority to cast demons out in the name of Jesus. It is not authority in your own power or ability, but in His name. It is important to use the name of Jesus in the actual prayer of casting out the demon. When demon possession is evident, you should seek the assistance of the pastoral staff. Yelling and screaming is not necessary. It is your authority in the name of Jesus that brings deliverance, not the volume of your voice during the prayer of deliverance. Do not spend time talking with a demon, should it manifest itself through spoken words. Jesus rebuked demons and told them to be quiet (Luke 4:34-35). Remember that any conversation with demons is dangerous because there are lying spirits. Always forbid the demons to reenter. This is an important part of the prayer of deliverance: When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee come out of him, and enter no more into him. (Mark 9:25) Do not permit the demons to make a show. When Jesus saw the actions of a demon attracting a crowd, He immediately stopped the performance being staged by the evil spirit and cast it out (Mark 9:25). Do not attempt to cast demons into Hell. Jesus and His disciples did not do this. We have authority only to bind, loose, and cast out (Matthew 8:29). PRAISE GOD FOR THE ANSWER: Follow prayer with praise to God for deliverance. Praise by faith and not by sight. You have done what God's Word said to do. Believe He has done what He said He would do. Thank Him for it. In cases of demonic possession, sometimes the demons come out with a struggle, such as crying out or throwing the person on the floor. When demons have departed (whether in possession or oppression), there will be a sense of release, joy, like the lifting of a weight. PROVIDE FOLLOW-UP INSTRUCTIONS: After deliverance from demonic forces, the counselee should be led in a prayer of confession, repentance, and renouncing of any sins or involvements connected with the demonic activities. If the person has any occult items (for example idols, voodoo items, witchcraft equipment, etc.), these should be destroyed. When a demon is cast out, he will seek another body through which to operate. Jesus taught that the departure of evil spirits leaves an empty place. There is danger of a demon 23
returning to his former victim accompanied by worse spirits (Luke 11:24-26). When a demon is cast out it is restless and discontent outside of a human body. It is only by indwelling and controlling a human life that a demon is able to fulfill Satan's evil purposes. This is why casting the spiritual "house" must be filled by the new birth experience and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Follow-up counseling and ministry is necessary. The person should be immersed in the Word of God and prayer and become part of a community of believers. QUESTIONS ABOUT DELIVERANCE ARE DEMONS REAL? The ministry of Jesus demonstrated that demonic spirits are a real force of evil. Jesus accepted the fact that Satan is the ruler of a host of demons. He taught of the reality and power of demons. He said that the casting out of demonic powers was one of the signs that the Kingdom of God had come. Read Matthew 12:22-30, Mark 3:22-27, and Luke 11:14-23 for a summary of what Jesus taught concerning demons. A large portion of the ministry of Jesus involved dealing with demonic powers. It is the example of Jesus and the authority of His name that provides the Scriptural basis for dealing with demonic powers. Jesus ministered to all who came with demonic problems. (Acts 10:38) WHERE DID DEMONS COME FROM? Lucifer, an archangel from heaven who is known to us as Satan, rebelled against God and was banished from heaven along with his followers. These are evil angels or demon spirits. WHAT IS THEIR PURPOSE? Demons are used by Satan to oppose God, His plan and purposes, and His people. They also war against unbelievers to keep them from the truth of the Gospel. Opposition to God's will is Satan's main objective. The word "Satan" means "adversary.” Satan is primarily God's adversary (Job 1:6; Matthew 13:39). He is, secondarily, man's adversary (Zechariah 3:1; I Peter 5:8).
