I love Christian books with humor, and Derek Prince doesn’t disappoint. This non-fiction book is about spiritual warfare – not only recognizing and defending oneself against demons, but also, recognizing the “strong man” controlling us and our countries, and the “high places” causing problems in our lives.
Derek Prince was born in 1915 in India, to British parents. He began studying the Bible while in the military as a young man, and converted after a powerful experience of meeting Jesus. It was clear – Jesus is still alive, and is watching over us, waiting for us to give our lives to Him.
He managed to write a lot of books during his lifetime (he passed away in 2003) – among them, this short book, Pulling Down Strongholds. It is small – only 6″ x 4″ and 118 pages, the last 4 pages being his biography. I’m reading it in advance of reading his much larger, longer book, They Shall Expel Demons: What You Need to Know about Demons – Your Invisible Enemies, which totals out at 256 pages. I have that sitting on my desk now, ready and waiting.
This interest in demons, strongholds, and strong men is new for me. I became a Christian just over three years ago (it was the summer of 2013). Before then, I was what I called a “label-less believer” in God, and I didn’t believe in demons or Satan at all. Not a great condition, considering that I was so easily a target and victim of satanic endeavors and personalities in my unsaved condition. In fact, after having most of the life force and positive feelings and happiness drained out of me, I moved to Idaho where I discovered the love and healing of Jesus Christ in a community of strong, loving Christians.
In our women’s Bible study, which I am lucky to be able to host in my home, we’ve studied Kay Arthur’s book, Lord, Is It Warfare? Teach Me to Stand: A Devotional Study on Spiritual Victory – a good primer for learning about Satan and the basics of spiritual warfare. I imagine this could seem a foreign topic for those not introduced to the life of loving Jesus and following His teachings, so I will explain a bit.
Jesus cast out demons during His time here on earth. And He gave the ability to cast out demons to His followers. Now, what a demon is and how it manifests may seem mysterious to some – I know it was for me, before becoming a Christian. A demon is a fallen angel – one who chose to follow Satan into rebellion, rather than to be loyal to God. They manifest in human beings in many ways – for example: mental conditions such as depression, bad temperaments, critical and accusatory mindsets, trouble-making of all sorts, weakness, tendency toward self-injury or even accidental injury, stuttering, various types of illness, wasting away, and the list goes on and on and on. This is not to say every illness is caused by a demon – but some are, and casting out demons may help a person to recover rapidly.
That said, there are dangers involved in casting demons out of unsaved people because if their heart isn’t devoted to God and full of the Holy Spirit, they can be re-contaminated with demons. (See Luke 11:24-26) Also, there’s a danger for the unsaved to be casting demons out of others, because this must be done by Christians in the name of Jesus, with His help, protection, and power. Acts 19:13-16 records what happened when Jews tried to do it without being saved as Christians first: Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. (NIV) Definitely not something to play around with. Even though I’m a Christian, I need a lot of training to feel confident about dealing with someone else’s demons!
That said, once one has the help of Jesus – there isn’t much to be afraid of. He is always there to help us. He loves us; we’re His children – and He helps when we call on His name. Fear (respect and revere) God, not anything else.
Not long ago I had the experience of waking up in the middle of the night to a demonic attack. I knew why it happened – because I attacked a demon the day before while praying for a friend. That night the demon chose my sleep time to try to bind me in cords – but it woke me up and I called on the name of Jesus. Immediately the demon was gone. I asked God to dissolve those cords, and they were gone. Feeling once again safe and protected by the Lord, I was able to sleep peacefully. I’ve had no similar problems since then.
Because I want to help in this kind of ministry – to cast out demons in Jesus’ name, I chose the Derek Prince books – Pulling Down Strongholds and They Shall Expel Demons: What You Need to Know about Demons – Your Invisible Enemies. Too many people are suffering from not understanding this unseen but very real part of existence – as I did for many years. Too many years. And that darkness is such a sharp contrast to the joy and peace I’ve found in knowing Jesus Christ.
These are the three Derek Prince books I own. There are many others.
This is a YouTube playlist of sermons by Derek Prince about deliverance and spiritual warfare:
My review of Pulling Down Strongholds by Derek Prince
First of all, I love that this is a short and easy-to-read book. I guess I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. If a book gets too scholarly, it slowly entices me to put it down forever. This book doesn’t do that. It contains fifteen short chapters in three sections. The chapters are “easy bites” of information, well-organized, to introduce us into the topic of spiritual warfare.
Derek Prince had a unique and helpful perspective on the topic. His first section introduces us to the organized nature of the satanic kingdom “in the heavenlies” and tells us about the three heavens we can expect to learn more about later once we’re not confined to living in these physical bodies. He cites only a few key Bible verses so we’re not overwhelmed with information that’s peripheral to his topic in each chapter. I appreciate the clarity and ease of reading and learning.
In part one he included a chapter on the weapons we have for spiritual warfare – which I’d already learned about in Kay Arthur’s book, mentioned above and in this article on my Prayer Power blog: Protection From Pridefulness. These weapons, most Christians know from reading Ephesians 6, verses 10 through 18.
The second part of Derek Prince’s book on pulling down strongholds is about binding the strong man. What a concept! It is taken from Matthew 12:29: “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.” Once we know what the strong man is, we can defeat him. Derek Prince explains that not only do we have strong men to conquer, entire cities and countries can have their own collective strong men to defeat, such as pride, greed, apathy, or rebellion.
Part three in the book is about tearing down high places. Anyone who has read the historical books of the Old Testament (Samuel 1 & 2, Kings 1 & 2, and Chronicles 1 & 2) is sure to recognize the terminology, “high places,” because the old Israeli kings were constantly failing to tear them down, or destroying them, or getting corrupt and letting them be built back up to be used for idol worship again. These high places, with or without actual mountain tops, can be an issue in our lives too, and Derek Prince explains what to look for and how to conquer and destroy high places that should not be in our lives.
I enjoyed reading this book because of Derek Prince’s originality and humor. I much prefer Christianity with humor.. or just about anything with humor. I recommend the book as a good introduction to the work of Derek Prince.