How to be a Minister

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Is This Demonic?

The young man came in defeated and looking for someone to understand and help. After he explained what was happening his first Demonsquestion was “is this demonic?”

The more we chatted the easier it was to see that he was looking for serious answers. He wanted to understand as much as he wanted to be free.

It would be wise of us to explore some foundational principles before labeling something demonic. Wouldn’t you agree?

Let’s start by considering that there are three battlefronts or enemies that must be understood and dealt with simultaneously. Neglecting any one of them is a grave tactical error as a spiritual attack can come from any one or a combination of the three. Our three primary enemies can all be identified in Genesis chapter three as well as many other passages. They are:

  1. Satan and the demonic kingdom – verses
  2. The sinful nature – verses 6-13
  3. The world system – verses 16-19

Focusing on only one enemy such as demonic activity leaves the sinful nature and the world system free to entangle the believer. Likewise neglecting the demonic and focusing only on the sinful nature leaves us vulnerable on the other two fronts.  

Listed below are items that must be taken into consideration long before determining exactly which enemy is being fought. Even when demonic manifestations seem to be obvious, ministers must be careful. Things are not always what they seem. Sometimes people can manifest things that look demonic, but in reality are nothing more than the flesh acting out to get attention. People can also claim they are under spiritual attack as a way of explaining situations they don’t understand or sin they don’t want to deal with.

When this is the case several devastating things occur. The individual usually leaves with their sinful nature fully intact and new beliefs that range from “the enemy is too strong in my life for me to be delivered” to “demons are not real.” Many times people will actually get worse because their sinful behavior was not properly confronted and they lose hope of being set free.

The minister can also suffer significant defeat because they see themselves as having failed to help the person. They may blame themselves for not being spiritual enough, not praying or fasting enough or disappointing God in some other way that would cause Him to withhold the anointing. It is also easy to blame the other person for not being sincere, not being saved, not confessing their sins and so on.

This is usually where the enemy comes in and takes advantage of the situation to cause further defeat. Remember, demons are opportunists. They will wait until just the right time to tempt and accuse. If the person or the minister leaves feeling defeated the enemy will push those feelings and thoughts.

The following six items should be considered and ministered to before moving forward with deliverance. Even when there is demonic activity these areas must be addressed for the overall long-term health and spiritual growth of the person.

  • Temperament – Temperament is simply a way to describe the inborn characteristics, strengths and weaknesses that we are born with.
  • Learned behavior – All of us grow up learning from family, friends and other environmentalThis learned behavior interacts with our temperament and produces our outward character.
  • Lack of Christian maturity – Sadly enough this is a serious problem with many Christians.
  • Medical factors – Not everything has a spiritual root. Unfortunately there are things like birth defects, disabilities, accidents, mental and emotional traumas and environmental issues.
  • Suffering for righteousness sake – Romans 8:17 is a shocking scripture to some. It states; “and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.”
  • Sin – At the risk of over emphasizing a point I would like to once again raise the caution that sometimes we suffer the natural consequences of our sin.

How do you evaluate what a person is dealing with?

Do you minister in the area of spiritual warfare and deliverance?

Rev. David M. Smuin

President

www.NCCChurch.org

@DaveSmuin

Watch for the candidate conference call information in your email

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Comments 13

Pastor Dave Smuin on Wednesday, 24 July 2013 15:36

For some, this is a very touchy subject. There seems to be a lot of doubt among some believers about whether demons are real and whether they can actual influence the behaviors of people. I for one have had the opportunity to witness this for myself and assist with the deliverance process.

While some deliverances can be quite dramatic, others can take place without "the head turning and vomiting." Several years ago, I read a "How to..." workbook by Oral Roberts. He simply stated, it all depends on whether the individual wants to be free or keep the evil spirits. I have never forgotten that message.

