Principalities and Powers

        This is a study regarding whom or against what as Christians we will be at war or struggle against. Scripture says in Eph 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world (and) against the spiritual forces of evil within the heavenly realms." This translated with a slight difference in [KJV] Eph 6:11-12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world (and) against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." This means that before Satan is released from the abyss, we are at war with those of this world that are men with authority that serve the 'spiritual forces' of Satan, (and) with the spirit of Satan and his dark angels in the heavenly-realm. Of the air or heavenly realm does not mean Gods heavenly abode sometimes called Paradise, but instead a spiritual realm upon this earth.

        In this context are two different peoples (upon this earth), being those faithful to God having humanities capable of envisioning and producing that worthy which builds and fulfills need of good purpose, and another people of negative context as liar, deceiver, and murderer, of human context lacking humanities capable of envisioning worthiness, and instead delusion with evil in deception that must instead steal what others envision and accomplish, being so deceived they believe themselves origin of accomplishment that was stolen. And to accomplish this, they must make war of deception, disguise themselves as servants of light and salt, worming their way into positions of false leadership, using the teachings of their father, satan to deceive and destroy.

        In this order of principalities, powers, and rulers of this dark world, indicates a corporeal plurality of this dark world, meaning man under the wickedness and control of a ruler (singular) that is Satan with his dark angels. Satan and his dark angels of the air meaning the spiritual realm of this world. Saying our war or struggle is not against flesh and blood indicates it as a spiritual war or struggle, yet does not negate the role regarding servants of wickedness upon this dark world, and these like ourselves being bodies of flesh and blood. In this spiritual war we may even suffer death of our flesh body, still we are given assurance we will not suffer the second eternal destruction as punishment, this is the second death of the soul. Instead our promise is salvation told of in 1 Peter 1:8-9 "...for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

        Scripture tells us Satan was cast out of heaven being sealed in the abyss for a period of time called the (plural) 'Thousands years'. Before this Satan had been able to lead the whole world astray, during these 'years' we are given assurance as told in Rev 20:3 " keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousands years were ended." About the dark angels cast out of heaven we are told in Jude 6 "...kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day", the Return or Day of the Lord referring to the time not to bear sin again, but for Judgment. Before final judgment with Satan and his dark angels bound in the abyss, they remain active within spiritual form upon earth as told in 1 Tim 4:1 "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons." And among the spirits to beware, are common man led astray as servants of the demonic described in 1 John 4:1 "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

        We know that Satan is the liar and deceiver, also that his dark spirits or fallen angels in spiritual form have and continue placing sinful man under control or bondage sometimes called an indwelling, accomplished if not completely at least with tempting whisper. In this life sin is part of our weakness or fleshly nature. Example was Peter contradicting Christ who had advised of His imminent crucifixion and death, to Peters contradiction Christ said, get thee behind me Satan. Of course Peter was not Satan, however just as before concerning guiding force involved, Christ before stated regarding Peters admission that Christ was the Messiah or son of God, saying this was not learned from man but was unique knowledge received from God. Satan is yet sealed in the abyss, however we are told in 1 John 4:2-3 "...but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world." This refers to Satan as spiritually active in the world, yet a time is coming that Satan will be released and will for a short time rule over a world from which the last living saint was removed.

        An example of the abilities of Satan is revealed when Christ said of a woman suffering in Luke 13:16 "Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free…" How this bondage occurred we are not specifically told, yet reveals the need to be ever vigilant. We also know regarding afflictions and suffering that not all is due to sin, revealed in John 9:2-3 "... And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." So the lesson to man is that we will serve God, or we will serve the false god.

        There is much teaching in which many believe that in the last days a great revival will gather many living on earth into salvation, however this is not proven in scripture that instead says in Matt 24:12-13 "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." It is true the seed of faith and salvation is sown among all men, liking it to three forms of ground, yet only one type of ground or individual enabled taking root, of the other two described in Mark 4:16-19 " But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful."

        Instead in the end days of this earth age evil events will become more prevalent, bringing persecution of saints told of in Luke 21:10-16 "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilence... But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name... and they will put some of you to death." Concerning these earthly authorities we may be called before, we are assured not to worry concerning what we are to say, for God will give us words as told in Luke 12:11-12 "When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say."

        Scripture does not describe a large portion of mankind coming into the family of God, describing more a remnant as in Matt 22:14 "For many are invited, but few are chosen." Of the end or last days there will be such wickedness that even the elect were they not diligent would be in trouble of being led astray and losing faith, however given assurance in Matt 24:22-23 "If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened." The remnant Israel of the scattered chosen still living are to be gathered in the last or prophesied 70th week, gathered by the Lord shortly after (1325 days) the first 3½ years and said coming out of the Great Tribulations, these as the New Covenant describes being those spliced back into the vine.

        These earthly authorities and dark spirits of the air (earthly/sky realm) are not to be confused with the order and authority within the church, and here it is important to have discernment between authorities. This certainly is understood from the command of Christ found in Matt 10:15-16 "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." Those in the will of God need have no fear of these dark spirits, for we have power and authority over these as told in Luke 10:19-20 "However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." The only time Satan becomes ruler upon earth is when released from the abyss for a short time, a period within the end of which the wrath and curses are poured out upon all the wicked now remaining upon earth.

        During our time on earth we are to train ourselves with every word of God to attain maturity as described in 2 Tim 3:16 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." To accomplish this the Lord gives us both gifts and authority, with these we have a work predestined and prepared since the beginning of time described in Rom 12:6 "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." Of this work scripture calls it the works of righteousness as in Eph 2:10 "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

        In the body of believers as the church is Christ from whom is found all power and authority, beyond our God no greater power or authority exists. Only the mature being those led by God will be able to accomplish the works of righteousness, yet in this we are commanded also to become as wise as the serpent. How else will we know who or what our enemy is against whom we will fight, or those still searching with hearts of repentance? Christ will in the last of end days open the abyss and release Satan with apparently all the wicked for final desolation of curses and wrath, this will be part of final judgment.
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