|Is there a difference between the|
Is there a difference between the “Principalities” and “Powers” mentioned in Ephesians 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Colossians 1:16; 2:10 and 2:15?
Some of the statements made concerning them suggest that they are good, others that they are evil.
The words “principalities” and “powers,” when used together, define the status of certain who hold high place of rule, whether among men, or among angelic beings. In the former connection they are found in Titus 3. i, where we are exhorted to be subject to them; while of the latter the clearest example is perhaps Ephesians 6:12, in which they are definitely set in contrast with “flesh and blood.” In some passages, as Romans 8:38, Ephesians 1:21, Colossians 1: 16, they occur in a statement of such a character that it might perhaps be thought of as inclusive of both.
With regard to those principalities and powers which are angelic, there certainly does seem to be a difference on the lines indicated in the question above. Against those mentioned in Ephesians 6:12 we have to fight, and verse I shows that their leader is the Devil. But on the other hand, the principalities and powers of Ephesians 3:10, who are even now learning lessons through the Church of the manifold wisdom of God, can scarcely be thought of as other than good, especially when comparison is made with the similar statement of 1 Peter 1:12, “Which things angels desire to look into.” It must not be thought however that their being described as “in heavenly places” is sufficient proof of their goodness, since this is the very same term which is rendered “high places” in connection with those of chapter 6. z (see R.V.).
According to Col 1:16, all principalities and powers were created by Christ, and this of course implies that they were all good originally. But we read in Jude 6 (R.V.) of “Angels which kept not their own principality,” an expression which will at once suggest a reason why there should now be found both good and evil amongst them. Then in Revelation 12:7-9 we read of a conflict between good angels under the leadership of Michael and evil angels led by the Devil, in which the latter and his host will be defeated, and cast down to the earth from the heavenly position until then occupied by him.
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