An Adventist's Perspective on Fighting Spiritual
Ministering to the Demon-Harassed
No doubt there is a place for ministry to those who are tempted and
controlled by Satanic agencies. As Christians, we "may be called upon to participate,
or even to lead out, in prayer services for victims of Satanic harassment or possession.
An important work of personal preparation is spelled out in Scripture and in Ellen
Whites writings which includes close self-examination to discover the possible
presence of sin which needs to be repented of, confessed, and forsaken before
confrontation with the supernatural forces of evil. Fasting and prayer may be an important
part of this preparatory work. There is a place for this kind of ministry, conducted
How should this ministry be conducted? John Nevius, a Presbyterian
missionary to China in the nineteenth century, wrote a book entitled Demon Possession
and Allied Themes. In it he reported healings of hundreds of cases of demon possession
among the Chinese. How was this accomplished? Not by attempting to cast out the demons,
but by the preaching of the gospel and all that that entails stressing [what is
known in theological circles as the "classic-mode of spiritual warfare"]
individual responsibility for sin and the need to repent and seek Gods forgiveness
and power to overcome that sin, surrendering to Christ, and maintaining our union with
Him, moment by moment. The solution and therapy for those afflicted with demons is the
preaching of the Gospel. This is the emphasis of the New Testament Epistles and of the
writings of E. G. White.
Ellen Whites Ministry to the
Repeatedly Ellen White appeals to those in bondage to Satan to break
away themselves from the evil one, through Gods power. The victims alone can do
this.105 No one else can do this for them. It must be their desire.
The following is but one example106 of a few107 that could be drawn from the writings of E. G. White. It is entitled,
"Message to a Sinner: Look to Jesus and Live:"
I cannot forbear writing to you. I knew your countenance as you were
seated in the tent at my right hand on the Sabbath [Sept. 13, 1891] at Colorado Springs.
The Lord has presented your case before me as one who was in need of that help which God
alone could give you. I heard words of hopelessness and despair coming from your lips. I
heard wicked words, blasphemous words. Said Jesus, as He looked upon you piteously,
"These are not the words of the man, but the words of the spirit that has possessed
him. God will heal him. He has gone far in resisting the Spirit of God, but Jesus is
drawing him by the tender cords of His love. He has separated from God, but God has not
separated from him. Through a train of circumstances he has lost confidence in himself, in
his best friends, and turned from light to darkness, from truth to error, and has been
left to feel his own weakness."
You were the very one I was shown who was under the power of demons.
"When this young man gives himself to Christ, the victory is gained." Said the
heavenly voice, "Break with the deceiver. He is deluding your soul to your ruin. He
will not let you go; only the power of the Mighty Deliverer can save you." Charge not
my precious loving Saviour with your unhappiness and your ruin. The storm of temptation
has swayed you like a reed in the wind, and through these bitter and almost overwhelming
storms you have clung to your mantle of pride, hugging it closer about you. Prostrated in
the dust, you are apparently devoid of willpower, without strength to rise. No earthly
friend is powerful enough to raise you. You still cling to your pride; you utter the words
of Satan abiding in your heart. Said Christ, "It is not he but a demon that speaks. I
will save him if he will trust in me as a little child trusts in his father, his
Lay your pride at the feet of One who owns you, who loves with a love
that is infinite. Stand in your God-given manhood, in the strength of Him who can save to
the uttermost all who come unto Him. Then your purposes will not be like ropes of sand. In
His presence, standing under the shadow of the cross, His mercy, His love, His
forgiveness, cover the blackest stains of sin. The Holy Spirit helpeth your infirmities.
The Master has work for you to do, to speak words of hope, of comfort, of love, of
Christs forgiveness, pardon, to the helpless, the wandering, the lost. You have no
will that leads you to Jesus, but a will that leads you away from Him. With open arms He
will receive you.
The Lord has made provision for your simple necessities. While you need
not despise money, you will appreciate it in a different light than you have hitherto
done. You will say, "It is all the Lords. My skill, my aptness and ability, I
have misapplied. I will now let Jesus elevate me by the golden chain of truth that will
bind me to His eternal throne."
I ask you to work and walk out on my faith, if you cannot on your own.
Answer the drawings of the Holy Spirit of God. Accept the prayers of the people of God in
your behalf. Poor, tempest-tossed soul, only believe in Jesus willingness to save
you. Let not Satan be your spokesman any longer. Jesus has work for you to do. Satan will
speak for you if you will let him, but tell him "No; let my lips utter only words of
faith and hope and truth." Keep talking faith, rebuke the enemy, and the great black
cloud of despair will arise and roll back and disappear.
You cannot make yourself any better; Jesus can do all this. When the
Israelites were bitten by the fiery poisonous serpents whose sting was certain death, the
brazen serpent was lifted up on a pole, and Jesus, enshrouded in the cloudy pillar, bade
Moses tell them, "Look and live." The same Jesus has bidden me tell you, Look
and live. Do not climb the pole, but only look. I present Christ to you. Look and live.
There is hope, comfort, and peace for you. There is even joy in the Holy Ghost for you.
Now I bid you in the name of Jesus, Look and live.
You may say, "Oh, I am a great sinner." I admit it; Jesus is
well acquainted with all this, and He says, "I came not to call the righteous, but
sinners to repentance" [Mark 2:17]. He has paid the ransom money for your soul, and
the price was His own flesh and blood. The badness of your heart should not keep you away
from Christ, but bring you closer to your only Hope, your only Helper. Will you allow
Satan to triumph? He has unbalanced your mind, so that you are not able to reason calmly
and sensibly. Oh, the marvels of the grace of Christ for you! Behold, how Jesus loves you!
