14 August 2013 by Charmain Sim CM –
There are times as Christians when we wallow in physical, emotional, relational or sexual problems. Yet just because this is a broken world does not mean that we should remain broken in our struggles. In fact, Jesus’ entire ministry is to set us free from the strongholds of sin and evil, and restore us to wholeness.
From 8th to 10th August last week, Wesley Methodist Melaka hosted a seminar on inner healing and deliverance. This seminar was conducted by Douglas Koh, his wife Ann, and his team of eight from Singapore. They have taught and ministered on this topic across many nations, among them Thailand, Australia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and South Africa. Koh and his wife worship at the Anglican parish Church of Our Saviour. They also lead the Tanglin Fellowship, a weekly home fellowship that is an outreach for healing, deliverance and counseling.
On the first day of the seminar, Koh shared on inner healing. He defined inner healing to be three things: 1) ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit; 2) setting people free from negative emotions; 3) and bringing healing to the inner person in the emotional, spiritual areas and the painful memories of past hurts.
On the second day, Koh discussed deliverance. He explained that a Christian cannot be possessed because he is redeemed by Christ and hence belongs to the Lord. However, a Christian can be subject to demonic influences and be tormented in various areas of his life. This is because of willful disobedience, belief in false doctrines and teaching, and involvement in the occult.
Areas that a person may need inner healing and deliverance are under the categories of occult involvement; false doctrines; alternative medicine such as crystal healing; relationship problems, emotional problems such as fears, depression, bitterness and aggression; physical problems and sexual impurity.
The crucial point of Koh’s ministry is that restoration of the self can only come through the redeeming work of Jesus Christ.
“Jesus Christ sacrificed His life that we may receive healing and wholeness,” he said, then quoting Isaiah 53:3-4. Always careful to plant his ministry and teaching firmly in the Word of God, Koh referred to many passages throughout the Old and New Testament on healing, deliverance, and the ministry of Christ to set the captives free. He showed that healing and deliverance go hand-in hand, and is very much part of God’s work.
On the third day, Koh and his team held optional sessions of personal and private ministry.
While Douglas and his team are always willing to minister wherever God has called them, there is a bigger reason behind their seminars.
“The purpose of this seminar is not just to teach or minister to you. It is to equip yourselves to be able to minister to others too,” Koh told the audience.
“We are only the vessels. The one who does the work is the Holy Spirit.”
He gave guidelines on not only keeping oneself free from strongholds, but on ministering to others.
“What must you do? Firstly, submit to God,” he said, explaining that we ourselves need to be set right with God first.
His other points are:
- Confess all known sin (James 5:16, Proverbs 28:13)
- Pray and fast
- Be sensitive to and depend on the Holy Spirit
- Know your Scriptures
- Be willing to give time but with wisdom and discernment (Luke 4:40)
- Beware of spiritual pride (Luke 10:20)
- Seek prayer support of other believers
Koh reiterates many times of the need to pray for covering of the blood of Christ. Because the ministry of restoration in Christ is such a powerful realization of the Gospel, it is vital that the work not be taken lightly.
“We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And we need to pray for His gifts,” he said, “Because this is a powerful ministry, it is always important to protect yourselves even as you pray for God’s work on the people.”
Koh also reminded the audience that it’s not just about being delivered for that one time. Wholeness and holiness is a continual walk with God.
“Keep Jesus the center of every area of your life. Be filled with the Holy Spirit continually. Read, believe and live by God’s Word daily. Put on the full armor of God,” Koh rattled off.
While it may sound like Koh was simply listing things to do religiously, he was only emphasizing the need to seek God first.
“This is not something to be learned and stored away in the mind.”
Not at all. In truth, it has to be lived out in a disciplined life showered with the grace of the Father, wrapped in the love of Christ, and strengthened by the Holy Spirit. That should be the life of a person healed, delivered and liberated.
Koh and his wife completed an advanced seminar study at Fuller Theological Seminary in 2005. Koh has also co-authored a book with Dr. Leslie Lim titled Mental illness or Demonisation? – Similiarities and Differences.