Dealing With the Spiritual Darkness in the Sub-cultures

Trevor Macpherson - Worldshakers Christian Growth Center

Editors Note: Since our common focus is a people group, we in the Underground Railroad come from a number of different doctrinal positions. We chose to agree on the essentials and in all else show love. Deliverance is one of these areas where there is much difference of opinion. Placing this appendix in the book does not mean that it is the position held by the UR, it is solely to give help to those who do hold that deliverance is valid.

The Ministries that we have Today

One of the crucial areas that we have discovered in ministering to the sub-culture is learning how to set them free, from the major strongholds and bondages that continue to pull them down and trip them up.

Even in the experience of most average Christians, we discovered, that while in many areas of their walk they are doing pretty good, there are usually one or two areas, where year after year they have an ongoing struggle and can't seem to get victory, in no matter what they try.

Often, the reason is that these areas are not just a single problem, but can actually be a very complex intertwining of strongholds, grounds, mental disorders, inner healing issues, physical problems and the flesh.

In dealing with these complexities, however, the normal approach has been to work on just one area at a time. The drawback with this is, if you try to deal with just one of these areas, only that aspect gets dealt with and leaves the rest of the problem behind. That which is left behind then works together to grow back the part which was just dealt with (much like cutting off the top of a weed, but because the roots are left behind, the weed grows back). So, although there may be a change, rarely do people find that it is very long lasting.

The church today has deliverance ministries, inner healing, discipleship, healing teams, counseling, etc., to deal with each of these areas. It is becoming fairly apparent that as good as each of these are individually, the only solution and victory for many is going to come when all these areas are dealt with together.

An Integrated Healing Approach

The premise of the approach that we are using is to let God totally lead the process from beginning to end. To let Him slowly, surely and effectively unravel this very complex intertwining of the enemy's work in our lives.

There are many who minister to people and have enough discernment or wisdom to see some of the spirits that need to be dealt with; some of the inner healing issues; even in some cases the multiple personalities and physical healing needs. What they don't know is when and in what order this all needs to happen; only God knows that.

We might try to do a deliverance before that area is dealt with in their life; or a healing before the spirit that is causing it, is cast out; or do counseling before the inner hurt causing the problem has been healed, and on and on. Only God knows all of this and it only makes sense to let Him lead us in the process of healing.

The Garden

A picture that illustrates some of the connections between the above disciplines are the aspects involved in planting a garden. Remember that Jesus told us our heart is like soil and the seed is the word (Lk. 8:11-15).

  1. The first thing you do is get rid of the weeds (confession and deliverance)
  2. Then you break up the ground & remove the rocks (inner healing)
  3. Next, you input fertilizer to provide missing or needed elements (counseling)
  4. Finally we come to the planting of the good seed (discipleship)
  5. For growth - it is the watering of the seeds and plants (spirit led walk)
  6. And sunshine for energy (worship and intimacy with God)

If a gardener did only one of these things and not the others, what would the results be? In fact, could he leave any of these out and still have an abundant fruitful garden? The answer is no, and it is also apparent that there is a timing and order for each of them.

Let me pose some questions that might help in seeing the connections:

  1. What would happen if you only did 4, 5 and 6 (which is what most Christians do)
  2. What would you do if a weed's root were too deep to pull out by hand?
  3. What would happen if you did these out of the order that they are in?
  4. Why does the process start with weeding?

Most Christians have worked on #4, 5, 6 (planting, water and sun) but because the first three have been neglected, there is very little fruit and what fruit there is, is small and scrawny. After a while the abundant life just doesn't seem possible and they begin to accept a pale imitation of the Christian life.

In this process, we focus on the first 3 aspects and deal with them in unison. We start first with deliverance and then work on inner healing and counseling at appropriate places in the process. The basic goal is to get rid of anything and everything that hinders the growth of His word in a person's life.

The 4 Ingredients in the Healing Process


A Fuller Understanding of Deliverance

As with the garden illustration, we start with deliverance (weeding). We have discovered that this deliverance method is far more effective than any other one we have ever used or even seen. Not only does it make sure that we get the unclean strongman, but also all the works, workers and familiar spirits that serve it. We also discover if there are any more spirits left; if so, how many and when the Lord wants to do the deliverance.