For some, this is a very touchy subject. There seems to be a lot of doubt among some believers about whether demons are real and whether they can actual influence the behaviors of people. I for one have had the opportunity to witness this for myself and assist with the deliverance process. While some deliverances can be quite dramatic, others can take place without "the head turning and vomiting." Several years ago, I read a "How to..." workbook by Oral Roberts. He simply stated, it all depends on whether the individual wants to be free or keep the evil spirits. I have never forgotten that message.
Pastor Dave Smuin on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 20:21

Thank you for discussing this topic. I have seen both extremes--those who try to explain everything in any way other than demonic, and those who blame a demon for everything and think that the key to instant success is simply to rebuke a demon. Demonic activity also seems to be interwoven with other types of activity in a way that is sometimes difficult to unravel. Thank you for the balanced approach.

Thank you for discussing this topic. I have seen both extremes--those who try to explain everything in any way other than demonic, and those who blame a demon for everything and think that the key to instant success is simply to rebuke a demon. Demonic activity also seems to be interwoven with other types of activity in a way that is sometimes difficult to unravel. Thank you for the balanced approach.
Pastor Dave Smuin on Friday, 22 February 2013 00:19

This topic is very interesting. We can't spiritualize everything. We need to follow the Holy Spirit direction. Iam looking forward for the conference. Thank you for sharing.

This topic is very interesting. We can't spiritualize everything. We need to follow the Holy Spirit direction. Iam looking forward for the conference. Thank you for sharing.
Pastor Dave Smuin on Thursday, 21 February 2013 22:31

As someone just starting out, your blog was very helpful! It was enlightening to know there are more factors to look at. Thank you!

As someone just starting out, your blog was very helpful! It was enlightening to know there are more factors to look at. Thank you!
Guest - Debra King on Thursday, 21 February 2013 20:20

Thank you Dr. Dave for providing this very interesting information. I look forward to learning more.

A couple of months ago, after appearing on a local Christian TV program, I received a telephone call from a woman in another town. She began speaking at a normal rate and pitch, but quickly escalated into high pitch, rapid screaming, and then crying.

After calming her, I was able to ask a few questions. Again, she would begin slowly and then escalate to screaming and tears. After a few minutes of this I asked whether she was seeing a doctor? She said, "Yes, but I have not seen him for a while. Everyone hates me. No body will talk to me. The ladies in the Baptist Church don't like me."..[then again the tears.] God revealed that there was so much going on with this woman that I simply needed to encourage her to get back in touch with her doctor and take the medication prescribed for her.

I look forward to learning more about the six areas that you listed in the blog.

Thank you Dr. Dave for providing this very interesting information. I look forward to learning more. A couple of months ago, after appearing on a local Christian TV program, I received a telephone call from a woman in another town. She began speaking at a normal rate and pitch, but quickly escalated into high pitch, rapid screaming, and then crying. After calming her, I was able to ask a few questions. Again, she would begin slowly and then escalate to screaming and tears. After a few minutes of this I asked whether she was seeing a doctor? She said, "Yes, but I have not seen him for a while. Everyone hates me. No body will talk to me. The ladies in the Baptist Church don't like me."..[then again the tears.] God revealed that there was so much going on with this woman that I simply needed to encourage her to get back in touch with her doctor and take the medication prescribed for her. I look forward to learning more about the six areas that you listed in the blog.
Guest - Deanna Brown on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 22:17

Dr. Dave this is a great article. I have been working in healing and deliverance for a few years now and you are quite right each case is different and their are other aspects to consider. We are not just spiritual beings, we are also physical and emotional beings and yes one can affect the other that is why people need to get a good physical and make changes in their diet or exercise that need to be addressed, but if their is something that is blocking that and it could be demonic then they need to address those issues as well (just an example) But the one thing that I have gleaned about this subject is that people need to be educated. Deliverance is fine, but if they don't know how to keep their deliverance it could be disastrous and they can be left worse then they started. Clients need to know what is ahead of them and how to keep their deliverance, and that maybe their may be other deliverances in the future. Once isn't necessarily the answer. God is only going to walk us through what he knows we can handle at the time. If he walked us through everything at one time we would really be a train wreck. If someone is not willing to give up their worldly behavior or their sin then I would not take them through deliverance until they say "Yes Lord." It is my job to educate them to say Yes to the Lord. Its the same question, how many times are you going to go around that mountain? The Israelites stayed in the desert for forty years and they were educated by Moses himself. They have to want to get better and listen to the Lord's leading, faith and belief are keys to deliverance. We live in a society that is hugely make believe and self driven that people don't get a grasp on demonic very easily. Thank God for the leading of the Holy Spirit, he is the author of all things and he knows what is best for each person.

