Colossians 1:13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love;
James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
“To the child of God who is walking in the light of God’s Word and firmly rejoicing in our Lord’s victory over them, believing God’s promises of triumph, there need to be no fear of demons. They are spirits of darkness and we are children of light. There is not enough darkness in the whole world to put out one little light. Let us ‘walk in the light, as he is in the light’ (1 Jn 1:7)!” (Foundations of Pentecostal Theology, 505.)
Colossians Life Group Week 9: Colossians 1:13a
ASV Colossians 1:13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love;
I. What is the “power of darkness?”
“3. authority, absolute power Mt 21:23, 24, 27; 28:18; Mk 2:10; Ac 26:12.—4. power or authority exercised by rulers, etc., by virtue of their office—a. ruling power, official power Lk 7:8; 20:20; 17:12f.—b. domain, jurisdiction Lk 4:6; 23:7; Eph 2:2; Col 1:13.—c. bearers of authority in the state, authorities, officials, government Lk 12:11; Ro 13:1, 2, 3; cosmic powers above and beyond the human sphere but not unrelated to it 1 Cor 15:24; Eph 1:21; 3:10; Col 2:15.” (Gingrich and Danker, 177)
1. Minor children who live at home are under the “power” of their parents. The parents’ household is their domain, their jurisdiction. Parents have parental power to enforce their will upon the children.
2. Each state in the US licenses its own drivers and has its own vehicle code that governs the road. Let’s pretend I am driving in California with a driver’s license from the state of Maine, which is okay to do for a short while in California. Let’s also pretend that in Maine it is illegal to turn right on a red light after a complete stop. So, here I am in California and I turn right on a red light. Assuming the police in Maine somehow were able to see me doing this, would I be liable for a ticket when I return to Maine?
3. Let’s say I broke a Chinese law while I was visiting there, and when I got back to California, some Chinese people chased me and wanted to prosecute me while I was still in California. Would they be able to do so? Under what conditional procedures might they be able to prosecute me? [legal extradition]
II. In verse 13, what does “delivered us out of” mean? ___God saved us, rescued us, delivered us, so that we are no longer in the jurisdiction, the realm, the domain of authority, of darkness. In the sense of this definition, the rulers, authorities, spiritual powers of darkness have no hold or legal claim on us. PLUS, we are now in the domain, realm, kingdom, of Christ, who is our Protector in every sense of that word.
“save, rescue, deliver Mt 6:13; 27:43; Lk 1:74; 11:4 v.l.; Ac 5:15 v.l.; Ro 7:24; 11:26; 15:31; 2 Cor 1:10; Col 1:13; 1 Th 1:10; 2 Th 3:2; 2 Ti 3:11; 4:17f; 2 Pt 2:7, 9.*” (Gingrich and Danker, 70)
III. From Duffield and Van Cleave (Foundations, 491-505)
A. Demons—what are they?
Answer: Demons appear to be fallen angels stronger than men but much, much weaker than Christ.
B. What do demons do?
1. They oppose the saints: Ephesians 6:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:18. “Our fight is against” them; and “Satan hindered us.”
2. They seek to cause us to leave our faith in Christ.
a. “some shall depart” 1 Timothy 4:1
b. the antidote: “abide in me” John 15:5
3. They encourage “formalism and asceticism” as a result of false teaching; therefore, they seek to inject false teachers into the pure teaching of the word.
“there will be false teachers among you.” 2 Peter 2:1
4. They lurk behind idols and idol worship in its many forms, tempting saints to worship.
“for forty days he [Jesus] was tempted by the devil.” Luke 4:1-13
5. They cause physical afflictions.
6. Demons sometimes accomplish God’s purpose when they function as instruments in God’s plan to punish the ungodly, and even to chasten the godly.
Peter, Job, the incestuous Corinthian believer (1 Corinthians 5:5) and Hymenaeus and Alexander (1Timothy 1:20) are examples of God’s use of demons for his own ends.
C. What does the Bible say about casting out demons? (Foundations, 495-96)
1. Jesus cast out many demons Mark 1:34
2. Demons were cast out in the early church: Mark 16:15, 17 “go ye into all the world…cast out devils”
3. The apostles cast out demons Acts 5:16
4. Paul cast out demons Acts 16:16-18
5. Others cast out demons Acts 16:13-16
6. Toward the end of the age demons will be cast out 1 Timothy 4:1
IV. More Questions Concerning Demons
A. Does demon possession differ from demon influence?
1. Answer: “All demon activity does not result in demon possession. There is a vast difference between demon possession and demon influence.” (Foundations, 496)
2. In demon possession the demon enters a body and exerts dominating control.
3. Demon influence is warfare from without (suggestion, temptation, and influence). Example: the fiery darts of the evil one in Ephesians 6:16
B. What is the relation between demon possession and sickness?
Answer: “All sickness…is not caused by demon possession…Thus the practice of some, who in ministering to the sick always try to cast out a demon, is not biblical procedure.” (Foundations, 496)
C. Is there demon possession today?
Answer: There is demon possession today, although a Christian cannot be possessed, or indwelt by a demon. A demon may only harass a Christian from the outside.
