Luke 7:21 “At that very time Jesus cured many people of diseases, sicknesses, and evil spirits, and granted sight to many who were blind.”
Jesus did this very same work of healing and casting out evil spirits through the Holy Spirit at the Chinese/English Dunamis Project on Spiritual Warfare in Queens, New York.
This was September of 2013, but could have been the year 31 AD!
Some doubt that such entities exist at all. Or, even if they are real, there is certainly no more need for deliverance, not in the enlightened world of today. Think again!
Many Christians have never experienced the reality of evil spirits because they have never entered a situation where the Holy Spirit was invited to move in power to make real the presence of Jesus Christ.
When the Lord Jesus is made immediate by the power of the Holy Spirit, He may come with such intensity and presence that evil spirits hiding within people are forced out into the open to indicate their presence.
At that point, the Holy Spirit empowers Christians in the authority of Jesus to cast the evil spirits out.
Present at this Dunamis event were about a 60-75 mostly Chinese participants from Grace Christian Church, pastored by the Rev. John Chang.
Members of other congregations in the New York area also attended.
A few non-Chinese speakers were present. I was joined in the teaching by John Chang and Cindy Strickler.
John and I interpreted for each other and Cindy’s interpreter was Ji Dong Shan.
We started by laying out the biblical and theological foundations for understanding the battle in which we live as Christians.
Then we taught on the various aspects of spiritual warfare: from personal temptations to deliverance ministry to high level spiritual warfare.
What may be surprising to many is not only what the Bible clearly teaches about this subject, but how seriously Martin Luther, John Calvin and other reformers took spiritual warfare.
John Calvin makes the following astonishing statements warning us of the spiritual war in which we are called as Christians.
“All that Scripture teaches concerning devils aims at arousing us to take precaution against their stratagems and contrivances, and also to make us equip ourselves with those weapons which are strong and powerful enough to vanquish these most powerful foes.” 
[1 Institutes of Christian Religion (Philadelphia, 1973) Book I, 14, 13, pp. 172-173.]
At this Dunamis event, we experienced Jesus Christ working in power, authority and love.
He set people free from demonic oppression. Jesus also equipped us to be the means of setting others free. Further, we received training for partnership with the Lord Jesus to overcome demonic strongholds designed to block the advancement of His Gospel.
A Corporate Experience Of Jesus Casting The Demonic Out Of People
I share here further details about how the Holy Spirit set people free from evil spirits.
In the last issue of MWS Online, I reported on how we dealt with higher level spiritual warfare involving a demonic stronghold that had been established in a Reformed Congregation in New York.
“Now when the sun was setting all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying, `You are the Son of God!’ But he rebuked them, and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.” (Luke 4:40-41)
We saw this happening in Flushing! After a full day of teaching on how to discern the presence of evil spirits and preparing the teams to cooperate with Jesus in casting them out, we moved into the evening meeting. A number of new people showed up that night seeking ministry.
In prayer, a sudden flash of revelation came to me that Jesus through the Holy Spirit was going to do the same kind of deliverance among our group, much to the same degree in terms of the numbers of people He wanted to set free.
Actually this seemed a little over the edge! But I shared it with Cindy and John for discernment. They weren’t sure, but they agreed we should go forward and see what the Holy Spirit would do. We did. And the Holy Spirit came in power.
As we look back on what happened, we believe the Lord had great compassion on the many gathered there with so many spiritual needs.
We praise Jesus that He acted on such a grand scale—we couldn’t have imagined how our ministry teams could have attended to all those who needed personal prayer ministry to be set free.
Cooperating With The Holy Spirit For Jesus Christ To Work In Power
We can’t make the Holy Spirit do anything, but we are encouraged to welcome the Holy Spirit to make Jesus’ presence manifest. There is no set formula we are to follow to set the stage for Jesus. Still, how the Flushing church prepared to welcome the Lord Jesus to be present with them is worth noting. They listened to the leading of the Holy Spirit to create an environment into which they invited Jesus to visit in His healing and delivering power.
1. Prayer Preparation
Starting a month before this event, prayer teams from the Grace Community Church, which is a Reformed Church in America congregation, held daily prayer walks around the church buildings.
A team of intercessors provided prayer cover throughout the event. This prayer provided the shield for the group to move in the power of the Holy Spirit, to receive clear guidance moment by moment which resulted in mighty, wonderful healing and deliverance for many.
2. Faith that welcomes the Lord Jesus to work
Remember the story of Jesus healing the severely demonized boy? The boy’s father approaches Jesus to seek deliverance for him. “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” Jesus responds, “’If you can? Everything is possible for him who believes.” Immediately the father of the boy cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:17-29)
Then as now, what is important is faith in Jesus Christ, believing in Him, trusting Him and relying upon Him. That opens the door for the Holy Spirit to manifest the reality, love and authority of Jesus Christ.
