What Is The Difference Between Spiritual Warfare & Deliverance?

Spiritual warfare, and the oppression that comes with it, is a reality of life, not a myth or a theoretical concept. In the words of Dr. Ed Murphy, in his Handbook for Spiritual Warfare, “…everything from Genesis 3 to Revelation 20 that has occurred, is occurring, and will yet occur, occurs in the context of warfare between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of evil supernaturalism.”

For practical purposes I would consider spiritual warfare as covering prayer and ministry that is intended to specifically engage the enemy’s forces, advance the kingdom of God, and take ground away from the enemy. This can cover a lot of different activities, but it does not necessarily need to include deliverance.

Deliverance involves a specific, focused time of engaging the enemy and forcing demons to leave a person or a group. For logistical reasons it usually involves one person, but it can involve a group from a couple or family to a roomful or more. These ministries to a group are often called mass deliverance. This can also happen at a distance.

Jesus did deliverance at a distance at least once, for the daughter of the Syrophoenician woman (Mat. 15:21-28 + Mark 7:25-30). We know that the girl was delivered, but we are not told any details about how it happened. Jesus healed and delivered at a distance and so can we, though all of the long distance deliverances that I am aware of that occur these days involve the person being delivered being aware of the process and personally involved, usually via phone, Skype, FaceTime or the equivalent.

Spiritual warfare is something that needs to be learned, and many believers end up getting good at it. Deliverance can also be learned, and the good news is that we don’t need to be the Son of God to learn the basics. The disciples/apprentices of Jesus learned on the job, and when sent out by Jesus, they returned and told him, “Lord, even the demons obeyed us when we used your name.” (Luke 10:17).

If you or your group or church have an interest in learning the basics of deliverance, we’d love to hear from you. All of our training is customized for the people and groups we work with. God bless you.

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