Over the last few days, our daily meditations have looked at the unseen spiritual evil entities against which the Church of the Lord Jesus struggles or wrestles in prayer. The apostle Paul described four specific dark spirits at work in the world system. We've already looked at the first two, the rulers and the authorities, so let's now consider 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, Emphasis mine).
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, "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 Satan has given these spirits charge over belief systems that tie up men’s minds to religious works, false gods, and methods of thought that oppose the worship of the Creator God, the Lord. These evil spirits don't focus their warfare on the 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). Invisible bonds we didn’t know about are broken when we invite the Lord to come and set us free from Satan’s hold.
These spirits promote belief systems such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Communism, and Secular Humanism, to name just a few. The evil spiritual powers also use men and women in educational fields, such as in Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution. They also work in the cultures of nations, such as the gaming industry, that drive young people into ever deeper darkness. Do not underestimate the addictive power that is at work in such things. These spirits are also at work in the movie industry in Hollywood, promoting ever-increasing incremental stages of fear, violence, 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 manipulate minds 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 and hold many people worldwide in bondage, trying to please God through 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 (the god of this age) is accused of blinding people's minds, for he is responsible for directing the powers of this dark world that influence people's minds. Let’s talk about the fourth category tomorrow. Keith Thomas