Tita Thelma is a sweetly-demeanored lady whose business it is, surprisingly, to cast out demons. She is Head of the Deliverance Ministry for Christ’s Commission Fellowship in the Philippines. She answers questions about symptoms of the presence of demons, the process of casting them out, keys to deliverance, and other helpful matters. But first, she recalls how this journey all started for her twenty-eight years ago when she came to know Jesus.
Tita Thelma tells God’s story in her life:
“Daily quiet time always assures me of the comforting presence of the Lord as I listen to His Words through Scripture, and connect with Him through prayer. My encounter with God since I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in 1985 was exciting and colourful. Being a single parent with five small children, a young adopted son, and an old mother to support, I had no one to turn to but God. Through His lovingkindness, His divine revelations, and supernatural provisions I came to know Jesus more. And the more I know Him, the more I fall in love with Him and desire being with Him. The Spirit’s gentle rebuke brings me back to Him each time I do, think, or say anything that displeases Him.
At least once a week, I enjoy praying, fasting, soaking in the Spirit and inquiring of Him. And listening to Him speaks in my spirit. His small, still voice comforts, convicts, rebukes, reproves and corrects. He releases words of wisdom and words of knowledge, encouragement and hope, discernment of the spirit, prophetic utterance and vision. I record my encounter with the Holy Spirit in a notebook I keep beside me together with my bible.
Sometime in 1995, as I was in listening prayer, I saw with my spiritual eyes, red blood oozing on the top edges of my notebook and dripping down to the right side. But there was no blood on the left side, on the front, underneath the notebook, or on the table.
Suddenly I heard a voice in my right ear clearly saying, “Thelma, I am giving birth to a deliverance ministry! And I am giving you a commission as a deliverance minister!” I was terrified! I didn’t want the deliverance ministry. I would be the last person to be in this kind of ministry. I was afraid of demons, afraid of the dark, afraid to be alone in a room, afraid of heights, have claustrophobia. I was a coward.
In fright, I stopped spending weekly encounter with the Spirit. I continued my daily quiet time in prayer and bible study, but stopped doing listening prayer. Sometime in 1998, His plan for the Deliverance Ministry began.
THE DELIVERANCE MINISTRY BEGINNING
Whether or not I wanted to be involved in the Deliverance Ministry, God started equipping me in spiritual warfare. In Ezekiel 12:28, Thus says the Lord God “None of My words will be delayed any longer. Whatever word I speak will be performed.”
My first exposure to deliverance was when I was invited to attend a weeklong spiritual warfare class for missionaries leaving for Southeast Asia. The class was all lectures and stories of demons but no actual deliverance.
Strangely, I started receiving books and materials on spiritual warfare from friends, and even from people I didn’t personally know. Since I couldn’t afford to buy such expensive books, many offered to lend or give me theirs.
For the first time I learned about Luke 10:19-20. I claimed and personalized the words of Jesus, 19“Behold, I have given you, (Thelma), authority to tread on serpents (demons) and scorpions (evil spirits), and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”
Right after that, I was invited as one of the counsellors in a single parents’ retreat in Caliraya. While there, a single parent was brought to us for counselling. She had undergone several counselling sessions before but continued to have fear, self-pity, feelings of worthlessness, and hopelessness. She was a battered wife with no job and suffering from maltreatment and abuse. She was trembling with so much fear and emotional pain. That was the first time I felt so much love and compassion for an oppressed person. I saw how the demons harass and haunt people. I wanted so much to help her. It was this same love and compassion that compelled me to set aside my personal fears and to drive these demons out of the poor woman.
The Holy Spirit released His wisdom and led the deliverance session. I had no idea how to go about it so I followed His prompting and directions. I was so amazed because it’s as if I knew what I was supposed to do! A team was formed: one assisting me, one reading the bible, two prayer warriors, and several worship singers. The Lord granted us victory.
We spent the whole three days doing deliverance sessions. We started at 9:00am and ended up at 2:00am. It was incredible how the Lord has sustained me throughout these sessions. We already had three changes of teams but I continued to have the strength, stamina, and energy to do the actual casting out of evil spirits. Many who were demonized were set free. Since then until today, the Deliverance Ministry has actively been helping people experience freedom through the mighty empowerment and anointing of the Holy Spirit.
