What Are Principalities and Powers?
So, the goal is to cause as much damage to humans as God will allow. These beings are a part of the rank of the kingdom of darkness and include fallen angels that were kicked out of heaven with Lucifer. The intent of the spirits is to hinder the purpose of God on earth and to take as many people as possible with them to hell in the process. A lot of what these spirits stand for has been glamorized through media, books, songs, and other outlets. However, Christian materials, films, books, songs, magazines, etc. do have a presence in society and are gaining as the appetite of the public desires something better to feed off. For instance, witches really exist. There are people who communicate with the dead that are possessed by spirits. So, what we use to think was a bunch of hocus pocus has legitimate backgrounds in some respect. Demonic spirits can camouflage themselves. 2 Corinthians 11:14 says “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” Principalities and powers are not just relegated to individuals. These beings cover territories. Their presence is felt in cities. Some cities may have a principality of murder hovering over it. Another city may have a hindrance principality operating in their region. Another can have racism or sexual perversion. Some may have a gang principality or kidnapping principality operating over their region. Unfortunately, there are spirits operating that are too numerous to name.
We have protection and help as Christians. We can pray one for the other. We can fast. We can guard our eyes, ears, and other senses from wickedness. Christians should read the Word and stay prayed up. As Saints, be on the lookout for a sister or brother who might be oppressed and pray for them. Sometimes, we as Christians think we have seen it all when something strange happens in the spirit world. No need to fear; see the following verse:
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (Christ gives us power in His name over all of our enemies when one puts on the whole armor of God; see Ephesians 6:12-18 below).
Jesus did perform an exorcism when He delivered Mary Magdalene from seven devils (Luke 8:2). There are other references to Jesus casting out devils. In Luke 8:27-33, you will find where Jesus casts legions of devils out of a man. This man had been possessed for a long time. The devils even pleaded with Jesus on where their destination would be. They wanted to remain in the area and begged Him to cast them into the swine. Understand that at the name Jesus, the devil must flee. When I say the devil, I also mean a power or a principality. The devil is not like God and is not omniscient or all-knowing. The enemy is only allowed to vex man for a season and only with God’s permission. In the second chapter of Job, the devil asked permission to oppress, harass, afflict, and steal from Job. God told him that he must spare Job’s life. So it is safe to assume that more than one spirit can be oppressing a person that does not have the Holy Spirit. A Christian may have the Holy Spirit and still will come under testing from the devil. As Christians, we need to seek God for the Holy Spirit. We can plead the blood against the devil. We may not be at the level of Paul or others who cast out spirits, but we can go to God in prayer to obtain grace and mercy to help in a time of need. Paul cast a fortune-telling spirit out of a girl in the Bible. Her masters were not happy because they had been making money off her possession (Acts 16:16-18).
Why Should Christians Know about This?
Christians need to know that when they become Christians they may also come under attack from powers and principalities, powers and wicked people. First, they may have been flying under the radar. Now, they are on the radar. You have been added to the kingdom and you are a threat. The more attacks that you come up under signifies that God has a great work for you to do and that you are a threat. You might have the influence to impress others to come out of darkness and into the marvelous light. You getting saved might encourage your family members and friends to get saved. You might have been delivered from certain lifestyles and now those you use to hang with want to get delivered as well.
Anyone that has joy, is happy, and is grateful is a threat to the devil. This intimidates him because he has an expiration date, and he knows it. He already knows his fate and there is no redemption for him like there is for us. God loves us. He created man in his own image. He sent His Son from Heaven to die for us. Who does that? When the devil sees us, he is reminded constantly of his mistake of causing rebellion in Heaven and aspiring to be God. He was not content with being an anointed being. God loves us and is not willing that any of us would perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
Principalities and Powers in Scripture
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. (We are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers of the unseen world which includes mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world and influence many people).
Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (The evil day is when the Antichrist [Satan] appears on the scene in the not too distant future).
Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. (Again, we are to take a stand and be ready with the full armor of God, not just part of it; no need to run or fly away because of false teachings. Where do you find truth? See John 17:17 for your answer).
Ephesians 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. (Take the shoes of the spirit to speed you on as you preach the Good News of peace with God. You really need to know what you are up against when teaching God's word).
Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (In every battle you will need "faith" as your shield to stop the fiery darts aimed at you by Satan. You either believe or you do not; no fence sitting allowed. You can't fight Satan on your own; you need the whole armour of God. See Ephesians 6:13 above).
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (You will need the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit [The two edged sword of Christ, His tongue], which is the Word of God. The Word cuts both ways; it can build you up, or it can tear you down. Which do you prefer)?
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. (Pray in the Spirit, and follow God's will; you will notice this is conditional. Pray for all the saints of God).