Ephesians 6:12 “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”
As I come to an end with this series, I want to thank all those who asked valid questions after reading my first post on this all important subject.
Others were just findimg room to discredit what I wrote and uphold the popular view of they being demons. Even at that I love you deeply because without you i wouldn’t have studied to see greater light on what I am presenting.
Then coming to the question on Eph. 6, I will endeavor to take a few points from the works of Adam Clark on this passage for us. Besides my own diligent study on it, I feel I should step outside for someone else to speak to all of us. And so we read;
Verse 12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood.” Greek, “ouk estin hmin h palh prov aima kai sarka:” flesh and blood is a Hebraism for men, or human beings.
So our wrestling is not with human beings.The word here (palh) stands for such exercises in the Olympics and such games. And (palaistra) stands for the place in which the contenders exercised. So here it speaks of warfare in general.
Against principalities; (arcav). This word here means Chief rulers; beings of the first rank and order in their own kingdom.
Powers; exousiav, Authorities, derived from, and constituted by the above beings.
“The rulers of the darkness of this world.” Greek, “touv kosmokratorav tou skotouv tou aiwnov toutou.” The rulers of the world; the emperors of the darkness of this state of things.
It’s good in passing we understand the use of the word darkness. For instance when we read of God speaking to king Cyrus He said ;
Isa. 45:3 “And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel:”
Treasures of darkness mens the wealth of the kings who are not in the kingdom that God was going to stir to bring in money for king Cyrus to build the walls of Jerusalem that has fallen down.
Darkness in quote means human beings who are not in the light in the above passage not demons or witches and wizards.
“Spiritual wickedness.” Greek,“ta pneumatika thv ponhriav.” It actually ought to read, “The spiritual things of wickedness; or, the spiritualities of wickedness; highly refined and sublimed evil; disguised falsehood in the garb of truth; Antinomianism in the guise of religion.”
“In high places.” Greek, “ev toiv epouranioiv” like “In the most sublime stations.”
But the question then follow is who are these that Paul was speaking about?
Schoettgen, one of the early Theologians, contends that the rabbins and Jewish rulers were intended. His proof are these words,;
“tou aiwnov toutou,” of this world, which often speaks of “the Old Testament,” and “the Jewish system;” and the words “en toiv epouranioiv, “in heavenly places,” frequently used to signify the time of “the NEW TESTAMENT,” and “the Gospel system;” e.g.,
Eph. 2:6, “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
So by the spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, he thinks these were false teachers, who tried the best they could to corrupt Christianity, such as those mentioned in 1John 2:19. These were the Gnostics. And this he feels extended to all corrupters of Christianity in all succeeding ages even to our time if you will.
Don’t forget the Jews called their own city, “Mlwe lv rs sar shel olam, kosmokratwr, “the ruler of the world.”
And David must have alluded to this in Ps. 2:2, “The kings of the earth set themselves together against the Lord ..,” and the Apostles confirmed this in Acts 4:26, “and the rulers take counsel together,thee lord and His Aniinted” standing for the Jewish rulers,
“arcontev,” the persecutors of the young Christian Faith for preaching Christ crucified.
And this agrees with the scriptures in question in Col. 2:15.
But most commentators and believers today feel that by “principalities” we are to understand different orders of evil spirits, who are all employed under the devil, their great head, to prevent the spread of the Gospel in the world, and to destroy the souls of mankind.
This is the position of many but with no valid scriptures to back up such beliefs or is there any?
For instance, when Paul said in 1 Cor. 2:8, “Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory,”
He wasn’t referring to devils by using the word PRINCES but the Jews who crucified Jesus.
And again; 1 Cor. 2:6,
“Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought.”
Speaking of highly placed individuals which ultimately were the Jewish highest hierarchy in order of rulership.
When Paul said;
“32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.”
And I’m sure we know it wasn’t with some tigers or crocodiles, neither some spiritual powers in the air, but just those opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The natural man without the Spirit of Christ is often regarded as a beast in the scriptures.
Other views are that;
“The spiritual wickedness” are supposed to be the angels which kept not their first estate; who fell from the heavenly places but are ever longing after and striving to regain them; And that these have their own stations in the regions of the air”. For me this is funny .. just human imaginations
Some translate the words, “en toiv epouranioiv,” about heavenly things; that is: We contend with these fallen spirits for the heavenly things which are promised to us; and we strive against them, that we may not be deprived of those we have.
I don’t know if you will want to subscribe to this type of view.
Again, Mr. Wesley, says,
“The principalities and powers remain mostly in the citadel of their kingdom of darkness; but there are other spirits which range abroad, to whom the provinces of the world are committed; the darkness is chiefly spiritual darkness which prevails during the present state of things, and the wicked spirits are those which continually oppose faith, love, and holiness, either by force or fraud; and labour to infuse unbelief, pride, idolatry, malice, envy, anger, and hatred.”
Outside of what I presented above from part of Adam Clarks views, and especially that of Schoettgen, none of the other positions have any validity because they have no scriptural backings and do not relate to Col. 2:15 to form agreement of scripture interpreting scripture.
But you are free to choose what to believe in any case and that also forms your view of life and your walk with the Father.
Again we say that
principalities and powers are not necessarily demons as you would want us to believe.