In our daily meditations over the last few days, we have been looking at the unseen spiritual evil entities against which the church of the Lord Jesus struggles or wrestles. The apostle Paul described four specific dark spirits that are at work in the world system. We've already looked at the first two, the rulers and the authorities, so now let's think about the third category. Here again, is the verse written by Paul:
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).
3) The Powers of this Dark World. This phrase has the Greek word Kosmokratōr. The first part of the word is kosmos, translated into English as “world.” The second half of the word is krateō, which means "to hold." It reads, "world holders of this dark world." The picture is of evil spirits that hold the physical world under the grip of darkness by an assault on the mind. I believe that Satan has given these spirits charge over belief systems that tie men’s minds to religious works, false gods, and systems of thought that are opposed to the worship of the Creator God, the Lord. These evil spirits don't so much control territory; their influence is mostly through systems of thought that bind people's minds to demonic influence. Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
These spirits promote belief systems such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Communism, Secular Humanism, to name just a few. The evil spiritual powers also use men and women in educational fields, men such as Charles Darwin with the Theory of Evolution. They also work in the cultures of nations, such as the gaming industry that are driving young people ever deeper into darkness. Then, there is the movie industry in Hollywood, promoting ever-increasing incremental stages of fear and sex. There is also the music industry. You don't have to search extensively on Google or YouTube to find examples of musicians who have sold their souls to the devil for success and notoriety.
Then there are religious spirits that bind people to try to earn salvation in the Christian religion or Islam, or Buddhism, instead of receiving the gift of life from Christ. Religious spirits are very powerful and deceptive. These spirits hold a lot of people all over the world in bondage, trying to please God by religious works. Paul wrote further about the influence of these particular spirits, the dark world powers when he wrote his second letter to the church at Corinth:
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Satan himself (the god of this age) is the one accused of blinding people’s minds, but I tend to believe that he is the one directing the powers of this dark world that influence people’s minds. Let’s talk about the fourth category tomorrow. Keith Thomas
This meditation is a shortened version of the more in-depth study: Know Your Enemy