Dr. Dave this is a great article. I have been working in healing and deliverance for a few years now and you are quite right each case is different and their are other aspects to consider. We are not just spiritual beings, we are also physical and emotional beings and yes one can affect the other that is why people need to get a good physical and make changes in their diet or exercise that need to be addressed, but if their is something that is blocking that and it could be demonic then they need to address those issues as well (just an example) But the one thing that I have gleaned about this subject is that people need to be educated. Deliverance is fine, but if they don't know how to keep their deliverance it could be disastrous and they can be left worse then they started. Clients need to know what is ahead of them and how to keep their deliverance, and that maybe their may be other deliverances in the future. Once isn't necessarily the answer. God is only going to walk us through what he knows we can handle at the time. If he walked us through everything at one time we would really be a train wreck. If someone is not willing to give up their worldly behavior or their sin then I would not take them through deliverance until they say "Yes Lord." It is my job to educate them to say Yes to the Lord. Its the same question, how many times are you going to go around that mountain? The Israelites stayed in the desert for forty years and they were educated by Moses himself. They have to want to get better and listen to the Lord's leading, faith and belief are keys to deliverance. We live in a society that is hugely make believe and self driven that people don't get a grasp on demonic very easily. Thank God for the leading of the Holy Spirit, he is the author of all things and he knows what is best for each person.
Guest - Sharon Prentice on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 19:31

What a great subject to discuss! I deal with this on a daily basis. The therapist in the office next to mine believes everything is demonic in nature. The therapist on the other side of me believes nothing is demonic and everything can be explained away through intensive counseling surrounding unrsolved childhood issues. Me? Quite honestly, I just don't know. I do believe, however, there are forces in this universe of ours that we, as mere humans, can never explain nor fully understand. My internship was conducted in a psychiatric ward of a major hospital here in Washington DC and I came into contact with many individuals diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic which, in the "olden days", was considered demonic possession. Are some cases still demonic in origin? Or were the pressures of living just too much? Some kind of trauma that just clicked the right button? Or true neuron chemical imbalance? So much research on this question of mental illness but still no hard and fast answers. What I DO know is that prayer helps all of these cases. Very interesting, and ultimately very important, topic.

What a great subject to discuss! I deal with this on a daily basis. The therapist in the office next to mine believes everything is demonic in nature. The therapist on the other side of me believes nothing is demonic and everything can be explained away through intensive counseling surrounding unrsolved childhood issues. Me? Quite honestly, I just don't know. I do believe, however, there are forces in this universe of ours that we, as mere humans, can never explain nor fully understand. My internship was conducted in a psychiatric ward of a major hospital here in Washington DC and I came into contact with many individuals diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic which, in the "olden days", was considered demonic possession. Are some cases still demonic in origin? Or were the pressures of living just too much? Some kind of trauma that just clicked the right button? Or true neuron chemical imbalance? So much research on this question of mental illness but still no hard and fast answers. What I DO know is that prayer helps all of these cases. Very interesting, and ultimately very important, topic.
Guest - Penelope Nall on Saturday, 16 February 2013 23:06

Thanks Dr. Dave for bringing up this subject. I have had to deal with this before. I have found that fasting and prayer to be very helpful. When it comes to the demonic we must have the Holly Spirit guiding us. The Bible talks about the demonic but it also talks about healing people that were sick. We must pray diligently,and seek His direction in this serous matter. I believe that it is important to pray over our family, homes,and offices for a hedge of protection. We are on the front lines, Satin will use any and every trick in the book to confuse and distract us. God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of love, power, and sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Thanks Dr. Dave for bringing up this subject. I have had to deal with this before. I have found that fasting and prayer to be very helpful. When it comes to the demonic we must have the Holly Spirit guiding us. The Bible talks about the demonic but it also talks about healing people that were sick. We must pray diligently,and seek His direction in this serous matter. I believe that it is important to pray over our family, homes,and offices for a hedge of protection. We are on the front lines, Satin will use any and every trick in the book to confuse and distract us. God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of love, power, and sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
Guest - Sandy Scott on Friday, 15 February 2013 19:35

Thank you Dr. Dave for discussing this topic. One of the questions I hope you could answer is regarding "evil spirits". I have heard many Christians refer to different sins and even illnesses as evil spirits - such as "they have an anger spirit or a "cancer spirit" - or they "have the spirit of deceit",etc. as if sins or diseases have specific spirits assigned to them. I would love to hear your wisdom on this.

