skip to Main Content
Home Listen Live!
Histoty of Christian deliverence of evil spirits, exorcism

The History of the Deliverance Ministry

I have been warning about the apostasy of America’s mainstream Institutional churches for many years; not because it brings me pleasure or popularity, in fact, the repercussions are just the opposite.

So why do I do it? Primarily because I want to serve Yeshua and I care about people. I want God’s people to be all they can be in Christ. Secondarily, I hate satan and the evil he brings upon the innocent.

Today, people “go to church” thinking they are getting the “full meal deal” when actually they are just getting a hamburger that the disgruntled cook spat upon when no one was looking.

As a result, parishioners are mercilessly used and abused by satan and his minions.

But it wasn’t always this way. At least since the ministry of Jesus (Matthew 12:22, Acts 2:22; Acts 10:38), the ministry of “deliverance” (some call it exorcism) was commonplace in Christian circles.

Here are some examples of exorcism or “deliverance” of evil spirits / demons in history.  It is probably more then you care to read. If that is the case, after you have read enough of them just skip down to the bottom to read the short conclusion.

Deliverance Ministry through history

Evidences of Deliverance in Early Church History – Casting out demons or evil spirits was routinely practiced in the early church.

Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book II, 32:4 (190 A.D.) – “For some (Christians do certainly and truly drive out devils, so that those who have thus been cleansed from evil spirits frequently both believe and join themselves to the church. “Deliverance is also implied to be done by Christians in Book II, 31:2.

Justin Martyr, Second Apology, Ch. 8 (153 A.D.) – This apology was addressed to the Roman Senate. “And they (demons), having been shut up in eternal fire, shall suffer their just punishment and penalty. For if they are even now overthrown by men through the Name of Jesus Christ, this is an intimation of the punishment in eternal fire which is to be inflicted on themselves and those who serve them.”

Second Apology, Ch. 6 – “And now you (Roman Senate) can learn this from what is under your own observation. For numberless demoniacs throughout the whole world, and in your city, many of our Christian men exorcising them in the Name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, have healed and do heal, rendering helpless and driving the demons out of men, though they could not be cured by all the other exorcists and those who used incantations and drugs.”

Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho, a Jew, Ch. 30 (150 A.D.) – “For we call Him (Jesus) Helper and Redeemer, the power of whose name even the demons do fear; and at this day when they are exorcised in the Name of Jesus Christ, they are overcome.”

Dialogue With Trypho, Ch. 76 – “And now we, who believe on our Lord Jesus, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, when we exorcise all demons and evil spirits, have them subjected to us.”

Dialogue With Trypho, Ch. 85 – “For every demon, when exorcised in the Name of this very Son of God…is overcome and subdued. But though you exorcise any demon in the name of any of those who were amongst you–either kings, righteous men, or prophets or patriarchs–it will not be subject to you. Now assuredly your (Jewish) exorcists, I have said, make use of this craft when they exorcise, even as the Gentiles do, and employ fumigations and incantations.”

Tatian, Address of Tatian to the Greeks, Ch. 16 (160 A.D.) – “Sometimes they themselves (demons) disturb the habit of the body by a tempest of folly; but, being smitten by the Word of God, they depart in terror, and the sick man is healed.”

Theophilus, Theophilus to Autolycus, Book II. 8 (160-180 A.D.) – Theophilus is refuting the false teachings of Homer and Hesiod who were famous Greek poets. “…And this clearly appears from the fact, that even to this day the demonized are sometimes exorcised in the Name of the living and true God and these spirits of error themselves confess that they are demons who also formerly inspired these writers (Homer and Hesiod).”

Tertullian, Apology, Ch. 23 (197 A.D.) – “Let a person be brought before your tribunals; who is plainly under demonic possession. The wicked spirit, BIDDEN TO SPEAK by a follower of Christ, will as readily make the truthful confession that he is a demon, as elsewhere he has falsely asserted that he is a god.”

Tertullian, Apology, Ch. 37 – “Who would save you (Roman Rulers), I mean, from the attacks of those spirits of evil, which without reward or hire we (Christians) exorcise?”

Tertullian, To Scapula, Ch. 4 – “The clerk of one of the courts who was liable to be thrown upon the ground by an evil spirit, was set free from his affliction (by Christians); as was also the relative of another, and the little boy of a third. How many men of rank (to say nothing of common people) have been DELIVERED from demons, and healed of diseases?”

Minucius Felix, The Octavius of Minucius Felix (210 A.D.) – “A great many, even some of your own people, know all those things that the demons themselves confess concerning themselves, as often as they are driven by us (Christians) from bodies by the torments of our words and by the fires of our prayer.” (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV, p. 190).

Origen, Against Celsus, Book I, 46 (230-254) A.D.) – “And there are still preserved among Christians traces of that Holy Spirit which appeared in the form of a dove. The Christians expel evil spirits, and perform many cures, and foresee certain events, according to the will of the Logos.”

