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Jim Goll: Deliverance from Darkness

James W. Goll, Deliverance from Darkness: The Essential Guide to Defeating Demonic Strongholds and Oppression (Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen Books, 2010), 224 pages, ISBN 9780800794811.

In this book, James W. Goll examines the demonic through the lens of spiritual warfare. He argues that every Christian has the responsibility to engage in battle against the forces of evil. In so doing, they follow in the footprints of Jesus. The author writes, “The question is not only how did Jesus do it when He walked the earth, but also how does He want to continue doing it through people like you and me today?” (15). Later he adds, “You were born to war….For your own protection and for the sake of the Gospel, you need to learn all you can about how to war and wrestle with evil forces” (38). Goll understands that spiritual warfare is not an option but a necessity.

The book is divided into four parts. The first examines Jesus’s dealings with demons, the early Church’s view of the demonic, and how they are portrayed throughout the bible An interpretation of these passages leads the author to maintain a fairly traditional – or conservative – view of such beings. Demons have wills and emotions, and they also fall into different classifications according to their tasks and abilities. Goll explains that demons are always looking for ways to attack humans in a multitude of different manners. For example, they can assail one’s mind, but demons can only possess an individual if they are invited in. Yet demons must obey Jesus’ authority, and just as the Apostolic Church also exercised this authority, contemporary Christians can do the same.

In the second part of Deliverance from Darkness Goll delves deeper into the steps that one should take to defeat the demonic. Specifically, he addresses how demons tempt humans and how one can resist these attacks. Here he emphasizes a warfare model to remind his readers that they are in the midst of a serious struggle. He suggests that praise and prayer are ways to guard one’s self, and practical steps, such as getting enough sleep, are also effective. Goll examines scripture to provide a short history of Satan’s fall from heaven and the authority that Christians have over him through Jesus. He maintains that Satan lost his standing when he rebelled against God, so Christians have authority over evil beings and should employ it boldly.

James Goll

The third part builds upon Goll’s idea of authority. He asserts that Christians must work to remove darkness from all realms of life, including government, education, media, religion, family, and business. They must also expand God’s kingdom in to every area of their lives – one’s mind, body, emotions, and finances – to name a few. But he cautions that we must be careful to discern the demonic from that which is not evil. The first step of deliverance is repentance. He provides signs of demonic oppression and provides guidelines for practical steps to follow when ministering deliverance, such as putting together a deliverance team and to prepare with fasting. This section also provides an example of a deliverance prayer and how to follow-up with the formerly-possessed individual after a deliverance is performed.

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Category: Ministry, Spring 2016

About the Author: David Bradnick, Ph.D. Theological Studies (Regent University School of Divinity), is an instructor in the philosophy department at Stevenson University and York College of Pennsylvania. His dissertation is titled "Loosing and Binding the Spirits: An Emergentist Theology of the Demonic" (2015).

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