Thank you Dr. Dave for discussing this topic. One of the questions I hope you could answer is regarding "evil spirits". I have heard many Christians refer to different sins and even illnesses as evil spirits - such as "they have an anger spirit or a "cancer spirit" - or they "have the spirit of deceit",etc. as if sins or diseases have specific spirits assigned to them. I would love to hear your wisdom on this.
Pastor Dave Smuin on Friday, 15 February 2013 12:14

Thank you for posting about this topic. I just had a senior student approach me about this yesterday and was going to seek counsel on how best to help the student. Thank you...

Thank you for posting about this topic. I just had a senior student approach me about this yesterday and was going to seek counsel on how best to help the student. Thank you...
Guest - Pastor Bea Gruber on Thursday, 14 February 2013 22:31

Dr. Dave, bringing this subject to light is courageous and I believe exactly what the Lord would want us to do - bring light into the darkness. One thing I would add is that I anoint my office regularly and pray daily for the Lord's protection, provision, enlightenment to be on me and that the Holy Spirit would occupy and dwell in the space - that the enemy would not have any entrance. Just as a sanctuary in a church is holy ground where we worship the Lord, so is the office we minister in. If we are serving God we will encounter the enemy. As in the study I often reference - "Life's Answers Through Counseling with God" our limited Biblical knowledge of truth, and our lack of understanding the enemy create denial of the source of the problems that folks come to us for help with.

Dr. Dave, bringing this subject to light is courageous and I believe exactly what the Lord would want us to do - bring light into the darkness. One thing I would add is that I anoint my office regularly and pray daily for the Lord's protection, provision, enlightenment to be on me and that the Holy Spirit would occupy and dwell in the space - that the enemy would not have any entrance. Just as a sanctuary in a church is holy ground where we worship the Lord, so is the office we minister in. If we are serving God we will encounter the enemy. As in the study I often reference - "Life's Answers Through Counseling with God" our limited Biblical knowledge of truth, and our lack of understanding the enemy create denial of the source of the problems that folks come to us for help with.
Guest - Susan Haberkorn on Thursday, 14 February 2013 15:16

Thank you, Dr. Dave, for discussing this sensitive topic. I currently have a couple in therapy who are struggling under the husband's anger issues. This couple is linking the anger to the fact that their teen daughter was recently approached by a lesbian at school and is now being bullied, and the wife describes their situation as being "under attack." However, what I see concerning the husband's anger has nothing to do with demonic attack. On questioning I learned the husband has been expressing anger for years prior to the incident with their daughter. Both husband and wife are pure Melancholies, and what I perceive from the husband is a cry of unmet needs; and he doesn't know how to have his needs met in a godly manner. That will be my focus for the immediate future. Certainly Satan and his minions enjoy taunting individuals who have been redeemed; however, in this case, I will concentrate on helping this couple learn about their temperament needs and how to meet them in a godly manner.

On a different case, my husband and I were teaching Pre-Teen Sunday School and we had a student who has been diagnosed with autism. We agreed that this child had more going on than that. He always wore the darkest look, and his behavior in Sunday School was extremely uncooperative and disruptive. One day he began not only acting out but also blaspheming the name of Jesus to such a point that my husband put him out of the class. This child actually bit my husband's hand and drew blood! In conference with the parents, pastor, and Sunday School director, the parents made every excuse imaginable based on the child's medical history, and they would not even consider a path to restoration that included, at the very least, an apology to my husband. This family allows the child to wear clothing with occult symbols, and all but one member of the family is dealing with mental health problems. My husband and I believe there is demonic activity in this case, and we can feel it in our spirit just as Rachel mentioned above. Sadly, the family has left our church rather than seek reconciliation.