May our Lord God grant special blessings upon these people who have served, or continue to serve faithfully in the Deliverance Ministry with the love of Jesus and compassion for the oppressed: Susan and Dodo (the first team), Jowey, Miriam, Patsy, Edith (the next team), John, Monique, Reggie, Gia, Bella, Myrna, Shawy, Benjie, Pynky, Dan, Pat, Alice, Lea, Beth, Marie, Vicky, Abi, Roy. Also Lita and Marge who helped in our handbook. It’s a joy and an honor to co-labor with them in God’s work. I’m praying for God to send the Deliverance Ministry more faithful, available, committed servants of Jesus Christ like them!”
1. How do you operate in the Deliverance Ministry?
We operate in love, because that is how Jesus did His ministry on earth as well. It’s love.
2. What is the importance of the Deliverance Ministry?
In Luke 9:1 when Jesus sent out His disciples, He told them to go preach the gospel, heal the sick, and cast out demons. Those are three very important ministries that God has commissioned His disciples and we can not separate the three. They all answer to the problems of man which are (the need for) salvation, which healing, and being free from demons.
3. Are demons real? Can you give a background on Spiritual Warfare?
Demons are real. Many Christians, whether they believe or not, are in warfare. The enemy is relentless, ongoing, deceitful and he is out to destroy. Because man is God’s creation, specially believers belong to (enemy’s) kingdom before and Jesus Christ snatched us out from the power of darkness and transferred us to His kingdom. Our former father, Satan is furious wanting to take us back but because we are now in allegiance to our Master and Lord, Jesus Christ, the enemy will do everything to (try to) destroy us. (But victory is in Jesus Christ)
4. What are symptoms of presence of demons?
Fighting with sometimes just a slight remark or not so important matters and it erupts into bursts of anger and quarrel. Who is between them? It’s the demons. Of course when the evil spirit is in a person, (s)he may experience some lull moment or calmness but most of the time, there will be heaviness, condemnation, accusing spirits…either they will feel so low about themselves or prideful or arrogant. Here are other symptoms of the presence of demons:
-Urge to murder
-Urge to commit suicide
b. Mental Torment
-Irrational heaviness in the soul
-Hearing voices in the mind
-Insanity and mental illness
-Obsessive irrational worry
c. Certain Physical Problems
Luke 4:40-41 (NIV)
40 At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41 Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.
d. Emotional Problems
-unable to get close to other people
-sensing rejection for no reason
-irrational emotional breakdowns
e. Occult powers or abilities
– Tell fortune (Lev 20:27)
-Lift an object through levitation or telekinesis
-Unnatural strength is a sign of demonic power such as the man with the legion (of demons) in the Bible (Luke 8:27-33)
f. Unnatural desires or feelings
-Sexual attraction towards animals
-Unnatural sexual desires
5. How is victory obtained in spiritual warfare?
As the Bible says, all have sinned. The victory lies only in God. We have victory when we deal with our sin. Dealing with sin is not just confessing; it is renouncing and repenting and turning our back from our sins. The key in deliverance is repentance because disobedience to God is obedience to Satan.
6. Why do demons fester?
Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for the penalty of our sins. But these demons don’t just leave because of our past involvements like for instance, in the occult, cultic activities, unforgiveness, bitterness, anger in our hearts or the generational curses of our parents. They are demons in our soul and body. They are not in our spirit because that is where the Holy Spirit of God is when we invite Him. So we cast out these demons that are oppressing the mind, the emotion, and will and the body of people through the power of the Holy Spirit and by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Most of the time, when we counsel (people) like for instance, they are say in their adult age, most of their experiences date back to when they were young and they were unresolved… sometimes trauma, hurt. Like if they experience child molestation, sometimes they could not remember that they were sexually molested. It will just come out during the ministry (counseling) and they will remember, they will be even able to smell or see when they were say age five when they were sexually molested. Or there are people who were raped; that’s why when a person is raped, here comes now a demon of rape which invites the demon of anger, rage, bitterness, unforgiveness. And that person will continue to experience being rejected, unloved, see herself ugly, or (s)he will always condemn herself because of that past experience that was not healed. There are so many unhealed hurts in the lives of people and when unchecked, undealt with, unconfessed, and unrepented, demons fester on those hurts and they will capitalise most of the time to cause spirits to oppress that person.
