Prince, Derek. They Shall Expel Demons. Chosen Publishers.
Derek Prince gives an overview of demonology roughly in the same vein as John Wimber and Charles Kraft. This book is level-headed, practical, and filled with sane advice. Only in a few places does Prince advance strange ideas and even then he is hesitant. Very accessible and thorough.
Sin and Demons
Prince notes that sometimes our problems are due to our sinful nature and not to demons. In which case we just need to apply the cross and crucify the flesh. In other areas it is demonic oppression.
What is a Demon?
This part is tough. Prince backs up everything he says with Scripture and a lot of it seems to “jive” with observation, yet some of his conclusions run against conventional wisdom. He notes that the scriptures use several different terms for supernatural entities. Paul notes that those entities that live in the heavenly places, principalities and powers (Eph. 6:12) are more august, if evil. I could be mistaken but Paul never (or Daniel for that matter) calls these entities “demons.”
On the other hand, when Jesus deals with demonic activity it seems to be with earth-bound entities. Why would angelic beings who rule territories in the heavenly places reduce and limit themselves, for example, to pigs and graveyards?
Prince notes we “wrestle” with principalities and powers; we “command” demons (95). If Prince simply wants to make the claim that what we call “demons” is not in the same category as “principalities/powers/dark angels,” then he is probably correct.
A constant variable in demonization is the occult. Parents who are into the occult, while not necessarily passing a demon on to their kids, bring their kids into a demonic environment. Another “trigger” is sexual assault, social shock, etc.
Interestingly enough, he warns against the facile laying on of hands. No, we can’t “get a demon” that way, but we can receive negative effects from the one who had the demon (albeit these effects are easily dealt with).
Chemical activities in the brain aren’t demonic manifestations (e.g., smoking, alcoholism) but they can function as a gateway.
Two main branches:
(a) Divinization (fortune telling, psychics, ESP; Acts 16:16-22).
(b) Sorcery. (Drugs, potions, charms, magic, spells, incantations, various forms of music).
“Witchcraft is the universal, primeval religion of fallen humanity” (129). Prince shows four levels of modern witchcraft:
(1) Open, public, “respectable.” This is the Church of Satan and the CIA-handler Anton La Vey.
(2) Underground –Covens. This is the classic idea of “witchery.”
(3) Fifth Column, Disguised. Rock music. The danger is anything that breaks down one’s moral reasoning faculties (drugs, certain beats, etc). Another 5th column is New Age.
(4) Work of the Flesh. Desire for domination.
Do Christians Need Deliverance?
He notes that the new birth is real and shouldn’t be doubted. But he also points out that when Christians receive the new birth, they might not have had all forces exorcised from them (especially true in more occult cases). Philip’s ministry in Samaria is instructive: if demons automatically leave a person upon conversion, then why did Philip even bother to cast them out?
(1) Demons operate in gangs (180).
(2) If we have opened the door to a demon by saying the wrong thing, we need to cancel it by saying the right thing (183).
(3) The authority to bind or loose. If there is a gang of demons, then bind the strongman first.
(1) Exposes Freemasonry (105, 134).
(2) Breaks new ground in our understanding of demonic activity.