The Basics of Deliverance

by Dale M. Sides


(Adapted from Chapter 2 of the e-book T.R.U.C.O.P.S.)



The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. Luke 4:18


Deliverance from demonic influence is the will of God and an integral part of Jesus’ ministry. Luke 4:18 reveals that He came to preach deliverance to the captives and set at liberty those who were oppressed. We see within His earthly ministry, as well as within the first-century church, many records of the Holy Spirit’s power releasing people from oppression caused by the devil.


How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38


Unfortunately, the church has spent so much time arguing over the semantics of demonization that the main point has been overlooked. Petty disputes over the words “oppression,” “depression,” and/or possession” have frustrated the actual releasing of Holy Spirit power to set people free. My prayer is that we get past the foolish arguing and instead focus on the main point we can all agree on: Jesus healed and set the captives free through the power of the Holy Spirit! Freedom is a promise to the children of God, because Jesus paid for them to be delivered from the kingdom of darkness (Colossians 1:13). When believers are demonized in various areas of their lives, they are not free to fulfill their God-ordained destinies. If someone truly desires to freely serve the Lord, deliverance is not an option—it is a prerequisite. People need help, and God has equipped us to respond to that need. So let’s drop our petty disputes and focus on the true battle worthy of fighting—that of setting the captives free.


In my experience, I have realized that not everyone will receive the help they need. The reason is that some people desire to remain within their bondage. We can see this from the Scriptures by looking at the records concerning the madman (madmen) of Gadara/Gergesenes (compare Matthew 8:28–34; Mark 5:1–20; Luke 8:26–39). If you take the time to study these records, you will see that although there were actually two men, only one of them received deliverance. Why? Apparently, only one of them really wanted it. No one truly receives deliverance unless they want it badly enough to submit themselves to the Lord. This is true not only for those who come to us for help, but also for us!


Some people have what I call “pet demons.” These individuals have actually developed their personalities around their dysfunctions and cannot envision life any other way. They have not yet realized that there is no such thing as a nice demon—they are all in the business of stealing, killing, and destroying (John 10:10a). Will Rogers said, “I never met a man I didn’t like,” but I’d like to say I never met a demon I liked! The good news is that, just as Delmar Smith, the world-famous dog trainer said, “I have never seen a dog that cannot be trained,” so have I never seen a demon that cannot be cast out if the person is serious about being set free!


For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:4


When we discipline ourselves to walk in our God-given authority, we are victorious because our faith overcomes the world. As we step out with victory in mind to set the captives free, we will be walking in faith.


True disciples (disciplined ones) have authority over demons and can bring Jesus’ deliverance to the captives just as He did (John 14:12). However, they cannot exercise authority over the captives’ will; that is a choice the captive must make. We need to teach people who come for deliverance what is necessary to obtain and maintain that deliverance—namely true repentance that brings about change in their lifestyles, as well as continual memorization and proclamation of Scriptures (especially those that pertain to their former condition). If they are not willing to put forth the effort to do these things, then they are not desperate enough for their freedom.


Be Desperate


Desperation is definitely a major requirement for someone to be set free, because this intense desire for freedom is what will motivate a person to do whatever is necessary to obtain it. The Lord taught me this during my time in India. Those people have no other hope—spiritually or financially—outside of God delivering them.


When I first began venturing into this field, a friend of mine whom I had not seen for many years came to me for deliverance. He was deeply addicted to pharmaceuticals and desired to be free from them, but when he asked for help he stipulated, “Cast everything out, but leave the cigarettes alone.” I rebuked the spirit of lust, but I may as well have tried to dig the demon out with a corkscrew. Had I known then what I know now, I would not have even started the session. I naively went through the necessary steps to set him free, but he was not delivered. I am sad to report that his situation did not end well. A number of years later I received the grim news that he had killed himself. After he snorted his last line of cocaine, drank his last glass of Jack Daniels, took his last Percocet, and smoked his last joint, he took a gun and blew his brains out. Lying next to his limp body were the baggies, liquor bottle, and pill bottle—all empty. And there as well, still clutched in his lifeless hand, was his empty cigarette pack. He had taken his own life after he smoked his last cigarette. The spirit of lust had claimed its victim and, in the process, inflicted torment on the man’s wife, sister, and all the others who loved him. This is serious business. The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. My friend was not desperate enough to yield his will to the Holy Spirit.


The people I have seen truly set free all had one thing in common: they were so desperate for their freedom that they were willing to fulfill the necessary conditions to get rid of their tormentor(s). My friend was not in that category. He was one of those who had built his life around his dysfunctions, as mentioned earlier, and was not seriously willing to give up his demons. There are, however, those who are desperate for deliverance but do not know how or where to get it. That’s why we need TRU COPS1 (“true cops”—those who are equipped to help people receive their deliverance).


