They shall expel demons (Prince)

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.

Being demonized

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.

The Occult

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?

Key Points

(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.


About J. B. Aitken

Interests include patristics, the role of the soul in the human person, analytic theology, Reformed Scholasticism, Medievalism, Substance Metaphysics
This entry was posted in Book Review, theology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to They shall expel demons (Prince)

  1. cal says:

    I get frustrated with most books on demonology. They say a lot of things that fit in with a more balanced, holistic view of reality, not foolishly relegating “spiritual” to subjective twists and turns of emotions or psychology. But then there’s usually silly things about music or such. How would one even analyze whether a rhythm is a portal for demons?

    I’m not saying there aren’t subliminal messages, but it’s usually a generational invective against modern musics. Baptists in the 50’s called Elvis the devil, now he’s homey and classic. I’d more likely expect demon possession to come through a McDonald’s commercial than a Emminem track. So serious advice ends up with cranky twists.

    Also, on a less relatated note, why do you call Anton LeVey a CIA-handler. I’m curious to learn more about this. I’ve always found the ironic Church of Satan as a bizarre institution, and I took LeVey to be an irreverant atheist who dabbled in mythology. I wonder if there is a connection between occult and intelligence agencies. I heard Alastair Crowley worked for American intelligence (I think?). Do you think there’s a connection or just that cult-leaders will sell-up for a chance for more power?

    2 cents,


    • I’ve seen sources say that the CIA used him to “reign in” Marilyn Monroe. Mind you, I don’t think he was high up in the CIA, nor do I really think he was involved in MK-ULTRA.


    • Crowley was a British MI agent.

      ** Do you think there’s a connection or just that cult-leaders will sell-up for a chance for more power?**

      Well, the second half is always true, given human nature. As to the first part, I’m not sure. My gut instinct is yes, simply because the Regime was always involved in these groups, but I can’t prove it as yet beyond circumstantial evidence.


  2. I remember it was when re-reading this book that I decided I wanted to give up on the Charismatic movement and become a Cessationist. I re-read all those anecdotes he tells about strange encounters with the demonic and thought “Are these stories actually true?” I just felt fed up of believing every story people told of the miraculous. Believing that stuff no longer happened felt a lot easier.

    As an Evangelical I always agreed with Prince that demons are distinct from fallen angels. That was the Jewish view. I don’t know if I still think that, as I’m not sure that is in line with Catholic doctrine.


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