Do Christians Need Deliverance?
Mike Signorelli Senior pastor of V1 church in New York City addresses critics who might dismiss the need for Christians to seek deliverance, with some believing Christians are protected from evil and not in need of such spiritual healings.
But Signorelli said it’s important to differentiate between true believers — and those who attend church and haven’t allowed the Gospel to permeate their hearts and minds. (I would estimate as high as 50% of people in denominational churches are not saved. Moreover, the end-times parable of the ten virgins that Jesus told the disciples reveals this truth, all ten virgins were waiting for the bridegroom but only five were saved, Jesus told five of them “Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.”)
“Not everybody who claims to be a Christian is a Christian; there are people — and I meet them by the hundreds because I travel all around the world preaching and declaring the Gospel — who have never heard the gospel,” he said. “They’ve received Christianity, but they’ve never received Christ and importantly never received the Holy Spirit.”
Signorelli said it’s possible for these individuals to have confessed but to never have repented and to, in turn, struggle with the demonic realm.
Inside a Deliverance
As for what a deliverance (or exorcism) looks like, the only tangible example most of us have is what can be observed in films and movies.
Signorelli shared what deliverance looks like in his ministry, explaining how he starts by ensuring the Holy Spirit is permeating his life.
“I host the Holy Spirit, not just inside of me, but in the atmospheres of my life,” he said. “I believe that one of the greatest obligations I have, not as a pastor, but as a believer, is to host the Holy Spirit — I want to start with that.”
He said this simply involves leading a Christian life by forgiving others and living out the fruit of the spirit. Signorelli believes his focus on emphasizing Christian virtues in his own life helps fuel his ministry.
“I think one of the reasons why I see as many delivered as I do is not because the emphasis is on the devil but because the emphasis is on hosting the Holy Spirit,” he said. “It’s like when you open up the door to your room, and you have the light on in the hallway … the room is immediately overcome by the light in the hallway, and so … I’m constantly opening up the door to the Holy Spirit.”
It is this presence of the Holy Spirit that Signorelli believes “agitates” evil and brings it out of hiding.
The Problem Signorelli Sees With Some of Today’s Pastors
He believes too many preachers focus on their sermons and not on compellingly living biblical truth.
“So many ministers have gotten so good at preaching sermons, but they’ve spent more time honing the craft of preaching than they have hosting the Holy Spirit,” he said.
Beyond that, Signorelli said repentance is critical, pointing to the Old Testament examples of David and Saul. While both sinned and made errors, only Saul was “vexed by demons.”
“We know that David sinned, and we know that Saul had sinned,” Signorelli said. “David was quick to repent … We have the recorded prayers of David closing those doors. I would argue that Saul was unrepentant. He left that door wide open for long durations of time.”
The pastor said he believes a refusal to close doors to sin in Christians’ lives today can prove similarly problematic and lead to a need for deliverance.
“Maybe you have a repeated sin in your life that becomes the equivalency of leaving that door open, and now you’ve moved out of the David category,” he said.
Signorelli said one might discover he or she is struggling with the “flesh” and needs more discipline rather than deliverance. However, some issues can be demonic strongholds or a mixture of the two.
He said he’s seen his ministry explode recently and shared some of the deliverance stories he has witnessed. In one case, a woman felt hopeless after having ringing in her ear for years.
“After she received deliverance, the ringing completely stopped,” he said. “She was weeping. I have it on video. She was just weeping, couldn’t hardly believe [it].”
Signorelli shared other similar stories as well. Listen to the full episode for more.