People who are in need of deliverance can be found everywhere, in every walk of life—whether they are successful business executives or homeless people wandering the streets. When Lucifer rebelled against God, all chaos broke loose, and mankind has suffered ever since. No one is exempt from the effects of that darkness upon the earth. It affects everyone—not just the God-rejecters, but also those who love Him. The good news is that many who once were tormented and afflicted by demons have been set free by Jesus and are now living normal and fulfilling lives. Others who have received deliverance still bear the scars and consequences of their bondage, even after the demons are long gone. Those who find themselves in this circumstance are still better off than they were, but it is available to be completely free. Exercising spiritual authority over their desperation, which leads to true repentance and change, can make the difference.2


There are many variables in life, yet this one thing I am convinced of—Jesus gave us authority over demons. When a person is truly passionate about being set free and is willing to find the root cause of their presence and repent of that cause, he or she can be rid of those demons. Someone with that kind of determination and focus will change his or her lifestyle in order to keep the door closed. Desperation is the key to repentance.


Three Approaches to Deliverance


The following is a brief overview of casting out demons. These are the three main ways I have witnessed demons cast out of people by the power of Yahweh (God) in the name of Yeshua (Jesus) through the Holy Spirit:


1.    Driving Out Demons—A believer exercises authority and power over the demons to force them out of another individual:


And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons. Mark 16:17


When administering deliverance this way, the Holy Spirit activates the gift of working of miracles (Mark 9:38–39; 1 Corinthians 12:10) through the person ministering to the captive in order to drive out the demon. This supernatural charge is like a bolt of lightning hitting an outhouse and driving out a pig that had taken up residence there.3 The pig will come out. He might make his own door, but the power will absolutely drive him out!


This is a more violent and demonstrative way of expelling demons. When people saw Jesus cast demons out this way, they said, “He commands the evil spirits to come out and they come out.”


So they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” Luke 4:36


Another example of this is the boy vexed with demons in Matthew 17:14–18. I believe angels are involved in this method, and the victim will at times thrash about as these spirit-being warriors take hold of the demons and “rip” them out by a revelation word from a believer.4


2.       Closing the Door and Throwing Them Out—People seeking deliverance are able to recover themselves out of the snare of the devil. They need to follow through on the instruction that shows them how they had been opposing themselves. The individual is then able to personally expel the demon from his or her own body.


In meekness [deliverance ministers] instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.           2 Timothy 2:25–26 KJV


Self-deliverance would be like opening the door of the outhouse and chasing the pig out with a broom and then closing the door again so the pig cannot get back in. It involves the victim making the decision to act upon his or her authority in Christ, but it still yields the same fruit—the demon(s) is/are expelled, and the victim becomes the victor! This is the power of the Holy Spirit impregnating the will of man.


In this day and time, many deliverance sessions are conducted in a large-scale “mass deliverance” setting. This is the method I utilize more than any other in my ministry, and I have conducted these sessions with thousands of people. In reality, mass deliverance is nothing more than a group of people being instructed in areas where they have been opposing themselves. Then, simultaneously, they cast the demons out by operating their God-given authority to recover themselves from the snare of the devil. They literally administer self-deliverance through the power of the Holy Spirit. There certainly is a strong corporate anointing at these times, but the power that actually removes the demons comes from the Holy Spirit within the individual, not from the minister.5


Many will wait around for that bolt of lightning to hit them—for it to either come out of nowhere or for a deliverance minister to activate it. But with the knowledge of the various portals represented by the acronym TRUCOPS (Trauma, Rejection, Unforgiveness, Curses, Occult practices, Physical objects, and Sin), they can rid their own “outhouses” of the “pigs” just by knowing and exercising the authority God has already given them. When 2 Timothy 2:25 and 26 KJV says that “they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will,” the verb phrase “may recover” is in the middle voice in the Greek text. This means that the subject acts upon him- or herself. In this case, since the action is to receive instruction, it means that the individual has, up to this point, been inactive—either through ignorance or a lack of desire. The truth that the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to those who have been oppressed by the devil is this: You no longer have to wait for the bolt of lightning—you can learn how to run the pig(s) out of your own outhouse! Self-deliverance requires commitment and action.


3.       Introducing the Light of God’s Word—The introduction of the light of God’s Word dispels darkness in a person’s life. This can be accomplished by receiving the Word of God, whether by reading it, hearing it taught, or hearing it read by another. The point is to saturate the person’s mind and heart with the Scriptures.


Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105


Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21


This method not only can expel demons in many cases but is also a major factor in maintaining that deliverance no matter how it came about. The Word of God turns on the light, which causes the pigs of darkness to scurry and flee, and it also sweeps out the garbage that they have been feeding on. (These “truth encounters” of light dispelling darkness are powerfully demonstrated in the deliverance ministry of Neil Anderson.6) Once delivered, however, the freed person must be vigilant not to allow any garbage back in, because the pigs will return as soon as they smell it! Continuous daily doses of the Scriptures will not only keep our “houses” clean, but they will also help to keep the doors shut and locked.


The Need to Repent and Forsake Previous Lifestyles


Regardless of the way whereby demons are expelled, repentance is always required. Repentance closes the door(s) through which the demon(s) entered and seals it(them) with the blood of Jesus.