Thank you, Dr. Dave, for discussing this sensitive topic. I currently have a couple in therapy who are struggling under the husband's anger issues. This couple is linking the anger to the fact that their teen daughter was recently approached by a lesbian at school and is now being bullied, and the wife describes their situation as being "under attack." However, what I see concerning the husband's anger has nothing to do with demonic attack. On questioning I learned the husband has been expressing anger for years prior to the incident with their daughter. Both husband and wife are pure Melancholies, and what I perceive from the husband is a cry of unmet needs; and he doesn't know how to have his needs met in a godly manner. That will be my focus for the immediate future. Certainly Satan and his minions enjoy taunting individuals who have been redeemed; however, in this case, I will concentrate on helping this couple learn about their temperament needs and how to meet them in a godly manner. On a different case, my husband and I were teaching Pre-Teen Sunday School and we had a student who has been diagnosed with autism. We agreed that this child had more going on than that. He always wore the darkest look, and his behavior in Sunday School was extremely uncooperative and disruptive. One day he began not only acting out but also blaspheming the name of Jesus to such a point that my husband put him out of the class. This child actually bit my husband's hand and drew blood! In conference with the parents, pastor, and Sunday School director, the parents made every excuse imaginable based on the child's medical history, and they would not even consider a path to restoration that included, at the very least, an apology to my husband. This family allows the child to wear clothing with occult symbols, and all but one member of the family is dealing with mental health problems. My husband and I believe there is demonic activity in this case, and we can feel it in our spirit just as Rachel mentioned above. Sadly, the family has left our church rather than seek reconciliation.
Guest - Rachel Moore on Wednesday, 13 February 2013 17:59

Thank you for blogging about this subject. I actually had a similar counselee about a year ago. She was referred to me by a pastor in a neighboring town after showing up to a fire department distraught. We had a total of three sessions before she stopped showing up. Her childhood was full of physical, sexual and verbal abuse. From an early age she learned about God but did not read the Bible or pray throughout her life. Through our discussions and weeks of meeting I started to catch on to her beliefs in indian animal spirits. For example she was positive that she could talk to animals and that they could talk to her. She had a lot of indicators that she was suffering from some sort of dissociative disorder and I referred her to a Psychiatrist. She never went. I later learned through the pastor who referred her to me that they recently found out she was into the occult and was currently reading from the 'black bible'. She stopped calling me after she found a man to provide for her and she wasn't in crisis mode.
If I could go back I would have ministered to her first in the area of spiritual warfare and deliverance. She masked her involvement very well though. Although the Holy Spirit was impressing on me the whole time that her problems stemmed from spiritual darkness I chose to focus on the wrong things. I did however read the Word out loud to her which had an interesting response where she shook and would not make eye contact with me. I continue to pray for her and that God grows the seed. I however have learned a lot through that and to trust the Holy Spirit when it comes to how minister to those God sends my way.

Thank you for blogging about this subject. I actually had a similar counselee about a year ago. She was referred to me by a pastor in a neighboring town after showing up to a fire department distraught. We had a total of three sessions before she stopped showing up. Her childhood was full of physical, sexual and verbal abuse. From an early age she learned about God but did not read the Bible or pray throughout her life. Through our discussions and weeks of meeting I started to catch on to her beliefs in indian animal spirits. For example she was positive that she could talk to animals and that they could talk to her. She had a lot of indicators that she was suffering from some sort of dissociative disorder and I referred her to a Psychiatrist. She never went. I later learned through the pastor who referred her to me that they recently found out she was into the occult and was currently reading from the 'black bible'. She stopped calling me after she found a man to provide for her and she wasn't in crisis mode. If I could go back I would have ministered to her first in the area of spiritual warfare and deliverance. She masked her involvement very well though. Although the Holy Spirit was impressing on me the whole time that her problems stemmed from spiritual darkness I chose to focus on the wrong things. I did however read the Word out loud to her which had an interesting response where she shook and would not make eye contact with me. I continue to pray for her and that God grows the seed. I however have learned a lot through that and to trust the Holy Spirit when it comes to how minister to those God sends my way.
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