An illustration, which indicates the difference between this process and the manner in which deliverance is normally done, comes from WWII. Hitler's power was not in himself, he was just a short man that most of us could take on one to one, but with his strongholds, e.g. Luftwaffe, Gestapo, Panzer Tanks, Axis, the Storm Troopers, Romul, the SS, etc. he was a very powerful man.

The Old Process)

What would happen if an underground group killed one or a few of his generals in one of these strongholds? Would that have stopped Hitler's plan? No, all that would have happened is someone lower down would be promoted up and they would have just carried on. This is a picture of deliverance as it is normally done. It deals with one or a few spirits, which gives a bit of freedom, but, then one of the lower spirits just takes over the grounds or strongholds that are still left behind and carries on with the enemy's work.

The New Process

Alternatively though, what would happen, if the underground group could wipe out the whole Gestapo, all of its workers, all the files and every informant all at once? It wouldn't completely cripple Hitler, but it would definitely slow him down and he would have to start from scratch if he ever wanted to build it back up again.

This, then, is a picture of the process that we are using. We get the strongman, including all of his workers, the works, the familiar spirits, all of the grounds, and sever all lines of power. Then we bind up everything together and cast the whole thing out. The result is that, although the enemy's work is not completely dealt with, one significant aspect of the whole work has been completely dealt with and cast out and is no longer able to used by the spirits that are left. If they want to use this area, they are going to have to start from scratch all over again.

