Review published on indekerk.be by Dr. Raymond R. Hausoul, a pastor, teacher, and author:
Bruno Sebrechts is no stranger to the Christian community in Flanders. For years, he has served a diverse range of congregations in the field of recovery and deliverance in the pastoral ministry. He is seen in this regard by many biblical evangelical and charismatic Christians as a pioneer. The appearance of this new book has therefore been eagerly awaited.
Based on his own evangelical approach, Bruno Sebrechts focuses with depth and thoroughness on various questions concerning spiritual liberation. This book combines his practical experience with his scientifically driven study work, giving this publication considerable additional value over and above providing a beautiful read about redemption and deliverance. It therefore deserves a special place among the reference works on the theme of deliverance.
The following themes are discussed over twelve chapters:
The meaning of deliverance, as exemplified through a poignant testimony (1); the impact of God’s power and our own limitations in the pursuit of deliverance (2); the cunning of evil (3); the heavenly battle behind the scenes and Christ’s triumph (4); biblical insight into the nature of Satan and evil spirits (5); the causes of demonic influences (6); Jesus’ handling of liberation in the Gospels (7); the deliverance process after Easter (8); the contrast between the old and new realms (9); counseling and deliverance (10); case studies (11); and God’s way versus the deceptive ways (12). These twelve chapters are structured theologically and analytically without compromising legibility. Anyone reading the book will realize that what is presented here is more than just some freehand scribbles. There is a solidity that demonstrates the writer’s responsibility for what he is talking about.
What I particularly like about this book is the evangelical approach that the author employs. After all, in certain Pentecostal literature, these themes are mainly written using expletives. Although Bruno Sebrechts is not averse to the power of God’s Spirit and Pentecostal literature, he chooses to follow his calm and balanced character down new paths alongside the familiar literature in order to question common practices. In doing so, he always strives to do justice to the Scriptures and give shape to the love of Christ for those seeking help. Anyone looking for a well-founded reflection on the theme of redemption and deliverance will certainly be in the right place if they choose this extensive work.
Review published on www.biddeniseenweg.nl by Jan Minderhoud, a theologian, counselor, and author of various publications on deliverance ministry:
Over the past few months, I have read a lengthy book by the Bible teacher Bruno Sebrechts, who has been involved as a leader in various evangelical congregations in Flanders over the past 30 years. The author demonstrates great writing skills and shows his extensive experience in spiritual warfare. What particularly appeals to me, though, is his probing yet balanced approach.
His summary model and step-by-step plan (pages 356–376), in which he lists different types of confrontation, are beautiful. I convey these below in a slightly edited form.
1. Gospel Encounter, the first step: Christian life begins with repentance and rebirth (“to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among the sanctified by faith in Me” —Acts 26:18). This first step is a basic requirement to continue.
2. Truth Encounter: learning to embrace the truth of the gospel, renewing your thinking, and facing unhealthy patterns and bonds (John 8:32, Rom. 12:1-2, Phil. 4:8-9, 1 John 2:12-14). In our Ermelose team of Pastoral Care for Liberation and Inner Healing, we work mainly along this line through the workbook Schoon Schip (“Clean Ship”) without losing sight of the other aspects.
3. Prayer Encounter, a supportive intercession by a prayer group and/or a praying congregation: The intercessors are a backup to every recovery, deliverance, and healing process.
4. If necessary, there is a Healing Encounter, a healing of inner wounds or physical ailments.
5. If necessary, there is a Power Encounter, a service order, which is a power word in which evil spirits are commanded to leave the house of life, although this is the exception rather than a rule.
6. In all cases, there is a Love Encounter. This is the foundation for the whole process, because “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). It has been shown many times that the evil one cannot withstand the love of God and his children.
What particularly appeals to me is how Bruno Sebrechts has an eye for the uniqueness of each liberation process. Every situation is unique, so the solution always needs to be tailored. Insights and input from the world of assistance can also contribute to recovery. He compares the liberation process to Joshua’s conquest of the Promised Land (“There were general guidelines, but the specific instructions differed from city to city” — p. 387). The book ends with a hundred pages of appendices covering a range of topics and word studies. From time to time, surprising glimpses can also be found there, and I will mention one example: Sebrechts points out that all the Gospels mention that prior to the liberation of the possessed in the land of the Gadarenes, there was first opposition and spiritual warfare in the form of the storm on the lake. Jesus turned out to be the lord of the wind and the sea, the powers of chaos, though. In biblical thinking, the sea is often where demons reside (e.g., the Leviathan). Likewise, Jesus also appears to be supreme when the possessed are in the grip of the evil one. However, this may be preceded by struggle over time, just like in Ancient Egypt, when the tribulation increased before the people were delivered.