HOW DO THEY OPERATE? Demons control specific territories (principalities) such as the prince of Persia mentioned in Daniel 10:12-13. Demons also work through personalities, through men and women, to accomplish Satanic objectives in the world. Demons have different natures. One demon identified himself in I Kings 22:23 as a "lying spirit.” A "deaf and dumb" spirit is identified in Mark 9:25. Demons of various natures operate as spirits of infirmity, seducing spirits, and unclean spirits. Satan uses them to war against man in body, soul, and spirit: Spirits Of Infirmity: These are spirits that can afflict the bodies of believers as well as unbelievers. Read Luke 13:10-17. This woman was afflicted with a spirit of infirmity. She was present in the Sabbath services and Jesus called her "a daughter of Abraham.” Both of these facts indicate she probably was a follower of God, yet her body had been afflicted by Satan for eighteen years. For other examples of demonic powers afflicting the body see Matthew 12:22; 17:15-18; Acts 10:38; 2 Corinthians 12:7. Seducing Spirits: These spirits afflict the spirit of man, seducing him to believe doctrinal lies and be condemned to eternal punishment. They are the spirits of false doctrine, cults, false Christs, and false teachers (1 Timothy 4:1). These seducing spirits are deceptive. They actually work miracles which lead some to believe they are of God (Revelation 16:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10). Seducing spirits include the "spirit of divination" mentioned in Acts 16:16. Such spirits of divination or "familiar spirits" operate in fortune tellers, witches, and palm, crystal ball, and tea leaf readers. Through unscriptural methods, the spirits of divination claim to foretell the future or discover knowledge which is naturally unknown. Warnings against familiar spirits are given in Leviticus 19:31; 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:9; 18:10; Leviticus 20:27; and 1 Samuel 28:3. Seducing spirits sear the conscience, seduce, entice, tempt, allure, interest, fascinate, excite, arouse, attract, and deceive. Seducing spirits are operative in every cult and wherever doctrinal error exists. Satan craves worship and he will take it any way he can get it. Seducing spirits entice men and women to worship idols and even Satan himself.
Unclean Spirits: These demonic powers afflict the soulish nature of man. They are responsible for immoral acts, unclean thoughts, temptations and other strategies of Satan used to bind men and women. When Satan controls individuals with unclean spirits, he can also operate in homes, churches, and entire nations as these groups are composed of individuals. This is how Satan works in the various levels of structure in society. For examples of unclean spirits see Matthew 10:1; 12:43; and Mark 1:2326. Evil spirits can oppress people. To oppress means to bear down, come against, or bind from the outside. This oppression is accomplished by evil spirits in various ways. They cause depression, create negative circumstances, and insert wrong thoughts into the mind such as thoughts of suicide, immorality, unbelief, fear, etc. Demons create Satanic circumstances and situations which tempt men to sin (Acts 10:38). Demons can also possess human beings. Demon possession is a condition in which one or more evil spirits (demons) inhabit the body of a human being and take complete control of their victim at will. Some people prefer using the word "demonized" rather than possession, but regardless of the term, the possessed person is host to resident demons. Possession can happen willingly. A person may desire to be taken over by spirit powers in order to conduct seances, pronounce curses, become a witch, or secure some other supernatural power. Possession can also occur unwilling. An individual does not desire to be possessed, but through sinful thoughts, actions, or contact with the occult possession results. Demonic powers operating in parents and the sins of the parents can affect the next generation (Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Deuteronomy 5:9). This accounts for demon possession or oppression of children such as recorded in Mark 7:24-30 and 9:1721. There is also such a thing as demon obsession. This is a condition where one becomes obsessed by an interest in or preoccupation with demons. It is an unusual interest in the occult, demons, and Satan which controls interests and pursuits in a dictating manner. Such obsession with demon powers can lead to possession by them.