Questions and Answers
Q) Can a Christian be demon possessed?
A) No!
Q) Can a Christian be demonized and need to have demons cast out of him?
A) Yes! In the bible, the Greek word that the King James translated, "demon possessed" is actually the word demonized. So while we can't say a person who has the Holy Spirit in them, is demon possessed, they can be demonized.
Q) But how can that be, if they are a Christian and the Holy Spirit is in them, then how can a demon be there too?
A) Demons are creatures of darkness and any area in our life that has not been practically surrendered and filled with light is therefore still in darkness and open for the enemy. The whole purpose of deliverance is to expose these areas of darkness and brokenness to the light of Christ and these unclean spirits must flee.
Q) Are there any examples of Christians in the New Testament having demons and getting deliverance?
A) Yes.
  • Peter was demonized at a low level when Jesus turned to him and said, "Get behind Me Satan." There was an open door and an area of stronghold in Peter's life that allowed Satan to come through and attack Jesus. It was this same area at work, when he denied He knew Jesus. Because he had grounds in Peter's life, Satan was able to ask to sift him like wheat. It finally took the weeping repentance and brokenness to bring deliverance and freedom from this stronghold.
  • Simon the magician, in Acts 8:13 it says, "that he believed and was baptized" but then down in Acts 8:23 after he has tried to buy the authority to baptize in the Spirit Peter says, "I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity."
  • Finally, the people who came to Jesus and had demons cast out. Because it was during the transition period we don't know if we can technically call them Christians or not, but we do know that they came because they believed in Christ, so they were believers. Also Jesus warned against casting demons out of non believers because since they couldn't be filled with the Holy Spirit, the unclean spirit would come back with 7 more and they would be worse off.
Q) Are we allowed to and should we talk to demons?
A) Yes, Jesus who is our model questioned the strongman legion in the demoniac of Garazene, as part of his deliverance. Luke 8:26-31, Mark 5:1-13
Q) But if demons are liars, then how can we go by what they say?
A) When they are commanded by Jesus they are forced to tell the truth, remember in the deliverance of Legion, Jesus did go by the information he received.
Q) But wouldn't it be better if we talked only to the Holy Spirit
A) This seems to make sense, but why then did Jesus (who had far better access to the Spirit than we do) talk to legion, as well as the Holy Spirit. From the passage we see that Jesus had already commanded the spirit to leave and yet the spirit was still there, He then entered into a short questioning of the spirit, which then made it possible to get the spirit out. I assume if that hadn't been enough He would have asked more questions until he got the spirit out. There seems to be something about making the spirit disclose its own practices that weakens its power, which make the deliverances more effective and complete. We have discovered by our experience with doing many deliverances that those we have done without forcing the spirit to "spill the beans" just aren't as effective as the full process. But again, to me the main question is, "why did Jesus do it"?
Q) In terms of doing the deliverance itself, in the area of balance: how important is it that we go "by the book" vs. making decisions as we go along.
A) I'll try to answer this by some of the issues that come up
  1. I still go by the book and have for the past 6 years; you never stop going by the book
  2. I will ask the spirit to elaborate on what it is saying if I feel it will help the person to hear more details
  3. If I feel like enough has been exposed then I will ask, "Does Jesus say we can do the rest of this "short form"? If Jesus says yes, we do the rest very quickly if He says no then we don't.
  4. One our biggest problems in the past is people who have discernment keep wanting to add their 2 cents worth as part of the deliverance instead of using their discernment in a passive way. The best deliverance is if the person doing the deliverance only asks the questions and doesn't add anything.
  5. There are 2 reasons for this, if you let the person getting deliverance, get it; it's much more personal and healing and it keeps it vertical between them and God and the demon. As soon as you add something into it then there is a chance to get things going horizontal and usually gives the demon an opening. One time a person heard something from the spirit and was finally seeing something he had never been able to see and I blew it by saying something like "finally", well he immediately became defensive and started arguing with me that it wasn't true, even though he had just got and it made the rest of the deliverance very difficult, we almost didn't get it done. So the person doing deliverance has to stay out of it as much as possible.
  6. Basically we shouldn't be making ANY decisions; we might have an idea, but we ALWAYS !!!!!!!!! ask either the Holy Spirit or the demon "What does Jesus tell you". Remember we aren't the dentist; we only do what He says.
Q) There was an access door that the person was unwilling to name publicly. How critical is this? Where is the balance between respecting a person's privacy and confession of sins that ye may be healed?
A) What I do is give the person a piece of paper and they can write it out for me and nobody else needs to see it
Q) Near the end of the deliverance we deal with principalities. Aren't they a "ruling demon."? Therefore, we are kind of nervous about going after them. Shouldn't principalities be addressed with apostolic anointing only?
A) We aren't actually taking on the principality. We simply ask what does Jesus tell you about your principality. If there has been enough intercession by the believers in that area, occasionally they say they have to leave it. So we say then do what Jesus tells you to do. So the focus is not on us doing anything except, saying, "listen to what Jesus tells you to do".
Q) Often there is a tremendous change in a person after deliverance, but there are some that seem to get worse, why?
A) The process of deliverance is like lancing a boil. If it can be drained quickly, the healing is seen much more quickly, but if it drains out slowly, especially if the enemy has used depression in the person's life, it will just look like more of the same and they may begin to give up hope that they will ever get healed. The healing has begun; it just doesn't look like it yet.

Inner Healing

If we were to just do a straight deliverance it would only take about 15 minutes but in doing this process, we usually take about 2 hours. It is the inner healing and counseling that takes the extra time. There are probably 3 main things that come out in the inner healing area.

a) Discovering hidden memories

There are things that have had a major effect in their life but, because the memories were unknown, the area has remained unhealed. As these get discovered whole areas now come into the light and can be dealt with and healed. For example, if you were abused by a parent, but couldn't remember it, you wouldn't know of the need to forgive them before healing could flow into those areas.

b) Discovering the enemy's works

As the person hears the demon describe in detail that something they have heard all their life and has plagued them, (e.g. I'm insane, or I'm stupid and no good, I'm ugly, worthless etc.) has actually been coming from this spirit and has no basis in reality, that all of it has been a lie, there is a release that allows healing to begin to happen in that area.

Uncovering roots of Bitterness

Many people have large areas of undealt bitterness in their lives that they have pushed out of their conscious mind, but it often just sits there under the surface. In many cases this pool of bitterness becomes the source of erupting anger and hatred. These areas need to be uncovered by the Holy Spirit and the person needs to both forgive the people and repent of their wrong reaction to what took place.

Healing and Integration of MPD

We come at the whole area, MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder) through the area of deliverance. When we are doing deliverance, the demon that is bound up and commanded by Christ to answer the truth, has to, unless they have grounds. The more grounds they have in a persons life, the more they are able to resist. What are grounds?

