What are Principalities and Powers?



 The phrase “principalities and powers” occurs six times in the Bible, always in the King James Version and its derivatives. There are some versions that translate it variously as “rulers and authorities,” “forces and authorities,” and “rulers and powers.”The principalities and powers of Satan are in a similar structure of power and authority as the Holy angels who did not rebel and oppose God. These demonic creatures wield power in the unseen realms to oppose anything and anyone that is of God.



Romans 8:37-39  Here is the first mention of principalities and powers: “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord..”



These verses are about the victory that we have in Christ. We are “more than conquerors” because no force, not life, not death, not angels, not demons, indeed nothing, can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. It seems that the “powers” referred to here are those with miraculous powers, whether false teachers and prophets or the very demonic entities that empower them. It is clear that, no power, whatever it may be, can separate us from the love of God. “In Christ Jesus” is an important wording here, for it



This is the fifth mention of principalities and powers. Here is the clear statement that God is the Creator and Ruler over all authorities! Whatever power the evil spirits possess, they are always subject to the rule of Christ Jesus” is an important wording here, for it is in Christ that our victory is assured. It is His Name that we can obtain and maintain victory.



Ephesians 1:20-21 “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:” This is the second mention of principalities and powers. “I like that it says that Christ is “far above” all principality ... not just above, but far above! Not just principalities and powers and might and dominion ... but “ALL” principalities and power and might and dominion, ALL of them. This is an overwhelming  signal that every power is beneath the NAME of Jesus!



Ephesians 3:10-11  presents the third picture of principalities and powers in the heavenly realms: “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:”



Here, it seems the revelation is to the angelic hosts showing the wisdom and purpose of God. Angels, both holy and unholy, observe the glory of God and the preeminence of Christ above all creatures in the church.  “Now through the church. . .” seems that God is showing that His redemptive plan includes both Jews and Gentiles. Perhaps the angels, who desire to look into man’s salvation, may not have had full knowledge of God’s plan and it is being revealed through the church.  These angelic beings referred to as principalities and powers are divided into two factions, those who remained true to God and those who joined in Satan's rebellion against God.



The fourth reference is in Ephesians 6:12 declares the battle in which we are engaged “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” 



The Amplified says, “For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.“



Despotism” is an interesting description of these powers ... “absolute rule in a wicked or oppressive manner”. There is a sophisticated hierarchy of evil in the heavenly realm, it is under the direction of these spirits that minions of demons are directed toward us. They are always looking for open doors thru which to attack.



It is as though we are facing an army of dark powers who have been disarmed from real power. Wouldn’t they just kill us all if they could? They attack us thru lies, threats and deceptions, sickness and various maladies always as a result of disobedience in our lives or many times in the lives of our ancestors.



One of the clearest examples would be the generational results that can be visibly observed as a result of incest and in-breeding ... What took place before and during ones birth can be manifested in abnormalcies that are readily recognized. Sin in the world!  Our actions and reactions to the lies and temptations of demons most often determine the outcome. Propaganda in the evil realm is Satanic misinformation and is distributed by and thru the principalities and powers.



Colossians 1:16 “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”  This is the fifth mention of principalities and powers. Here is the clear statement that God is the Creator and Ruler over all authorities! Whatever power the evil spirits possess, they are always subject to the rule of our sovereign God, Who according to Daniel 4:35; and Isaiah 46:10-11 uses even the wicked for bringing about His perfect plan and purpose.



“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it..”  Colossians 2:15 . Here, we see again that Jesus is the ultimate power over all other powers. As ancient armies would return to announce their victory, sometimes with the enemies body armor tied to the horses and the body of the enemy leader strapped to the chariot wheels making a triumphal entry back into the city. A display of public humiliation of the enemy. So Jesus Christ has made a public spectacle of demon powers thru His death, burial and resurrection!



There is no power that is not subject to His control and beneath His Name. Principalities and powers, rulers of darkness, spiritual wickedness in high places have all been disarmed by the cross. The Savior, by his death and resurrection, took dominion from them. I have never encountered a demonic power that does not recognize this as truth. It is in His Name that we have victory.



There is reference to principalities and powers is Titus 3:1. Here they refer to those governmental authorities under whom we dwell. They are duly constituted authorities.



By using the phrase principalities and powers, God’s Word is telling us that there is a hierarchical structure to the kingdom of darkness; a sophisticated government where fallen angels, evil spirits, and demons are ranked one above the other according to their power and authority. These evil spirits exercise influence over people, geographical areas, cities and nations. This evil, Satan ruled, hierarchy is a “copycat” form of government similar to God’s.



Jesus did not bind the evil prince of Jerusalem instead He admonished us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. He did not pray against heavenly realm powers, He prayed for people. He sent believers, commissioned to preach the good news to nations, not to pray against the demonic powers.



Remember, that our authority in Christ is for us to stay free from demonic powers not to challenge them in the heavenly realm...thank you so much for you prayers and support. We had a great experience last month at Champions Crossing in Grapevine and the Life Church in Sulphur, Louisiana.



Just for Jesus,