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Four Categories of Evil Supernatural Beings: The Rulers

In our daily meditations over the last few days, we've looked at the spiritual realm and how Satan has structured evil entities so that countries, regions, towns, villages, and even leaders in strategic places, have some level of enemy control. John the apostle wrote:

We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one (1 John 5:19).

In referencing the whole world under the control of Satan in the above Scripture, the apostle John is talking about the world system set up by Satan against God. Those walking with Christ are out from being under his authority and control (Colossians 1:13). The only way our enemy can influence us is in the area of our minds if we will allow him. Let’s now take a closer look at the Greek words used by Paul the apostle to describe the four categories of evil spoken of in Ephesians 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 in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).

1) The Rulers. The Greek word used by Paul is Archē. This word means principalities or chief rulers. We get the word Archangels from this Greek Word. In the passage above, it speaks of evil angels of the highest rank in Satan's kingdom. The term also implies beginning—perhaps Paul is thinking about the angels that colluded with Satan in his rebellion against God. The word speaks of dark angels positioned so high that these spiritual rulers confer with Satan himself and rule over nations and geographical territories to bring about the goals of these enemies of God. We can compare these rulers to Hitler's top men who formed the Nazi Party before World War II. Men who sat down with Hitler and planned how to wage war to control most of Europe.

We can't be dogmatic about this because we don't have enough information, but this writer believes that Satan has given evil angels responsibility over geographic areas of the earth. In the book of Daniel, there is an example of an evil spiritual prince that ruled over the territory of Persia (now called Iran) that sought to challenge what God was doing. After Daniel received a vision from God, he spent time in prayer and fasting for twenty-one days, asking God for an understanding of the vision. God sent an angel to the prophet Daniel to help him to understand the revelation referenced in chapter eleven. An evil supernatural ruler called the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted and delayed the angel in answering Daniel's prayer. Finally, the good angel got through to Daniel and spoke to him:

12Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia” (Daniel 10:12-13).

The answer to prayer was delayed by an evil spiritual being with the rank of a prince. Have you ever experienced a delayed response to prayer? Perhaps this passage explains why. The angel got through to Daniel with the message he was waiting for only after the archangel Michael intervened.

Since the cross and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to the Church, God's people have received authority to resist and oppose evil spiritual forces through cooperation with the Lord in prayer. Iran still has that spirit whispering into the ears of those in power. They seek to do what they can to destroy those who serve the God of Israel. The people of Iran have been under the dominion of an evil angel, the Persian prince, in that part of the world for some time through thoughts, philosophies, and religion. That is still the case in Iran, but God is moving powerfully in that land as I write. Iran now has the fastest growth of any nation to the gospel. Pray for them! Let's continue this theme tomorrow. Keith Thomas

This meditation is a shortened version of the study: Know Your Enemy, found in The War Against Satan and Demons series.


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