Grounds are an area of unrepented sin in the person's life (some of the more common ones are bitterness, condemnation, deception, unbelief and sin that is hidden). When the person repents of this area, the spirit is again forced to answer the truth.

There are times, however, when you can't get anywhere and in some cases you can't even get a clear answer from the Holy Spirit. When this happens it could be an indication that you are dealing with a person who has MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder). The problem is, the particular demon you are dealing with is attached to an unsaved personality, and therefore, it has mega grounds and is able to resist a lot.

What is MPD?

MPD develops in a person who, when they were a child, experienced some deep trauma or abuse and as a protection from it and similar experiences, they split off a fragment of themselves to handle that area (e.g. a girl is being sexually abused every night by her father, but needs to go to school the next day, as though nothing has happened).

A MPD handles this situation by splitting off a personality to handle the abuse that takes place at night; then the core person is able to go to school and, because of the amnesia effect, they often won't know anything that took place the night before. With each different abuse or trauma the person can split off another personality. A person can have anywhere from 2 to hundreds, but usually there are from 5 to 15 major personalities. There are also unsaved personalities, as mind-boggling as it may seem.

How can a Christian have an unsaved personality?

In most Christians who are MPD, the core personality and a few others are Christian, but some of the others are not. From an overall perspective, if the core has accepted Christ, the whole person is saved and will go to heaven.

From the practical aspect, however, these personalities were not conscious during the salvation experience and therefore still function as a non-Christian. They will often know about Jesus, having heard about Him from the other personalities, but they have not yet personally accepted Him.

Here's an illustration that might help you to understand MPD

Consider if you had an accident and somehow one of your fingernails split into 3 parts. Together, the three fragments are still covering the same area, but now there are actually three separate nails. Each nail is important, because all of them are needed to protect the whole area, but the job has now been split up and each of them is protecting a slightly different area than the other two.

One of the main problems, however, is that often many of the personalities are not aware of what is taking place. Using the above illustration, each fingernail fragment is now only aware of what is happening in their area and no longer the whole nail.

So then, the personality who comes out to handle the times when they are being abused, only comes out during those times and with that kind of life experience they have a very narrow outlook on life. They don't have any nice or normal memories. In fact, all they can remember is being hurt. Realizing this perspective will go a long way in helping you to understand why one personality seems to have only anger, the next one, depression, the next one hates all men and the next one is suicidal, etc.

Integration of Personalities

The process of healing for MPD is called integration. This is where the different fragments come and join back into the core personality. Before this can happen, each fragment must first find Christ, if they aren't saved. Once they are saved, they need to be healed of the traumas and hurts they each carry.

How do you pray for a multiple?

The best way to pray for a multiple, before full integration, is for the person to be able to stay in the core personality more and more of the time. Usually a person "flips" out of the core because they can't cope and they flip into a personality that can handle that area. The eventual goal, though, is for the core personality to be able to handle everything, so begin to pray for this from the very beginning.

Why can't the core personality cope with certain situations?

The strength of the person has been split between the different personalities and so there is no one personality that can cope with everything, even the core personality. That is, until integration gradually brings the fragments back into the core one by one and the core becomes stronger and stronger.

General Indications that Someone has MPD (For a more complete test - Appendix #1)

We have found that there are three main things that give us an indication that a person might be a multiple:

  1. You notice quick and fairly significant mood changes. Going from feeling that "life is great" to being "extremely depressed" to "rage" and back to "calm" all in the same day.
  2. When the person does change into a different mood, they seem to hit the ground running, e.g. they don't gradually get depressed, they start in full depression.
  3. People will tell them about things they have done or said, but they can't remember them. Also, there are often significant parts of their past that they can't remember, especially during their childhood.

Questions and Answers

Q) Why does it seem like a person who is getting integration goes through times of chaos?

A) Unfortunately this is quite common. A person, who is a well functioning MPD, the whole thing is moving in a flowing pattern. It needs to be healed, but when the healing starts it is kind of like throwing a wrench into the gears and turmoil ensues, but it really is just part of the process.