D. What about casting out of demons today?
“While it may be possible to cast out a demon, very often a person needs more than this…It is the will of a man which makes a way in for the devil, and therefore repentance is required as well as exorcism…demon possession is not the cause but the result or symptom. It is wrong to assume that a particular evil in a [wo]man’s life is the result of demon control. It is more likely that the evil was there first, permitting the entry of Satanic power.” (Foundations, quoting George Canty, 500)
“…the power of the Word of God. The preaching of the gospel is deliverance—it is the power of God in itself ‘unto salvation’ (deliverance) [salvation = deliverance]…It would be absurd to think of a great conversion of a man leaving him with demons still in his heart. Can a man be saved through faith in the gospel and then need a second experience to save him from Satan? [expects a “no” as answer] From what was he saved in the first instance? ‘The anointing breaks the yoke.’” (Ibid.)
[In other words, there is no second experience necessary to save someone from Satan. There are NO demons in a person’s heart after salvation. A brand new baby Christian, and older Christians, may be harassed from outside by a demon, but never from within. Christians already have all the spiritual equipment necessary to fight successfully against such harassment, and where they appear too weak or uninformed to do so, other Christians within the Church may pray and help them in this. It is not necessary and would contradict Scripture to try to exorcise a demon from a new Christian, or from an older Christian. The best way to fight in this situation is by a firm grounding and faith in the written Word of God. Ephesians 6:14–the belt of truth]
“[in Scripture]…nobody was ever given a special gift for ‘exorcism,’ only for discernment, as part of the protection of the church, chiefly against false teachers with lying and deceitful doctrines of demons. Nobody manifested a ministry exclusively for dealing with demons. This would draw attention more to Satan than to Christ. Preoccupation with this sphere of things is a kind of tribute to the power of Satan. ‘The end of our conversation’ says Hebrews 13:7-8, is ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and for ever,’ which hardly can be said of some whose continual thought is about ‘the power of darkness.’” (Foundations, quoting George Canty, 500)
“That the Church will be called upon more and more to cleanse people from foul spiritis may be likely, but the preaching of the gospel is the main means, and this should be the prior activity of all God’s servants.” (Ibid., 501)
E. Can a Christian be demon possessed?
1. Answer: No. (Foundations, 503)
“While one should not blind himself to the presence and power of demonic forces in the world and be ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11), he must not underestimate the great salvation and deliverance which God has wrought for him in Christ Jesus. Colossians 2:15; Acts 26:13; Colossians 1:13.” (Ibid.)
“To become Christian is to turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God.” (Ibid.)
2. The Holy Spirit is the One who accomplishes this turning in us during the process of our being called to God in Christ.
3. Scripture teaches that the Christian has power over the devil: 1 John 5:18; Luke 10:19; 2 Timothy 2:25-26.
4. Scripture teaches that Christians are God’s temple. God would not tolerate a demon to dwell in his temple. 2 Corinthians 6:15-16; 1 Corinthians 6:19.
5. Once again, the best defense against outside attacks of demonic harassment and temptation is to have a thorough grounding in the Word of God. Cinch yourselves up tightly with the Word of truth. (Ephesians 6:14)
F. More on spiritual warfare: Faith + Obedience = Abiding in Christ
“Disobedience and persistent waywardness provide the enemy grounds from which He can attack and influence the Christian.” (Foundations, 504) (Ephesians 4:27; Acts 5:3)
“The great conflict within us is not between the Holy Spirit and demons, but between the indwelling Holy Spirit and the flesh (that is, all the sensory apparatus that tends toward sin).” (Foundations, quoting an Assemblies of God publication, “Can Born-Again Believers Be Demon Possessed?” 505)
V. CONCLUSION: “Demons Thrive on Publicity.” (Foundations, 505)
“To the child of God who is walking in the light of God’s Word and firmly rejoicing in our Lord’s victory over them, believing God’s promises of triumph, there need to be no fear of demons. They are spirits of darkness and we are children of light. There is not enough darkness in the whole world to put out one little light. Let us ‘walk in the light, as he is in the light’ (1 Jn 1:7)!” (Foundations, 505)
Within the context of this letter, the main point Paul is saying to the Colossians is that Christ is sufficient for all their needs, every single one, both large and small. They have no need to go anywhere else or to anyone else for anything—just turn to Christ and abide in him. God has already given us everything we need in Christ. God gave us a Community of Believers to help us do just this. We are not alone. Christ’s credentials to be the Church’s sole leader are spelled out in Colossians 1:15-20.