Higher Levels = Higher Devils: A response to Shawn Bolz about Pentecostal deliverance

I like Shawn Bolz. I want to say that from the start. I have defended him to Pentecostals that question some of his teaching. I have traveled with him. I have sit in his classes. I have received from him many times.

I have seen Shawn in the flesh since the funeral of Jill Austin and I have really spend much time with him since he left Kansas City. It is not that we have issues, it is just the matter of life. I live in the Philippines and he lives in Los Angeles.


I will hold to the fact that Shawn Bolz has an important message to give to the believers. A lot of people just do not believe that God can use them to speak to others. The passion of Bolz is to tell people that they can give words of knowledge. That is critical for the hour in which we live.

It is important for me to say that he is not a Pentecostal. He would be considered a charismatic. The reason this is important to understand is because his understanding of Pentecostalism is from the outside looking in.

Higher levels = Higher devils?

In the following  video, he takes a direct hit at Pentecostals for being obsessed with devils. To his credit, I have seen intercessors in our churches that are more concerned with casting out devils than winning the lost at any cost. What happens if we focus on who we deliver people to and not what we deliver them from?

He uses the backdrop of David and Solomon and talks about their leadership style for the nation. He points out that David was a man of war while Solomon lead by wisdom. I believe there is a place for both. We need to be engaged in the battle for the souls of men but we also need to lean on the wisdom of the Spirit.

There should be no higher level higher devils…that whole Pentecostal thing….That is the worse thing I ever heard.

The issue here is I do not think Shawn understands what we believe and why this statement is made in our churches. It also is a figure of speech, not a doctrinal statement.


The reality is that the enemy will not send devils to torment people who not threaten his reign of darkness in people’s life. As people get more anointed, the devil will seek to limit them as much as he can.

We see this in the life of Jesus. In Luke 4, he was led into the wilderness for a time of tarrying before the Lord. It says that He came out of the wilderness under the power of the Spirit. One other interesting fact about that time was the devil appeared in person to Christ three times to try and torment him.

The teaching that are more anointed that you become in the Spirit, the more demonic activity that you will attract is a reality. However, many Pentecostals have a victim mentality about spiritual warfare. They are too concerned with the devils and his plans on the earth.

Shawn Bolz is not Anti-Pentecostal

I was reading some comments left on Facebook that he is against Pentecostalism and that is not true. At most key times in his life, he has been around people who hold to the Pentecostal essentials. In fact, he ministers regularly at Bethel Redding that is historically a Pentecostal church that was a beacon on the hill for the Assemblies of God across Northern California.

Our paths crossed in the late 1990’s at Metro Christian Fellowship in Kansas City that later became IHOPKC led by Mike Bickle. I would say that the International House of Prayer could even be called Pentecostal. I realize that there are some theological questions with that statement but they believe in much of the same values as a classic Pentecostal would.


Shawn has received from people that believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, praying in tongues, casting out devils and healing the sick many times. One of the impacts in his life has been the ministry of Paul Cain, one of the healing evangelists from the Pentecostal movement back in the 1950’s.

Basically, what I am saying is while the comments that Bolz made in the vision might be seen as being against what we believe, I know with first hand knowledge that this is not the case at all. He loves the things of the Spirit and he is deeply committed to the same vision that we hold: that every tongue, tribe and nation would heard the gospel with signs and wonder following!

He did hit a nerve in the movement

I consider Shawn to have a prophetic gift. We can debate if he is a prophet or not but he does have a revelatory gift for hearing from the Lord. As a voice of the prophetic, one of the key things that they do is hit nerves where we believe in the status quo.

This video has done just that. It has caused us to consider that our view on deliverance might be a little bit of a drama queen mentality. We do not want to hear it but let’s face it: some Pentecostal churches are full of drama. Everyone is trying to cast out some devils and take authority over some spirit. They still live with the mission of “when in doubt, cast it out.”


One of the biggest issues that we have to face at some point is that legalism is deep in our history and it is still alive in our churches. Deliverance is more important that how we do it. It might look different but if the person was demonized is set free, that is what matters to me.

I love the Vineyard style of prayer and I love harp and bowl prayer as well. However, I am most comfortable with a group of fiery Pentecostal going after the Holy Spirit “korean style.” Being in the prayer room doing the IHOP model of prayer is not wrong and going full on Pentecostal is not wrong either.

In short, Shawn Bolz is a man of the Spirit and he is for Pentecostalism. He just wants to see the purity of what we have without the legalism.