It definitely can be frustrating at times dealing with those with MPD, but it is far more prevalent then many realize. They did a study at a major university and found that 11% of the students were clearly MPD (we are not talking extreme examples like Sybil, just normal disassociation to cope with abuse in their life.

If they could say 11% were clearly MPD, then my experience would say that there are at least another 11% who are or are borderline. Now in working with street people or alternative kids that number jumps to at least 50% or more. So it is absolutely vital that the church learns how to help people with MPD.

Q) We recognize that MPD is a reality, and that it is likely to be far more common among street kids than among middle-class religious folk.
A) This is true but there is way more among middle class religious folk than you expect. If your group is normal 1 out of 4 of the people you know are MPD.
Q) We recognize that people bury things and develop coping mechanisms that can become alternate personalities (MPD). Couldn't some people have buried some things (that could lead to MPD), but are not MPD? By way of illustration: if a person drinks a bottle of beer a day, that does not make them an alcoholic, though it could lead to alcoholism later if it becomes more prevalent.
A) No, MPD isn't a growing process. It comes from abuse that is serious enough to cause a shattering of the personality into pieces. Once it has happened, the person can create new personalities later on. But, they became a multiple at that first fracture and it always happens as a child. I have never heard of a person becoming a MPD as an adult. So basically they already are or they are not, but there is no growing into it.
Q) We aren't therapists should we even be dealing with MPD's?

A) We only bring up MPD when we can't get deliverance done any other way. At that point we have to deal with the personality or we can't move ahead. So we aren't doing therapy with them, we are only dealing with it as it relates to hindering the deliverance aspect.

Also, I don't usually try to convince the person that they are MPD. I just tell them to ask the Lord to show them if they are. So far 95% of the time God has showed them. Sometimes it is right away but usually it is gradual, because one of the symptoms of MPD is denial, so it is really hard for them to accept it. In fact if a person accepts it right away, then I wonder if they really are MPD. I have integrated sometimes up 3 or 4 personalities before the person actually accepts they are MPD.

Q) Since the term "MPD" seems to carry a stigma with it, couldn't we instead address it with some other terms, with those likely to be sensitive to the label, maybe we could deal with the issue, without using the tag.

A) Since denial is such a problem, the more you can take out the stigma out of MPD the more you will help them. Also it is very common. In the past 6 years everywhere we have gone we have found lots of MPD's and they aren't all street kids, in fact they have only been a small % of those that we have done. Most MPD's are very successful, - Drs., nurses, businessmen etc. And usually no one, not even themselves know that they are MPD. Also the more open your group is about it, the easier you are going to make it for the outcasts coming in to get healing. It's not just the poor and needy.

Also it is very important to make this delineation, MPD in not a mental Illness or a disease, it is a disorder. This means people carry on normal lives and basically unless you know what to look for no one will know.

So my suggestion is to take the stigma out of it right away, and treat it like it is, a much more common disorder than any of you realize and that it is very healable. There was one woman who was a pillar in her church but when we did deliverance it came out that she was a multiple, but because of the stigma around MPD's, she just could not accept that she was one of "those kind of people" and so closed off and stopped getting deliverances.

I think if that church had worked to help people see that MPD's are not "those kind of people" she maybe could have kept getting help.

BTW we have usually found that there is a higher percentage on church or ministry boards. (Remember they are usually very successful).

Q) During the healing process what about those times where everything seems so dark and hard.
A) This has happened to others, so I can say with confidence that it will only be for a season. It will change and you are going to have freedom that you never had before. Part of what is happening is the enemy is trying to intimidate you from carrying on in the process. Unfortunately, a number of times he has succeeded and the people have totally backed away. So as hard as it might get at some points, don't give up the fight.


The counseling aspect takes place most often during and at the end of the process, but can also happen before the process if you are not able to get started. We use mainly two forms of counseling.

Holy Spirit Led Wisdom

As the Holy Spirit begins to prompt you that wisdom He has imparted to you in a certain area, is something this person needs to hear, you then take time at that point and share with them. The goal here is not to share all the wisdom you have, but only those aspects the Holy Spirit indicates.

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The Red Herring Cathedral was a coffee house ministry for the post-Christian youth culture of Winnipeg circa 1995-2000.

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