In February 2018, a group of Adventists gathered in Berrien Springs, Michigan, for two days of prayer and reflection. The group was diverse, drawn from a broad range of ministry callings. It included missiologists, front-line missionaries, theologians and administrators. They represented Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, the EU and North America—both men and women. What united this diverse group was their active involvement in deliverance ministry. The goals of the conference were as follows:
1.To agree on and define biblical and SOP foundations for Deliverance Ministry (DM).
2.To agree on and define ethical guidelines for DM practitioners.
3.To agree on a field manual for Adventist DM practitioners.
4.To agree on and define a mentoring program for key Unions and universities so they can mentor local pastors and elders in biblical DM practices.
5.To establish an association/institute that can continue this work, developing regional chapters, conducting annual conferences, coordinating new training material development and raising the understanding and awareness of this kind of ministry among Adventists.
To chart a Seventh-day Adventist path for deliverance ministry is fraught with difficulty and hostile questions. We must avoid both the Scylla of the aggressive strategic-level spiritual warfare found among many Evangelicals and the Charybdis of the skeptical Western secular worldview. Yet, given the late hour in earth’s history, we Adventists must wrestle with how we apply our unique theological insights into the Great Controversy that rages between our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the Evil One at a cosmic level and distill practical principles of ministry for the human victims of Satan’s attacks.
The preparations for the February 2018 conference were difficult. Satan pushed back with personal harassment of the participants. Many of those involved suffered personal injury and much pain. Yet, to God be the glory! He protected with His angels and led through His Spirit. The result was a renewed commitment to minister with biblical fidelity, unyielding love and holy boldness for God. The outcome of the conference was a book, which can be downloaded at www.setfreeinchrist.org/services—resources.html.
This book contains the papers that were prepared by the conference attendees and subjected to intense review, discussion and debate as Adventist practitioners from around the world added their insights to each chapter. These papers are not the end of our journey, nor are they the final word on this difficult topic. Rather, they are the next step in a journey of faith as we humbly partner with God in the Great Controversy. This book is not written exclusively for theologians or missiologists or pastors wrestling with dual allegiance or demonization among members. It is for everyone, and I welcome your comments and suggestions for how this important ministry can be further refined.
There once was a woman who crept up unseen behind Jesus to touch the hem of His robe. Nobody saw her. Nobody cared about her. She was in the group of disciples but not with them. But her faith brought her healing. Likewise, this book is written for the unseen woman who approaches at the end of a worship service and quietly says with tears in her eyes, “Pastor, I have a problem—a shadow in my life—and I don’t know how to get rid of it. I can’t speak about it publicly, for people will say I am crazy, but I am desperate. I can’t go on. Please help me.”
This book is written for the student who played with a Ouija board as a teenager. The “predictions” of the fallen spirit have all come true in his life, and he is terrified.
This book is written out of love, for love and with love. It is rooted in the Good News that Jesus Christ has never lost a battle with Satan, and in His name, the captives may still be set free. To God be the glory!