Many Catholics have difficulties in understanding the term deliverance as used to refer to the ministry in the Catholic Church that involves the healing and deliverance.

Below is a précis of excerpts from my two books titled: HOW TO DO DELIVERANCE (pages 71-72) and the book PRAY YOUR WAY TO EFFECTIVE DELIVERANCE (pages 12-14), which gives a summarized answer to the commonest question WHAT IS DELIVERANCE?

In theological and biblical terms, deliverance can be understood in a number of ways.

Deliverance is defined by thefreedictionary.com as “a rescue from bondage or danger.” It entails freedom from unfortunate and unbecoming situations. In biblical terms, deliverance refers to God’s act of rescuing His people from peril.

According to Mark Francis, Deliverance is being set free from spiritual bondages and barriers that hold us back from walking in the victory that Jesus won on the cross for us at Calvary. Put more bluntly, it is the driving out of evil spirits by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. Despite what many people think, deliverance is not about the demons. It is about being set free in Jesus’ name. When deliverance is ministered properly, Jesus is glorified [the kingdom of God is established] and our lives are changed for the better.

Deliverance involves “the act of setting a person free by separating the person from the satanic oppression, by breaking the power of the devil and casting Satan’s demons out of the person”

Deliverance also involves many other aspects which, for example may include

  • Being set free from sickness that defies medical diagnosis, restlessness, mental confusion and other malignant problems.
  • Being set free from compulsive evil habits and actions that enslave a person.
  • Being set free from the effects of secret lodges and white occult magic.
  • Being freed from stubborn hindrances to spiritual growth.
  • Being completely set free from past witchcraft and occult bondage.
  • Being set free from chronic sinful habits.
  • Being set free from the binding power of an evil trend of recurrent family troubles and tragedies.
  • Being set free from mysterious negative spiritual experiences.
  • Release from the power of the kingdom of darkness

In the Old Testament, deliverance is focused primarily on God’s help to those who are in the midst of trouble or imminent danger. Many accounts indicate God rescuing people from unpleasant situations. For example: in 1 Samuel 17:37 and 2 Kings 20:6, God is seen rescuing His people from their enemies  and from the hand of the wicked (Psalm 7:2; 17:13; 18:16-19; 59:2). In Psalm 33:19, He preserves them from famine, death (Psalm 22:19-21) and the grave (Psalm 56:13; 86:13; Hosea 13:14).

However, the most remarkable example of deliverance in the Old Testament is the one that concerns the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt through the Red Sea to the promised land of Canaan (Exodus 3:8; 6:6; 8:10). In this exodus, God is defined as the ‘Deliverer’ of Israel who rescues His people, not because they deserve to be rescued, but as an expression of His mercy and love to those who firmly trust in Him (Psalm 51:1; 71:2; 86:13).

In the New Testament, Jesus is always portrayed as the subject—and the people are always the object of deliverance. Jesus’ public ministry is portrayed as that which was entirely on delivering people from various bondages and setting them free from captivity[i]. This is evidenced in the many miracles of healings and casting out of demons/unclean spirits that he performed. Jesus Christ himself gives us a tip on his mission on earth when he says that:

The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. [Luke 4: 18-19]

The reason why Jesus came into the world is summarised in the above scriptural excerpt: and that is freedom for the prisoners and the oppressed, sight for the blind and favour from God.

The incidences of deliverance especially those with a connection to Moses in the Old Testament serve as symbolic representations of the spiritual deliverance from sin which is available only through Jesus Christ (the new Moses). Jesus offers deliverance from humankind’s greatest peril which is sin, evil, Satan, death and judgment.

Through the writings of St. Paul to the Galatians and Colossians, we observe that, by God’s power, believers are delivered from this present evil age (Galatians 1:4) and from the power of Satan’s reign (Colossians 1:13). We also notice from the Romans and Thessalonians that, all aspects of deliverance are available only through the person and work of Jesus Christ, who was Himself delivered up for us (Romans 4:25) so that we would be delivered from eternal punishment for sin. Only Jesus rescues us from the “wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

My next post will be about FORMS AND GOALS OF DELIVERANCE.

Fr. Stephen Kakande C.S.Sp








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