God gave us in 1John 1:9 that if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. So it’s like if there is garbage, there are flies so if you are clean, flies will not fester around you. In the same token, demons hover over people when they are in sin meaning they know that what they are doing is sin and yet continue doing so. Then the curse will take effect. Most sin has been conceived in our mind before they were put into action. And when we put into action that temptation, it becomes sin. And here come the demons and they will attach to that particular sin.
7. Can a demon enter a believer of Jesus Christ?
There are so many doorways/areas (sin) wherein the enemy can demonize people, even so-called mature believers. Many Christians believe that they can not be demonized. Yes, they can be demonized, but not demon-possessed.
8. What causes sin such as anger, lying, adultery, unforgiveness, etc. and how can this be addressed?
Behind every sin is a demon. Why? Because of course, the Holy Spirit of God will not tempt you to sin. The names of these demons that we cast out from people are say spirit of lust, spirit of anger, spirit of adultery, spirit of lying. Behind lying, adultery is a demon. We have to say the particular name of that demon to cast them out and they will leave because of the blood of the Lamb.
9. How can a person be freed from demons? Who has the authority to cast out demons?
The moment that a person received the Holy Spirit of God and invited Jesus Christ to be his Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit comes in and the same Holy Spirit will be the one to empower believers against demons. They have the authority to tell the demons to leave and they will leave. All believers have the same power and authority. The difference probably between them and us in the deliverance ministry is that we are using that authority.
10. What can you say about curses and “gayumas”?
It says in Proverbs 26:2 Like the sparrow in its fleeting, like the swallow in its flight, a curse uncalled for arrives nowhere. No matter if people utter curses on you, if you have no unconfessed sin, if you have no sin that you have been holding on for a long time, it will not take any effect. The curse will only take effect if you don’t have the Spirit of God in you or because of past sins that you have not repented of. Then the curse will take effect.
11. What is the procedure for deliverance like?
Acknowledge your sin one by one, confess, renounce, and repent of that sin asking for God’s forgiveness. Just dealing with all those sins, you just empty yourself of all those sins, negatives out of your system out of your soul and body and allowing the light of Jesus to be inside you. Most of the time, after the session, the counselee will always experience lightness in them, healing, peace, joy, contentment, and so much love that they have not experienced. There will be that longing for the highest being who is God. When he or she wants to be set free, she will always be looking up and humbly seek God for help. That is the start. And God will do the rest.
12. Do you offer deliverance? Are there eligibility requirements to avail of this?
The person has to be willing. We don’t offer deliverance. The person has to ask for it. Unless the person asks, we don’t. In the midst of the deliverence, when we sense that the person is not willing to let go of that particular sin, that he or she is holding, then we will gently tell the counselee, “do you still want to continue with the session?” He or she will ask why. “because you need to let go. Repentance is the key to your deliverance and without giving up that particular sin, it’s ineffective. So I will ask the counselee, just come back when you are ready to really give up that particular sin and to repent of that.
13. Can a person just walk in to CCF to ask for deliverance?
In CCF, we have a structured setup wherein you go to your D-Group servant and your D-group servant will contact the Deliverance Ministry who will set a schedule. Either a pastor or the d-group servant has to be present. It would be ideal if the accountability partner of that person will also go with the counselee.
14. What is house cleansing?
Many times, we do house cleansing and blessing. House cleansing because there are many defiled objects that we have brought to our homes. Unknowingly, there were attachments of demons in them. Also, sometimes in our ministry when we go and cleanse the place, we will sense that murder or bloodshed, violence, rape or abortion was done in that place. Thus demons were given legal ground to inhabit that place. They need to be driven out of that place and again, appropriating Jesus Christ to be enthroned in that place so that the demons will be driven out and no longer have legal ground there.