CAN CHRISTIANS BE DEMON POSSESSED? A true believer cannot be possessed by a demon because the Holy Spirit cannot inhabit the same temple as an evil spirit: What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) When you belong to God and are filled with the Holy Spirit, you cannot belong to Satan and be filled with his spirits at the same time. The Holy Ghost will not abide in the same "temple" with Satan. But this does not mean believers cannot be affected by demonic powers. It is these powers against which we wrestle. HOW DO DEMONS GAIN CONTROL? Demons gain control through several ways: Generations: Demons may oppress or possess a person because of previous possession or oppression of the parents. This accounts for demonic influence over children (Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Deuteronomy 5:9). The Mind: The mind is one of the major battlefields of Satan. If Satan can control your thoughts, he will eventually control your actions. Lack of mental control eventually results in lack of use of the will. This leads to sinful actions. Continuing in sinful thoughts and actions can lead from oppression to possession and finally to a reprobate mind such as is described in Romans l. This is a mind totally controlled by evil thoughts. Demons also gain access through mind-altering drugs which reduce the ability to resist demons and grant increasing access. "Brain washing" or "mind control" teaching also provides an entrance point. Sinful Actions: Sinful thoughts are soon fulfilled by sinful actions. For example, the thought of adultery is fulfilled in the actual act of adultery. Sin is rebellion, and rebellious thoughts and actions provides an entry point for demonic activity. When a believer continues in sinful thoughts or actions they "give place" to the Devil (Ephesians 4:27). More spiritual room is given for the operation of the enemy. Sins of involvement with the occult, including objects, literature, seances, etc., are actions which are especially dangerous and attract demonic powers.
An unbeliever who lives in sin is open not only to oppression of demonic powers, but also possession. People who belong to Satan and have not experienced the new birth in Jesus Christ are his to use, oppress, or possess as he wills. Desire: Some people desire and request of Satan to be under the control of demon powers for purposes of having supernatural power or performing supernatural acts. An Empty "House": Demons consider the body of the person they inhabit as their house (Matthew 12:44). When a person who has been delivered from demonic powers does not fill his spiritual house with the new birth experience and the infilling of the Holy Spirit, reentry may occur. Permission: Sometimes God grants permission for activities of demonic powers to accomplish special purposes. This can be allowed as a trial of believers as in the case of Job. It can also be judgment for sin as in the case of King Saul. HOW CAN I DETECT DEMONIC PRESENCE? The Holy Spirit has provided a special spiritual gift for this purpose. This gift is called "discerning of spirits" (1 Corinthians 12:10). To discern means "to discover, evaluate, and make a distinction between.” The gift of discerning of spirits enables a believer to discern the spirits operating in others. It permits him to discover, evaluate, and identify evil spirits. Not all believers have this special spiritual gift of discerning of spirits. If a believer does not have this gift there are signs of demonic presence which can be observed. When the Syrophenician woman came to Jesus with an appeal that He cast out an unclean spirit from her daughter, she said "My daughter is grievously vexed with a devil" (Matthew 15:22). How did she know this? She knew it by the symptoms. Detection is simply observing what demonic spirits do to a person. Here are some symptoms of demonic activity: Demonic obsession is recognized by an uncontrollable and unusual preoccupation with demons, Satan, or the occult. Such a person may dabble in occult practices, constantly credit everything to Satan or demons, or be preoccupied with the study of demons and Satan. Demonic oppression can be recognized by the following signs: 1. Physical Binding: The "daughter of Abraham" who Jesus relieved of a spirit of infirmity was bound physically (Luke 13:10-17). Chronic sickness may be demonic oppression. All illness is not caused by demonic powers. Some illness is 28
caused by a violation of natural laws, such as not eating properly or drinking bad water. Some illness is also chastisement. One King in the Bible who did not give glory to God was stricken with intestinal worms and died! 2. Mental Oppression: Disturbances in the mind or thought life such as mental torment, confusion, doubt, loss of memory, etc. Restlessness, inability to reason or listen to others, abnormal talkativeness or reserve may be exhibited. All mental problems are not caused by Satan. Discouragement, depression, and disorientation can be caused by allergies to certain foods or a wrong chemical imbalance in the brain. God is able to heal mental problems and illnesses not caused by demonic powers as well as bring deliverance in cases caused by demons. But caution should be taken not to class all illness or mental problems as being caused by demonic spirits. Sometimes a simple change in diet or lifestyle will eliminate a problem if it is caused by natural causes such as improper diet or drinking bad water. 3. Emotional Problems: Disturbances in the emotions which persist or recur, including resentment, hatred, anger, fear, rejection, self-pity, jealousy, depression, worry, insecurity, inferiority, etc. Spiritual Problems: Extreme difficulties in overcoming sin, including sinful habits. Rejection of spiritual solutions to problems. Any type of doctrinal error or deception, including bondage to objects and literature of the cults. Circumstances: Demons can create difficult circumstances which are oppressive. Such circumstances usually involve confusion and can immediately be identified as demonic because God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33; James 3:16).