Satan is pleased to have you look upon God as a tyrant. There is no wrath in God except
for the hateful character of sin. Lay your sin on Jesus; leave it to Him; then do what He
tells you to do, as a little child, irrespective of consequences.
Satan is playing the game of life for your soul. Shall he conquer? I
say No, a thousand times No. God has a work for you to do, but all you have now to do is
to look to Jesus, who was lifted up, and live.
It is the love of Christ for your soul that constrains me. Shall Christ
have died for you in vain? You are unconsciously groping after the heavenly light. Satan
shall not conquer; he shall be expelled through prayer and faith. When you come to Jesus,
you find He comes to you and clasps you in His everlasting arms.
In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, I rebuke108 the
foul and wicked spirit that has acted for you.109 Jesus is the
conqueror. You may exert all your powers, were they not under the bewitching power of
Satan and you echo his sentiments; but Christ will break his power for his work. He
testifies [He] is to break every yoke and set the oppressed free. You have been bought
with a price, even the precious blood of Christ. You feel and see only wrath and
condemnation, that you may hate God and all who lead you to Jesus. In Christ you may find
all you need. The loving Saviour is already drawing nigh to heal you.
Satan would have your soul; shall he have it? Say, No, never; it is
Christs property. Satan says, "Curse God and die." Will you do it? He
curses God for you, that you may repeat his wicked blasphemy. Will you do it? No, for
Jesus has died; He has purchased your life. Your soul is His property, and He will take
you by the hand; He will draw you away from perdition; He will make you, as John, His
beloved disciple, to win the crown of eternal life. He bids you, through me, His humble
servant, "Look and live." He opens His loving heart to you that you may hide in
the cleft of the Rock. Say not, "There is no hope for me." Satan triumphs every
time you say it. Let these thoughts be in your heart, "Thou, O Lord, hast created me
for Thyself." He has permitted you to live that you might become acquainted with
Jesus and be willing to follow Him.Letter 85, 1891. (Written to J. A. Starr, Sept.
22, 1891, from Healdsburg, California.)
A Modern Example of Possession 110
My daughter Sharon and her husband were in need of someone to help with
the house chores. They were apprehensive about having just anyone and did not quite know
how to go about finding the right person. Since we have several SDA gospel outreach
programs, I thought maybe some poor girl was out there needing employment and we could
sure use her help with the new born baby. So I contacted Mr. Subramaniam who is one of our
laymen in the Maskeliya area. He inquired around and found a young girl and brought her to
Colombo which is a four hours bus journey.
When she arrived, I discovered she was only 10 years old. I was a bit
concerned about her age, but Mr. Subramaniam reassured me that she had some experience in
working in homes and would be easy to teach and cooperative. So we accepted her as our
future helper in our daughters house.
Shortly after her arrival, my daughter called for her mother to come
over to the house in an intent and concerned voice. Of course my wife went to see what was
the. problem. Because my wife did not return right away, I was wondering what had happened
to her. After some time, I went dashing to Sharons house to find out what was the
matter. When I arrived, Sharon met me with a fearfully expression and explained that she
feared that this little girl was possessed of evil spirits.
The girl had indicated to Sharon that she was possessed of a spirit and
told how she was able to walk on hot coal fires without any signs of burns, and was able
to have her cheeks pierced with spikes, and how she would begin shivering when she was
The Hindus think that it was not an evil spirit that possessed them but
it was their gods that took possession of their human souls. They considered it a blessing
My wife and Sharons question to me as to what shall we do? Shall
we send the girl back home? No, I said, we are going to pray to our God of Abraham, Isaac
We then gathered around and began singing gospel songs and earnestly
praying for Gods intervention on her behalf. After finishing praying, the little
girl appeared normal and said that she felt very healthy and was quite happy. I then
taught the little girl a simple prayer by asking her to repeat it after me several times.
Dear Jesus, please protect me from all harm and danger and from the
evil spirits. The little girl learned the prayer very quickly and she went to bed that
night after kneeling by her bed-side saying this little prayer out loud to God.
The next morning the little girl explained that during the night, she
had a very bad and frightening dream that hundreds of snakes surrounded her to harm her.
The little girl got up from bed in fear and trembling. However, she had not forgotten the
advice I had given her and she prayed the simple prayer to Jesus. Immediately all fear
left her. She crawled back into bed and slept peacefully the rest of the night. Surly the
Lord has answered that little prayer of faith by granting her that night a peaceful sleep.
Thereafter, the little girl was not disturbed at all by the evil spirits.
Because of sickness and being the child was so small, Sharon thought
that this girl was too small to be employed in her home and the girl needed to be with her
parents. Before, leaving the house, the little girl told us that she will never forget the
prayer she has learned. She would always pray that prayer when going to bed, and in the
morning when she gets up from the bed. She also said that she would tell her parents and
her neighbors that there is a person called Jesus who will protect us from evil spirits,
if a person prays to Him.
We feel that God had a plan in sending this little girl to us although
this little girl stayed in the home only for 7 days. Praise God for His mysterious ways.
Do pray with us for this little girl (Manimegala).
Written by Pastor J. Gnanasekeran, Secretary of Sri Lanka Mission.