If someone else through a surge of Holy Spirit power drives out the demon(s), as in the first approach, at the end of the session, the freed person needs to know where and how those demons entered. They need to repent and change that area of their life that was weak and allowed demonic access. This is necessary to prevent the demon(s) from returning. When the spirit of Legion was cast out of the man at Gadara, the Scriptures tell us that the townspeople found him clothed and in his right mind, sitting at the feet of Jesus (Mark 5:15). The fact that he was in his “right mind” indicates that the opened portal in his life was within his mind. I believe Jesus was teaching him how these demons had initially entered him so that he could repent and strengthen that area (or areas) of his life.


This is where it becomes necessary for us to expose the portals through which the demons have entered. In order for us to be truly successful deliverance ministers, we must learn what the major portals are that allow demons access to individuals. This is the focus of TRUCOPS, and I exhort each of you to study this e-book intently so that you can put it into practice. A good place to begin this is with ourselves—we will become much more effective at delivering others if we first deal with any spiritual strongholds in our own lives!


Repentance shuts the door through which the demon entered, thereby allowing no reentry. If the person does not repent, the evil spirit can still be cast out, but the door through which he entered is left open, and he will return.


When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, “I will return to my house from which I came.” And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Luke 11:24–26


The truth of the word “swept” indicates that the door was opened and something was swept out. “Put in order” (“garnished” in the KJV) shows that the house was prepared for occupancy.


This reminds me of a time when one of my daughters’ cats strolled into the kitchen. Cats are not allowed in our house, so I “gently” removed the cat. You can imagine how surprised I was when I saw it walk right back into the kitchen—especially since I had just seen it bounce across the back yard. I then realized that the sliding door to the living room was open and when the cat finished rolling, it simply pranced right back into the house.


Just like that cat, when the demon returns, he will logically look for the same portal he initially entered. If he finds that door still open and the house empty and ready for occupancy, he will bring more wicked spirits to try to prevent being thrown out again. So, deliverance is not just casting out demons, it is also closing the door of access and keeping them out. This requires more than just a power encounter—it requires a truth encounter as well.


When a demon or demons have been cast out of a person, their former “house” is now empty—this means there is no longer a strong man in that abode. The truth encounter in this situation is that the old strong man needs to be replaced with a new strong man. King Jesus now needs to be enthroned in the heart of that individual who has been delivered. This means the person of Jesus in power, in presence, and in the Word of God that only the Incarnate Word teaches. For anyone to maintain their deliverance, he or she needs to make Jesus the new lord over the area the demon had previously occupied. It takes prayer (fellowshipping with the Lord) and permeating your mind with the Scriptures. It is the Spirit and the Word.


Our concern here is to know and recognize the portals of access that TRUCOPS reveals because we will then know which areas of the person’s life need to be strengthened with truth. I have witnessed the deliverance of people who have neglected to enthrone Jesus and change their lifestyle, and the consequences were just as Jesus warned: their last state became worse than their first! If we do not follow through with people to keep the doors shut, they will actually be worse off than they were before we ministered to them. The portal of entry is the major key in determining what spirit is tormenting someone and where it is hiding.


The most successful way to keep a portal closed is through memorizing and speaking the Scriptures. In order for any deliverance ministry to be effective in setting captives free, they must provide “rhema-rifle bullets”—scriptures that specifically target the weak areas of the believer’s life to guard and maintain their deliverance. Appendix 5 of TRUCOPS provides a list of such scriptures for each of the seven major portals. The person can start with these verses and build upon them by studying and adding their own to the list. As deliverance ministers, we should help direct people to those verses and instruct them in their proper use, so that they are wielding the sword of the Spirit (our rhema rifle) to overcome areas of their lives that were formerly defenseless. The light of God’s powerful words will keep them in His place of safety.




I highly exhort each of you to diligently study the seven portals of TRUCOPS in order to learn where these evil spirits enter people and how to eliminate their access. There is no reason to approach this subject with fear, although we should always walk with great wisdom. The Holy Spirit within us has given us the power, the love, and the sound mind to carry out this work.


For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7


The more we understand our authority and how the enemy works, the bolder we can be to do the works that Jesus did and set the captives free. No weapon formed against us shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17). We will be victorious, because we will overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony, and we will not love our lives to the death (Revelation 12:11) as we walk forth setting the captives free!






1. “TRU COPS” is taken from the acronym “TRUCOPS” in which each letter represents a demonic portal: Trauma, Rejection, Unforgiveness, Curses, Occult practices, Physical objects, and Sin.

2. Check out Exercising Spiritual Authority at:

3. This analogy was inspired by the classic book on deliverance, Pigs in the Parlor, by Frank and Ida Mae Hammond, (Kirkwood, MO: Impact Christian Books, 1973).

4. This was the case with the young boy with the epileptic spirit in Mark 9:26. The casting out was so violent that the disciples thought the boy was dead. This was a lunatic spirit—one that demonizes under the phases of the moon—and is one of the stronger and more difficult demons to deal with. Jesus said “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29). I have witnessed prayer and fasting work on these demons, especially when done on new moons.

5. Dale M. Sides, The Anointing In and On (Bedford, VA: Liberating Publications, Inc., 1999).

6. Visit Neil Anderson’s website at:



© 2010 by Liberating Ministries for Christ International, Inc.