x467......Principalities and powers

Below are all the verses with these words in the NT......


Ro 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Eph 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.

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,


principalities: defintion

arche {ar-khay'} n f

----- beginning 40, principality 8, corner 2, first 2, misc 6; 58

1) beginning, origin 2) the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader 3) that by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause 4) the extremity of a thing 4a) of the corners of a sail 5) the first place, principality, rule, magistracy 5a) of angels and demons


In all but Romans the word power is "exhousia"--meaning authority or power to rule.....

Ephesians is speaking of heavenly powers and rule--

8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: (Eph 3:8-11)

Ephesians 6 is also speaking of spiritual principalities--but those of the devil.......

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. 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. (eph 6:11-13)


However, in Collosians, the principalities and power spoken of are earthly--as well as spiritual, they are from the creation--they are the visible rulers as well as the invisible--

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (Col 1: 14-18)

In Col 2, the principalities and powers are earthly, since they have been made a show--they have been "openly made an example of"--this could not have been the invisible principalities and powers. Also, the Bible tells us that since they have been openly made a show of, the result is physical--it is in man--"therefore let no man" judge you--Also, the word "them" is used--meaning people--not invisible spiritual things. It is reasonalbe to assume that the principalities and powers that Jesus made an "open show" of, are in fact, the pharisees, scribes and levitical priests of Israel!

14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 16 ¶ Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (Col 2: 14-17)


The final usage of the term principalities and powers is also very clearly speaking of earthly rule and authority--

1 ¶ Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

Certainly the principalities and powers spoken of here couldd not be Satanic--we are told to obey them! They advice given here is similar to that given in Romans chapter 13, to submit to the authorities in the earth (but as Romans states--as far as they enforce the laws of God--not in every decision which earthly rulers make). It is not said that these are heavenly or Godly rulers in any way--the word "authority" is never used with the word minister in the Bible but for the places where Jesus said that ministry is NOT authority. (mat 20:25-27--Mar 10:42-45--Luk 22:25-29)

the statement is being made to be subject to earthly rule and authority in this way,--as it says to "obey magistrates"--worldly government not ministers of the church--ministers of the church are servants not rulers.

We need to read the Bible in it's own context--in the context which God set it in--and not by our experience or traditional teaching. Authority or rule is always qualified as being heavenly, or spiritual (which can mean Godly or demonic ruler ship since Satan lives in the 2nd heanven) or it is placed in the earth--in worldly authority in magistrates (people who collect taxes as in Romans 13)--authority is never placed in the church as being part of it's government--we are not to exercise authority one over another--as the world does--we are to serve one another and all function under the direct authority of Christ--the one Head of the church. .