Against Celsus, Book I, 67 – “And the Name of Jesus can still remove distractions from the minds of men, and expel demons, and also take away diseases and produce a complete change of character…”

Lactantius, The Divine Institutes, Book II, 16 (250-320 A.D.) – “But they (demons) fear the righteous, that is, the worshipers of God, adjured by whose name they depart from the bodies (of people); for being lashed by the Christians’ words, they not only confess to being demons but even utter their own names.” Also “Deliverance” is mentioned in Book V., 22, and in The Epitome of the Divine Institutes, Ch. 51. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecturer, 16:12 (350-375 A.D.) – “For He (Holy Spirit) employs the tongue of one man for wisdom; the soul of another He enlightens by prophecy, to another He gives power to drive away demons…”

The Divine Institutes, Book V, 22 – “For these (demons), as long as there is peace among the people of God, flee from the righteous, and fear them; and when they seize upon the bodies of men, and house their souls, they are adjured by the Christians, and at the Name of the true God are put to flight. For when the demons hear of this name they tremble, cry out, and assert that they are branded and beaten; and being asked who they are, whence they are come, and how they have insinuated themselves into a man, confess it. Thus, being tortured and excruciated by the power of the Divine Name, they come out of the man.”

The above information is from “Introducing Deliverance” by Buz Milosh of Warrior Ministries

And from Clinton Arnold, Three Crucial Questions about Spiritual Warfare, Baker, 1997 we read:

While we do not build doctrine on church history, the most reliable of the accounts of the early practice of the church, Apostolic Tradition, preserved by Hippolytus of Rome, indicates that new Christians were all taken through a kind of deliverance since they were coming out of Satan’s kingdom. (chapter2) Many later writers speak of the ability of Christians to cast out demons (Justin Martyr, Tatian, Tertullian, Origen), and Clinton Arnold says, “It appears that the primary context for the casting out of evil spirits was in the classes for new Christians” (p107).

Justin Martyr uses his ability to deal with demons as an argument in his argument for Christianity and against heresy. Peter Horrobin, “Healing Through Deliverance ”, p21, 1991

Tertullian, writing about 200AD, commented in his writing De Spectaculis, ‘We have the case of this woman – the Lord himself is witness – who went to the theatre, and came back possessed. In the outcasting, accordingly, when the unclean creature was upbraided with having dared to attack a believer, he (the evil spirit) firmly replied, “And in truth I did it most righteously, for I found her in my domain!..”

In his work Against Celsus (about 250AD) Origen says, “It is not by incantations that Christians prevail over evil spirits but by the Name of Jesus … and by the use of prayers and other means which we learn from Scripture, we drive them out of the souls of men, out of places where they have established themselves, and even so metimes from the bodies of animals; for even these creatures often suffer from injuries inflicted upon them by demons.”

Lactantius quaintly adds in the Epitome of the Divine Institutes (about 315AD), “As he himself, before his passion, put to confusion demons by his word and command, so now, by the name and sign of the same passion (the cross), unclean spirits, having insinuated themselves into the bodies of men, are driven out, when racked and torm ented, and confessing themselves to be demons, they yield themselves to God, Who harasses them.”

And then there is this account from Martin Luther

“How often has it happened and still does,” he says, “that devils have been driven out in the name of Christ, also by calling on his name and prayer that the sick has been healed? And he suited his action to his words on this point; for when they brought to him a girl saying that she was possessed of the devil, Luther laid his hand on her head, appealed to the Lord’s promise: “He that believeth on me, the works I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do” (John 14:12), and then prayed to God with the rest of the ministers of the Church, that, for Christ’s sake, he would cast the devil out of this girl. Perfect recovery is recorded in this instance, as well as in several others where he prayed for the sick. (Seckendorf’s History of Lutheranism, B. III., p. 133)

In his journals, John Wesley also records people being set free of evil spirits during his meetings.

Finally, in 1975 Kenneth Latourette wrote a book titled “A history of Christianity, Beginnings to 1500; in which he stated “To Christians of that age [Middle Ages] the unseen world of spirits was very real.


It wasn’t until after the Protestant Reformation that the ministry of deliverance began to taper back.

But even so, the value and necessity of removing evil spirits from their victims has by no means grown extinct.

In fact, as I have been associating with legitimate Deliverance ministries it is pretty clear that our Heavenly Father is revitalizing this most critical aspect of ministry that the mainstream has been denying now for many decades and even centuries.

Many are now being called into service against the devil in real ways that not only regains previously surrendered ground but even takes new ground previously held securely by the enemy.

Blessings in Yeshua
Parson Rayphe
Living in “God’s Kingdom Realm”

God’s Kingdom is a 30-minute program broadcast live on Kingdom Realm Radio m-f at 6:30 AM PT, and then replayed in the evening, to encourage you as you purpose to live in “Gods Kingdom Realm”.   A daily podcast is also available (see the Home page).

Kingdom Realm Transformations Healing, Wholeness and Life Transformations.

Online and Local Community / FellowshipJoin others who are like-minded in our online community. Fellowship with others who are like-minded either online or locally. Visit us in God’s Kingdom Realm Community 

Be sure to check out all of the other resources that are available in God’s Kingdom Realm.

Back To Top