ESV - 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
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The spiritual world,which we cannot see with our naked eye, consists of good and evil spirits. That means they are either in God's kingdom or the (temporary)kingdom of Satan. Before Satan rebelled against God, he had a good relationship and position with God. We get a glimpse of this in verses like Isaiah 14:12-17 also Ezekiel 28:13-19. After his fall, he seems to have some influence on the other angels which continued to sin 2 Peter 2:4. These are the evil spirits and principalities referred to in Ephesians 6. Verse 12 is explaining that there are ranks and positions in this kingdom of Satan. Hope this helps. God bless
What are the "spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" mentioned in Ephesians 6? We must be well armed: “Put on the whole armour of God, Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11 Make use of all the proper defensitives and weapons for repelling the temptations and stratagems of Satan - get and exercise all the Christian graces, the whole armour, that no part be naked and exposed to the enemy.” What our danger is, and what need we have to put on this whole armour, considering what sort of enemies we have to deal with - the devil and all the powers of darkness: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, etc., 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. Ephesians 6:12 The combat for which we are to be prepared is not against ordinary human enemies, not barely against men compounded of flesh and blood, nor against our own corrupt natures singly considered, but against the several ranks of devils, who have a government which they exercise in this world. We have to do with a subtle enemy, an enemy who uses wiles and stratagems, as, Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11 He has a thousand ways of beguiling unstable souls: hence he is called a serpent for subtlety, an old serpent, experienced in the art and trade of tempting. He is a powerful enemy: Principalities, and powers, and rulers. They are numerous, they are vigorous; and rule in those heathen nations which are yet in darkness. The dark parts of the world are the seat of Satan's empire. Yea, they are usurping princes over all men who are yet in a state of sin and ignorance. Satan's is a kingdom of darkness; whereas Christ's is a kingdom of light. They are spiritual enemies: Spiritual wickedness in high places, or wicked spirits, as some translate it. The devil is a spirit, a wicked spirit; and our danger is the greater from our enemies because they are unseen, and assault us ere we are aware of them. The devils are wicked spirits, and they chiefly annoy the saints with, and provoke them to, spiritual wickednesses, pride, envy, malice, etc. These enemies are said to be in high places, or in heavenly places, so the word is, taking heaven (as one says) for the whole expansum, or spreading out of the air between the earth and the stars, the air being the place from which the devils assault us. Or the meaning may be, “We wrestle about heavenly places or heavenly things;” so some of the ancients interpret it. Our enemies strive to prevent our ascent to heaven, to deprive us of heavenly blessings and to obstruct our communion with heaven. They assault us in the things that belong to our souls, and labour to deface the heavenly image in our hearts; and therefore we have need to be upon our guard against them. We have need of faith in our Christian warfare, because we have spiritual enemies to grapple with, as well as of faith in our Christian work, because we have spiritual strength to fetch in. Thus you see your danger.
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