Demonic possession can be recognized by the following signs: l. Indwelling Of An Unclean Spirit: Mark 5:2. This is demonstrated by a basic moral uncleanness and filthiness. It might include the desire to go without clothing (see Luke 8:27). Unusual Physical Strength: A person shows strength beyond normal capabilities. For examples see Mark 5:3 and Luke 8:29. Fits Of Rage: Mark 9:14-29; Luke 8:26-39. These fits may be accompanied by foaming at the mouth.
Resistance To Spiritual Things: Mark 6:7; 1:21-28. The demons knew Jesus immediately and asked Him to leave them alone. Fear of the name of Jesus, prayer, and the Word and blasphemy of that which is spiritual are all symptoms of demon possession. Excessive blasphemy may be noted or contorted physical features and abrupt behavior changes when spiritual things are mentioned. Changes In Personality And/Or Voice: Mark 5:9. A person who is normally shy may become aggressive or violent. Actions as well as appearance may be affected. Moral character and intelligence may change. Voice may be altered. Accompanying Physical Afflictions: In cases of demon possession, these appear most commonly to be afflictions of the mental and nervous system (Matthew 9:33; 12:22; Mark 5:4-5). They can also include a general "pining" or wasting away physically (Mark 9:14-29). Self-Inflicted Physical Injury: Matthew 17:14-21. This man's son would cast himself in the fire. In Luke 8:26-39 this demon possessed man cut himself with stones to inflict physical injury. Terrible Anguish: Luke 8:28 relates that this man went about crying because of the terrible inner torments caused by his possession. Incapacity For Normal Living: Luke 8:27. This man could not live in society but lived in the tombs of the cemetery. Through Unscriptural Methods, The Ability To Foretell The Future Or Discover That Which Is Unknown: The woman in Acts 16:16 is said to be "possessed" by a spirit of divination.
The following also may indicate demonic oppression, possession, or obsession: C Obsessive immorality such as involvement with pornography, adultery, fornication, masturbation, homosexuality, and other sex sins. Strong compulsions toward eating disorders, suicide, self-mutilation, maiming, and murder. Addiction to drugs or alcohol. Trances, visions, and meditation which are not focused on or from the one true God. Bondage to emotions such as fear, anxiety, depression, hatred, rage, jealousy, backbiting, envy, pride, bitterness, negativism, and criticism. 30
HOW CAN I BE PROTECTED FROM DEMONIC POWERS? The most important protection is to receive Jesus Christ as Savior because demons cannot possess a true born-again believer. Keep yourself from sin, for through sin you "give place to the Devil.” You provide opportunity for him to use demonic activities of oppression against you. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Demonic spirits and the spirit of God cannot inhabit the same spiritual vessel. Avoid an obsessive interest in demons. It is not wrong to study what God's Word says about them, or courses such as this one which are based on God's Word. But do not read secular books, attend seances, etc., to learn more about demons. Avoid any contact with the occult. Do not consult witches, shaman, astrologers, horoscopes, card, palm, or tea leaf readers. Do not serve false gods or allow idols to come into your home (Deuteronomy 7:25-26). Control your mind, your tongue, and select your associates carefully. It is also important to gain victory over the world and the flesh and use your spiritual weapons to wage warfare against demonic powers.
KEY VERSES ABOUT DELIVERANCE When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I cam out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. (Matthew 12:4344) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:10-13 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits; and they were healed every one. (Acts 5:16) For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, cam out of many that were possessed with them; and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. (Acts 8:7) 31
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1) The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
And these signs shall follow them that believe. In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. (Mark 16:17) Behold, I give unto you power to read on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (Luke 10:19) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the Devil, and He will flee from you. (James 4:7) And when He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. (Matthew 10:1)