I was looking for a book with the title Hostage to the Devil, that I read a long time ago. It was written by a man who was a priest and a psychiatrist, and it dealt with about five genuine cases of ‘possession’ that he had experienced. Unfortunately I couldn’t find it, so it must be out of print. There is a newer book with the same title, but its reviews put me off buying it. Instead, I bought Lucifer Exposed by Derek Prince (1915-2003), which had many excellent reviews -106 reviews, of which 96% are four or five stars.
Derek Prince’s website says that he was “born in India of British parents. Educated as a scholar of Greek and Latin at Eton College and Cambridge University, England, he held a Fellowship in Ancient and Modern Philosophy at King’s College. He also studied Hebrew and Aramaic, at Cambridge University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
“While serving with the British army in World War II, he began to study the Bible and experienced a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. Out of this encounter he formed two conclusions: first, that Jesus Christ is alive; second, that the Bible is a true, relevant, up-to-date book. These conclusions altered the whole course of his life, which he then devoted to studying and teaching the Bible.”
Lucifer Exposed uses numerous quotations from the Bible to describe the history, the motivation, the intentions and the actions of the devil. It describes the devil a a beautiful fallen angel whose fall was caused by his trying to usurp the power of God. The devil’s power over death was destroyed by the death of God’s son on the cross and his resurrection. The devil’s reaction had been to try to estrange humanity from God by tempting us into sin, and by destroying the power of the church to disseminate Jesus’ teaching. The book makes the point that escape from Satan’s clutches cannot be achieved by following the law, because there is always another law we have neglected. Salvation can only be achieved by faith in Jesus and his teachings. The book draws a major distinction between citizenship in the World (the temporal, secular place of which the devil is the ruler) and citizenship of Heaven (God’s spiritual world).
This is an excellent piece of Biblical scholarship: well written, thoroughly referenced, and completely logical and believable. My only comment is that I would have liked to have seen some secular arguments (as well as the religious ones) for the existence of and the extreme hardships caused by the devil. These hardships are often wrongfully blamed on God’s ‘negligence’. There is, I think, abundant evidence that most of the World’s hardships are caused by the devil.