When I looked out over that sanctuary crowded with needy people I must confess that I had doubts, and like that father, prayed “I believe you can work Jesus, but please help my unbelief. I feel that all of this is impossible.” I believe the Lord did indeed give me the gift of faith, because I just had a deep peace that Jesus would work as He had in Bible days when crowds were healed and demons came out of many. Also I could see on the faces of those present that they did indeed trust Jesus and were expectant of His healing presence. I did detect that some of that hope and trust was directed toward me. I immediately deflected that on to Jesus where it belonged by confessing it to John and to Cindy who were standing up front with me.
3. Worship that exalts Jesus Christ and welcomes the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to envelop us in their love.
The worship team functioned well musically. Even more important was their Holy Spirit-empowered leadership as they stepped forth in faith to lead us into the presence of Jesus.
During worship, the Holy Spirit started moving in great power to manifest the love of Jesus. I looked out upon the congregation, amazed to see even a number of people who had not yet made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, obviously touched by the Holy Spirit.
We remained in this mode of resting in the love of Jesus for a long time—many of us experienced forgiveness of our sins as well as refreshment. This began as a personal, individual experience of the Holy Spirit, but after a time, participants also reached out to touch each other and pray blessings upon one another.
These holy moments illustrate what we teach at Dunamis events, namely, while some people may experience Jesus working directly, or through worship, or in a deep silence filling the room, others experience Jesus’ love through the touch or an embrace from someone next to them who is filled to overflowing with Jesus’ presence.
It was wonderful to watch this happening especially to those who were outside of the faith but were now being drawn in. Many responded with tears of joy.
4. Ministry In Jesus’ Love And By His Authority — Commanding Evil Spirits To Manifest Their Presence
From the basis of love and the power manifestly present with Jesus Christ filling the room, the guidance from the Holy Spirit was to command the demonic in anyone for any reason to make known their presence.
As John Chang and I gave these commands in Chinese and in English, demons were driven out of hiding. Some of the people responded by retching, or feeling pain. For some, there was no outward sign of demonic obedience to Jesus. Afterwards, these Christians testified that they became aware of something internally, not them and not Jesus, which was stirred up to listen to Jesus and obey.
In a number of people outward manifestations were so obvious that the prayer teams moved to them quickly to begin ministering to them. We had instructed those with no obvious external signs to raise their hands. Several hands went up around the room and ministry teams gathered around them.
5. Moving Into Prayer Ministry To Bring Deliverance And Healing
The next hour was astonishing! The Holy Spirit moved in power and authority in many people to set them free or to begin the process of healing and deliverance. Later we were to hear amazing testimonies of what God had done.
6. Debriefing Afterwards To Share And Discern What Happened
One of the best practices established by PRMI years ago was to hold a “Debrief,” an “After Action Review,” whenever there are manifestations of the Holy Spirit at an event. This is important for learning discernment as well as averting error, avoiding misunderstandings, and to teach the dynamics of cooperating with the Holy Spirit. This brings some objective analysis and reflection to what could remain a personal, emotional experience.
During the debrief the next morning, there was the strong confirmation that the Holy Spirit had indeed moved powerfully among people to set them free from evil spirits.
We also discerned that many of the evil spirits had gained access into the Chinese believers through their prior involvement in the occult and false religions. For instance, there was one person whose family from northern China had been tormented by evil spirits, apparently, for a couple of generations.
With tears of joy and many words of praise and thanksgiving to Jesus, she told how her grandfather had killed a wolf that was attacking their livestock. The family began to experience strange things that they believed came from the wolf’s spirit. In order to protect the family from this harassment, the grandfather set up a shrine in the home and invited in a more powerful god to protect the family. That is the same as casting out lesser demons by the power of Beelzebub, the chief of demons (Matthew 12:24). The result was that the whole family was demonized and more tormented than ever. These evil spirits that had been invited in by the grandfather attached themselves to the family line and were still afflicting the family even though they had immigrated to America and had become Christians. That night that demonic power was broken, the sin of inviting them in was repented of and renounced, and the evil spirits were cast out.
Yes, this event may be hard for some to imagine, but if you had been there to see the manifestations of evil, experienced the battle, seen the demons respond to the commands given in the name of Jesus Christ, you’d only be able to praise the Lord! And then to see this Christian sister radiant and peaceful, giving glory to Jesus Christ for what He had just done for her family. Even the most hardened skeptic would have to consider the extraordinary event of that evening and wrestle with it according to their atheistic or scientific worldview!
Summary: Jesus Is Calling And Equipping Us To Work With Him In Casting Out Demons
That night was amazing. Not only did we see Jesus’ compassion as He healed demonized believers, we also experienced Him raising up teams of anointed and experienced co-workers to partner with the Holy Spirit to mediate this healing and wholeness.
In a world which Martin Luther described “with devils filled,” those anointed and experienced in cooperating with the Holy Spirit in deliverance ministry are urgently needed in the work of extending the Kingdom of God as well as bringing healing and peace to those who are suffering.
It is Jesus who does this work of setting those tormented with evil spirits free. He defeated Satan and his entire host on the Cross. But the reality is that Jesus continues to do this work through those who belong to Him and are empowered by the Holy Spirit.